A Frugal Life: Family Photo Frame

Hey everyone, if this is your first day, feel free to click HERE for the beginning of my month-long experiment in frugal living. Today I’ll be linking up with Betsy from Romance on a dime, for Take it on Tuesday.

On my most recent thrift shopping excursion, I noticed how a lot of fairly large frames like this were for sale:

frugalfun 009

Have you seen these type around too? Solid frame, wire hanger, heavy, large, casing an ugly-ish piece of art?  I was very happy to see them so cheap (we’re talking $3.00!).

I had been shopping for a large frame for a while, but noticed how expensive they were at Michael’s and other stores (don’t let the picture deceive you, it’s 27in x 23in). I knew I wanted some large frames for family photos, just wasn’t sure which one I’d house in this new beauty until I remembered I hadn’t found a home for our most recent family photo:

(Okay, so I couldn’t find the one we actually framed online, so this will just have to stand in for it )

 It was fairly easy to convert:

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  • I simply removed the paper backing, board and print that were attached to each other.
  • I then outlined the glass near the frame with some painters paint (it kind of helped).
  • I used a mixture of molding paste, and black paint to create a greyish tone for the frame, that I then proceeded to paint onto the frame.
  • About 90 % of the way through, I didn’t like how it was turning out, so I spray painted it white, and rubbed certain parts down for a distressed look. I love how it looks a little more weathered, and worn.
  • Once the frame was dry, I was happy to discover the residual spray paint was easy to wipe off the glass with a paper towel and windex.
  • Before I put our family photo in, I pasted one of my old prints from art school with some adhesion spray on top of the original flower print to create a unique backdrop to the photo.
  • I taped the backside of our photo onto the print, and placed it back into the frame.

We hang it in our family room above the fireplace:

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Because I only paid for the frame, I’m saying the whole project cost a total of $3.00. The spray paint, and acrylic paint were from leftover projects, and the family photo had already been accounted for. It was fun to make and for a dime, you really can’t go wrong!



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  1. Great job – turning an old frame into something new. I periodically check out thrift stores for frames – I need to do that again. I’m so glad you shared at Romance on a dime.

    • Thanks Betsy! It’s fun linking up with you. Thanks so much for featuring me and hosting TIOT. I was pretty excited when I saw a bunch of large frames for about 3 dollars! Some thrift stores charge much more than that, but not that thrift store. It was awesome :).

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