Haunted House Decor from a House Shaped Picture Frame

Haunted House Decor from a House Shaped Picture Frame

When I first spotted this house shaped picture frame at Goodwill, it had been casually left in a basket of scarves and belts, as if the originally buyer had changed their mind. And as soon as I saw it, I thought, “Oh, look- a haunted house picture frame!”. But upon further inspection, I realized it was just in the shape of a Victorian house.

House shaped picture frame at a thrift store

With a Halloween makeover, however, it could EASILY become haunted house decor. Even though I’d crafted a haunted house before from a cookie jar!

Halloween cookie jar

But this frame would be totally different! Once I realized that,  I was torn: Do I paint it or do I leave it alone?

Sometimes, the treasure needs to tell ME what to do. So, I disassembled what I could (the backing, the fading stock photo insert, etc.) to get a better look at things. From there, I realized that the whole thing just looked dirty and that painting it was the best way to go.

Upcycling a house picture frame into a Halloween house

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Transforming a House Picture Frame into a Halloween House

I could have spray painted it black, but I didn’t want to accidentally over spray and lose some of the details of the frame with pooled up paint.

Instead, I bought a sample of black latex (semi-gloss) and brush painted the picture frame, ultimately doing two coats.

Painting a house shaped picture frame with black paint

While I suppose I could have stopped here, I wanted to embellish it even further.

I thought purple would look magnificent against the black AND be perfectly Halloween-ish.

And this purple metallic wax was exactly what I needed/wanted.

Metallic Lustre in Majestic Purple for a Halloween House

And boy oh boy, this tub will last me a lifetime, because a little metallic wax goes a LONG way on my small projects!

Decorating the haunted house decor with metallic purple wax

Using my fingertip and a paper towel to buff, I smudged purple wax on the dormer windows and decorative dots.

My haunted house decor just needed a flash of purple here and there. Not too much…

Purple metallic wax on a Halloween house and picture frame

But it still needed something else!

Thankfully, I had tons of copper wax leftover from this faux oxidized copper project and thought it would add the perfect touch of “orange”. So, I again used my finger tip and touched copper wax on the porch spindles and door columns.

Rub n Buff in Autumn Gold on a black picture frame

Vintage Halloween Postcards in Haunted House Decor

When all was said and done, this is what my haunted house decor looked like! The metallic waxes added just a hint of color and shimmer.

Haunted house picture frame for Halloween decor

Now it was time to focus on filling the haunted house decor with some Halloween characters! Because I love vintage Halloween postcards, I decided to use their likeness (in the form of scanned/printed versions) to fill the openings of the picture frame.

To do this, I needed to recreate the original stock photo cardboard insert. I didn’t have any tracing paper and thought it would be silly to buy some, just for this project.

My workaround? White parchment paper, which I almost always have in my pantry.

Tracing out the shapes of windows in haunted house decor

I also traced the entire cardboard insert on a piece of white card stock from the craft store. Then, I cut out the parchment paper tracings and matched them to the scans of Halloween postcards.

Finally, I recreated the cardboard insert by attaching the vintage Halloween postcards to the card stock with double-sided tape.

Print outs of vintage Halloween postcards to go in a house shaped picture frame

And then the Halloween makeover was complete! The house shaped picture frame had been transformed into haunted house decor!

Haunted house decor with Halloween postcards

Haunted House Decor from a House Shaped Picture Frame

I seriously love how it turned out! Such a fun and fresh idea for Halloween decorating.

House shaped picture frame as a haunted house for Halloween decor

I love that it’s not really spooky at all AND it really has the look of vintage Halloween decorations.

Such a cute take on a haunted house, and so inexpensive to make!

Filling a house picture frame with Halloween postcards

I think the biggest takeaway from this haunted house decor is how amazing that purple wax looks against black paint! I just want to “shimmer all the things” now-without a speck of glitter, too!

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea and thrift store transformation for Halloween decor, then you’ll also love this Halloween planter from a straw tote!

Upcycling a Straw Tote as a Halloween Planter

Craft on!


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Vintage Halloween postcards in a haunted house picture frame

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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. Great makeover!! Love it!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. indianakathy says

    This is a cute cute cute idea for photos of my boys when they were little goblins! Thank you for sharing this – I’m going to start looking. Fun idea! Excellent idea for grandparents for their grandchildren as well

  3. You are so creative. Love the haunted house picture frame.

  4. Your haunted house is adorable! I didn’t even know that stuff came in purple. Too cool!

  5. Rita Corblies says

    Your imagination is amazing…but I’m not surprised. You always make something beautiful/fun out of something that somebody else discarded. Love it….

  6. Robyn Wright says

    I want to start thrifting with you! You get some of the BEST things! I love this!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Haha, thank you, Robyn!! It helps to go as often as I do and to go on thrifting road trips. Doing another adventure tomorrow, so wish me good treasure hunting luck!

  7. Great job Sadie. so perfect for Halloween.

  8. What a good idea. Thank You for sharing.

  9. What a great makeover & I want to check out that purple wax!

  10. Amazing find! And very clever repurpose project.

  11. Sarah,

    That’s the perfect frame for Halloween! You really had a vision, didn’t you?


    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Gail!! It’s such a naturally creepy frame, I can’t imagine NOT using it for Halloween, LOL.

  12. This is so cute and clever!

  13. What a great thrift store find! You made it into a fantastic decoration! I have a plastic doll house from a thrift store that is painted black and decorated with cheese cloth curtains, paints,etc.

  14. L O V E the transformation!

  15. Such a cute idea, there’s an ad running in between every paragraph of a woman lying down under a blanket and it looks like you are resting after each step of the project, heeee.

  16. This is so creative and spooktakular!!! You are so creative!!!

  17. I have one of these that I painted white. I like your version much better!

  18. OHHH! too late to read this post. 🙁 Gonna save this idea for next Halloween.


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