Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to make shabby chic frames (minus the chic part).

Good morning readers! I hope you slept well. I slept great except that my almost 8 month old decided to wake up sporadically throughout the night by screaming bloody murder. Since she's normally a great sleeper, my body was flooded with panic and cortisol ensuring that after she was settled, my adrenaline would keep me up at least another hour. Luckily we have plenty of fresh coffee to keep me going.

Today I'd like to show you how to turn any old frame (mine are from the thrift store) from ugly to...slightly less ugly.

Let's get started!

Step one: Buy cheap, ugly frames. Since I'm going to be showcasing some of my art in an upcoming baby fair, I needed a lot of frames to display some of my prints. So I thought what better place to shop than a thrift store! That and my budget was under $3 each. Not really something you can find at say, Pottery Barn. Luckily it only took one trip to Goodwill to find exactly what I needed; ugly ornate frames!

Hmmm. Now that I think about it, these frames might actually look better BEFORE.

Step two: Assemble your supplies. You will need some paint brushes and chalk paint. The brushes were $0.99 cents. The chalk paint was $12.00... Pottery Barn might have been a better deal after all.

 Apparently putting "shabby chic" on the label justifies the $12.00 price tag.

Step three: Paint your frames. I have no idea if there is a technique to this. I figured I'd just wing it. I probably could have watched a youtube video first. 

 This is what painting looks like in case you wondered.

I figured you'd want another picture showing how to paint in case the first wasn't clear enough.

Step Four: Rub off some of the paint to achieve the "shabby" part. I don't mean to brag but I'm REALLY good at making any craft project look shabby. 

It helps to use a damp cloth or paper towel. And to not have carpel tunnel syndrome. 

Step Five: Let dry and place art inside. Admire it and be sure to let people know it only you costs you like $30 TOTAL for ALL OF THESE frames. Listen to people reply, "Yeah, they look like they are from the thrift store."

This is EXACTLY how I'll lay them out for display. 

Hey, you missed a spot.

Not to shabby! Get it? GET IT?

Well that's it. I hope you learned a lot from this extremely instructional blog post.

Adios! Until the next post. 


  1. My wife does something similar to old furniture, particularly cabinets. She has found some type of less expensive flat-paint that looks identical to the chalk stuff, but at a fraction of the cost (probably because it doesn't say shabby-chic on the label). Your finished pieces look lovely. They should be a big hit at the craft fair.

    1. Your wife is one smart cookie! I need to find that flat paint so I can save my money for more thrift store frames. :)