DIY Projects – Tips and Ideas using Picture Frames
Do it yourself projects are a huge trend right now. They’re a great way to bring out your creative side, manage stress, or decorate on a budget. I look at a picture frame and think the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of styles and sizes that can be transformed into exciting DIY projects! We’ll start small and work our way larger.
Let’s take a 4×6 frame and place a photo in it. It might seem obvious, but this could make a great gift for grandparents or other family members. You could also use that same frame and place a gift card inside – now there is a great gift idea! Using a picture frame instead of a greeting card is not only more exciting and unexpected, but many frames are more affordable than the average greeting card. They can also reuse the frame themselves.
Frames make for great wall decor just by adding printed craft paper or chalk board material. Check out this photo below of one of our customers who decorates the outside of our frames and sells them on Etsy! Our Decorate-It frame series is perfect for this kind of project. These unfinished frames are great for your DIY project like painting or collage.
Another favorite is the versatility of Frame USA’s natural Barnwood frames. This series has a great rustic look and can be filled with any style of photo, or decorated with paint or collage. We have even turned them into serving trays that can be customized by simply adding a seasonal paper or family photo.
Last year the employees at Frame USA had the opportunity to make a project from their favorite frame. Each project was unique, creative, and awesome! We are always adding new mouldings to our frame lines. The possibility of new ideas for creative DIY projects is endless! Get creative and send us your photos of any projects you use our frames for on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! We love seeing how creative our customers are!
October is here. Pumpkins, warm apple cider, a chill in the air and falling leaves. Lots and lots of falling or fallen leaves. When the foliage turns color and begins to drop from branches, it might be fun to preserve some of the more beautiful specimens you can find. There are hundreds of crafts that can be done using autumn foliage that are great for kids and adults, but we will just talk about two very simple ones that you can do using picture frames from Frame USA.
Before you get to the frames however, you have to get some leaves. The first week of October is prime foliage collection time. Everything has had a chance to change to those beautiful red, yellow and orange hues and have hit the ground but are still supple and haven’t really started to dry out and turn brown and crumbly. Try and get as many different types and colors of leaves as you can, large and small. A variety of shapes to choose from will make your crafts more interesting. Plus, it’s just nice to be out in the crisp autumn air. When you get them home, if you’re not going to use them right away, be sure to store them in a cool, dark place. It wouldn’t hurt to put them in seal-able, airtight plastic bags either.
Once you have a good selection of leaves, you can start the first project; framing fall foliage as a picture. There are a lot of ways you can arrange your leaves, but the two that are easiest is to frame one large leaf by itself, or create a collage of different leaves, almost a mosaic. The first thing you’ll want to do, either way, is to preserve your leaves a little. I suggest starting out by drying them. You can do this very easily by putting them between two pieces of wax paper and then closing them in a large book overnight. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to spray your leaves with a UV resistant acrylic sealer. This will help keep their colors from fading over time. You’ll want to do one side, then when that dries, flip them over and do the other. These are both spray-heavy projects actually, because I also suggest using spray adhesive (for this first project) and you can also use a glossy spray finish if you want to give your leaves a shiny look. Once you’ve treated your
leaf or leaves, and they’re dry, you can spray a piece of white foam core (all of these supplies are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local craft/hobby store and the leaves are free) with spray adhesive and quickly (but gently) affix the leaves or leaf in the position you want them/it. The adhesive dries quickly so you won’t have much chance to rearrange so you will want to plan this out first.
We have several wood picture frames that are ideal for autumn inspired framing project. The first is one of our rustic barn wood frames. Our Appalachian Barnwood to be exact. I would recommend it in the rustic brown color to give it that real outdoors-y, fall feel. This is a real wood frame with a 3/4″ recess and a 7/16″ usable depth. This is a good frame for any DIY type of project and perfectly shows off homemade art and photos.
If you’re looking for something a little more whimsical and bright, I would suggest our Colori Large picture frame in orange. This frame is made from an eco-friendly wood composite and finished with a colorful wrap. It has a flat 2″ profile and a 1/2″ usable depth. This frame is great if you’re doing this project with kids and want to maybe hang the piece in their room or in a classroom. It also comes in yellow and red, if you’re doing multiple frames and want to represent all the fall colors.
Now that we’ve framed leaves, it’s time to put leaves on the frame itself. After treating your leaves you can choose a bunch of different ones that you like to affix to the outside of our Decorate-It wood picture frame. The Decorate-It frame is made specifically for crafting and comes in 3 flat profiles; a 1 1/2″, a 2″ and a 3″ width. For this kind of project I recommend the 2″ width to give you more room to play with.
You can use spray fixative for this again but because it’s wood I would actually suggest using a very thin layer of wood glue to hold the leaves really tight. Arrange them in any pattern you like around the edges of the frame and after you’ve glued them in place I suggest spraying them with the gloss finish, and a layer of spray adhesive, just for good measure and to make them look good. After everything dries you now have a nice autumn picture frame that you can maybe put halloween photos or Thanksgiving photos in.
Autumn is maybe the prettiest season of the year and you’ll be glad you have something in your home that reminds you of it all year long.
Everyone knows what picture frames are for—to protect artwork, a precious document, or a family portrait. That’s not the only thing picture frames can be used for. The uses for picture frames are endless! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite unconventional uses for picture frames that we’ve seen on pinterest, television and even from customers!
1. Apartment Door Decoration using an Upcycled picture Frame
Use a decorative picture frame in shell form (without glass or backing) such as our Napoleon or American Value Silver frames on your door! You can also use a picture frame as a festive wreathe. Our Appalachian Barnwood frames are perfect for a fall wreathe. This is perfect for apartments to make a door stand out among the sea of doors!
2. Upcycled Frame Collage Artwork
Picture frame collages with images in a bunch of different style of frames all painted one color to match but make a statement are very popular. This takes that idea but uses the picture frame shells as art itself! The different styles of our wood frames would be great for this idea.
3. Upcycled picture Frame turned Coffee Table
This idea came from a customer that was planning to create a tabletop out of an old frame. She is planning on making a tabletop with a 2” thick frame to display seashells. She is substituting acrylic instead of glass and wooden dividers for the seashells and to support the acrylic. She figured out that this would be much cheaper than one of those coffee tables that are made for displays. Our Shadow box Elite comes in an unfinished profile which would be great for this so you can stain it and paint it in a color to match your décor.
4. Serving Tray using Upcycled Picture Frame
Who doesn’t love parties? Create a unique tray to serve food, drinks or bottles on. Using scrap book paper and acrylic glass in one of our frames. Our Victorian Picture Frames would be a beautiful conversation starter about where you got this vintage looking tray.
5. Nail Polish/Spice Rack using an Upcycled Picture Frame
This is perfect for the nail polish or food obsessed. Using a picture frame painted with the color of your choice or even just your favorite frame, for me it would be our Black Smoke Series and wood pieces adhered to the back to hold nail polish bottles or spice containers. This is both a piece of art and a handy storage system!
We hope our top 5 favorite unconventional uses for upcycled picture frames inspired the DIY crafter inside you. Show us your favorite upcycled picture frames!