Reusing Old Picture Frames

by Rachel Paxton


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It's fun taking something apart and putting it back together again in a new creative way. I work in an office where we had a lot of old promotional type posters that were very expensively matted and framed. Now that we're moving to a new office we wanted something new, but didn't want to spend a lot of money decorating. We decided to disassemble the old frames and reuse the mats to frame new prints.

We made a visit to a local craft store and found an abundance of inexpensive artwork in all sizes, ranging in price from $1.49 to $40.00. Definitely within our budget. We picked out several beautiful floral prints and framed them with the old mats and frames. Disassembling the old prints included tearing off most of the prints that had previously been glued to the mats, but I just tore it all off and used scotch tape to tack down the new prints.

The new prints don't have to completely fit your frames or mats, either. It was hard finding prints that were just the right size. Don't be afraid to move the print around in a mat that's a little too small. Often you can cover some edges of the print and not take away from the overall effect of the picture at all. Just trim edges where necessary to make the print fit (after you've double checked your positioning within the mat). You can also buy bigger mats to make a smaller print fit in a larger frame.

If you don't care if all of your frames match, it's very inexpensive to shop thrift stores and yard sales for cheap prints and re-use the mats and frames for new prints. Or go through some of your own old prints and redecorate!

Also, when looking for inexpensive prints, don't limit yourself to poster prints. Postcards and greeting cards also look great framed. Add a mat and you'll never be able to tell the difference.

You don't need a lot of special tools to get started. All you really need is possibly a screwdriver for disassembling frames, a ruler to make sure your print is straight, some tape for attaching the print to the mat, and a pencil and scissors for marking and trimming prints that don't quite fit.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have great wall art. It just takes a little planning ahead to match print sizes to frames and match colors. Have fun, and use your imagination! A beautiful picture really brightens up a room, and you can create your own easily and inexpensively.


Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of five. For recipes, cleaning tips, gardening, frugal living, holiday hints, and more, visit her site and sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.creativehomemaking.com

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