My Gallery Wall Made With Salvaged Frames was a great way to use up part of the stack of frames from my collection. Seems like I always find frames at yard sales and flea markets which are cheap. I’m always looking for odd sizes or shapes and ornate designs for projects.
Do you have a stack like this? Get them out and give them a new home.
Why I Love My Gallery Wall Made With Salvaged Frames
It fills up a large wall
Makes a great focal point
Adds architectural details to a room
It can be done fairly cheap, but might take a bit to collect enough for a large wall
Some think empty frames are a passing trend, but I still love them
I had actually been collecting (or maybe hoarding) frames for a while for another project, but that big wall was calling my name. Note – this was in our former home but thinking it might get a new life in our apartment.
I didn’t worry about the color or wood it was made from, knowing they would all end up white.
Here’s some easy steps to begin:
Go through all the frames and choose your favorites. Remember to pick different shapes, sizes, and textures.
Measure the area of the wall you want to cover with the frames.
Tape off an area on the floor with painter’s tape to match those measurements.
Start laying out a design beginning with a few of your larger frames. I found it easier to place these in the middle and working my way out.
It was then just adding your frames to fill in the spaces.
After a good layout, take a picture.
Walk away and come back and look at it a couple times to see if you want to make any adjustments.
Remember make sure you take a picture.
NOTE: After I had planned a layout and painted all my frames, I found the round frame which I wanted to include so it was painted then added to the wall.
How to hang your frames
Tape the wall with the same dimensions of your trial layout.
You can measure (roughly) where a few of the pieces will be placed to make it easier but I wasn’t going for the exact measurements. Eyeball it.
After all the frames are painted, hang them as you would a normal picture. I used a combination of small hooks, small nails and Command Strips.
None of these frames were heavy and didn’t require an anchor.
You know projects are constantly changing like adding the round frame.
The large oval needed something inside of it and after trying multiple frames, none seemed to work.
Light bulb moment – a large “P” might work. I already had it, it fit, and I liked the contrast with all the white.
Choosing the paint
All was white – but not the same type or sheen. This is a great way to use up that little bit of house paint, wall paint, craft paint, or chalk paint.
When I’m painting a dark object going to light, I will do a primer coat of either a normal primer or even just a lighter color.
Example would be from going from darker wood or color, have a coat of gray paint, then to white. You will find it covers so much better and smoother.
Extra notes for a gallery wall of salvaged frames:
Oval and rectangular frames can be placed horizontally or vertically.
I waited until after the layout was done to paint frames.
Although I was working in a rectangular area, I wasn’t worried about it be symmetrical.
A round frame had been found after project started, and knew I wanted to add it.
Paint inner edges of frames as these may show also.
If you have an odd-sized frame which doesn’t want to hang straight, use a Command Strip to hold it in place.
Have you ever made a gallery wall or used blank frames? If not, give it a try.
A few painted projects for you to check out:
robin rue says
That is such a cool idea. I LOVE how it turned out. I have tons of old frames in my basement, so I kind of want to make a wall like this in my house now 🙂
Looks really cool. Love those 3m wall hangers!
Alli Smith says
This is a great way to fill up a wall above a sofa. I have a vertical painting over my sofa and I feel like I need more – it’s kinda bare. I’m thinking of moving the painting and doing something like this. I love it and I don’t pay much attention to trends. You did an awesome job. I’m going to start looking for some frames at thrift stores. Love this!!
This is brilliant! I have a bunch of quite lovely frames under the guest room bed and a family room wall that needs some brightening up! Thanks for sharing!
Different sizes and shapes make it more interesting.
Heather ♥ thedomesticdiva.org says
This is such a cute idea. I have always wanted a gallery wall in my home but it seems we don’t have a big enough blank wall area to do one. Maybe a small wall in the kitchen? I like the idea of just hanging a bunch of random shaped frames but keeping them all one color. It looks great!
Maybe in the kitchen you might have some old favorite recipes you could frame too.
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
I love your gallery wall. BY keeping all the frames in one color, you are creating uniformity and intention. I love the way it looks. Id love to recreate something like that in my home.
No that is something I would love to do. Our walls are pretty bare and we have been trying to think of creative ways to put up pictures. This would be a fun way to do that and it would look really nice.
Agree if you love it go for it. Framed wall turned out great. Free up storage space as well.
Tomi C says
Cute way to decorate and use up some of those old frames I’ve collected over the years.
GiGi Eats says
How unique and insanely creative!!!!! I would have never thought to EVER do something like this!
Great way to fill a wall.
Karen Dawkins says
I LOVE THIS!!!! I’ve got an empty wall — and a whole lot of empty frames. I think I’ll paint them in a pale gray instead of white. Your tips make it seem so easy! Thanks for the inspiration.
Gray would look great too. I’m hoping to get my walls painted gray very soon.
Kita Bryant says
It’s easy to find boxes of frames like this at yard sales. I will have to get some this next summer and spring and try this! Gorgeous idea!
This is something I call a creative bent of mind. I have many such wooden frames and I’m sure they too will look stunning on the wall, like the way your’s was:)
Claudia Krusch says
I know the perfect spot to do a wall like this in my house. I love how much the white frames stand out.
Liz Mays says
That looks so pretty! I haven’t seen empty frames used like this before and I like it a lot.
What a cool gallery wall! I love the you found all those frames and then painted them to match! Wha a cool idea!
Girl, I am with you 100% if I like it I am doing it. You did such a wonderful job. Definitely taking some ideas from this DIY.
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
I love the look of gallery walls like this. It’s a shame that it came into style after I tossed out a lot of frames of various sizes and shapes.
I love gallery walls. As a minimalist I also love white so this is excellent to my eyes. Great job!
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
I’ve never seen a wall full of empty frames, it’s an interesting idea. I do love to look at family photos and want toredo one of my walls to have filled picture frames.
Katherine Hackworthy says
I’ve got lots of empty frames and this is a cool idea how to make use of all my frames! Thanks for this wonderful post!
Pretty easy project, just planning is key.
Dana Peller says
What a great idea for a bare wall. We’re always looking for ways to dress up our home. Thank you for this idea.
I have loved this. Some say it’s out of style, but hey, it’s my house.
Wow I love this decor idea! I need to try putting something like this together in my office!
These will even hold mason jars for storage.
Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen says
I think that’s a great idea! Those frames would turn an otherwise broing wall into something much more interesting
Fantastic idea to make use of old picture frames. I think I will have to redo my accent wall after reading this post. I would also like all my picture frames in one color only.
I have a wall like this in my house. My frames are just gold and black. I always get so many compliments on it!
This is awesome and I love the added touch of framing the letter P! Thanks for all the hanging tips 🙂
Thanks. Isn’t it a good feeling when you something just seems to work out.
Angie @ Postcards from the Ridge says
This is a great way to display interesting old frames! Thanks for the inspiration and all the great tips.
Artwork can be so expensive and especially if filling up a large wall. Thanks.
Laura L WALKER says
Great idea. Who says you need actual pictures to make a gallery wall? Laura
Thanks – I’m just a frame hoarder.
Anita Holland says
Very nice, i love all the different frames it looks great.
Thanks. It will seems I find certain things all the time like chairs and frames, neither I need now.
Cool idea! I like the P. Not sure if I even have that many spare frames any more….
I had picked them up at yard sales for quite a while.
Vintage frames are a beautiful way to add personality to any home or space. I love how you used so many shapes and sizes. Beautiful look, Rosemary!
Thanks. I have a weakness for frames, especially ornate or odd size/shape.
I love how visually interesting this is! Also loved the steps you outlined to get the gallery wall installed. Thank you!
Thanks. I have a thing for frames.