Trash to treasure: a gorgeous junky picture frame

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FEBRUARY 2014 UPDATE – It’s finished! See end of post!

This little project is actually not finished. But I love it so much, I just have to share it!

In 2008, our home on Des Moines’ north side was destroyed in flooding. The city purchased the house and property from us shortly afterwards, and demolished it. In the few years since, we’ve occasionally driven past the site. Sometimes, we get out of the car and walk around – I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems to bring a little comfort at times when we get to reminiscing about the loss.

On one such visit, we noted that someone had dumped a truckload of junk in our old backyard. This little cupboard door was calling my name, and I plucked it from the middle of the pile to study it.


Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

I absolutely love the worn texture – it reminds me of linen fabric or linen-finish paper.



Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

I knew for sure I wanted to make some sort of picture frame, but I didn’t have any particular shots in mind when I first picked the little door out of the junk pile. It wasn’t until we saw Stephanie’s beautiful senior pictures (taken by Des Moines photographer Randy Shebek) that I knew I had just the right images to complement this frame.

Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage


(all photos of Stephanie are by Randy Shebek, Great Life Photography)

Steve helped me repair the cupboard door – I nailed the frame pieces back together and he glued and clamped them to make sure they would stay in place. He dug through his own stash to find a couple of nails that looked appropriately weathered so they wouldn’t look out of place.


Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

Once it was all dry, I selected two 5×7 pictures – one with a very distinctive natural element, the stone, to complement the textured wood, and one with some color in the background to draw attention.


Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

I added a piece of vintage lace in one corner as a background element, and created depth by stacking two pieces of foam core board, smaller than the right-hand photograph, and attaching that photo to the “riser” created by the foam core. Note the shadow cast by the “raised” picture, in the photo below.


Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

To finish, I am on the hunt for a used Scrabble game so I can spell out either Steph’s name or a word or two to describe her with the tiles. And I’m still thinking about what, if anything, belongs in that lower left corner. I’ll post a follow up when I finally get it complete, but it’s already one of my new favorite pieces in the house because it uses three of my favorite elements: weathered junk, bits of vintage finery, and my amazing daughter!


I’m linking my junky picture frame to Donna’s fabulous Saturday Night Special Party at Funky Junk Interiors. So much beautiful junk, so little time!

February, 2014 Update: After searching faithfully for a year, trying to find a thrift-store Scrabble Game, I finally happened upon some tiles for sale at the antique store. A whole BOWL full of them, for 50 cents each! I purchased the letters for my daughter’s name plus a couple extras, and decided to vary the heights by putting little foam-core risers under some of them. This allowed me to overlap a few of the edges and still fit them within the space, but I think it also makes it just a little more interesting. I really love the way this turned out!



Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage

Junky picture frame | Vintage Floral Cottage
I’m linking the updated version of this post to Show and Tell Friday at Cindy’s lovely blog, My Romantic Home.


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6 Responses to Trash to treasure: a gorgeous junky picture frame

  1. Vicky Hunt says:

    Perfect! I am always on the hunt for scrabble tiles and NEVER find any! I am almost ready to just order some new ones. Your frame is perfect and your daughter is such a beauty…:)

  2. Ana Lopes says:

    Hi Janet,love your frame!Lovely and so pretty girl you have:)
    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog!
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  3. Sweet idea! I love a unique picture frame! Your daughter is just beautiful. 🙂

  4. How cute is that! Great job.

  5. Beautiful and fabulous idea!

  6. Vicky Hunt says:

    I love it! And your daughter is just gorgeous….:)

    Life On Willie Mae Lane

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