Cynthia and Co.

Cynthia and Co.
"My Junk Inspired L I F E"


Junk Art Frame DIY From Costume Jewelry

I made a recycled, junk art frame to share with you today.  With a bag of junk jewelry, a glue gun, and a pair of pliers I made this little frame in about an hour.  Maybe more (time) because I fuss with my projects...but if you are aggressive you can complete your own in no time at all.

This was my original bag of costume jewelry and blank picture frame.  I selected a thrift store frame that I acquired for .25 that is metal covered with paper.  A wooden frame would work, too. 

The frame's original state was pretty worn but it came with glass and the photo easel back so it worked fine for this little project.  Size is 4"x6". 

  • Remove glass and easel back.
  • Glue your crown or focal point on first.

  • Next add pieces along the bottom of the frame for visual balance.  Because the crowning piece was so large I needed elements to anchor the project.

  • Next start to fill in the sides and bottom of the frame.  It was at this point that I decided to incorporate silver junk jewelry because the gold (only) was looking garish (garish on a junk art frame??)
Notice that I balanced the silver elements in a visual triangle to encourage eye movement along the frame.

Here is the frame totally filled in with costume jewelry.  Even though I had plenty of recycled pieces in my original goody bag the sizes weren't working for this frame so I went to my backup stash and brought some of them into the equation.  Those items were the gold buttons, plastic flowers, silver snap, silver button, live love laugh charm...well about half of the frame came from something other than the first baggie but I'll use the leftovers for some new "unthought of" project down the road. (To be honest, too, I used a couple new Making Memories Foil sequins...but all other elements are recycled.)
  • Tilt pieces, fill in holes with beads, etc. and don't be afraid to overlap...its OK to conceal part of a broach or button, etc. because your eye will fill-in the missing part of the zebra's feet, etc.

  • Crop your desired photograph, clean glass, add all to completed frame.  In looking at this picture, now, I think a white mat from Dollar Tree and a smaller picture behind the mat would be cute, but I'm OK with my adopted ancestors from an old French post card just as you see them here.

  • Proudly display your little frame where it will get lots of sunlight or artificial light so all of your elements sparkle! 

I hope you enjoyed today's project.  If you have a junk art picture frame you've made from recycled costume jewelry please let me know.  I would love to feature similar projects!

Bye for now.  Cynthia

Green is good.  Junk is good.

P.S. I made the little glass stand from an old clear saucer and recycled candle holder.  They are glued together with super-duper all surface glue - can't remember which - but the equivalent of Super Glue.

Post script added 4.15.11  After being featured on Love2Upcycle I decided to add a readers challenge.  Be sure to participate.  Its easy...just become a friend.


  1. I think you and my youngest daughter must be kindred spirits! She loves finding things and making them into something fabulous. I'm going to show her your blog tomorrow.

  2. Hi. I've been a collector since I was young however I never knew how to channel it (collecting) til I discovered altered art about ten years ago. Thanks for stopping by. I hope your daughter enjoys my project!

  3. Love finding (reasonable)items to restore, reuse and let my creativity flow. Your's is truly a treasure, keep it up!
    I recently made(without instructions or pattern just an old potholder) 2 potholders and a dish cloth for a wedding, more due to limited funds. It took me all dang day, but hardly any money and I am quite proud of my new looking items, so I made a couple more. Now if I were to make about a dozen I would have the method down pat, hmmmm.
    ck out Thanks for your post!

  4. Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. Did you become a google friend? I am doing a giveaway (of the frame in story) if I reach 50 readers. I have been thinking about potholders, too, and found your post interesting. I have so many scraps left over from my t shirt hats that I think something as simple as a potholder would make sense. Thanks, again for hopping over!!