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What to Do With Old Picture Frames

what to do with old picture frames

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Repurpose old picture frames into creative home décor elements like bulletin boards, room dividers, or quirky furniture pieces. This eco-friendly approach adds a personal touch and fosters sustainable living. 

Discover more innovative ideas on what to do with old picture frames in the article below.

Creative Versatility of Picture Frames in Home Décor

When you see old picture frames lying around at home or sold in bulk at thrift shops, what do you first think about? You can use these frames for other purposes aside from displaying your photos. All you need are some materials, time, and lots of creativity.

Are you up for the challenge?

In fact, upcycling old picture frames reduces the number of materials ending up in landfills, consequently decreasing methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

Picture frames, when upcycled, offer a lot of creative options in home décor. They showcase the unique character of the repurposed materials. This approach to home decoration promotes sustainability and a mindful consumption lifestyle​​. 

Let’s see how we can turn these old picture frames into something unique and creative intended for every room in our homes.

picture frames art

Living Room Décor Enhancements

Old picture frames don’t have to gather dust in your attic. With a bit of creativity, they can be transformed into eye-catching and functional décor for your living room. 

  • Chic Wall Displays: Vintage picture frames can be repurposed to create a unique gallery wall. Consider using a mix of frames and mirrors to add depth and interest to your living room space. 
  • Functional Art Pieces: Turn old frames into practical items like a magnetic organizational board or a corkboard. These can serve as stylish yet functional pieces for pinning important notes, photos, or even children’s artwork. 
  • Creative Shelving and Storage: Why not transform a picture frame into a trendy bookshelf or a unique storage space for items like glasses? It’s a great way to merge aesthetics with utility​​​​.
  • Decorative Centerpieces: An old frame can become the focal point of your coffee table. Lay a frame on the table and fill it with seasonal decor, or use it to frame a centerpiece. 
  • Jewelry and Accessory Display: A more unconventional use for picture frames in the living room could be to display jewelry or accessories. This keeps items organized while adding a decorative touch to the room.

Bedroom Decoration Ideas

Reinventing old picture frames for your bedroom décor is both eco-friendly and creatively fulfilling. Here are some ideas to give those frames a new lease on life.

  • Mirrors and Artistic Displays: Paint thrift store frames in cohesive colors and insert mirrors for a chic and personalized touch. This adds a sense of space and elegance to your bedroom​​.
  • Photo and Note Boards: These boards can be used to pin photos, notes, or reminders, adding a personal touch to your bedroom. It’s functional art that keeps memories and important notices in view​​​​.
  • Creative Wall Art: For a more artistic flair, consider creating 3D wall art using frames. Frame something unexpected, like a single flower in a glass bottle or a series of small artworks. 
  • Repurposed Frame Trays: Old picture frames can be converted into stylish trays for holding trinkets, perfumes, or other small items. This adds a decorative touch to your dresser or bedside table while keeping things organized​​.

Bathroom Décor Applications

Transforming old picture frames into stylish bathroom decor elements can add a unique touch to your space. Here are some practical ideas:

  • Mirror Enhancements: Repurposed old picture frames add a vintage or custom look to your bathroom. They are functional and act as an attractive décor piece​​​​.
  • Towel Holders: By removing the backing and glass and simply looping your towel through the frame, you can create an upscale look for your hand towels. 
  • Storage Solutions: Consider building shelves inside an old picture frame for a clever bathroom storage solution. This can be a great spot to store toiletries, adding both functionality and style to the bathroom​​.
  • Decorative Displays: Use old frames to create a layered effect on walls or shelves. This can be a great way to display vintage items, like old dishes, or to create a gallery wall with a collection of frames.

Kitchen Accents and Utilities

Repurposing old picture frames for your kitchen enhances its aesthetic appeal and adds functionality. Here’s how you can give those frames a new purpose:

  • Magnetic Recipe Card Holders: Upcycle old picture frames with decoupage and paint to create magnetic recipe card holders. 
  • Layered Frame Art: Consider making art out of the frames themselves. By layering different frames, you can create an artistic and eye-catching display on your kitchen walls or shelves​​.
  • Bookshelf Frames: Turn your book collection into art by using old picture frames as bookshelves. 
  • Vintage Frame Vignettes: Stack and layer them on shelves or mantels to add a touch of rustic charm to your kitchen​​.
  • Message Boards: Create classy message boards with fabric backing and ribbon in an old frame. This can be an elegant way to leave notes or display reminders in the kitchen​​.

Creative Storage Solutions

Utilizing old picture frames for storage solutions in your home can be both creative and functional. Here are some inventive ways to repurpose picture frames for storage:

  • Bookshelf Frames: Turn old picture frames into bookshelves. This can be done by attaching frames to wooden boxes or directly to the wall. They offer a novel and artistic way to store books or display collectibles​​.
  • Key Holder: An old picture frame can be repurposed into a chic key holder by removing the glass and adding hooks. This simple solution helps keep keys organized and can be a stylish addition near your home’s entrance​​.
  • Chalkboard Frames: Paint the inside of an old frame with chalkboard paint to create a handy chalkboard. This is perfect for shopping lists or family reminders. It adds a functional yet quaint element to your kitchen or entryway​​​​.

Outdoor and Garden Applications

Here are some ideas on what you can do with the old frames, which you can use as outdoor decor.

  • Front Porch Decorations: Repurposing old picture frames for your front porch can add a distinctive touch to your outdoor space. 
  • Mirror Wall: Create a mirror wall with a collection of old frames. You can resize and paint thrift store frames to fit old mirrors and create a one-of-a-kind mirror wall​​​​.
  • Personalized Signs: Use old frames filled with wooden planks, paint sticks, or wood shims to create personalized signs. Whether it’s a welcoming message or your family name, these signs can add a warm and inviting touch to your front porch​​.
  • 3D Framed Items: Think outside the box by framing 3-dimensional items like small glass bottles with flowers. Hanging these frames can create an eye-catching focal point and add a touch of elegance to your porch​​.
  • Seasonal Decor Using Frames: Switch out images in vintage frames seasonally. This allows you to refresh the porch decor regularly. You could frame seasonal clip art and prints or even create a themed display for the holidays​​.

Garden Enhancements

Here are some ideas to transform old picture frames into garden enhancements:

  • Upcycled Lanterns: With a little painting skill and four identical frames, you can create a unique light fixture that brings illumination and charm to your garden area​​.
  • Garden Art Displays: Consider creating garden art by layering various sizes and styles of old picture frames. This can be a great way to display potted plants or other decorative items in your garden​​.
  • Mood Boards for Plants: Using old frames, you can craft mood boards with chicken wire and clips. You can use these boards to hang small potted plants to create a vertical green space​​.
  • Framed Succulent Pots: By adding a bit of soil and your favorite succulents, an old frame can turn into a living piece of art.
  • Picture Frame Bookcases for Garden Tools: Transform larger picture frames into small bookcases or shelves. These can be used to store and display garden tools and accessories​​.

Beach Themed Décor Pieces

Transforming old picture frames into beach-themed décor pieces can be creative and fun. Here are some unique ideas:

  • Rustic Oar Picture Hanger: This project combines an oar with hooks, twine, and long screws to create a coastal vibe. It’s a simple yet impactful way to display your favorite beach memories​​.
  • Coastal Wall Art: Utilize old frames by painting them white and decorating them with shells and burlap fabric. This idea brings a touch of the seaside into your home, and you can easily find these materials at thrift stores or around your house​​.
  • Beach Theme Frame Craft: You can easily do this using white craft paint, turquoise and white pebbles, seashells, and glue. It’s a straightforward project that adds a serene, oceanic feel to any room​​.
  • Rustic Fisherman Ombre Fish Frame: For fishing enthusiasts, this decor involving a frame with an ombre effect and fish motifs captures the essence of a beach fishing experience​​.

Chalkboard Frames for Various Uses

Old picture frames can be transformed into functional and stylish chalkboard frames with a few simple steps. This project adds a unique touch to your space while also serving practical purposes.

Materials Needed

To start, you’ll need a picture frame (any size works) along with the following:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • A foam paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Chalk

Cleaning and Preparation

First, disassemble the frame and thoroughly clean both the frame and the glass. If you’re painting the frame, do it first and set it aside to dry. For the glass, clean it with soap and water, lightly sand it, and then wipe it down with rubbing alcohol​​.

Painting Process

Apply thin coats of chalkboard paint to the glass. Allow each coat to dry completely. It’s usually best to apply around three coats for a smooth, even surface. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results​​.

Seasoning the Chalkboard

Before using your new chalkboard, season it by rubbing chalk all over the surface and then wiping it clean. This step is crucial to preventing permanent marks from the first use​​.

Creative Variations

You can also create a framed chalkboard using plywood to add a colorful or rustic touch to it. These can be especially great for kids’ rooms, outdoor spaces, or as stylish kitchen menu boards​​​​​​.

Inspired to Do a Bigger Cleanup?

When you have old picture frames, think about reusing them instead of throwing them away. This helps the environment because it means less waste. It’s a smart choice to reuse things whenever you can. 

If you find that you have more items to get rid of, not just picture frames, remember that EZ CleanUp can help. We’re in Philadelphia, PA, and we can take care of larger clean-up jobs for you. Call us today!

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