Make Your Own Vintage Picture Frames

Vintage picture frames are my favorite homemade picture frames for loved ones! These frugal gifts take homemade presents to a whole new level. This unique picture frame approach works well with both the unusual and standard picture frame sizes.

How to make your own shabby or vintage picture frames

A Homemade Picture Frame Could be the Perfect Gift!
by Robert Lobitz

vintage picture frames

Sometimes choosing the right gift can be a challenge, particularly for the person that has everything. When you are struggling to find the right gift, consider giving something that says that you care enough about that person to put some time into what it is that you are giving them. A perfect example of this is homemade picture frames.

Vintage picture frames are beautiful! Of all the types and styles out there that you could choose from, one of the absolutely most popular photo frames right now is this distressed, or “shabby” look. This is the perfect type of gift, especially for someone who enjoys that style, and it doesn’t matter if it is a major holiday like Christmas, Mother’s or Father’s Day, or simply a birthday. Homemade picture frames are the perfect gift for any time of the year.

The best part about putting together a project such as these vintage picture frames is that it is not only relatively simple and accessible, but it is also fairly inexpensive. (And meaningful, frugal gifts are hard to find!) You can typically find standard picture frame sizes around the house, at yard sales, or even your local dollar store. In the end, the entire project should be one of those gifts under ten dollars. In addition to a good picture frame, materials should include three different colors of paint, sandpaper and some candle wax.

Your Own Vintage Photo Frames

vintage picture frames

If your photo frames have a glossy finish on the outside, then you will need to sand it. You don’t need to sand a lot, just enough so that the new paint has something to hold onto.

Next, you will need to completely paint the outside of the photo frame with a paint of your choice. Allow the paint to completely dry before moving on. Depending upon the type of paint you are using, this may take up to 25 minutes.

vintage picture frames

Once the paint is dry, rub the outside of the frame with candle wax. Try to cover as much of the surface as possible. For the second coat of paint, the candle wax functions exactly opposite as the sand paper did for the first coat of paint – paint will not adhere to the areas covered with wax.

Once the wax is thoroughly applied, add

vintage picture frames

 a second coat of paint, in a color that is different than the first. Once this layer of paint is completely dry, go back to your sand paper. Fold it in half and scratch it across the edges of where you rubbed wax. When you start to see the original paint, stop and move to a different area. Keep going until your homemade picture frame has the look that you are hoping for.

Now, repeat the process.

vintage picture frames

Add the candle wax again, but this time over the areas where you can see not only the first color, but the second color right around it.

Then you’ll need to apply a third coat of paint. (It’s best if this last layer of paint is some version of white, or a very light color.) When this layer is dry, use the sandpaper one final time to remove some of the white paint from the areas that you had previously exposed.

Use a fine sand paper to get rid of any unwanted extra paint, and apply a final protective clear satin finish, if desired.

The important thing to remember with any craft project is that often, less is more. And always enjoy what you are doing!

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