Upcycled Picture Frames: Embellishing With “Trash”

Any photographer can tell you that purchasing stylish frames to display their creations can be expensive. However, if you are open to using the art of upcycling to help you create unique displays from cheap, basic frames, you can make the perfect statement to complement every photo. So, take a break from the Lightroom versus Photoshop debate, and really look at all of the items your normally discard. Then, before you decide that something you are about to trash is garbage, consider these upcycling tips that can turn them into stylish frames for your photography.

The Natural Approach

One of the easiest ways to embellish a frame with something you might see as trash is to take a look at your current landscape. If you need to trim branches from a tree in your yard or deal with rocks in your driveway, consider whether these can be cleaned up and used to decorate a basic frame.

Upcycled Picture Frames

For example, you can cut down small sticks and twigs, clean them thoroughly (but gently), and use them to create an attractive twig border for a photograph. All it takes is some sheers and a little glue, and you are on your way. Interesting rocks can also be used in a similar fashion. Just wash, dry, arrange, and glue.

Both of these ideas add interesting texture and can be a beautiful complement to a nature scene.

Make it Metallic

Aluminum foil is a staple in most households, and it can make an excellent statement on a picture frame. If you have pieces that were used but aren’t particularly dirty, you can reuse the foil instead of throwing it away. Or, if you have come to the end of a roll, and there isn’t enough foil left for cooking tasks, then use the leftovers to decorate an otherwise drab frame.

This is another project that can be accomplished with just a little glue and some time. Once the foil has been glued down, give it a chance to dry, and you are ready to go.

Another great metal to use is the tab off of soda cans. The tabs can be easily removed, and generally are not sharp as long as the ring at the attachment point doesn’t break. You can arrange them along a frame in a pattern, or use a more random approach. This is another area where you can get a bit of shine along with loads of texture.

Fabric Options

Before you throw out that shirt or pants with holes in it, consider if some of the fabric can be used to make an attractive picture frame. It isn’t uncommon for the majority of the material to be in decent shape even if the clothing item is no longer wearable. You can use the material to make a simple cover or sew small decorative items like flowers. Then, simply glue the fabric, flowers, or other creations to make a boring frame a point of interest.

And More

These are just some ideas of what you can do to create a beautiful frame for your photographs with embellishments made from items you would otherwise discard. So, before you through something away, consider what beauty it may have to offer. And, if you find yourself inspired, add it to your next upcycling project instead of sending it to the landfill.