Vintage Gallery Wall

Vintage Gallery Wall

I fell in love with the idea of a vintage gallery wall filled with empty frames; particularly, those vintage picture frames and old painting frames that were ornate, antique, and unusual. So I decided to make my own version of empty frame decor by collecting the frames and upcycling a few with spray paint.

I spent some time gathering my gallery wall frames, picking ones I liked or seemed like a good price. Some of my empty frames were found at thrift stores, a few at antiques shops, and a couple at an estate sale. 

Vintage picture frames for upcycling into a DIY cork board with cork board sheets

I never gave it any thought on how they would all come together. Not that I’m advocating that entirely, but after playing around with them, I finally found a grouping I was happy with.

vintage picture frames

From there, I simply needed to determine which ones should be painted and them hang them on our wall!

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Empty Frame Decor with Vintage Picture Frames

Unlike many of the examples of these empty frame collages, I decided to paint my frames using three different, but complementary, colors (subtle metallics). 

metallic spray paints for vintage gallery wall

I decided to leave two of my vintage picture frames as they were. They were each attractive in their own way and added a nice textural aberration within the grouping.

vintage picture frame

These gallery wall frames are perfect as-is, don’t you think? Plus, one is already a subtle metallic gold.

antique gold picture frame

Something to note: one of the vintage picture frames was in rickety disrepair when I bought it. Well, several of them were, but nothing that a couple of small nails and hammer couldn’t fix.

However, my smallest one was particularly banged up in the corners and chunks of wood completely missing. Literally, as if someone had taken a bite out of this vintage picture frame.

empty frame decor

But these imperfections were smoothed out by his paint job and gave him unusual character. So definitely don’t pass up the beat up and neglected antique picture frames for a project like this.

Not only can you likely haggle for a dirt cheap price, but they add authenticity to your vintage gallery wall.

Vintage Gallery Wall

Arranging and hanging my vintage gallery wall was no easy feat. BUT, I took someone’s’ advice and traced each frame on newspaper, cut the tracings out, and taped (using painter’s tape!) to the wall where I wanted them hung.

This allowed for subtle movement and perfecting the distance apart from each other.

And the end result? Definitely eye-catching and pride-worthy.

vintage gallery wall with empty frames

So what do you think? Is a vintage gallery wall in your decor future? 

And even though this project was from our old house and we no longer have the right wall for this, I kept many of the frames. You’ll see them from time to time on my blog, such as in this Thrift the Look: Eclectic Decor post.

mid century eclectic decor

And in this vignette that displayed my upcycled versions of Cloisonne vases, too.

Cloisonne vase for thrift home decor

Last but not least, I also have this fantastic collection of upcycled picture frames chock full of upcycling ideas– time to run to the thrift store!

Upcycled picture frames and things to do with old picture frames

Craft on!


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empty frames on wall

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. They look great!! I’m going to definitely try to make it to FFF this year. I think I had something going on last year. I have a hard time passing up frames! Anytime I see a nice chunky wood frame or anything ornate, it comes home with me!

    • Kristi, you’d LOVE FFF and it’s down on your side of town. I’ve gone both years and am already looking forward to this year’s. Morning is best before all the good stuff is gone!

  2. Wow! Not only to I love the arrangement but those frames are just gorgeous! You have wonderful job on this gallery wall, well worth jumping on the bandwagon for!

  3. I have been collecting frames for a while. i started to paint mine and then ran out of paint. that project is on hold. you are right … Hardest part is the arrangement. Thanks for inspiring me to get back to it

  4. These look fantastic. The layout looks fabulous,

  5. A lovely grouping of frames! Thank you for sharing with Idea Box link party. Have a great weekend! – Cheers, Christy

  6. Love love love this, what a great idea! You so inspire me! I have such a long list of things I want to do from following your blog! Love that you join Making Memories Mondays to share your creations! 🙂

  7. Really nice arrangement! Thank you for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things. Hope you have a fabulous day!

  8. Your wall of frames looks great! I just posted about my stairway gallery wall and it is definitely work to put together a gallery wall.

  9. This looks really nice! I never would have thought to use empty frames as decor. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂

  10. I love your crafty ideas! Thank you very much for joining in the celebration of #purebloglove, we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you on Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

  11. How do you hang the frames without the nail showing?


  1. […] for me to photograph properly, the newly transformed lamp now lives beneath our Gallery of Vintage Frames that I blogged about a few months back. I love how the lamp turned out and I love that it looks […]

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