How to upcycle a picture frame

Turn a simple picture frame into a handy 'to do' list for an upcycling project that's both practical and stylish

How to upcycle a pictue frame - cropped

Our shabby chic wipe board is a great example of a double upcycle – not only was the picture frame a bargain car boot find at just £2, but the wallpaper was from a leftover roll. Choose a font that matches the feel of your board and remember to check the license to make sure it is available for commercial use if you’re planning on selling your masterpieces. Play around with different looks to create a range of boards that suit different decors. You can mix it up with distressed, driftwood or brushed-metal frames or use gift wrap or fabric to create alternative backgrounds.

Check out our other upcycling projects for more inspiration, we love this upcycled corkboard, or how about keeping organised with these peg magnets?

We love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to share your upcycling or craft projects with us on InstagramFacebook or Twitter, too!

How to upcycle a picture frame

You will need

  • Picture frame at least A4 size
  • Wallpaper or other patterned paper
  • Marker pen
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Low-tack masking tape
  • Computer and printer

How to upcycle a picture frame


Step 1

Take the backing board out of the frame and draw around it onto the back of the wallpaper or patterned paper. Cut out neatly using a pair of scissors, or metal ruler and craft knife, or a rotary cutter.

Step 2

Using a word processing or desktop publishing program, type out the days of the week and ‘To Do List’ in your chosen font in a size to suit your frame (we created ours in Rossellina 62pt for the head and 46pt for the days of the week). Print out and on the back of the paper trace around the letters to create a mirror image.

Step 3

Take the glass out of the frame and stick the lettering template to the front of the glass using low-tack masking tape. The traced letters should be against the glass with the printed letters facing out.

Step 4

Starting at the top of the glass, trace around the letters using a black permanent marker pen – we’re using a Posca pen. The writing will be in reverse but will appear the right way round on the front of the glass, which acts as a wipe-clean surface. If you make a mistake wipe off the pen with a damp kitchen towel, ensuring the glass is dry before you start again.

Step 5

Once the pen is dry, remove the lettering template and clean the glass, being extra careful around the lettering. Put the glass back into the frame, followed by the wallpaper and backing board. As the writing is on the reverse of the glass, you can now use a dry wipe pen on your DIY dry-wipe board!

How to upcycle a picture frame

We hoped you enjoyed this project on how to upcycle a picture frame. If you’re after more upcycling projects – check out these stunning wine bottle lights, or why not try your hand at making your own envelopes with our how to make an envelope tutorial – the free templates makes it so easy!