3 ways to update picture frames for elevated displays of art and photos

Level up your gallery wall game

A gallery wall on a staircase wall
(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Hanging artwork and photos is a crucial part of stamping a sense of character and personal touch to our homes. With the recent shift towards more playful interiors, even picture frames now come in all sorts of funky shapes and patterns, but you don’t necessarily need to buy brand new (and often pricey) frames with interesting designs. Instead, there are ways how to update picture frames you already own.

Making over one (or more!) of your plain old picture frames is the perfect way to take on an easy DIY project as truly anyone can do the upcycling ideas we’ve explained here, whether you’re a natural crafter or not.

As well as working as a creative outlet, this is a cheaper and a more sustainable way to embrace the new home decor trend of statement picture frames to elevate your artwork and photos alike. Truly a win-win.

A gallery wall on a staircase wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

How to update your picture frames

Whether you’re after some fresh gallery wall ideas for the staircase or new living room wall art ideas, you’ve come to the right place. As these techniques can make the simplest of pictures look all the more interesting.

1. The striped picture frame

A striped picture frame framing a painting of a flower vase

(Image credit: Bradley Dreha @bradleydreha)

Livening up your frame with a colourful pattern by painting it is an easy way of giving it an upgrade. And as stripes are both very much on trend while also being the easiest upcycling idea for beginners, it’s a win-win situation.

And we’ve seen several influencers all over social media trying out their hand at this hack, including DIY influencer Bradley Dreha at @bradleydreha both on TikTok and Instagram.

‘From looking online for “funky picture frames” in the size I wanted, the starting price was £85. And I thought I could definitely get the look for less with a simple DIY hack,’ Bradley says.

‘I revamped a plain picture frame I already had using masking tape and a paint sample pot in a calming blue, placing in my own artwork. I would recommend this easy and effective DIY hack, as it adds a playful, colourful pattern feature in a room, you can pick any paint colours you’d like to match or clash in your space which is always fun too.’

Masking tape being put on a picture frame to be painted

(Image credit: Bradley Dreha @bradleydreha)

What you’ll need

2. The fabric-covered frame

Prints framed in patterned frames

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Another way of easily adding pattern with the addition of texture to your picture frame is by wrapping it in a printed fabric. You can use fabric scraps or a piece of clothing you no longer wear or have found in a charity shop for as little as £2 – just like DIY Instagram influencer and author Francesca Stone of @fallfordiy did in her reel showing the technique.

In the video caption, she wrote, ‘I try to keep my clothes for as long as possible but even then what do we do with items that don’t fit/are too worn but no one else wants? I want to try to find ways to use scrap fabric to make something that I will use and treasure without just wanting to scrap once I’m bored of it.’

Cutting up the piece of clothing and glueing it onto a picture frame is certainly a good way to go about it if you ask us.

A post shared by Francesca Stone

A photo posted by fallfordiy on

What you’ll need

3. The bobbin frame

Two bobbin-framed pictures hanging above a bed with a scalloped headboard

(Image credit: Bradley Dreha @bradleydreha)

The bobbin home decor trend has been going strong of late and while you can buy bobbin-trimmed frames, like this £7 one from Dunelm, giving an existing frame a makeover will still work out cheaper. Not to mention the fun you’re bound to have from the creative endeavour, as Bradley did when crafting his bobbin frames.

‘The bobbin picture frame idea all started with it being an online trend, at the time you couldn’t buy them in the shops, so I jumped on the trend deciding to get the hot glue gun out and create my own,' says Bradley.

'This hack is an opportunity to add colour and texture in a room, you can always glue any size/shape picture frame you’d like with the bobbins, it’s all about the little details as this does emphasise personality in a space.'

Bobbins being glued onto a picture frame

(Image credit: Bradley Dreha @bradleydreha)

What you’ll need

So which one will you be giving a try this weekend?

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.