Blah to Chic Easy Hack for a Vintage Swing Frame

Blah to chic easy hack for a vintage swing frame
Vintage Swing Frame Makeover

Gear up for a Blah to Chic Easy Hack for a Vintage Swing Frame! I see vintage swing frames all the time at estate sales. They are usually just the frame with no glass, and mostly all painted gray. Here is one I tried to sell just as pictured at below left on Etsy. But after 4 months, no takers.

Nothing wrong with the frame, and I didn’t know if the problem was no glass, a less than perfect photo, a dull paint job, or what. Personally, I like the old finishes if they are in nice shape, but my rule is a makeover if no interest in 4 months. So I decided to paint it. I was so glad I did, because that became my blah to chic easy hack for a vintage swing frame makeover! (right) The white really makes it pop…I like it!

I used chalk paint in “Old White,” which I had on hand, and you know the beauty of chalk paint is no preparation, such as sanding or priming….just slap it on there. After that dried, I used a brown glaze I had on hand to bring out the carved details.

The point of this project was to create something in the frame to decorate it without using glass. Being my Cheapskate self, I didn’t want to go out and buy glass!

The inner mat is a piece of plain cardboard cut snugly enough to fit the frame without falling out, and then painted with “Old White.”

I had already seen and admired this on Pinterest, which I sought to emulate. I like the way Viola at surrounded her photo with bits of laces and trims to create this lovely piece.

blah to chic easy hack for a vintage swing frame
Fabric Collage

The first thing I did was look on graphicsfairy for a vintage photo of a girl or woman that appealed to me. FYI…Graphics Fairy carries all kinds of vintage photos available in free downloads!

 You could also use a vintage cabinet card as the main photo.
Next I dug in my huge vintage lace and crochet stash for bits I could use for embellishments…then a few buttons from my vintage buttons stash. Lace was applied with Mod Podge; buttons with hot glue. All applied on top of the painted piece of cardboard (and I was so glad I painted that…I started not to).


Tada! The finished result!

blah to chic easy hack for a vintage swing frame
Swing Frame Completed

I’m very pleased with how it turned out! This is designed so that the buyer may easily pop out the mat and use the frame for their needs. This was an easy and quick project, so the next time you see a swing frame, grab it!

Do you like it? Thoughts? Please leave a comment!


8 comments on Blah to Chic Easy Hack for a Vintage Swing Frame

  1. The white really did it, didn’t it? Love what you did for the insert, too. Isn’t it nice to have a lace and button stash? Only junkers and sewers can relate. 😀

  2. Hi Florence–you did it!! So lovely to have you at the party last week 🙂 I hope the experience was a good one for you. I absolutely love your frame makeover; thanks for sharing it with us all–

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *