Use Picture Frames and Doilies to Make Charming Wall Art

10 Materials
2 Hours

We all have that handed down item that we cannot seem to part with nor want to just stuff into a box out of sight and out of mind. I'll be honest this isn't going to suit everyone's taste but it may suit everyone's need to display and cherish a keepsake by framing it. Vintage doilies, fragment of clothing or blanket , needlework, handwritten letters and recipes all can easily be displayed and enjoyed by simply framing them.

Framed Needlework

For this project I used recycled picture frames, vintage doilies, vintage needlework, assorted scrapbooking paper, brown wrapping paper and fusion mineral paint (any acrylic or chalk paint will do), scissors, glue, water mister and your hairdryer. First up, selecting frames that were suitable and luckily I had found these cute, round ones with faded artwork that I could certainly use.

Dated Round Frames

With simple tools even just a butter knife you take them apart from the back starting with the outside shield, then remove the mats and artwork.

Frame Diassembled

I just bought this particular Fusion color because I have an affinity for greens, it's called Park Bench. It's so silky smooth and it's a new product for me, I found it to be much better to apply than chalk paint. I painted the frames and the back panels knowing I'd want a strong contrast against the white doilies.

Fusion Mineral Paint

Next up I wanted to create a new mat with scrapbooking paper, you'll see later how it coordinates with another doily I'll be displaying. In order to create my template I traced the old mat outside and inside to give me the exact size to go back into the frame.

Tracing Along Outside Edge

However for the inside edge you'll see my pencil is not tight into the mat, I made an allowance there in order to give me extra paper to create a fold in my scrapbooking paper.

Tracing Along Inside Edge

Cut from the center into that drawn line by first cutting out a few wedges to give enough room for the scissors to get into the inside cutting line.

Snip, Fold and Glue

To create the inside round edge a lot of little slits were made along the inner circle to be able to fold, glue and press into place. I used Aleenes tacky glue because it dries clear and it never fails me when I use it.

Close Up of Finished Edge

I ironed the doily (autocorrect keeps wanting to call it a dolly) before placement to ensure it was nice and flat. Yay, it's finnaly time to put the layers all back in place mat, doily and backplate.

Layers Put Together

Now to flip it over and cradle it into the picture frame, the excess doily I didn't want to trim as that would damage the entire thing I just folded and hand pressed it around the backplate. The backing will hide all of this so dont worry about it beong perfect, just ensure it looks perfect from the front before everything is sealed up.

Pressing the Excess

I know you know what I'm using here next, given the arrow design on the cardboard, heh I use whatever will work! I needed a backing and this cutout will become just that! 😄

Tracing Frame onto Cardboard

To complete with a professional finish I'll also need a round piece of brown wrapping paper the exact size as the frame. Its a trick I picked up in my crafting journey that is worth trying just because of the process that happens right before your eyes.

Tracing Frame onto Brown Paper

Assemble everything, the backing was glued on and secured prior to this last step. The brown paper is glued in place right along the outer edge only and not all over the back surface. Next spray it with a few shots of water mist and pull out a hairdryer, that's all I'm need to see it for yourself what happens as it dries! The original frame hangers were used in this project as well, nothing wasted.

Mist Paper Backing

Here is my finished project, three different doilies that are now part of a unified collage. My take off point was the doily with the pink flowers and green leaves, I knew to coordinate them all as a set I'd need to pull those colors into the other two. The large oval frame has a tiny bit of the backplate peeking through which I covered with the same scrapbooking paper as the mat in the round one.

Finished Trio

These items are to be sold for charity so I didn't get a chance to get other photos but I have other samples to share with you for inspiration perhaps. It's the same method as shown above just different colors and insert options. This shabby old frame was painted the same green color but for these I had tiny squares of needlework to frame.

Square Style Frame

I distressed these frames with high grit sandpaper, stenciled a couple of charming words, Hand made and Special to show the meaning behind the items displayed. These had cardboard backings stapled at the back so I removed them during the makeover but attached them again in the same manner afterwards. Now it's finished or so I thought...

Stenciled Wording Added

No, it needed another hint of pink so I added a small, wooden heart in at the bottom corner and now they're completed! I just shared this as a possible display as these aren't mine but I liked the idea of using them as a layering piece in front of other frames.

Pink Heart- Completed Look

One last sample to share, a dated, chipped kitchen themed frame needed some love and attention.

Gold Rectangle Frame

Ivory color chalk paint, distressed it to highlight the orignal gold details with a damp cloth once it has dried. Black backing for this one and a gold, cotton doily .

Makeover Completed

The gold really pops against the background color and it's highlighted again in the frames intricate pattern popping through.

Display Option

As mentioned in the outset this isn't for everyone but it's adorable for a Cottage, Shabby-Chique or even Farmhouse decorating styles. I love it because it preserves the handcrafted skills from the past, it keeps them alive by being seen and in turn shared and talked about. I hope this has shown you how easy it is to make old things look fresh and current. Thanks for checking out my repurposing projects, they are my favourite!

DIY home decor using old picture frames


Suggested materials:
  • Picture Frames   (Recycled)
  • Cotton Doilies   (Recycled)
  • Fusion Mineral Paint Park Bench   (Paint Store)
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Linda Linda on Nov 23, 2021

    On the last one, how did you attach the doily to the background. I have doilies a dear lady made me for my wedding I would love to display. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea.

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