If you take time to browse the piles, thrift stores can be a treasure trove of materials to use to make upcycled nursery art. A solid wood frame and a beautifully illustrated children’s book can be paired together for some really cute DIY wall decor.
When you’re shopping, don’t be discouraged by dust, outdated wood tones or yellowing picture mats (we’ll fix those in a minute), and make sure that the pages of your book will fit behind the mat. I recently picked up this unassuming pair for a total of $4. Makeover time!
Materials: frame (including mat and glass), children’s book, spray paint, fabric, spray adhesive, double-sided tape, scissors, X-Acto knife, tape
Begin by disassembling the frame. Remove the old artwork, mat and glass. If the wood is outdated or scuffed, a quick coat of spray paint will freshen it up.
Art mats tend to yellow over time. While they can be spray painted, I sometimes like to cover them in fabric to add more visual interest to the piece. To do so, place your mat atop some lightweight cotton and cut the fabric approximately an inch larger than your mat.
Coat the front of your mat with spray adhesive.
Smooth the fabric out on a flat surface (right side down), and press the adhesive-covered side of the mat onto it.
Cut a notch at each corner of the fabric.
With permanent double-sided tape, line the outside edge of the back of your mat.
Fold and stick each outer fabric flap snugly onto the double-sided tape.
Use scissors to cut a hole in the center of the fabric inside the mat opening. Then snip diagonally to all four corners, getting as close to the mat as you can without cutting it.
Remove excess inside fabric, leaving inch-wide flaps.
Just like you did on the outside edge, line the mat opening with double-sided tape, fold the fabric flaps onto the mat and press down to secure.
Voila! That much cuteness easily hides any previous life this mat has lived.
Next, use an X-Acto blade to carefully remove your book page of choice and securely tape it to the back of your mat.
Once your frame is dry (if you spray painted it), give the glass a good cleaning and reassemble your frame. It may take some patience to hunt for just the right storybook/frame/fabric combination, but the pay off is some seriously affordable and adorable upcycled nursery art!