How to Customize a Photo Frame

Posted by Morena Hockley
Use embellishments and your favorite scrapbook paper to turn an unfinished picture frame into a piece of home decor you'll love.

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I love to decorate my home with photos. Picture frames can get expensive, especially if you like to change colors or themes often, like I do. My solution is to decoupage my frames. I've had the same frames for nearly 20 years, and when I change my decor I decoupage the frame with pretty papers to update them quickly and inexpensively. Unfinished craft frames are great to stock up on so you can create your own home decor!


  • Unfinished Wood Frame
  • 12 x 12 Scrapbook Paper. I used: Design Originals - Tim Holtz - Big Lock and Key 12x12 Paper
  • Stick it Adhesive Stick It Adhesive - Die Cut Adhesive Sheets - Handy - 5 Sheets
  • Chipboard Paper AD Paper Chipboard 8x8 XL Heavy 2pc 32pt Natural
  • Vintaj Foil Sheets Ranger - Vintaj Foil Sheets - Metal-pressions - Silver
  • Vintaj Patinas
  • Darice Dies: Keys
  • DecouPage
  • Vintaj Metal Reliefing Block The BeadSmith - Vintaj Metal Reliefing Block
  • Sanding Block
  • Distress Paint - Picket Fence

Paint the front of the frame with a light, even application of Decoupage. Place the paper on top and smooth out any air bubbles with your hands. Let it dry.

Carefully cut out the opening of the frame. Use the sanding block to even out distress the edges of the paper.

Paint all the edges of the frame with Distress Paint in Picket Fence. I like to use this paint for grungy projects like this one because you can quickly achieve an old, distressed finished with just a couple of swipes of the applicator.

Now that the base of the frame is done, we can make the key embellishments!

Peel the backing off a Vintaj Foil Sheet and attach it to the chipboard paper. Use the Key die and your cutting machine to die cut several keys.

Use the Vintaj Patinas to paint the keys dark grey. I mixed the black and white patinas to achieve a shade that was similar to the keys on the scrapbook paper I used.

When the patina has dried, use the reliefing block to highlight the raised areas of the keys. Glue the keys onto the frame as desired.

You can always add more embellishments to the frame if you like, then finish it with your favorite picture! For these photos, I simply stamped a red heart onto scripted paper to create a decorative piece. That's the fun of making your own decorative can finish them any way you like to create a piece that is uniquely you! have fun crafting and creating!