If you’re like most people, you’ve probably collected a few picture frames at home. And now that things have gotten more digital, you’re probably thinking of throwing them away. Now, before you do that, consider the millions of trash people generate on a daily basis. Adding to the number will just make things bad for the environment.
Instead of throwing away your old picture frames, consider upcycling them. Here are 50 really clever ideas you can use in recycling them.
1. A place to keep your ribbon spools
If you are into crafts, you’d know how hard it is to keep all your materials in place, particularly the ribbons. Without something to hold them in place, they can easily roll off and create a mess at home. As a solution, simply paint your old picture frame with any color you like. Add some rod brackets and slide some wooden dowels to hold the spools in place. You can find the instructions here.
2. Vanity tray
Whether you like collecting perfumes or you just like to keep your most-used accessories in one place, this vanity tray made from old picture frames will work for you. The best thing about it is that you can actually design it in a way that will blend in with the rest of your room decor. Find out how to do it here.
3. Accent to boring walls
If you have large blank walls at home which you want to spice up a bit, then you might want to create accent pieces using old picture frames. Get small jars and vases and use them to fill the center of your frames. Use a durable thread to hang and keep them in place. Oh, and don’t forget to paint the frames first. Get the complete instructions here.
4. Picture frame pin cushion
For your safety, always keep your pins and needles in one place. If you don’t have a pin cushion yet, then go ahead and grab an old picture frame at home and your choice of fabric. Cut and sew the fabric into a pouch before stuffing it with batting. Glue all of its sides to the frame and you’re done. If that’s not clear, you can check how it’s made here.
5. House number
The problem with buying ready-made house numbers is finding the right design that will match your home’s overall theme. By creating your own using old picture frames, you’ll be able to easily achieve the look you want. Plus, it’s cheaper, too. Click here to know more.
6. Kid chair
Believe it or not, you can actually turn old photo frames into a chair and the process isn’t that hard. The materials you’ll need are inexpensive, too. You probably already have them at home. To see the full list, click here.
7. Key holder
This is great for those people who keep losing their keys. The key holder is hard to miss because it’s totally eye-catching. Visit this link to get the complete details.
8. Serving tray
Old picture frames make awesome serving trays. All you need to do is pick the best fabric design that matches your coffee cups and attach some handles on the side. See the full instructions here.
9. Tiered cake stand
For those who like baking and serving pastries for the family, you’ll definitely fall in love with this one. It’s an inexpensive way of making a really nice tiered cake stand that no one can find from any store. You can click here to know more.
10. A frame for your best photos
Do you have those photos that you just can’t let go? Instead of keeping them in a box, go ahead and put them on display. Grab an old picture frame and attach a few strings to line up your photos. Use tiny clips to keep them in place. For the complete steps, visit this link.
11. Task chart
Whether you are trying to teach your kids about household chores and responsibility or you simply want to keep track of who does things at home, you’ll definitely find this task chart handy. Hang it in your kitchen or even the family room. Click here to see the full instructions.
12. Jewelry storage
If you don’t have tons of storage space in your room to keep your jewelry in one place, try turning an old picture frame into a jewelry storage like this one. Apart from keeping your things organized, it’s also a fun way to put them on display. To start the project, see the instructions here.
13. Wreath for any occasion
This DIY wreath makes an excellent decor. You can switch up the design depending on the season. You can even use the wreath as decor during birthdays and anniversaries. Click here to get started.
14. Pedestal table
For this one, you’re going to need more than just an old picture frame. You’ll have to find an old lamp vase which you can use as a base for the table. Don’t forget to get some spray paint, too! For the complete list of materials, visit this link.
15. Magnetic spice rack
Having a hard time keeping all your spices organized? This magnetic spice rack is the answer. For this, you’ll need a piece of sheet metal (preferably galvanized steel), adhesive-backed magnets, and your spices. See the step-by-step guide here.
16. A lantern
17. Towel bar
If your bathroom looks boring and you’re looking for unique accent pieces for it, this one will definitely work for you. Get frames in various sizes with the biggest one long enough to hold your towels. Make sure that they’re strong as well. You wouldn’t want them to fall apart when you pull your towel. To see the other materials you’ll need, click here.
18. Christmas Tree
Get four frames in various sizes. Arrange them on your wall according to size, with the smallest frame on top. To replicate the tree trunk, you’ll need to put another small frame at the bottom. You can put a star at the very top to make it look more realistic. Get all the details you need to make one at home by clicking this link.
19. Herb drying rack
This one really works like a charm. All you’ll need to do is get an old picture frame and remove its glass, cardboard backing, and photo. Get a screen mesh that’s big enough to fit the frame and secure it with a staple gun. Install eye screws on all the corners and connect chains that’ll hang the drying rack in place. See the complete instructions here.
20. Framed bulletin board
Keep everyone updated in the office by setting up this creative framed bulletin board. For this, take out the cardboard backing and glass and replace them with a corkboard. Hang it on a wall in your office and get your papers pinned up in no time. See the complete details here.
21. A useful decor piece for your art room
Keep yourself motivated by posting something similar to your wall. There are tons of motivational images you can download online and fit into your repurposed picture frame. Add a couple of hooks at the bottom and use it to hold your pen containers. You can learn more about the project here.
22. Meal planning board
Make meal planning a lot less boring with this planning board. Just replace the cardboard backing with chalkboard and paint the frame with any color you like. This board can also double as a place for you to write your grocery list. Visit this site to know more.
23. Cork tray
With an empty picture frame, a piece of plywood, wood glue, small finish nails, spray adhesives, glue gun/sticks, cork sheet, and corks, you’ll be able to make your own wine cork tray. Use it anytime you need to serve hot dishes and appetizers on your coffee table. Get the complete instructions here.
24. Medal board
This one is a really fun project because it makes use of orphaned and broken toys. To start, you need to take out the cardboard backing and replace it with a corkboard. Then, gather all of your kids’ broken toys and glue each piece on the frame until you’ve completely covered all sides. Paint the entire frame with your chosen spray paint color. Pin your kids’ medals on the board before putting it up on the wall. To see the complete list of items you’ll need, you can check out this link.
25. Organizer for earrings
To make your own organizer for your earrings, simply cover your frame’s cardboard with any satin fabric. Place an old doily on top of it before putting back the frame. Everything should fit snugly to ensure that your earrings will stay in place. To see the complete instructions, check out this link.
26. Shadow box
A shadow box offers a perfect way to keep objects that are meaningful to you. It can hold the flowers you used during your wedding, a couple of pictures that are dear to your heart or symbols that relate to your goals and aspirations in life. See the complete details here.
27. Inspiration board
The more you see and visualize something, the quicker you’ll attract it into your life, right? Using an old frame, you can put on display the things you want to happen and achieve soon. It can be about your dream vacation, the job you wanted the most or even a fitness goal. To get started, see this link first.
28. Bangle stand
With an empty frame, a few wooden dowels, and hooks, you can easily recreate this bangle stand. It’s perfect for organizing your accessories according to size or color. To see how it’s done, check out this link.
29. Magnetic organizer for your makeup products
If you are always on the go but still like to look decent, this magnetic organizer can save your day. Instead of having to dig into your makeup bags and organizers, you can just grab your makeup products from the wall. To see a step-by-step guide on how you can make one for yourself, check this link.
30. Cork coasters
Remember the cork wine tray? These rustic cork coasters would perfectly match that. Just remember to use small picture frames to make them. See the complete details here.
31. A frame for your collection
The best part about repurposing old frames is that you can put anything in it as long as it fits. For example, you can use the frame to display vintage cameras. It can work well with necklaces, silverware, and other collections you may have, too. You can find everything about this project here.
32. Menu holder
This is an excellent project for restaurants and shops that are looking for a creative way to put their menus on display. If you want to know how to make one for your own shop, here’s the link to the guide.
Create more storage space at home for your books and other items with these framed shelves. You can add small pieces of wood to the back of the frames to create more space. Click here for more instructions.
34. A different key holder
If you’re not a fan of the previous key holder design, this one might work for you. It’s simple and really easy to make. You won’t even need to use a large frame for this. For more details, visit this link.
35. Desk organizers
A cluttered desk can get in the way of your productivity. So, to keep your working area organized, try to make this desk organizer. Just get a frame, a piece of fabric, glue, and a sewing machine to make one. If you don’t own a machine, you can just sew the pockets manually. To know how, click here.
36. A wall art
Creating a layered wall gallery for your home is super easy, but you’ll never believe the impact it can make. For this, you’ll need a good number of frames in different designs and sizes. You can practice layering on the floor first before you start drilling holes on your wall. For more tips, click this link.
37. Hair clip and bow organizer
It can be challenging to keep all your daughter’s hair clips and bows in one place, consider how small they are. With this hair clip organizer, you’ll never lose a piece again. Plus, it makes are really beautiful decor in your kid’s room. Visit this link to get started.
38. Bathroom tray
Make your bathroom a little more fancy with this bathroom tray. Use it to hold bottles of lotions, hand soaps or even your jewelry when you need to shower. Learn how to make one here.
39. An organizer for your glasses
The challenging part of collecting sunglasses is keeping them in top shape and preventing them from getting scratched. Instead of keeping your glasses inside a drawer, consider keeping your collection in this DIY organizer. It doesn’t just keep the items in proper form, but it also makes it easier for you to pick a design to wear for the day. To see how you can recreate this organizer, click here.
40. A frame for your pennies
Pennies come in different colors. Most of them are brown but if you soak some of them in vinegar/salt solution, they’ll turn very bright turquoise. Because of that, pennies make an interesting piece of decor in your living room. Organize them using an old frame and hang them on one of your walls at home. Get the full instructions here.
This is definitely one of the most exciting projects on this list. Using a few frames, number cutouts, and an old clock mechanism, you can easily recreate this. It’s perfect to hang in your living room or even in the family area. Click here to see how you can make one for your home.