How can I make a picture/mirror frame using recycled stuff?

mirror_frameAfter a month of frantic renovation (which is nowhere nearly finished but a lot of the dirty work is done), we’re finally moving into our new home today – hurrah!

Until the weekend, we’d been focusing on the renovation stuff – pulling down ugly fake walls, cleaning out sooty chimneys and ripping down plasterboard in preparation for damp-proofing work (the last thing resulted in the discover of a secret new room, it’s sadly unusable without a lot of expensive work so we’re leaving it for now) – and so hadn’t given much thought to the finer points of today’s move, such as working out where all our stuff is going to go.

We’ve got a giant (120cm/4ft square) frameless mirror above our fireplace in the living room here (acquired from a shop changing room refit apparently) and I think it will probably be relocated to above the fireplace in the dining room of the new house – but I think its lack of frame will look odd there.

How can I make a frame using recycled materials and/or repurposing other stuff?

My first thought is to try something make from reclaimed wood because the fireplace’s mantelpiece will be an old building joist – I’m not an expert woodworker but willing to give it a go. Heh, actually, perhaps I should make a frame using my existing craft skills and knit one ;)

Any other suggestions?

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10 Responses to “How can I make a picture/mirror frame using recycled stuff?”

  1. Ann Ellis says:

    How about a mosaic frame – they are great fun to make and a good project for repurposing a whole lot of stuff – paper, plastic, wood, ceramics – you name it, you can make it as classy or as wacky as you like. Adding little bits of mosaic is good for co-ordinating odd pieces of furniture too, if you stick to a colour scheme. You can unify things a bit more by adding a final wash of paint (there’s a use for those old tins of leftover paint you have lurking in the garage).

  2. Get a frame, get broken egg shells or broken Christmas glass ornaments and stick it on with lots of PVA and coat with more PVA and you can get excellent results.

    I also nail on coaxial cable, sequins made of toothpaste tubes used with a paper punch.

    Be subtle unless you want to be gaudy!!!

  3. Bobbie says:

    I was wondering if you could glue a “frame” to the outside rim of the mirror. You could reuse some of the old wood this way and I think the only tool you would need is a miter box/saw.

  4. Bobbie says:

    Ooo…I did not make myself clear…I mean the outside surface of the mirror, the flat part.

  5. Make a frame out of paper mache. Use a mould and deckle. A mix of newspaper and junk mail and white glue works well. You can use a piece of cardboard or plywood for the backing. You can paint it with leftover paint or unwanted nail varnish. Decorate it with odd and ends: Buttons, old coins, old stamps, seeds or seashells. If you want it to look posh and uniform, you could spray everything gold or silver when you are done. Glue the mirror on only after the frame is complete.

  6. Driftwood makes fantastic framing material if you are near a river or the coast, alternately you could use the root ball of hardwood shrubs and trees, if you slice through these you get a wonderful burr effect.

    The driftwood could be sliced or used whole if not too large, and may either be fastened to the frame, or used as a separate ‘border’ (this would also allow you to change it if the fancy took you at a later date)

    If you can’t find either of these, you could always use up bits of turned furniture, ie chair legs and back rails, bedposts and stair newels, the balusters.

    Taking it a step further you could use old iron railings or even odd bits of metalwork (cogs, engine parts, pipes-all clean up well with a bit of cooking oil, soap and a wire /stiff brush)

    Have fun :)

  7. Karmae says:

    Old baseboard or skirting board works like a charm! It’s quick too.

  8. Deborah says:

    how do you repurpose wooden stair balusters?

  9. anna says:

    id use old plates and cups that are cracked and broken, break em up into pieces, and stick em on i a mosaic fashion around the edge…

    or use parts of old door frames that are ornate, they dont have to match, just get the size about the same…

    or go out to car boot sales, flea markets or other places of interest (grandmas attic) see if you can find and old painting where the canvas is ruined but the frame is nice… take the glass to a glazier and have it cut to fit the frame you found. maybe you will find several frames you like and there is enough of the mirror to make several smaller ones that you can either group together over the fireplace or spread around the house… :-)

  10. kristina says:

    Try paper mache… If you want it to be really cool, you can build a frame around it with basically anything, anything that can be covered with paper mache. Just make sure it looks good on the outside and after doing a million layers (drying between each one) you can sand and paint. ! lol

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