As a frequent visitor to thrift shops, estate sales and yard sales, I know old picture frames are one of the most common items found at these sales. These old frames generally hold up pretty well and offer up a lot of great repurposing potential.
One word of caution when repurposing old frames, do use care with frames of an unknown age. Prior to 1978, and throughout the 20th century, lead-based paint was commonly used on furniture and household items. There is a kit (available at hardware and home improvement stores) available for testing for lead paint. It’s also possible to minimize the risk by using a sealer to seal in the lead, but caution should be taken when handling frames with lead paint. Flaking paint is extremelay dangerous and striping lead paint is not really a viable option. If you have children in the home, you might want to consider not taking any chances with lead paint at all.
So, after you’ve found a lead-free frame or have taken steps to seal a lead paint frame, just what are some creative re-uses for repurposing frames? Here’s a list of some of the most creative ideas for how to reuse old frames.
1. Decorative Mirror
Image: …love Maegan
Create a vintage style mirror by adding a piece of mirror to a frame. You can cut a mirror to fit yourself or take it to a glass shop.
2. Functional Corkboard
Add some corkboard to an old frame to make a shabby chic bulletin board for your office or a memory board to share photos, cards and other mementos.
3. DIY Chalkboard
Image: by Foxtongue
Paint fiberboard (also called hardboard or hardtack) or other sturdy and thin piece of material with chalkboard paint to make a framed chalkboard.
4. Decorative Medicine Cabinet
Use an old frame to frame a medicine cabinet. You can place a frame around a recessed medicine cabinet or attach a frame to the actual cabinet.
5. Clever Jewelry Storage
Use nails, hooks and/or screen to create a both useful and decorative jewelry storage. Keeps your necklaces tangle-free and shows off your beautiful jewelry pieces.
6. Decorative Tray
Image: Ode to Inspiration
Place some pretty scrapbook paper or fabric under glass in an old frame for a pretty coffee table tray. You could even add drawer handles for easier carrying.
Top Image: Editor B