10 Ways to Repurpose an Old Picture Frame

ďArt is only art when it is synonymous with living.Ē Mid-century designer Alexander Girard said this and he is the inspiration for this DIY project.

I recently went up in the attic looking for a sun-faced poster that I had as a kid. It was a popular 60s design by Girard. While I was digging around in the dust, I spied some pictures leaning next to old wood frames. Many were handed down in our families, some of them ornate and gilded. They just donít work with our decorating style now. Iím not bringing the pictures back into circulation, but those frames possess untapped potential.

Picture frames are fun to collect and easy to pick up in antique, thrift, second-hand stores, flea markets, tag sales and donít forget to search for finds when you travel.

10 Ways to repurpose a vintage picture frame:

1. Frame a tray.

2. Frame a calendar.

3. Frame vintage wallpaper or vintage fabric (I like Marimekko), old calendar pictures, greeting cards, magazine covers or record albums.

4. Frame a mirror.

5. Display photos or a make a collage.

6. Make a bulletin board from a frame without a glass. Back it with cork or wine corks.

7. Make a magnetic bulletin board.

8. Cover a digital picture frame. Cut the frame and glue it over a generic digital picture frame.

9. Make a scrapbook display or an inspiration board for all your DIY. ideas.

10. Frame a pocket display board Ė for organizing bills, photos, business cards. Use colored library book pockets, envelopes or fabric.

No vintage frames? No problem. Check out this vintage frame tape to frame anything, anytime, anywhere.

Vintage frames have wonderful decorative potential. Is the picture or the frame the art? Live with it and find out. What would you do with a vintage frame?

71 comments

Julie Botsch
Julie Botsch2 years ago

Thank You. Neat Ideas.

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Bonnie Youngblood

I have a very old gilded frame, what is the best cleaning method? Help please

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence5 years ago

Fabulopus -- I have so many old frames and now they'll have anew look !!!!

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy5 years ago

You can also make shadow boxes out of frames simular to shrines with menorys of loved ones or events and even pets pictures. A creative mind anyone can have if you just try. You'll amaze yourself that you had it in you all the time. Everyone is creative in his/her own way.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy5 years ago

I even use picture frames to hide those ugly breaker boxes that stick out like a sore thumb. Just find a picture that matches your decor and attach the frame to the breaker box door or simple hang over the breaker box door.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy5 years ago

These can be use also for window framing or you can get some to line along the bottom of a wall with just the frame itself to decorate the room victorian style and paint the same color as the wall. Just space them apart depending on the length of the wall your using. Or you can take an old head board that has nothing nut a solid back and add frames to it. All of these ideas are done without the glass. Just paint to match any decor.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy5 years ago

These can be use also for window framing or you can get some to line along the bottom of a wall with just the frame itself to decorate the room victorian style and paint the same color as the wall. Just space them apart depending on the length of the wall your using. Or you can take an old head board that has nothing nut a solid back and add frames to it. All of these ideas are done without the glass. Just paint to match any decor.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

there are TONS of old frames in my great grandmas house as well as in my grandma's attic... they will be glad I have foung a use for some of them!

Charlotte C.
Charlotte C.6 years ago

I love the magnetic bulletin board idea!