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Funky Picture Frame

Find an old frame at a garage sale for a few cents, and turn what might have been trash into a treasure!
Updated: December 1, 2022

Funky Picture Frame

iMagstn.gifAn Imagination Station Activity from KinderArt

Age: Five and up
Time: 30 minutes or more
Type of Activity: Arts and crafts

If you find an old picture frame at a garage sale for a few cents, buy it. Even if it has banged up wood and no glass, you can turn it into something fabulous! Simply gather an old picture frame; paint (house paint, craft paint, whatever you have); paintbrushes or old sponges; decorative scraps (fabric, aluminum foil, sand); glue and safety scissors; something nifty (an old toy, a piece of mirror, a sea shell, a leaf, something that's special to you); a plastic grocery bag; sandpaper (optional); and cardboard (optional).

What to do

Take the glass, if any, out of the frame and remove the backing, if any, from the frame. If your frame has no backing, cut a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the frame (an adult should help with this step). Sand the frame if the wood is in really bad shape; if not, you're ready to begin.

Starting with one color, paint the entire frame (or as much of the frame that is visible). When the first coat of paint is dry, you can add another coat. If not , then choose another color of paint. Add a dab to your plastic bag and using the bag as a paintbrush, dab the paint onto the frame until you're happy with the results. You should get a nice crinkly texture.

As the paint dries, begin working on what will be inside your frame. Take the cardboard that you cut to size and begin decorating it. You can glue some aluminum foil onto the cardboard for a funky look or you can paint the cardboard or glue fabric on it. You can even glue sand onto the cardboard for a rustic look! When the cardboard is decorated and dry, glue something special onto it; a piece of mirror, an old toy, a watch part, or even a stone.

Great! Now it's time to put the frame together by slipping the cardboard into the frame and attaching it using glue. If the frame doesn't already a hook on the back, your last step is to create one. That's it -- you've created a treasure from trash!

Many artists create fun and glorious works of art using items they find at garage sales, flea markets, and even in the garbage! These wonderful people are known as folk artists and they rely on their imaginations to tell them what treasures can be created from trash.

© Andrea Mulder-Slater | KinderArt |
Illustration © Andrea Mulder-Slater

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