Upcycled Thrift Store Picture Frame Valentine Decor

One of the things I never pass up when shopping at thrift stores is framed art or picture frames. With a little paint, they are perfect to turn into DIY chalkboards, mantel decor, or homemade signs. A case in point is this upcycled thrift store picture frame Valentine decor. A perfect budget-friendly Valentine wall decor idea that is easy to make and I'll show you how.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

Upcycled Picture Frame Valentine Wall Decor

Originally I turned the thrift store framed art into a small DIY chalkboard menu but after months in my booth, it did not sell.

How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

So I brought it home and turned it into this budget-friendly Valentine decor instead. I'll show you how easy it was to make this framed Valentine decor idea with stencils further down in the post.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make the Valentine wall art, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



What You'll Need To Make It

These are the supplies I use to make it. I've included affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.


Supply List

Thrift Store Picture Frame
Graphite Chalk-Style Paint
White Chalk-Style Paint
Red Chalk-Style Paint
220 Grit Sandpaper
Picture Frame Backing or Hardboard
Painter's Tape
French Script Stencil
Doily Stencil
Heart-Shaped Stencil (or DIY stencil)
Round Stencil Brush
White Acrylic Craft Paint
Brown Glaze
Clear Wax

How To Turn Thrift Store Frames Into Valentine Art

How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

Picture Frame Backing

The first thing I did was remove the backing from the picture frame and paint over it in the color Barn Red. It took three coats to cover the black chalkboard paint.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

Stencil Layer One - Script Stencil

Once the red paint dries, stencil the board with the French script stencil. Instead of starting at the top left, it is more pleasing to the eye to place the stencil randomly so the same text isn't repeated. Because it's the base layer, no one will notice it doesn't form a complete sentence.



Hold the stencil onto the painted backing with painter's tape. My preference is a round stencil brush but a foam stencil brush or even a wedge make-up sponge will be just fine. I used the color graphite, a charcoal grey paint to stencil over the red backing but black would be fine too.



Offload the excess paint on the brush by dabbing it onto a paper towel. You want the brush almost dry to the touch to eliminate any paint bleed under the stencil. Stencil with either a swirling or dabbing motion.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

DIY Heart-Shape Stencil

Now we're ready to stencil a heart over the French script layer. Unfortunately, I didn't have a heart-shaped stencil in my stash so I made one instead.



Fold a sheet of paper in half and trace one half of a heart-shape to fit the center of your stenciled backing and cut it out. Unfold the paper and we'll use this as our heart stencil.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

Stencil Layer Two - Doily Stencil

Lay the paper heart stencil over the doily stencil to find the pattern you like. Secure the paper over the doily stencil with painter's tape (pictured below).



Place the heart/doily combo stencil in the center of the script backing board and hold it with painter's tape. With white acrylic craft paint, stencil the heart doily. Again, make sure to offload any excess paint onto a paper towel first.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

What I Wish I Had Done Differently

In hindsight, I wish I had made my heart larger and had to improvise to increase the size. So my recommendation is to make the heart as large as you can.



What I Ended Up Doing Instead

I made a new larger paper heart-shape and realigned the doily stencil as best I could to match the previous alignment. Then I lined up the stencil to the previously stenciled area on the backing and stenciled the enlarged doily area.



I was not aiming for perfection because I wanted my Valentine's art to have an aged shabby chic finish.



Adding A Scalloped Edge

Last but not least, with a script liner art brush, freehand a scalloped edge around the heart with the same white paint.



How To Age The Valentine Art

To distress the stenciled Valentine art, lightly sand over the stencils with 220-grit sandpaper. To give the art an aged patina, brush a thin layer of brown glaze over the art and immediately remove the excess with a lint-free rag. You can see in the photo below how it aged the stark white painted heart.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.

Painting Picture Frame

Brush one of two coats of either black or dark grey chalk-style paint over the thrift store picture frame. Once it dries brush a coat of white chalk-style paint over top.



Before the white paint dries, we distress it with a damp rag. Lightly run the damp rag over the raised detail on the frame to remove the white paint. Once the paint is completely dry, protect the frame with clear wax.



Set the stenciled backing into the painted frame and you're done!



I had to include a close-up with some of the rocks from my heart-shaped rock collection, found during walks along river banks and the shores of the Canadian west coast.



How to make easy budget-friendly Valentine wall decor from recycled thrift store picture frames with stencils and paint in just a few short hours.


For more Valentine inspiration visit my DIY Valentine Ideas page.



Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by this Valentine wall decoration idea. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If you enjoyed this Valentine decor idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Valentine Decor Ideas or Upcycled Thrift Store Art board on Pinterest.




Picture frames are normally in abundance in our thrift store. And, they are usually cheap. See a tutorial on how you can upcycle a thrift store picture frame into beautiful Valentine art to decorate your home. #thriftstore #thriftstoreframe


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