Date: 07/06/2022

Recycling Picture Frames

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Author: Richard

Your Guide To Recycled Picture Frames

So, you’ve decided to upgrade your picture frames for something a little more stylish or are changing your home’s colour palette and need to purchase a new frame to suit. But what do you do with your old picture frames, and how do you recycle them?

Did you know only 20% of Australian household waste is recycled? At Frame Today, we believe it is important to be environmentally conscious and all do our part where we can to reduce our carbon footprint. This includes recycling and upcycling our household décor such as picture frames where possible.

However, we also understand due to the many different materials involved in constructing a picture frame, knowing what parts are recyclable is often met with some confusion. So, this helpful article aims to provide an expert guide detailing exactly how to recycle your old picture frames based on its materials.

What are picture frames made from?

Wooden Picture Frames

A wooden picture frame is often found in custom framing or bespoke framing shops. Exuding elegance and prestige, wooden picture frames bring in familiar and natural tones to your space. Typically, wooden picture frames are finished using different surface treatments such as paint or a wood stain. A natural wooden picture frame is one of the more expensive framing types and contains a wood grain unique to each frame.

Other wooden picture frame materials include medium-density fibreboard (MDF) or Finger-Jointed Poplar which use recycled wood from scrap lumber to create the frame. The latter provides a more cost-effective alternative to a natural wooden picture frame while providing a similar look.

Metal Picture Frames

Metal picture frames are a common type of budget picture frame and are usually constructed from silver, bronze or aluminium. They are then anodized to make the metal both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Metal frames require less maintenance than wooden picture frames and are less expensive, providing a more urban and industrial look to a space.

Plastic Picture Frames

Plastic picture frames are constructed using polystyrene and other solid plastics. They are a great cost-effective and convenient solution to picture framing, however, are not as durable as other material alternatives. Plastic picture frames are often used temporarily to decide on framing size and positioning within a space.

Recycled Picture Frames

Can wood from picture frames be recycled?

A wood picture frame that has been painted, varnished or gilded is usually not recyclable. However, wood picture frames created with untreated wood can be recycled. If you can recycle your timber picture frame, they can be used to create new recycled timber frames for others to enjoy. Even if your frame is not recyclable you can still choose environmentally friendly picture frames which are part of our custom, same day and ready made ranges.

Can glass from picture frames be recycled?

Typically picture frame glass cannot be recycled and is not allowed in regular glass bins. However, it is important to remember not to toss out a picture frame just because the glass cracks. Simply take to your local Frame Today shop and we can find a piece of durable glazed glass to fit your frame and get it looking brand new!

Can metal from picture frames be recycled?

Some metal picture frames can be recyclable if they were crafted using a ferrous metal. A ferrous metal is any metal composed using iron, which makes it magnetic. To determine if your metal picture frame was crafted using a ferrous metal, test with a fridge magnet and see if it sticks to the frame. If the magnet does stick, remove the glass, backing and plastic from your frame and take it to your local recycling centre.

Can plastic from picture frames be recycled?

Plastic picture frames are unlikely to be recyclable unless they are specifically marked for recycling or they are accepted through curbside pickup recycling.

If your frame is not easily recyclable, not all hope is lost! You may still have the opportunity to upcycle the material into another end use.

Upcycling Picture Frames

If your picture frame is not recyclable, there are still many ways to upcycle it and ensure it finds another use. One option is to take your picture frames to your local op shop and see if they are accepting picture frames as donations. This way, your beloved picture frame can find a new loving home.

Another option to upcycle your old picture frame is to repurpose it in your space. An easy DIY project is to paint your picture frame backing with chalk paint and remove the picture frame glass to create a chalkboard. This could be hung in your kitchen, activity room or by the front door and is a great stylish upcycling solution.

Or create a picture frame earring holder by removing your picture frame backing and stapling chicken wire within the empty frame. This can then be used to hold earrings and sunglasses and is a kid-friendly craft activity to do with family and friends.

A final upcycling solution for your picture frame is to create a stylish serving tray for your home. Perfect for resting on your coffee table, simply add a fun background colour to your picture frame and glue or screw in two handles on the front at two sides of your frame.

If you’re unsure about how to recycle your picture frame or are looking to upgrade to a new picture frame, speak to the experts at Frame Today!