10 Unexpected (& Cheap!) Things You Haven't Thought to Frame as Art

10 Unexpected (& Cheap!) Things You Haven't Thought to Frame as Art

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Marlen Komar
Jan 31, 2018
(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

Creating gallery walls or clustering posters together always packs a punch, but what if you're tired of doing the same-old, same-old? Lucky for you, there are so many fun and unexpected things that you can frame that fall outside of vacation pictures and colorful prints. From vintage stamps to your grandmother's secret apple pie recipe, read ahead to see what you can stick behind a frame.

(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

Wallpaper

Whether you have leftover wallpaper from a previous project, or love a particular print but can't afford to paper the whole room, framing the pattern like it's a poster is a clever design project that will bring a fun splash of personality into any room. And there are so many ways to do it! You can frame it like art like Cup of Jo did here and at the lead of the post, you can break it up into four different frames to make a colorful gallery grid, or you can even capture it in three floor-to-ceiling frames to add an interesting design element to your room.

(Image credit: Simply Gifted)

CD Covers (Arranged Like Instagram Photos)

Record albums look lovely captured in frames and arranged into grid gallery walls, but what if you have a CD collection you would like to show off instead (because what else are you doing with those now that you can steam everything)? Rachel from Simply Gifted created wall art from her favorite bands. She went to a frame store and had them create a custom mat for the album covers, but you can cut your own at home if you want to save some money.

(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

Stamp/Postcard Collection

Do you have retro stamps that you have been squirreling away into an album or box? Or kitschy postcards from your travels around the world? Don't shove those memories into a drawer. Instead, frame your paper collections like this collage of Mexica loteria cards like these we spotted on Better Homes & Gardens.

(Image credit: House & Home)

Handkerchiefs

Want an excuse to rummage through vintage goodies or go thrifting? Rather than buying posters for your bare walls, try taking a page out of House & Home's playbook and frame handkerchiefs in a grid to make a colorful, charming statement.

(Image credit: KDHamptons)

Captured Keepsake Clothing

Clothes can have sentimental feelings attached to them, so wouldn't it be a lovely idea to frame the ones that mean the most to you? Whether it's a cardigan your grandpa wore, your baby's favorite outfit, or your most cherished vintage skirt, seeing that item caught in a frame will give you all the warm feels. And if you don't have any special items of your own to frame, but love the look, keep your eye out for striking vintage pieces, like this collection of vintage bathing attire featured on KDHamptons.

(Image credit: Southern Living)

Favorite Book Covers

Are you a bibliophile and an art lover? Do you have novels scattered around on every desk, table, and counter in your house? Keep the obsession going by framing your favorite book covers (by either getting high res scans of them or seeing if they're available on Etsy) and creating a gallery wall out of them, like Southern Living did in this staircase landing.

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Treasured Recipes

From your grandma's apple pie recipe to that one casserole you made for someone you were falling in love with, framing cooking instructions is a sweet and sentimental move. You can either capture them in a picture frame that you can prop on a counter like this one available through Cox & Cox, or you can mount them onto the wall.

(Image credit: Apartment 34)

Foreign Money

Whether you travel a lot or want to hold on to a keepsake from a special vacation, framing your leftover foreign money is a lovely way to do it. Take inspiration from Ara Katz and Chris Ovitz and frame only two bills at a time, with plenty of negative space in the frame.

(Image credit: I Suwanee)

Tapestries

Love tapestries, but don't like the "college vibe" they give off when tacked to a wall? Capture the textile in a frame and it instantly feels more grown up, as I Suwanee proved.

Shower Curtains

Now, we don't have a photo example to show you of this one so you'll have to use your imagination, but this idea came from Faith Durand, Editor-in-Chief of our sister site Kitchn, who excitedly shared with us one day casually that her sister had added an unexpected element to her growing gallery wall: a shower curtain from Target! Now there's something you don't hear every day, but it makes sense now that we hear it. A shower curtain is just a really large textile, so why not look in the bathroom aisle for prints that you love, as well, and frame a portion of anything you find that strikes your fancy?

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(Image credit: Ali Lanenga / Stocksy)
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