It's no secret. I love thrift stores. And I love to see if I can make a discarded item beautiful and useful again. So, this post will bring you some of the ways I have up cycled thrifted frames. Consider it eye candy, and a little bit of crafting inspiration to get you going!
Dry Erase Boards
Dry erase boards are so practical, but the white ones can be just plain boring! Did you know that any frame with glass can be a dry erase board? Just write on it with a dry erase marker like a "regular" white board. So, head to your local thrift store to find a nice big frame. Put burlap, or fabric, or scrapbook paper behind the glass for up cycled beauty.
The white frame was an old 80's frame that just needed a new coat of white paint. I stuck scrapbook paper in, and done! So easy. The yellow frame features some pretty fabric. I made a button and fabric flower to add more interest, and stuck it right on the glass with E-6000 glue. The red frame is so fun. Behind the glass is old-school manuscript paper with the handwriting lines.
What can you make with a beautiful frame that has no glass? A chicken wire frame, of course! Thrift stores have loads of lonely frames, usually for a cheap price, because they're missing their glass and backing. Simply staple chicken wire onto the back of your painted frame. Use it as a memo board, jewelry organizer, picture holder, and more. Great gift idea.
But what if you really don't want to buy a full roll of chicken wire? Here's a simple solution that still has a shabby-chic feel to it....
This was an old frame without its glass. I painted it a favorite shade of green. Then, I took some vintage wire that I had laying around the house, and twisted it around the sides to make a sort of clothesline across the frame. Using mini clothespins, I can put up some of my cherished photos.
Gallery Wall Ideas
Thrift stores have dozens and dozens of frames that just seem so random. But many times, all that is needed is a unifying coat of paint. These five frames were all different finishes and styles, but when I painted them this lovely gray, they started to play nice.
Open gallery frames make a nice statement for cheap. Just paint frames in coordinating colors to your room decor, and hang as a group without the glass. You can tack pictures inside the open frames if you like. This middle frame was just right for displaying some favorite fabric in a color that I just can't get enough of. How about this white beauty? Well, when I first found her at a thrift store, she was an ugly duckling. But after some pretty white and distressing for her original finish to show through, the intricate design on the frame can really be appreciated.
Chalkboards are so fun. I actually have several throughout my house. Maybe it's because in my past life, I was a teacher. But they're practical, too. Here is my kitchen menu board which only cost me a few dollars. It was originally a mirror.
Chalkboards are easy to make on any smooth surface. On mirrors or glass, I usually prime the surface first. Then, use spray chalkboard paint or acrylic chalkboard paint. Give at least 2 coats in opposite directions, drying between each coat. After 24 hours, prime the surface by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire board.
This pretty turquoise chalkboard was a vintage frame I had on hand. It was missing its glass, so I painted a piece of cardboard instead. It works great, and it's not as heavy to hang, since it has no glass insert.
Little chalkboards in the 5 x 7 or 6 x 8 size make cute wedding table numbers. Or use them on a buffet table to let everyone know what's on the menu.
Burlap Word Art
I love seeing certain words that mean a lot to me around my house. It's a pick-me-up throughout the day. So, when I learned that I could print words directly on burlap through my printer, I was hooked.
Burlap word art makes a great gift that you can customize. All in a thrifted frame that you can coordinate with the look you want.
Lego MiniFig Storage
Thrifted frames are cheap, so my boys could pick big frames to display their mini figures, and it didn't break the bank. Check this post to see how we did it.
Pretty frame, but ugly insert? Not a problem. (Almost) any frame can be up cycled.
Hope and Joy weren't always so serene. They were a fun project, though. They deserve their own post. But for 69 cents a piece, how could I resist?
This cute little square frame was okay, but needed a facelift. Enter some driftwood pieces, and it makes great beachy decor.
Who said wreaths have to be round? Empty frames can bring some fun to your front door. Just paint them your favorite color and add fabric flowers, burlap buntings, scrabble letters, whatever quirky finds you like! Totally customizable.
For more ideas on up cycling, follow me on Pinterest! How have you used thrifted frames in your home?