Primitive Decor with an Old Washboard Turned Farmhouse Frame

Primitive Decor with an Old Washboard Turned Farmhouse Frame

Whenever I stumble upon an antiques mall that has a “Clearance Section” I am like a heat-seeking missile with one goal in mind- to find a broken vintage treasure (on the cheap!) to become my next repurposing project. And so, when my eyes fell upon this old washboard that was missing the actual washboard, I knew it was a moment of crafting kismet. It screamed primitive decor to me and I wanted to upcycle it into farmhouse wall decor.

Old washboard at antiques store for upcycling into primitive decor or farmhouse wall decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

I think we can all agree that this old washboard has paid her dues- between her missing washboard, her warped legs, and the fact that her frame would shift in your hands, she was in desperate need of some TLC! To some, she was beyond repair, but to me…she was the poster child of possibility. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Upcycling an old washboard into primitive decor as a farmhouse frame or chicken wire frame by Sadie Seasongoods /

Upcycling an Old Washboard into a Farmhouse Frame for Primitive Decor

The first thing I needed to do was stabilize her “moving” parts because, well, they shouldn’t slide in and out like that! So I carefully applied some wood filler on the back side- in crevices and joints that couldn’t be seen.

Using plastic wood or wood filler to fix a broken washboard for upcycling into primitive decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

To help it dry effectively, I made some make-shift clamps to hold everything securely using rubber bands.

Fixing an old washboard before repurposing it into farmhouse wall decor with chicken wire by Sadie Seasongoods /

I let everything sit overnight to dry and set. Then, I decided to deepen the wood color of the old washboard – but not with stain. I tested stains on the back and they were all too dark for the parched wood. So, all I did was wipe down the frame with wood oil using a soft, clean cloth. It’s amazing what a little wood conditioner can do!

Using wood oil on old washboard for transforming into chicken wire frame and primitive decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Now- to complete my transformation into farmhouse wall decor or a farmhouse frame, I needed some chicken wire! I had decided to transform the old washboard frame into a rustic photo frame/holder, and chicken wire seemed like the perfect medium for that! I asked my local farming pals if they had any extra laying around, and The Farm at Rabon Creek came through for me!

Turning the Old Washboard into a Chicken Wire Frame

I didn’t take time to measure out how much I needed for my chicken wire frame, but rather laid out the chicken wire on my old washboard and grabbed my wire cutters to trim it down to size.

Adding chicken wire to old washboard to upcycle into farmhouse frame or rustic decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Using my staple gun, I then carefully fixed it to the back of the old washboard – pulling it taut while trying not to affect the shape of the wire.

Using a staple gun to attach chicken wire to the back of an old washboard for farmhouse wall decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Then I trimmed off the excess with my wire cutters again.

Wire cutters to cut chicken wire on the back of old washboard for repurposing into farmhouse frame by Sadie Seasongoods /

Primitive Decor / Farmhouse Wall Decor with an Old Washboard

Ta-da! My old washboard all dolled up into farmhouse wall decor / farmhouse frame!

Making a chicken wire frame as farmhouse wall decor with an old washboard by Sadie Seasongoods /

One last step, though- I went through some old family photos and selected a few favorites of my grandparents and great-grandparents to clip to the chicken wire.

Old family photos to display on farmhouse frame made from an old washboard into primitive decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Those miniature clothespins are just so handy. I’ve used them in several projects now, and they really are ideal for a chicken wire frame.

Miniature clothespins used to display old family photos on farmhouse frame made from old washboard by Sadie Seasongoods /

There…just perfect! Primitive decor and farmhouse wall decor all from an old washboard that was upcycled into a chicken wire frame. I love it!!

Farmhouse wall decor or primitive decor with an old washboard as a chicken wire frame for old photos by Sadie Seasongoods /

I can see other uses for my farmhouse frame – maybe to hold recipe cards…or post cards…notes and reminders…etc. And I still have some chicken wire leftover for a future project…hmm…

Looking for more repurposed rustic farmhouse decor ideas? Make sure you check out my other Fixer Upper-style projects here!

Craft on!


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  1. Aw, now she gets to live life as a decorative piece instead of a working piece. I’d say she earned it! Looks great. I’m glad you rescued her!

  2. What a cute idea! Love it!

  3. Super cute!

  4. I think I’m in love. Great repurpose!

  5. Love it, Sarah! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm–pinned!

  6. Fonda Rush says

    That’s fun! I want something to clip photos onto, so I will keep my eyes open for anything that will lend itself to some kind of redo like this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you! A picture frame…or old crib rails…or a window pane…any of those would work!

  7. Perfect farmhouse style. I love how you can think outside the box and repurpose something–to me it looks like it comes so easily to you. Love it!

  8. Very cool, as usual! My mom had one of these vintage wash boards. Kinda wish she had kept it. Visiting from Remodelaholic.

  9. That is so cute & a great repurpose! Pinned.

  10. acraftymix says

    Awww Sarah she’s beautiful again and has a new lease on life. Just goes to show what a little bit of love and vision can achieve

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you! I chuckled when I saw your recent washboard post and figured we were DIYing on the same plane!!!!

  11. I really like this idea. I could even see it done with some lace or doily in place of the wire. I wish the logo showed up better.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Rose- in person you can read it a little better. It was originally a brass washboard (based on the brand name) and was from Chicago, IL.

  12. Good idea, indeed 🙂 I feel I could really use it!

  13. I love, love, love the way this came out! It would be great if I could find an old wash board because I could do something like this and up it in my office!

  14. Clearance is my favorite section too. Great job

  15. What a good idea! 🙂 Looks unique and nice.

  16. An excellent repurpose.

  17. What a cool idea! It looks perfect! Thank you for sharing in Sweet Inspiration Link Party 🙂

  18. JaneEllen says

    Love your reuse for old delapidated wash board, brilliant. Wonderful idea showing really old family photos, no framing involved. Every time you feature a reuse I want to make one also.
    Do have wash board bought in either MT or KY which never gets used so just might have to do some taking apart, do have some chicken wire or hardware cloth wire. Now all I have to do is find that wash board.
    Been busy making things can do in house, too darned hot to even hang sheets out. Will be 104 tomorrow, phewy. Love all your projects, always a winner.

  19. What a great idea! Makes a cute photo holder! I didn’t know that antique malls had clearance area. I will have to ask at our local antique mall to see if they have one.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you! I suppose not every antiques store has one- but if they do, it really is a great place for project parts. Broken things, etc. 🙂

  20. What a clever idea, Sarah. It looks great as a rustic frame. This was the Most Clicked from last week’s Snickerdoodle Party. All of the co-hosts will be featuring it today. Thanks for partying with us!

  21. Great idea to use the frame of the wash board as a photo frame. You definitely inspire me to look at things in a new way 🙂

  22. I love it! I love anything old and repurposing that washboard was a wonderful idea.

  23. What a cute idea! Love it! Enjoy weekend.

  24. This is so cute, Sarah! I can never resist an old washboard. Pinning and sharing on my page. ♡


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