DIY Tutorial – Upcycle Broken Frame

I love to salvage ‘stuff’.  I, almost always find inspiration ‘especially’ in broken items.  Unfortunately that also means, that alot of broken items don’t land up in the rubbish bin immediately in my home. (as they should) eg Broken mugs are stored to be used as mosaic material

Would you believe this frame was an empty shell with no base/back or glass infront and now — Ta da !!

we will help you

This frame was found in one of my frame piles and I decided to FINALLY work some of my magic on it.

upcycle broken frame 1

I absolutely love the HOPE sign below, but one of our new fosters (kitten) jumped high enough, to break it.

upcycle broken frame 8

Like I said, its not THAT EASY for things to be chugged in the bin – – –   at my place !!

(the fact that my husband and sons are fed up of my habit is another story for another day though  )

Long story short –

I decided somehow the HOPE sign and the frame would look good together. Here’s a simple tutorial of what followed.

upcycle broken frame 2
The frame did not need to be sanding, so I proceeded with two coats of acrylic paint.
upcycle broken frame 3
Found this light weight, foam backing for the base/back. The frame had hooks intact on the back so I measured the black foam and cut to fit in the back of the frame.
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For the background, I got some cardboard and painted colors – colors that are generally out of my comfort zone eg yellow, purple, blue !
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I applied some DAP instant Grab adhesive to glue the two broken spaces on the HOPE letters.
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Let it rest for atleast 12 -14 hours.
collage art 1
Having painted stripes of cardboard, I went on to roughly place the stripes on the black base foam board to see how the pattern looked.
collage art 2
I decided, I did not want a symmetrical pattern and wanted a random distressed look . I snipped the excess cardboard which had exceeded the black foam’s border.
collage art 3
I measured and placed smaller pieces of cardboard on the empty edges
collage art 7
Then I hot glued all the pieces along with regular PVA glue for additional strength.
collage art 8
Finally I placed the frame over and adhered it from behind.

upcycle broken frame 19upcycle broken frame 18 betterupcycle broken frame betterupcycle broken frame 17

  • I wanted to give a 3D effect to the sign hence I added a piece of cardboard on the back of the HOPE sign at two places and hot glued the sign to the colorful background.   That way, it gives a popping out impression.
  • I have added random thin golden paint strokes to conceal the spots where it had broken – in turn giving it a more marble-like effect.
  • It is necessary to give one coat of modge podge or varnish on the entire frame and background – so as to make it more durable and it will be easy to clean it in future too (from dust etc since it does not have a glass covering)

I absolutely love how this turned out.  Did you like it too ??

I am sharing this post with my lovely blog buddies here.

Really glad you dropped by today.

Hope you  have a bright and happy day.


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  1. I actually like your upcycled version better than the original with the bright, cheery colors and even using the gold paint to “mend” the letter is “Hope”. It represents even though we go through tough times, if we struggle through it and and try to be cheery and positive we can mend and may come out better for our struggles.

    • Your absolutely correct. Before, we had to have the sign ‘lean’ on something. But now, its just a part of the frame with a quirky backdrop. Thank you so much for visiting me.
      I totally agree with you. The Japanese people do not dump a cracked plate or cup, This is EXACTLY what they do. They piece it back and let the flaw be displayed. I too believe, in restoring hope thru every struggle.

  2. I thought you were talking about me when you said you have broken china for a future mosaic and a pile of frames etc. Speaking of frames, this turned out so nice. Actually cuter than the original. Thanks for sharing at the Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Party.

    • 🙂 Debra – and I thought I was the only ‘weird’ one who does not throw away broken china !! Thank God, I’m not alone. Feeling much better now 🙂

  3. I love this Naush, both for the fact it is upcycled and the message it sends out. Popping by from Stone Cottage Adventures. Oh and if you wanted to link this up to my link party called Going Green, I’d love to see you there! And a very Happy (and hope filled) New Year to you.

    • Thank you Cheryl. I swim in the same boat as you ! Dumping things in good condition feels awful but facing my husband with unfinished recycle projects is much more awful – for me !! 😉

    • Thank you Marie. Few containers are discarded in my household – much to the husband’s annoyance 🙂

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