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15 Creative Photo Frame Ideas That Don’t Include Photos

Posted by Carl Poxon on

A photo frame is often the staple of household decor. 

It’s the first step in starting a gallery wall, or dressing a shelf, and displays all of your most precious memories. Because of this, though, we can often be left with frames that are past their prime, or we can end up with an excess. 

The humble photo frame has more purpose than you may believe, though. With a few simple adjustments, a photo frame can be given multiple new lives.  

Read on to learn about the 15 best ways to use a photo frame that doesn't include photos.

Preserve Flowers to Remember Forever

The perfect way to remember a special occasion is by preserving some life from that day.  

  • Did you receive a bouquet for a birthday or a new house?  
  • Is there a wedding coming up?  
  • Or are you just thinking about how lovely botanical art is?  

You can display pressed flowers quite easily using the following steps:

  1. Simply take a selection of flowers from a bouquet and press them by placing them in the centre of a heavy book. Ensure the pages are lined with parchment paper before setting your plants of choice in place!  
  2. Leave them undisturbed for 7-10 days, or until they are completely dry, papery, and thin.
  3. Once they’re ready, place them in a frame as you would a photograph!  

You could even replace the back panel with another sheet of glass for a brighter, more striking look. There you have an easy way to turn your moments into lifelong memories. 

Display meaningful materials

Similarly to pressing flowers, framing some meaningful textiles is a perfect, yet unusual way to use frames.

  • Is there a detail of your wedding dress you wish was displayed?  
  • Have you held onto baby clothes or graduation caps?  

We keep these sentimental garments, but should not leave them collecting dust!  

Display them by pressing them in a frame, or remove the glass for more three dimensional pieces.  

Create a Window into Memories

Have a particularly deep frame that you’re not too sure what to do with?  

Memory frames are the perfect way to capture a trip or an occasion. Gather small mementos from the time you’d like to remember: think maps, photobooth strips, ticket stubs, or pins. Arrange your pieces on the back panel of the frame.  

If the frame is deep enough, you could even keep loose 3-D items like pins lying on the bottom.  Once you have completed your frame, you’ll have a little window into that time ready to be displayed in your home.  

Salon Style Nail Polish Rack

Using pieces of wood or acrylic, secure shallow shelves from one side of your frame to the other.  You can do this using strong wood glue, or by screwing them in place.  The number of shelves you choose to add depends on the size of your frame, and the size of your collection.  

Once secured, add all of your nail polishes in colour order for a striking yet functional and space saving feature!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

One of the most simple frame ideas on this list is the mirror.  

Simply remove the glass and replace it with a mirror of the same size, or spray the existing glass with mirror effect paint. Because your new mirror is already inside of a frame, it is very easy to hang up or stand on a dressing table with no adjustments or additions required.

Custom Pegboard

With a thin piece of wood or thick cardboard, punch holes around an inch apart.  Place this inside of your frame, and use it for… anything!  

Pegboards are delightfully universal. You could use it to hang up tools, kitchen utensils, or stationery, and you will be saving on storage space in the process.

Welcome Home!  Key Hook and Trinket Storage

Another very simple yet effective frame trick!  

With your frame in a landscape position, secure some screw-in hooks to the underside of the top beam. This way, your keys will hang inside the frame.  

Alternatively, you could take it a step further by adding hooks to the bottom of the frame and using the inside of the frame to display small plants, or to hold trinkets. Hang your frame near your front door, or wherever you usually keep your keys, and never lose them again!

Free Up Space with a Desk or Makeup Organiser

With the same method as the nail polish rack, add shelves to a large frame to free some space on your desk or dressing table. Add pen pots, clips to hang reminders, and hooks for wires, or pots for makeup brushes, clip up a thin mirror, and line products on the shelves.  

Alternatively, attach your frame to a wire grid and use hooks and elastics to hold your things!

Spice up your Storage with a Frame Spice Rack

With the same technique as the nail polish rack, and probably a different sized frame, you can free up cupboard space by building a spice rack.  

Frame your Bling with a Jewellery Organiser

Remove the glass and the back panel from the frame, then create your jewellery holder using a mixture of hooks and mesh wire. Back the frame with the wire to hook earrings through, use the hooks for rings and necklaces.  

Alternatively, take strips of lace and attach them horizontally across the frame.  Holes in the lace design will act as places to attach your jewellery.

Rewind the Memories by Making a Clock Frame

Have a particular frame that deserves pride of place?  

Purchase some clock handles (they’re surprisingly cheap!) and find a backdrop for your clock.  You could use a simple pattern print out, print a clock face, or even a photograph.  

Then just stick the clock handles through the centre of the image, remove the glass from the frame, and hang it!

Adorable Miniature Chalkboard

  • Remove the glass and back panel from the frame.  

  • Grab a piece of wood that fits the frame, and coat it in chalkboard paint.

If you want to take an extra step, attach a small shelf to the bottom of the frame to keep chalks in.  Once the paint is dry, you have a DIY chalkboard that you can hang around your home.  

Message Board

Remove the back panel, but keep the glass inside of the frame.  

Behind the glass, stick pieces of card to represent sections of a message board: to do lists, shopping lists, reminders, whatever your household needs!  

Use dry-erase markers on top of the glass to quickly jot down any messages or reminders.  

Serve Some Memories with a Chic Tray 

Of course, your frame does not need to be vertical at all.  Lie the frame on its back and attach some handles to the two shorter sides.  Under the glass, place some patterned paper or material. 

You could even paint the frame to match your kitchen aesthetic.  

Overall, it is clear that photo frames are far more versatile than we give them credit for.  You can save storage space, display fond memories, or simply add some new decoration to your home.  We hope we have inspired you to use your excess frames in an exciting and useful way!

Do you have a vision for some framed displays? 

Contact us here or visit our site for more!

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