At the bottom of my street, there is a junk shop. It is full of items from house clearances and piles of stuff from other people’s lives, from their unwanted furniture to the content of their kitchens. In this junk, often there are piles of old picture frames.
These old picture frames are full of images like faded photos of beloved dogs or embroidery samples. Generally, stuff that was once a personal and treasured item to someone doesn’t mean anything to the rest of us.
I picked up a dozen of these old picture frames for a couple of pounds. Even though the old photos and artwork weren’t of any interest to me, I thought I could at least rescue the frames.
I love old illustrations and prints, so I started this website. I’m always looking for new ways to display the lovely images I find. Sometimes I craft with them. Other times, I’m just looking for new ways to display them on the wall.
As well as wall displays, I also craft with my bird images like with this parrot decor display in an IKEA glass dome/cloche.
What to Put in the Picture Frames
My home is very colourful, and I love to decorate it with a rainbow or 2. With this in mind, I decided to repurpose these old picture frames into a rainbow gallery wall.
Colourful old picture frames need colourful pictures. There are so many to choose from on Pictureboxblue. From the fantastical fish paintings of Louis Renauld to the amazing parrot paintings of Edward Lear or the wonderful vintage flower illustrations.
It was hard to decide, but I went for the colourful bird naturalist prints of George Shaw in the end. Being the daughter of a published ornathologist it had to be birds in the end!
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What You Need To Repurpose Old Picture Frames
- A collection of small frames in different sizes and styles. I picked these up from my local junk shop for almost next to nothing.
- Chalky paint in a variety of colours. I used leftover scraps and sample pots. You will only need a small amount.
- One large picture frame
- Cream heavy printer paper
- Mounting tape
How To Create A Gallery of Colourful Old Picture Frame
Step 1: First, remove all photos, art and glass from the old frames.
Step 2: Next, make sure the frames are clean and dust free. Then paint them an assortment of colours.
I find that chalky paint is best for this. Not only does it give a lovely matt finish, but you can paint directly onto the frames without sanding or priming them first.
Step 3: Next, decide on the images you will print and frame. Then using a ruler, measure the height and width of each frame.
Step 4: Next, using a free software package such as Canva, resize the images you’ve chosen to fit each frame. Print the pictures for the old picture frames onto cream paper to give them a more vintage look.
I liked to choose an image that matched the colour of the frame. For example, if the frame is red, then I picked a bird that was predominantly red.
Step 5: Next, cut the picture to the frame size and then place inside the old frame.
It is totally up to you and your own personal preference, but I prefer not to have glass in a lot of my picture frames. I just hate the reflection you get with glass and prefer pictures without them.
I know you can get non-reflective glass. However, that is expensive, and I only use it for valuable prints and paintings.
Step 6: Carry on framing the printed birds into the coloured old picture frames. Then lay them all out together on the floor. Play around with the layout of the picture frames until you are happy with the order.
Step 7: Once you are happy with your gallery wall, they are ready to mount. You can stick them straight onto the wall using double-sided mounting tape.
I had a large old picture frame that I had painted white. I decided to arrange the rainbow picture frame gallery wall within this frame. This made it easier for me to move the gallery wall around the home when I fancied a change.
At the moment, I’ve hung this lovely rainbow bird gallery wall in my living room. I love looking at the bright, colourful vintage birds in their colourful frames.
There is a collection of amazing colourful vintage colour wheel prints and colour charts that would also look fabulous arranged in a rainbow wall gallery.
There are many more ideas for upcycling picture frames here.
If you liked the prints in this old picture frame gallery wall, then you might like these ones too.
- Vintage Cactus Paintings
- Old Shell Posters and Images
- Vintage Animal Prints
- Free Insect Prints
- Watercolor Fruit Images
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