DIY Projects · Uncategorized

What To Do With Broken Thrift Store Frames

One of my favorite things to scope out at thrift stores is the frame section. The prices are usually so darn cheap. Even when they’re broken, those frames make great decor accents! Over the years, I’ve snatched up several broken frames—and by broken, I mean the glass is missing/cracked or the backing is torn or missing.

If you’ve perused Pinterest at all, you’ve probably seen several creative projects. [I liked this one, this one, and this one].

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One of my favorite thrift store frame scores is my DIY postcard display. This $2 frame was unfinished with no backing or glass. It was the perfect template to create a unique way to display my postcards!


Over the summer I found this ornate [HEAVY] two-tone frame at my favorite thrift store. It was $12 and I’m sure it had a previous life displaying some beautiful art or family photograph. But I thought it was beautiful just how it was. I wanted to create some dimension above my mid-century dresser, so I hung it by itself. I’ve done that a lot with broken/open frames. I think it creates some visual appeal even if you don’t have anything to frame. And it didn’t hurt with this frame that the ornate edges were a very similar blue to my bedroom color.


Another one of my favorite tricks to do with a thrift store frame, is to use it to frame another frame or piece of art. I had this pretty large cherry frame & I never incorporate cherry wood into my decor. So, using my favorite chalk paint, I gave it a new look and then did some minor distressing. The framed University of Arkansas letterpress just seemed too small for that wall, but pairing it with the larger frame makes the duo seem just right for the space. A lot of times the thrift store frames are older wood and maybe scratched up, but a fresh coat of paint can give them a whole new look.


I keep a calendar in my cozy little nook area, but a hanging paper calendar just doesn’t look as appealing by itself. I used a 50 cent estate sale frame, gave it a coat of spray paint, and ta-da, the calendar has more of a framed art effect than just loosely hanging on the wall in a random way.


I love using frames! They’re so easy to add dimension in a space. In Flip 2, I used these midcentury gold metal frames to frame some clearance Kirkland’s metal accents that I spray painted. I loved mixing the metal tones, and I wanted to create an illusion of framed art without having to buy framed art! I paid 50 cents for those frames and did nothing to them- just hung them!


In the Flip 2 hall bathroom, again, I used a frame to create an illusion of art. Using a 25 cent wreath, I hung it above the towel rod to tie into the rustic feel of that bathroom. I gave the frame a quick coat of paint and hung it horizontally. It was the perfect length to match the towel rod.


Obviously, I like to stack frames! Similar to the U of A letterpress, I used another thrift store frame that was missing the backing and glass to frame my favorite champagne print. If you have something framed that isn’t big enough for the wall space, using a broken open frame helps to take up more space to add balance.


You may recognize this picture from my vintage shop, Mac’s Attic. We shared it this week on our Facebook page. We love using ornate and unusual frames in unexpected ways. Using a frame as part of your tablescape can create layers and dimensions– not to mention pops of color!

And I mentioned earlier that I have a fun announcement coming up! Keep hanging on just a bit longer! I’m excited to let you all know what I’ve been working on!


Remember- If you can't say anything nice, DON'T COMMENT! This is a positive forum, and I love to hear your questions and positive comments!

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