Today I'm revisiting an older project to show you how easy it is to make a picture frame shadow box and decorate with spray painted thrift store items.
Thrift Store Picture Frames
Let’s begin at the beginning. I am a hoarder lover of frames. I even have a frame “dept” in my garage where I store my extra frames. The repurposed picture frame shadow box project I’m sharing uses the frame that the green arrow is pointing at.
This Picture Frame Shadow Box was recently featured in Country Sampler Farmhouse Magazine!
Designer Challenge: Old Frames, New Uses!
I sold this shelf years ago. Can you imagine the owner or her friend looking through this magazine and seeing the shelf inside!
Paint sprayer marathon of old frames
A couple of years ago I had a primer painting party where I painted a whole bunch of frames at once. The frame in question is shown with the black arrow. So, I’ve had it awhile, and it’s been waiting for the perfect repurpose.
The problem was finding some wood that was sturdy enough for the box and dividers, but my typical 1x’s would be too thick.
Repurposed Drawer parts
My solution? To use the wood from these thrift store drawers. You can see it’s thicker than underlayment (too thin) but thinner than a 1x (too thick).
Handy Tip From Gail-Dismantle drawers to harvest wood for future projects!
Dismantle Dresser Drawers | Harvest the Wood
I dismantled the drawers with a rubber mallet and used mostly the longer rear boards for the frame of the shadow box. The front board had some holes and glue residue on it.
How to build a picture frame shadow box
I cut my repurposed drawer boards to size in order to fit them inside the picture frame.
This is a dry fit while I’m trying to figure out the configuration of the dividers shadow box dividers.
Visit the My Repurposed Life Amazon Store to shop my favorite items.
Use clamps and wood glue
Of course, a clamp is handy for holding the pieces in place while you nail.
This is the final design of my picture frame shadow box.
Spray paint Picture Frame Shadow Box
I used Honeydew spray paint, it's the prettiest green!
The Fusion paint didn’t want to adhere to this cheap mdf wood. So I used the Almond MAXX as a primer on the mdf. As you can see, the Honeydew worked great on the frame.
After a quick coat of the Almond, the Honeydew looked great on the cheap mdf dresser drawer wood.
Do you love the versatility of this shelf as much as I do? It can be hung four different ways depending on the items you want to display.
Updating thrift store items with spray paint
These are the thrift store items I gathered to spray paint. Some had already been used (and painted) by me. That’s the great thing about painting—so easy to change up your décor!
Homeright Spray Shelter
The small white vase got Oxford Blue. I spray painted it in my Homeright spray shelter on scrap plywood. I simply picked up the board and moved it aside so I could do another color.
The vase, candle koozie, and little architectural piece were spray painted with Khaki.
This bird and vase were painted with Almond. I liked both of these items in the white chalky paint, but I LOVED them after I painted them with this Almond color.
My “G” also got some Oxford Blue. Isn't it fun to see the shadow left behind when spray painting.
Pretty Green Shadow Box
ahhhhh, My shelf makes me smile! I thought I loved the Oxford Blue the best, but I really am loving the bird and vase in Almond.
Here it is styled vertically instead of horizontally.
I chose to not put a back on this piece, to let the wall color show through. It would be easy to put a back on it, or even decoupage some fabric on the back. There really are a lot of ways to customize a project like this, especially if you’re using some spray paint to quickly (and easily) change up your items to suit your mood or the season. It’s just paint!
Soooo -- about my shelf ...... what would you do differently?
Related Content: Picture Frame Ideas For Home Decor and More
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.