Filling a Naked Picture Frame

Sorry if my post title lured you here in hopes of some gratuitous nudity :-)

I thought I’d ease back into the décor side of things with this easy project. It’s certainly not rocket science though for anyone scratching their head about an easy way to re-claim their glass-less, back-less picture frames here’s how I recently salvaged one of mine.

1. A naked picture frame. I found mine in a charity store for just $15 (which isn’t bad for a large, ornate, gilt frame). Empty, glass-less, second-hand frames can usually be bought for bargain prices.
2. A piece of thin rigid board, cut to fit inside the frames recess. I used a scrap of melamine-backed particle board I found in the shed though you could use anything from thick cardstock to ply. I simply measured mine and cut it down with a jigsaw.
3. A lovely new picture, sized to fit inside the frame and printed onto standard (or high-quality) paper. I found my owl image on-line for free here. I increased the resolution and played with the dimensions a little in Photoshop to ensure it would fit nicely inside my frame (if you don’t have Photoshop you can do this with GIMP, Pixlr or which are all free programs). Then, because the image was sized larger than standard paper, I had it printed professionally (by Officeworks) onto 180gsm satin paper for around $5. Taking into account the price of domestic printer ink the cost of professional printing is pretty comparable and the quality is awesome.
4. Spray adhesive. Or any paper-friendly bonding agent, such as Mod Podge etc.
5. Framing tape. Or, if like me you find that too proper, masking tape will do just fine.

How To Fill An Empty Picture Frame

Protect any surrounding surfaces and liberally spray your backing board with adhesive. Wait a few minutes for it to become tacky.

How To Fill An Empty Picture Frame

Position your print in place over the board then smooth it down firmly to ensure even adhesion.

How To Fill An Empty Picture Frame

Place your backed print inside your frame and secure it in place with a border of tape.

Stand back and admire your unique and thrifty new wall bling!

How To Fill An Empty Picture Frame

As mentioned above, I downloaded my owl image here for free from Vintage Printables. If you’re interested in discovering some other great sources for free printables, be sure to check out the Free Printables section in my Resource Directory. Just don’t blame me when you’re still in your pyjamas at mid-day ogling all the beautiful images available.

Oh, and by the way, remember that home office makeover I started back when flares were in fashion – for the first time? Well, the photo above may, or may not, be a little peek of my latest progress. Can’t wait to get the space done and share it already!



  1. Lilian says:

    Love it. I adore owls. How did you manage the black edge around the picture framing it?

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Lilian, the black border is part of the frame.

  2. Carla says:

    Thank you very much for the on-line image tip!

  3. Amanda says:

    I see so many gorgeous frames at flea markets with no glass or back. Now I know what to do, thanks! Love your idea and the owl:)

  4. This looks fab….but did I miss something? Where did the mount come into play?!!


    • The Painted Hive says:

      Sorry Sarah, now I feel like I’ve missed something :-)
      What mount are you referring to? If you’re pertaining to the photo for step 3 that is just the back of the frame (as I bought it) with my board sitting inside its recess. Does this make sense?

      • Hi lovely,

        No, sorry, just meant the black mount – but I see you’ve already said it’s part of the frame – nice!

        It looks gorgeous – thank you for taking the time to reply!


        • The Painted Hive says:

          Ah, now I get it. Yep, there was originally a linen type fabric lining that section of the frame though it was badly stained so I removed it and painted it black instead.

          • MARIE says:

            If it’s not too old, could u remember any further tips on how you did this?! I am working on a frame but when I took the linen off, the glue is proving awful to remove! …. Any tips welcome and also what sort of black paint did you use??! Thanks do much in advance

          • If the glue isn’t too raised or textured, you should be able to paint straight over it :)

  5. Sarah B says:

    It looks wonderful – I just love the frame and am hoping to find something similar down here for a project I want to do. Isn’t it great that we now have access to such wonderful free images?

    • The Painted Hive says:

      I must admit, I am slighty obsessed with scouring the intent for free printables at the moment. The hunt is just so addictive :-)

  6. Debbie says:

    I looks adorable, great owl picture!
    Saw you sharing at Transformation Thursday
    Debbie :)

  7. Kathryn says:

    Love the transformation! I love your neutral vintage, rustic-glam style :) It’s good to have you back in the world of blogging! :)

    • The Painted Hive says:

      Thanks Kathryn :-)

  8. Kim says:

    Hi Kristine,

    Love what you did with the picture, I have quite a few frames myself that are empty that I would like to do the same thing with. I just didn’t see in the instructions who to do the mount and the edging.. can you please give me a few tips on this?


    • The Painted Hive says:

      Hi Kim
      If you’re referring to the black border that is simply part of my frame. I didn’t do any sort of mount for this project.
      Hope this answers your question.

  9. Brenda says:

    I just found your blog and enjoyed your step by step instructions for framing a print. That is a beautiful frame that you found. Your finished product with the owl print looks professionally done! Thank you also for the link for the printables. I look forward to browsing the rest of your blog.


  10. Judy says:

    I kinda have a thing for birdie art (just today I was shopping at my local “Good’s” where I spied a horizontal canvas painting of two birds on a branch & snapped it right up) so of course I loved your owl. Plus you did a spectacular job of making a functional office space attractive enough to fit into a common area. Great job, I’ve never seen it done better.

  11. MARI says:

    I just love your blog! I check all the time for updates, rhey are always worth the wait.
    Just wanted to ask if u still have the owl print on file… I cannot seem to find it anywhere on line and love it so much I have got desperate and bold enough to ask for some help in sourcing one?!
    Look forward with baited breath to any suggestions…. I don’t know if u are allowed to sell an actual print.. any ideas? Thanks again

  12. MARI says:

    Thanks so much for your email! MADE MY DAY!

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