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How to Transform a Thrift Store Frame

Feb 17, 2015

by Rachel Smith handmade and vintage goods

If there’s one thing every thrift store has, it’s picture frames. And while many of them have surface scratches (or are just an ugly color), they still tend to be structurally sound. Instead of bringing out the spray paint to upcycle them, spend 30 minutes and take your frames to the next level with contact paper. If you can wrap a present, then you can totally handle this project!


You will need:
Contact paper
X-Acto knife
Bone folder (optional)

*I recommend getting a frame with a smooth surface (less bubbling will occur).


Step One: Center the frame on the back of a sheet of contact paper that’s at least three inches wider and longer than the frame on each side. Trace the frame on the back of the contact paper.


Step Two: Cut out the shape, leaving 3 to 4 inches of excess paper on each side of the shape (and the inside, too). You’ll need the extra paper to cover the sides of the frame when wrapping it.


Step Three: With the backing still on the contact paper, practice folding it around the edges and corners of the frame to get a feel for how much of the excess you’ll need to remove. Then trim slits into the inner and outer corners (to avoid bunching when folding) and cut away any unneeded paper.


Step Four: Remove the backing of the contact paper and stick it to your frame. It works best if you peel the contact paper, lay it flat (sticky side up), and then position your frame over it. Tuck the corners in as if you were wrapping a present.


Step Five: Smooth the entire surface with your finger or a bone folder until contact paper is secure. Add your print and enjoy!


Photos and styling by The Crafted Life.




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