Picture frame crafts can be simple or very fancy, and perfect to give as gifts. Plus, frame your own art or photo. These crafts make great senior activities too. And simple to modify for those who need extra help, as with the beaded frame.
The best type of frame to use is one with a flat, somewhat wide frame area, so you have a good surface on which to glue your decorations. This can be worked around, however, depending on what you are gluing on. Besides using what I have at home, I pick up inexpensive frames at thrift stores, dollar stores, flea markets, etc.
Themes -- First, choose the theme for your picture frame crafts. Are you giving it away? Does the recipient have a favorite hobby, like gardening, sailing, a sport like golf? You can use a variety of golf tees, and even a golf ball, depending on the size of the frame.
How about fishing? Try tackle, lures (remove the
hooks), bobbers. And there's the sewing theme. Or a frame for an artist
-- use old tubes of paint, brushes, etc., plus paint blobs like a
palette. The sky is the limit.
Cookie Cutter Frames
Or perhaps you're decorating a frame for a holiday or festivity, like Valentine's Day. You can find all sorts of decorations, doilies, heart shaped buttons, even candy. See the instructions for a fun frame made from a heart-shaped cookie cutter: Heart Picture Frame Crafts.
These heart frames could also be painted white and used for a wedding
or anniversary. Or used another shaped cookie cutter for Christmas,
Halloween, or a birthday. A more general shaped cookie cutter, such as a
flower, can be used for any occasion.
Candy Picture Frame Crafts
How about candy? Yes, you can glue hard candies on to a frame (not chocolates!).
You can get variety bags of candy inexpensively at most dollar stores. Or have your group all bring candy from home and share.
After gluing candies in place, you must apply several coats of water-based varnish, drying the frame several hours between coats. Obviously, candy picture frame crafts are not edible -- but are cute!
The Beaded Frame
This beaded frame, pictured on the top of the page, is a cinch to make. You may want a color scheme. Try an all-white theme (perfect for weddings or anniversaries). Or pink and white for Valentine's Day.
You may want to have a variety of bead sizes, but not necessary.
Do you have an old bracelet or necklace? If not, you can get them cheap
at a garage sale or thrift store. If you're doing this with a group,
have everyone bring something in, and share! You may want to glue on a
pattern or just random groups of beads.
You will need:
Old newspaper to spread under project
Picture frame, any size, but 5x7 is very good to start with
Variety of beads -- think of color and size
Plastic container(s) for beads, by color and/or size
Acrylic paint - optional, if you need to paint the frame first
Cover your work surface with old newspapers. Make sure the frame is clean and in good repair. Paint it first with acrylic paint, if necessary, and dry thoroughly, at least one hour or according to directions.
You can even paint the frame in a color that contrasts with your beads. If you're making a frame for a special occasion such as an anniversary or wedding, you can paint the frame gold, silver, or white, and use the same color of beads - metallic gold, silver, or pearls.
It's easiest to have your beads ready in a plastic container. Then just
use the glue gun to adhere them, one by one. It actually goes fast! Let
the glue dry thoroughly before putting anything in the frame. That's it!
Patriotic themes and colors are always popular, whether with national or local colors and symbols. Learn how to make this fun, free-hand painted frame at our Crafts For The Elderly page.
We also show how to make a matching ornament. These also make really nice 4th of July crafts. Use the ornament idea for any holiday -- not just Christmas!
The image for your picture frame crafts made with rope depends on the kind of rope you use. The one shown here uses nylon and is sort of nautical. But you could also use hemp rope or fiber rope of the type used on a farm or in camping. Then choose your picture.
You will need:
Use a regular picture frame or get creative...
...Cut heavy cardboad or foam for backing into a shape
A length of rope, as long as you need, with a little overlap
Glue gun or contact glue
Spray glue (if needed)
Clear contact paper, or laminating machine (optional)
The easy way -- You can certainly just glue the rope around the edges of a frame you already have.
Creative shapes -- But this one has a creative shape that no regular backing or glass would fit. So a backing was cut in the shape from heavy cardboard.
Choose a print, magazine picture, photo, etc., and cut it to the shape of your backing. If you're using a regular frame, just insert the picture behind the glass.
Otherwise, with a creative shape you won't have glass. So you can laminate the image, or cover it with a piece of clear contact paper, for protection. After covering it attach the image to your backing with spray glue, smoothing it out. Dry.
Then glue the rope round the frame; or around the picture/backing, using plenty of strong glue. Dry. And you're done!
Sea Shell Frame
The project to the right is a sea shell frame craft submitted by one of our readers in our craft share forum. If you used a wider frame, you could fit even more small shells on it.
Any type of water picture would look great in it, including something beachy or with palm trees. See what she did at her sea shell frame page.
Our Craft Book!
Get some more fun ideas
for picture frame crafts and lots more. We have a couple of great idea books for you to see. So check out Easy Crafts and Gifts You Can Make, with over 120 projects, plus FREE templates you can use for a variety of projects.