Picture Frames that Look Like Christmas Presents

Picture Frames that Look Like Christmas Presents

When I was a little kid, a local restaurant would “wrap” the artwork on their walls to look like Christmas presents. I always loved seeing the large “gifts” hanging on the wall during the holiday season. So much so that I decided to recreate that look myself, by upcycling some picture frames to look like Christmas presents.

So, I hit up some thrift stores to find what I needed. I’ll admit, I’m pretty lucky in the thrifting department- there’s a Goodwill just a couple of miles from my home, and it’s a REALLY good store.

Case in point- their linens department. Several racks of nicely organized linens, and for this project I headed straight for the section of placemats, napkins, and hand towels. As expected, plenty of Christmas options!

thrift store linens

Next, I went to the picture frame section. Usually, I can find a handful of frames that are just the wood frame, which is all I needed for this project. In particular, I looked for frames that were made of wide, flat (or flat-ish) wood.

picture frames to upcycle into christmas presents

If you can’t find empty frames, have no worries. You could certainly buy full frames and either save the glass and cardboard for another project, or put them in your recycling bins!

Once I had everything I needed from the thrift store, it was time to upcycle my thrift store finds. And they would look JUST LIKE wrapped presents! 

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Upcycling Picture Frames into Christmas Mantel Decor

After washing and ironing my linens, I got to work.

First, I opened up the one of the Christmas napkins and laid the wooden frame on top of it. Whichever side of the linen you want to show as your gift, place that side down on the floor with the frame laying on top of the “bad” side.

upcycling a picture frame with a christmas napkin

With my staple gun, I carefully (and safely!) stapled the Christmas fabric to the back of the frame along two sides, pulling it tight as I went along.

wrapping fabric around a picture frame and securing with a staple gun

Here’s a close up of my staple gun handiwork…

upcycling a christmas placemat with a picture frame

I did the same thing along the other two sides, carefully folding in the corners so that the fabric didn’t bunch up.

attaching fabric to a wooden frame with a staple gun

When all was said and done, I’d wrapped the entire wooden frame in the Christmas placemat.

back of a wooden frame that has been wrapped with fabric

After I was done stapling napkin over the frame, I trimmed off the excess fabric with fabric scissors.

Decorative Christmas Presents from Picture Frames

Once I’d trimmed off the excess fabric, I flipped the frame over and was greeted by a nice, smooth surface. Perfect a few more gift-like embellishments!

upcycle idea for wooden frames and christmas fabric

To finish off the first of my Christmas presents, I grabbed some wired-ribbon from my gift wrap supplies. I carefully crossed my fabric-wrapped picture frame with two strips of ribbon, and secured them on the back with my staple gun.

ribbon over a fake christmas present

You could probably do this with hot glue if you’re a little apprehensive of using a staple gun. Trust me, I understand that fear because they are certainly dangerous to use and require caution and care.

attaching ribbon to a wooden frame with a staple gun

Now you can see that all that excess fabric is gone, too. I forgot to show that to you earlier!

Lastly, I added the finishing touch- a big pom pom bow, which I hot-glued to the center of my picture frame decor.

And yes, I watched a couple of YouTube videos to learn how to make the bow!

decorative gift from a picture frame and christmas napkin

Picture Frames that Look Like Christmas Presents

How fun is that? I made a few more of the wrapped gifts with the remaining picture frames and Christmas napkins. This way, I can lean them up on the fireplace mantel as the center of my display.

decorative presents for christmas mantel decor


And bonus- I can use them year after year, if I want. Simple to make, these are truly cheap Christmas decorations that don’t look cheap at all!

I loved this simple idea so much that I even made a flannel version in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”!

flannel christmas decor

Proof that just about any kind of fabric will work for this upcycling idea!

Interested in some additional Christmas craft ideas that are upcycled and repurposed using thrift store finds? Then, please check out this collection of projects before you go!

upcycled christmas craft ideas

Craft on!


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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. Sarah, these “gifts” are amazing!! I like the variety of prints you chose; they look fantastic!! I only have about a billion frames I can do this with, but I’ll need to pick up some Christmas fabric. 🙂 Btw, great job on the bow!!

  2. Super cute! Love the plaid one! Lucky you to have a Goodwill so close! They would get so tired of seeing me! ha! 🙂 ~Rhonda

  3. this is a super cute idea for the holidays! love all of these 🙂

  4. 40?! I refuse to believe that! (However, the 40’s are a fabulous decade! A really great phase of life. I hope you are looking forward to it.)

  5. Cool idea! These look so pretty. As we always go elsewhere to open presents, and as we make gifts so do the wrapping right before Christmas, there usually aren’t that many gifts around our house for long—this would be such a nice way to have that wrapped-present feel all month long leading up to the holiday 🙂

  6. Great idea Sarah! Don’t worry about 40. I’ve got 5 years on you and its not so bad. Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday. See you again next week.

  7. This was the Most Viewed this week and will be featured on Thursday!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again this week (with out any glitches) Pinned!

  8. This is such an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing it. I’m Anita visiting from Pin Junkie Pin Party.

  9. I would have never thought to use old picture frames to create these wrapped holiday “gifts”. So creative! Again, thank you for sharing at Create • Share • Inspire!

    Alicia xo

  10. This is SUCH a fantastic idea! Pinned!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  11. Love that you used material,been doing this for years with wrapping paper,also I use my pictures from the wall,rehash and voila parents everywhere. .Easy cheap decoration,as I get a little bit crazy with xmas especially the xmas tree room…Now my friend any ideas for the MANCAVE???He is mainly a NASCAR Nut,but I manage to slip in the other sports.Great work,glad I found you.

  12. P.S. THE 408. BEST EVER YEARS,wish I could go back there! !!!

  13. I found the 40’s to be pretty darned good, kids were growing up, hubs and I could do more. We never had that time before kids as I had 3 young kids when we got married then we had a girl,my fourth.
    We were married 3 1/2 weeks when hubs went to Nam with Jolly Green squadron, helicopter rescue and recovery. Our first date was 10/18/68, got married 11/30/68 and he left on 12/26/68 for Nam. Our 48th. anniversary is coming up end of this month.
    Loving your “gifts”, such a great,smart, thrifty idea. I look for empty or even full frames when I go to any thrift store, never know what I might need. Same with any kind of linens. Picked up 3 Christmas plaid napkins at local thrift store last week. Now if can find them when I need them,lol.
    Put things away then forget where, duh.
    Great post, always enjoy your posts Sarah.
    Have awesome week

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