Monday 14 January 2013

Magpie Monday - Gilt frame upcycled memo holder

Whenever I'm in a charity shop or at a boot sale, I'm always on the lookout for pretty picture frames.  Intricate gilt ones; unusual wooden ones, ceramic matters not.

I have a whole stack in the garage waiting for me to find the time to get to work on them.

Some will be turned into chalk boards, some will be re-sprayed, a collection will be arranged together to display old photographs in, some will house Ruby's works of art...

All I need is a few spare hours...

This weekend, I found half an hour to do a quick makeover on a little frame I picked up for a couple of pounds a while back.  Since I'd re-arranged my office/study/craft room, it seemed like the perfect time.  It's super-simple to do and looks really effective (I think!)

These are great as desk organisers, or to hang in a hallway for mail - you could label up each pocket for each family member's post.

You will need:

  • A frame (it doesn't have to be gilt, any would do depending on your style.  You can paint or spray it a subtle pastel colour, or a bright, vibrant gloss if you prefer)
  • Fabric (I've used hessian - burlap to our American friends - but you can use linen or patterned cotton, again, depending on your style)
  • Staple gun

Carefully remove the original picture and glass if it has any.  Put aside in case someone informs you at a later date that it's a Renoir.

Measure out a strip of fabric at least 4 cm wider than your frame and double the height - you will first need to work out whether you are having it portrait or landscape.  I tend to cut my fabric AFTER I've finished, but if it's a large piece you may need to trim it down first so it's not too unwieldy.

Iron your fabric to remove creases.  Then, working from the bottom, start folding upwards to create 'pockets'.  Iron the folds as you go to make them nice and crisp and keep in place.

Keep folding until you have the desired amount of flaps.  Place the frame over to check it fits ok and you are happy with the look.

Flip over and staple gun onto the back of the frame, keeping the fabric taught but being careful not to distort your folds.  Trim if necessary, and if your fabric is prone to fraying like hessian, fold over and staple the  excess again.

Et voila!  It's ready to hang on the wall or stand on your desk.  Get ready for your new, organised life.

What second-hand gems have you found lately?  Do you have a stack of 'projects' waiting to be tackled?  Grab the badge and link up.

Me and My Shadow

Linking up with Ta-Dah Tuesday.


  1. What a great idea! Think I'll make one of those x

  2. Hello! This looks AMAZING!!!! The only problem is mine would be filled to busting within about three days as I never deal with things, just keep stashing them :S
    So happy to be linking up for like the first time in forevs. xx

    1. I'm with you there! I have a rule - NEVER open a brown envelope ;0)

  3. Looks brilliant! Such a great idea and I've been hanging onto a few old frames :)

  4. That's very cool. I love hessian in interiors.

  5. Good God this is brilliant. Pockets! I never would've thought of it. I've got just the frame too! Thank you lovely. xx

  6. I really must get myself a staple gun! What a nifty idea, and I love the contrast between the gilt and the hessian.

  7. Clever you I absolutely love a bit of upcycling and this is tres chic!

  8. Wow what a great idea! It came out awesome! I definitely need one of those for sorting our mail... thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Absolutely love this! Once I have used my big piece of hessian at Natty's baby shower for the table cloth I know what I will be making!!!!

  10. Ooh I've been meaning to do something with a frame for ages, it was going to be a cork board. Never thought of pockets, and you know my love of burlap! Thanks for linking up xx

  11. I love this, I'd love something like this made into a chalk board for my daughters time you have a spare half hour ;)