Inside: A DIY Christmas wall decoration tutorial from an upcycled cabinet door and printable Christmas botanicals.
About five years ago, I visited my friend’s newly installed kitchen. Then randomly, she handed me one of the old cabinet doors as she was sure I could upcycle it into something! At the time, I wasn’t inspired and just stuck it in my shed.
I came across that old kitchen cupboard door a couple of weeks ago and had a eureka moment. I could use it to make a unique Christmas wall decoration.
I’m always looking for new ways to display this site’s beautiful vintage botanicals. And that door would make a perfect Christmas picture frame.
I’ve even picked out a collection of eight vintage Christmas botanical prints, especially for this upcycled picture frame.
You will find these at the end, where you can download and print them for free. They are all in the Public Domain.
DIY Christmas Wall Decoration
The old cabinet door was long and thin, with eight glass panels. You might find something similar in a thrift store or junker’s yard. An old French window would work just as well too.
What else I used to upcycle the cabinet door:
- Chalk paint in two tones of green – Lime green for the undercoat and dark green for the top coat.
- Masking tape, sandpaper and Vaseline
- Clear furniture wax
- Double-sided sticky tape and velvet ribbon
- Mini baubles for hanging decoration (optional)
- Vintage Christmas botanicals – see at the end of the post.
- Printable watercolour paper
Step1: First I gave the old cabinet door a good clean and masked off the windows with tape.
Painting The Cabinet Door
I wanted the DIY Christmas frame to have an antique look, so I gave it a chipped paint finish.
Step 2: I wanted small bits of the original wood to be visible after painting, as I was going for a chippy look. So before painting, I dabbed small bits of vaseline on the frame at the places I wanted the wood to show.
The vaseline stops the paint sticking to the wood.
Step 3: I painted the frame in an undercoat of lime green paint. I added a top coat of dark green chalk paint when that had dried.
Step 4: I waxed the paint when it was dry. I then got a piece of folded sandpaper to chip the paint. Sometimes the chips would reveal the original wood or the lime green undercoat. I focused on chipping the corners and edges.
The aim is to give the frame an aged and worn look. After chipping the paint, finish with another coat of clear furniture wax. Rub the wax into the upcycled picture frame with a lint-free cloth, wiping away any excess.
Adding The Christmas Botanical Prints
Step 5: I printed the eight Christmas botanicals on watercolour paper. They were postcard size, so two prints fit on a page. To download these resized prints, click on the title.
(The original larger prints and details about their origin are at the end of the post).
I have a whole post on printing on watercolour paper.
Step 6: I wanted the botanical prints for this DIY Christmas wall decoration to have rough edges. So I wet the watercolour paper and carefully tore the borders off each postcard print, using a metal rule to ensure a straight edge.
Step 7: To easily change the botanical prints from holiday to holiday, I used tape to stick them to the glass. The upcycled picture frame wasn’t just a Christmas wall decoration.
I wanted the tape to look festive, so I used double-sided sticky tape and velvet ribbon.
Step 8: A strip of double-sided tape was placed across the top of the print to hold it onto the frame. The protective paper was removed from the tape and replaced with a velvet ribbon.
Step 9: Stick a botanical print on each of the panes of glass. You may want to play around with the order.
Making The Hanging Decoration
Step 10: The cupboard door still had its original knob on it. I made this an added feature of the upcycled wall decoration by using it to hang a Christmas decoration. Which also made the window look more festive.
I used a box of 20 mini-coloured baubles and twine to decorate my hanging.
The baubles were strung onto a long piece of gold twine one by one to form a garland.
Step 11: The bauble garland hung from the knob on the upcycled cupboard door.
The Finished Picture Frame
Sadly my friend is no longer with us, but I know she would have loved this Christmas picture frame decoration. But even more, she was right about me finding something to make from her old kitchen cupboard door.
And I love it because it now reminds me of her!
This Christmas picture frame would also work well with these antique Swedish Christmas Cards, Christmas patents, vintage snowflake drawings and Holiday decorative type prints. Or how about a picture frame of old maps or reindeer drawings for animal lovers?
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The Christmas Botanical Prints
To download a higher-resolution print, click on the title above. The image will open in a new window in your browser, and you can save or print it. All the prints are copy-right free.
The original image is from “Neerland’s Plantentuin : Afbeeldingen en beschrijvingen van sierplanten voor tuin en kamer ” (Neerland’s Botanic Garden : Pictures and descriptions of ornamental plants for garden and room), 1865.
Print from “Atlas de poche des plantes des champs, des prairies et des bois : a l’usage des promeneurs et des excursionnistes“, (Pocket atlas of plants in fields, meadows and woods: for the use of walkers and excursionists), R. Siélain. 1895.
A botanical illustration is from the pocketbook “Wayside and woodland blossoms: a pocket guide to British wild-flowers for the country rambler“, by Edward Step,1895.
Check out this collection of holly illustrations.
From Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 1830 and described as Amaryllis aulica.
Don’t forget to check out the site’s many other vintage flower prints.
From “Die Giftpflanzen Deutschlands“, (The Poisinous Plants of Germany), Peter Esser, 1910.
Christmas rose print from “The Botanical Magazine“, 1787.
Print from “Les plantes a feuillage coloré“, (Plants with Colourful Foilage), W. Howard 1867.
Check out these other poinsettia prints.
Christmas cactus print from “Favourite Flowers of Garden and Greenhouse” by Edward Step, 1897.
Check out these other cactus paintings.
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Check out these other botanical craft ideas.