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Old frames = Perfect for children’s artwork

So, all around the interwebs, I see moms doing fabulous things with their children’s artwork…magnetic strips on the wall, a row of clips on a rope or a backing board, frames that allow paper to be slid in and out easily, magnetic frames that go on the fridge, and so on.

I always feel inspired when I see stuff like that because it makes kid-art look really great.

When I was decluttering the other day, I came across a few frames that had seen better days, so I decide to use them for my kids.

One frame originally had a peeling silver finish. I tried spray painting it with silver paint, but it just looked dumb, so then I sprayed it with white paint, and it was a little better.

Unfortunately, then someone stepped on the frame (maybe it was me? I don’t remember!), and the glass broke. So, it had been in my, “I don’t know what to do with this.” pile for a while.

Fortunately, this time around I realized the frame would be perfect for a kid-art application. So with Zoe’s permission, I used my paper cutter to trim her painting down to the appropriate size, and inserted it into the frame.

framed kid painting.

There’s no glass in the frame and it’s not in perfect condition, but Zoe’s painting looks so much better now, and she can actually display it this way.

Also, since there’s no glass, there’s really nothing about the frame that’s breakable (a lovely asset in a child’s room).

I also found a larger Goodwill frame which I’ve had for a while. It used to be sort of an off-white shade, but I’d painted it bright white.

And then I never did anything with it for some reason.

So, I brushed the dust bunnies off, helped Lisey trim down one of her paintings, and framed it up for her.

frame kid's painting of butterfly.

She was so pleased with how her painting looked in the frame. A frame makes everything look just a little more official and professional, doesn’t it?

children's butterfly paintings on wall.

The unframed butterflies above the framed picture don’t look nearly as polished as the framed one…I wonder if I can scrounge up some frames for those too. Maybe if I cut them apart, they’d fit into square frames.


Anyway, if you’ve got some old frames around your house (most people seem to!), consider using them to display your kids’ art. Spruce them up with a little spray paint if they’re in bad shape, and put them to use.

If you’re so low-clutter that you don’t have frames collecting dust bunnies under your bed (ahem), you can always poke around your local thrift store. Thrift stores are generally blessed with an abundance of ugly frames that can be transformed with spray paint.

P.S. Use decent spray paint, because the cheap stuff is hard to spray and it doesn’t cover well. Also, patiently apply several thin coats instead of one gloppy, thick coat.

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Thursday 30th of August 2012

They look great Kristen! We have a gallery of artwork in the playroom but I've used ultra cheap Ikea frames so far. However after watching Katy's interview on the Today show it reminded me the abundance of frames that can be found in charity shops/goodwill. I hope you don't mind me dropping this link in to a frame I adapted earlier this week as a gift for Grandma from the Kids (I have a lightbulb moment!). It's not preloved this time but it will be next. Birthday Gifts - Non-Consumer Stylie*


Thursday 30th of August 2012

ps - my Ikea frames have plastic rather than glass in them... very light and safe


Wednesday 15th of August 2012

I just went to the thrift store last weekend and picked up frames because I wanted to frame some things children have given me over the years from doing story time or helping them find a book or a class visit I did. I love these drawings because they inspire me to keep doing what I do and I thought why not frame them? Ofcourse when I have kids of my own someday I will also do this too :) I also have a button collection that I thought it would be fun to frame and some pillowcases that someone embroidered for me that are too cute too use! Any tips on how to frame them without going to a frame shop?


Wednesday 15th of August 2012

what a great idea. their paintings are definitely set off perfectly with a frame around them

but with Lisey's two butterflies... leave them on the same page and find a large enough frame. i think they are so cute together! (imho)


Thursday 16th of August 2012

Actually, I painted those two butterflies. Sonia and Lisey just adopted them and taped them up to their wall!

Glory Lennon

Wednesday 15th of August 2012

Funny you should mention this. Every morning I see one of my favorite kid art pieces which my husband framed for us many moons ago. I wonder if my daughter even knows we still have it! LOL


Wednesday 15th of August 2012

Did you prime the picture frames or just spray paint them?


Wednesday 15th of August 2012

I think I primed's always a good idea to do that! And if the frame is very shiny, roughing it up a bit with fine-grit sandpaper is a good idea.

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