Re-covered Photo Frames

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Re-covered Photo Frames

I love decorating my home with family photographs. While I could display them in ready-made purchased frames, I enjoy displaying them in purchased frames that I re-cover and decorate myself.

One of my favorite sources for frames to re-cover is the clearance aisle at my local craft and hobby stores. I love that many of the pre-decorated frames can be purchased at bargain prices. While many have scratches or dents that would detract other buyers, I snatch them up knowing that with a bit of adhesive and paper I will cover the scuffs and create a unique décor item that is even better than the original!



1. Select a frame with a simple shape with embellishments (if any) that are easily removed. Remove the glass and easel and set them aside.


Spread liquid adhesive in an even layer over the front surface of the frame.


Apply paper to the front of the frame. (I don’t trim my paper first, instead I lay an entire sheet of 12” x 12” paper on the frame. By laying it down like I do, it eliminates measuring and cutting. If you prefer, you can pre-measure and trim or use a smaller piece of paper.)

Use a dry cloth to rub over the surface of the paper to smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets. Allow the adhesive to dry for 10-15 minutes. If you used a thick layer of adhesive you may need to allow extra drying time. Generally, if the paper is cool or damp feeling, it is still wet.


Once the paper is dry, turn the frame face down on a cutting mat and trim along the edge of the frame with a craft knife.


Use sandpaper, a file, or sanding block to sand along the inside edges of the photo opening and outside edges of the frame.


If you like a vintage or distressed look, apply Distress Ink with a foam ink applicator to the edges of the frame.


Cut four 1 inch wide strips of patterned paper. Each strip should be slightly longer than the longest side of the frame opening. On my frame, I skipped measuring the length and used strips that were 12” long (the size of my patterned paper).


Brush over the raised embossed design and the edges of the strips with Distress Ink.


Apply a thin line of liquid glue on all four sides of the frame opening on the front of the frame.


Lay one lace strip on each side of the frame opening, lining up the straight edge of the lace strip with the inside edge of the frame opening. Lay an acrylic ruler over the paper strips on one of the corners. Line the ruler up with the inside corner of the frame opening next to the strips and the corner created by the two intersecting strips. Use a craft knife to cut a line through the two strips to create a mitered corner.


Repeat until all four corners have been trimmed.


To create two flowers and a label to embellish the frame as shown, punch 4 XL Oopsie Daisy flowers, 2 large Oppsie Daisy flowers, 2 medium and 2 2” Poppie flowers, 1 XL and 1 large Seal of Approval. In addition, you will need two medium or large brads. I used fabric covered brads that I brushed with Distress Ink.

In my example, I punched two flowers from pink paper and punched the remaining pieces from the neutral paper that I used for my lace strips. I added color to the neutral pieces by brushing assorted colors of Distress Ink over the surface of each one with a foam applicator tool. I also applied the same brown Distress Ink to the edges of each element that I used on the frame and lace strips.


Add a stamped sentiment or image to the center of the large Seal of Approval punched piece.

Layer and adhere the two Seal of Approval punched pieces together.

To add extra texture and dimension, wrinkle the punched flower pieces.


Layer and adhere the flowers together smallest to largest: 1 medium Poppy, 1 large Oopsie Daisy, 1 2” Poppy, and 2 XL Oopsie Daisies. Repeat for a second flower. Use a craft knife to cut a slit through the center of the 2 stacked flowers. Insert the brads through the slits. Flatten the brad prongs on the back of the flowers.

Apply Adhesive foam squares to the backs of the label and two assembled flowers.


Adhere the flowers and label to the lower left corner of the frame.


For an added touch, you can tuck two small scrap pieces of ribbon behind the flowers.


Replace the glass, add a photo, and replace the back cover/easel and enjoy!

Supply List

Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby Paper Stash
Distress Inks (assorted colors)
Tim Holtz Sanding Block
Ranger Foam Ink Applicator Tool
Ranger Glue-n-Seal
Therm O Web Adhesive Foam Squares
Tomobo Aqua