Giggles and Glue Guns

Framed: Empty Frames As Art

By now you know that I’m a thrifting dumpster-diver who apparently has an obsession with empty frames (as exhibited in this video). No, I do not lead an empty existence in search of something or someone of which to fill my frames…I’m just superficial, I like the way they look!

The above photo shows my work-in-progress living room, complete with a large empty frame on the free-form-striped feature wall. I say work-in-progress because I’m constantly doing new, random things in my spaces and that f-ugly coffee table (another side-of-the-road-find) needs to be painted STAT! I also am in the midst of painting an area rug…more on that later. Enough! The point of this post is to show you options on how to hang and use empty frames in your personal spaces.

  • Empty frames create architectural interest on any wall.
  • By hanging clusters of them, you create a focal point that has an airy feel.
  • They work in a variety of interior design styles. Pick sleek, simple frames for modern spaces and ornate/antique ones for more traditional or bohemian design schemes.
  • A great option is to paint a wall in a fantastic color and then paint a group of frames in a contrasting color. The colors will play off each other and give a look that is much more purposeful and “designed”.
  • Empty frames are really easy to find and buy cheap at flea markets, thrift stores and bargain/discount stores.
  • No need to for expensive art!
  • Empty frames are light-weight and can usually hang with one tiny nail – a great option for brittle plaster walls, above a bed, etc.
  • Remember to plot out your cluster grouping on the floor first to avoid poking too many holes and driving yourself bananas.

This particular giant gold frame we found in two pieces on the side of the road – but nothing that a little wood glue couldn’t fix! It frames the gold and teal stripes which I free-hand painted one Sunday afternoon in a fit of circus-freak madness.

Good luck with your empty frame projects! Let me know if you have any questions!

Images via:,,,, and

  • Lauren M. Blanchard

    One of the houses I babysit at has a lot of huge, empty antique frames just hanging up on their walls. I liked the idea when I saw it, but I just thought since the father is an artist/lawyer (what a hot combination) they were just waiting for him to paint something for them.
    By the way, I adore your living room just the way it is!

    • Mr Kate

      that is a hot combo! thank you, glad you like it ; )

  • Lyndsay Jenness Becker

    Love the free form stripes! I’ve never seen that before, so cool!

    I love the look of empty frames when arranged so nicely, but it’s just impractical for me. I have so much to fill them with!

    • Mr Kate

      that’s great – fill em up! glad you like the free-form stripes! it’s sooooo much easier to do than to tape them and i like the look too. thanks for your comment!

  • Shawna Mann Lubs

    My question is – WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE TURQUOISE CHAIRS???? I’m adding that color to my house right now, and those are absolutely fantastic!

    • Mr Kate

      those chairs were actually originally brown wicker- i got them on sale at Pier 1 forever ago. I really wanted turquoise in my space so I found the paint color I wanted from Home Depot, painted the chairs white first and then painted them turquoise. I sprayed a clear coat over to seal and they’ve held up great over 2 years of people and cats sitting on them! When in doubt, paint!

    • Shawna Mann Lubs

      Great idea, except, the last time I painted something, my annoying neighbors complained to the management about the fumes. Apartment living at it’s finest…..but, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

    • Mr Kate

      oh yeah, spray paint always smells more than paint from a can. I live in an apt too but I have a back area which is well suited for painting so it makes it easier. Finding an outside area is ideal, parking lot, garage, etc. and water based paint dries fast. Good luck!

  • Pingback: An Idea: Empty Frames as Art « M y C o t e r ie .()

  • Laura Ashley Kyle

    i like it <3

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!