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Use great old picture frames for many different decorating ideas

At Lucken's Collectibles we have seen many beautiful old antique picture frames with great old family pictures in them. We also find just the frames, with no glass, no picture and most certainly some unheard story of its journey. They sometimes a...

At Lucken's Collectibles we have seen many beautiful old antique picture frames with great old family pictures in them. We also find just the frames, with no glass, no picture and most certainly some unheard story of its journey. They sometimes are falling apart and look more like firewood than anything else.

A lot of times the pictures appear a bit scary and almost creepy because the people in them are never smiling. Plus, you never know who they are and would have an almost impossible time trying to identify them. So we came up with an idea of using the frames for art.

Last year I found an old frame that was almost falling apart. It had great old wood and an awesome flower design on it. Now you all know by now that I throw nothing away and this was no different. I really did not feel like we could just trash it. It's great old memorabilia with a story to tell and it's wood, so it has a lot of life yet.

We took a long look at it then went to work. With some wood glue, wood picture frame clamps and a coat of paint we had a great idea. But we went a step farther and went shopping in the basement and found an old shelf that was the same size as the frame. We put a coat of matching paint on the shelf, found some L brackets and attached the shelf to the old frame. Then we added a coat of polyurethane to protect the finish. Now, we have a one-of-a-kind shadow box my daughter uses in her room. Just one of those things that was too pretty to throw away, yet not good enough to restore it to it's original look. Now we have a great one-of-a-kind shadow box.

I just came across several old picture frames at an auction sale. Just thinking of all the possibilities made my head spin and I just had to have them. So we came home with more than 20 different types and sizes of frames. So far they are just hanging around the store with the exception of the featured frame. It has some chips out of the wood on it, which only adds to the patina. We hung it on an empty spot on the wall, but it looked lonely, so we took a smaller picture and hung it inside. Both frames are the same color and the outside larger frame only enhances the smaller picture inside. It looks great.

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These old frames are affordable and may be used for all types of room décor. I have also seen where people take them and have a beautiful old mirror cut to fit and placed in the old frame. You could also paint them to match your environment, touch a few spots with a light coat and add a coat of polyurethane. You never know what the family will say about your new idea for decorating.

It is safe to say that picture frames and their functionality have surely changed with the different fashions of the day. The highly collectible frames that are still used today are the deep shadow boxes made of fine woods such as walnut or cherry. Also the frames inspired by the Art Nouveau influence and the oak frames decorated with molded gesso and gilt from the Victorian era are very popular. If you are focusing on a Victorian era in any room in the house it surely would be a great addition to have old ornate Victorian frame for a family photo or just as an accent wall piece.

Have some fun and try some new decorator ideas and see if you like them. You can always take them down if you don't like what you see, move to a different room, or make a shadow box.

Lucken's Collectibles is located in downtown Fertile, Minn., and owned by Stacy Lucken Hanson. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call us toll free at (888)-lucken1 (582-5361), local at (218) 945-6660 or e-mail us at collectibles@gvtel.com

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