DIY / Tutorials Home Decor Project Gallery Repurposed Thrifted Woodworking

Repurposed Picture Frame Shelf Shadow Box

On the second Tuesday of each month, my blogger friends and I put together a collection of DIY posts for our Trash to Treasure Transformation fun. What could be better than creating with junk from like-minded gals? You’ll see there projects in a bit. But now, you’ll see that my recent thrift store adventure had me all caught up on these beautiful picture frames. My fun begins with how I turned them into a repurposed picture frame shelf.

Thrifted Picture Frames Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

I found these solid wood frames along with the items in my Operation 80’s makeovers, and knew they had potential. They are big and ornate, so that was a no-brainer purchase for me. However, I have already used picture frames for chalkboards, and other wall art and wanted to really do this pair justice.

They definitely had beautiful design and just needed to be filled. An idea struck to turn them into shelving and I couldn’t wait to get started. First, I took off their wire hangers on the back and removed the remnant paper backing by soaking it and scraping.

Scraping Paper Off of Vintage Picture Frame |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

When figuring out design, I decided to build my shelving right to the interior opening of the frame so it would be nice and flush. Once I had my measurements, I used my circular saw and RipCut Jig to make pieces out of ½” thick cabinet grade plywood. You can make it as deep as you like. I chose my depth of the box to be 3 ½”. I could have used basic 1″ x 4″ pine boards too, but wanted to use up my stash. Plus, the ply is a bit lighter for hanging on the wall too.

Cutting Plywood Pieces with Ryobi Circular Saw and Kreg RipCut by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

With my shelf frame pieces cut, I then wanted to add pocket holes using my Kreg Jig so I could attach it to the back of the repurposed picture frame. I’m not kidding when I say this is one of THE MOST versatile tools ever and it is must in my arsenal. You can see my full tool list HERE.

Kreg Jig Assembly of Repurposed Picture Frame Shelf by Prodigal Pieces |

Now my shelf pieces are ready to be assembled. I could have used pocket joints on the corners, but I wanted a cleaner look. Using wood glue and my nailer, I butted up the corners and attached.

Ryobi Nailer to Assemble Picture Frame Shelf |

Take a peek at my repurposed picture frame shelf set up for a dry fit. Lookin’ good, isn’t it? It would be better if the pic wasn’t fuzzy…meh.

Repurposed Picture Frame Shelf Assembly Dry Fit |

Before attaching the shelves to each frame, I spray painted them a few coats. Once done, I attached with my drill and screws into the pocket holes I created. Easy-peasy.

After that, I cut two piecse of beadboard for backing and attached using my nailer. I gave one of the shelves painted beadboard, while the other got wallpaper placed on the reverse side of the beadboard using wallpaper paste. To mount the shelves to the wall, I use keyhole hangers attached to the top back.

Ryobi Nailer to Attach Repurposed Picture Frame Backing |

Ready to see my dynamic duo in action? I’m so eager to hear which one is your favorite. First is the gilded ornate frame in all its glory.

Gilded Repurposed Picture Frame Shelf with Blue Accents for Beautiful Home Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Royal Blue Gilded Repurposed Picture Frame Shelf Built by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I’m smitten with the bold colors and excited that the blue paint was the perfect match. I used that same blue on this chest of drawers and love its regal feel.

Gilded Gold with Blue Picture Frame Upcycled into Shelf by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Handmade Upcycled Picture Frame Shelf with DIY Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

The second repurposed picture frame shelf has a bit more subtle feel and the embossed wallpaper really adds the antique feel to it.

Antique Picture Frame Upcycled into Decorative Shelf by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Upcycled Picture Frame Shelving Unit Closeup by Prodigal Pieces |

These shelves are nice because they’re deep enough to make a fun vignette, but not so deep that they intrude into your room.

Repurposed Picture Frame Wall Shelf Depth by Prodigal Pieces |

Ornate Picture Frame Shelf Made from Antique Picture Frame by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

So…I have to ask…which one strikes your fancy? Both work for most any room in the house: kitchen spice rack, bathroom for toiletries, bedroom display, or any room for any use. You can find both shelves available in my online shop (brown has SOLD)along with all of my other redeemed furniture, vintage finds, and handmade goods.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Picture Frame Turned Decorative Shelf by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Do pin and share this repurposed picture frame fun so that others can be inspired to DIY their home decor too.

Grab those thrifted store cast-offs and create some repurposed picture frame shelves for your home decor. DIY tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #handmade #diy #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #crafts

Up next, I’ll be sharing what becomes of my vintage piano bench. You don’t want to miss it! Head HERE.

Vintage Piano Bench Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Now it’s time to see what my Trash to Treasure friends have for you below.

blog signature


Check out these fantastic DIY inspirational projects for you!

Trash to Treasure Tuesdays - Thrifted Makeover Fun | Prodigal Pieces |

Trash to Treasure September 2018 |

  1. Artsy Chicks Rule
  2. Bless’er House
  3. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  4. Girl in the Garage

More projects like my repurposed picture frame shelf:

Create a repurposed chalkboard sign from a curbside find (aka. #trashure ) for your wedding, shop, birthday, welcome get the idea. Get the DIY details at Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #homedecor #diy #shoppingA curbside piano bench and music rest become a DIY Folding Lap Desk with Storage created by Larissa at Prodigal Pieces |

20 replies on “Repurposed Picture Frame Shelf Shadow Box”

Awesome job Larissa. I have a few thrited frames I have been wanting to turn into shelves. You make it look so easy, maybe I’ll give it a try. I love the shelf with the wallpaper. 💖

The second one is my favorite, but I love both of them. It is amazing how they transformed from just a random frame into a substantial piece. Awesome job Larissa and I can’t wait to see what you do to the piano bench!

Ooooo, I like the blue one! A smaller version might be the very thing for my girl’s pretty teacup too. Now my other girl (who is snooping over my shoulder waiting for the computer to type her paper up) and I are having book envy too. Those are some GOOD ones!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.