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Upcycled Wooden Photo Frames

How to Create Vintage Wall Art

Wall art is a fabulous way to add character to any room, and vintage wall art is all the rage. One problem with vintage is the word adds cost to any item it is applied to. That’s why we’ve written this guide on creating your own vintage wall art.

It’s a Frame Up

Go to any second-hand shop and find the paintings on offer. Instead of looking at the actual images, you want to check out the frames. Oversized, gilt, scuffed and shabby chic frames make an excellent base for upcycled vintage wall art. But, what to put inside it? First, decide if you want the painting visible – you never know, it might make a good backdrop. Depending on the painting underneath, you can leave it or paint it over with chalk paint or even blackboard paint.

  • Try stringing your photos inside the frames using LED string lights with pegs attached, or on string with bulldog clips.

  • Hang garlands or bunting inside to suite various occasions.

  • Get some fabric or wallpaper samples that you love and make these the framed art.

  • If you’re a keen traveller then cut and paste some old map plates into the frame.

  • Hang any piece of unframed wall art you like.

Shabby Chic White Peg Lights

Blackboard Beauty

An excellent idea for a real statement wall is a blackboard. You might be able to find an authentic old-school blackboard, complete with a ledge for your chalk and duster to fix to the wall of your choice. Make your own if you can’t find a blackboard to hang. Paint a wall section with blackboard paint and recreate the school look by framing it with old wooden rulers, often found in reclamation yards and antique shops. Add some chalk, and you have a creative centrepiece for kids and adults.

Think Out Of The Box

Upcycle an old wooden box into a handy mirror with a built-in shelf. Buy a mirror that fits inside – you might need to have it cut to work - and make sure to use lightweight mirror glass. Attach picture hanging fixings to the back of the box – you will probably have to fix it to the box sides, so the screws don't pierce where you will glue down the mirror. Spread good adhesive glue across the mirror's base, stick it flat, and leave it for at least 24 hours with a towel and a heavy item on top to aid the process. Create a border with some rope and fix it into place with a hot glue gun. And voila, hang it on the wall where it will beautify you and your home!

upcycling wall art photo frame

Step Up

Old wooden ladders are a great way to hang photos and stand objects, painted or au natural. You can jazz up any wall with a piece of natural art: cut a branch from your garden and sand it down if necessary. Wrap string or tube lights around it and hang them on the wall as an excellent centrepiece for photos and pictures.

Go off Piste

If you find a trove of old skis – snow or water – line them up vertically to create a cityscape with high and low-rise “buildings.”

Buy old board games from the local second-hand store. It doesn’t matter if pieces are missing; you can use the gameboard as wall art. Alternatively, stick magnets on the back of old wood Scrabble tiles and frame a metal sheet to always have a game on the go!

These are a few ideas: go out antique hunting and get creative.

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