DIY Repurposed Antique Frame Upholstered Memo Board

Few things are quite as charming as a beautiful old frame. Instead of letting it collect dust, why not repurpose it into a beautiful and functional memo board? This DIY Antique Frame Memo Board is a great way to add unique decor to your home. So grab an old frame, and a few craft supplies, and let’s get started!

Two antique frame memo boards hung up on my faux brick wall.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy and privacy policy.

I’m sure it won’t be a shock to hear I have a love of perusing my local thrift store. Also, I often find beautiful pieces I know I want but have nowhere to put yet. Therefore when I recently started my entryway makeover I knew I had a great opportunity!

These two gorgeous old frames were a steal of the century at $4.99 each. Neither had their glass, but that didn’t deter me. I snapped them up and have been carefully hiding them away for the perfect use.

Perhaps you have a lovely old picture frame or two sitting around? Maybe they are still intact and can be used as a frame. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying this project if you need a change!

So, whether they’re looking for a fresh new purpose or you’re looking to create something more unique I’ve got you covered.

A Vintage Decor Twist: Creative and Eco-Friendly DIY Project

So, maybe you’re wondering why I chose to make these two beauties into an upholstered memo board. The answer comes down to problem-solving.

I have this love of vintage illustrations, paintings, and general art from times past. But I like to switch it out often. An Antique frame memo board would be a beautiful nod to the past but have a unique updated use.

Second antique frame memo board displaying vintage botanical art.
Antique frame memo board hung on the wall.

Here Are More Reasons Antique Frame Memo Boards Just Make Sense:

  • ECO FRIENDLY – By repurposing an antique frame, you’re giving it new life instead of throwing it away.
  • UNIQUE – An antique frame has its own character and charm. And by turning it into a memo board, you’re creating a one-of-a-kind piece that’s sure to stand out.
  • FUNCTIONALITY – A memo board is a practical item. No more misplacing papers, to-do lists, or business cards. By upholstering it, you can create a soft surface that’s perfect for pinning notes, pictures, or vintage art.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE – When you make your own upholstered memo board, you can choose the fabric and trim to match your personal style and decor. You can also change the display on it without doing any damage.

So, spruce up your home office or craft room with a fun DIY project. And look no further than this DIY Repurposed Antique Frame Upholstered Memo Board!

Watch this on Youtube:

Cork is a great product to use I would recommend, but I had cardboard on hand and chose to try using it for these frames.

Supplies You May Need

Hot Glue Gun + Glue

X-Acto Knife

Push Pins*


A Frame



Drop Cloth Fabric*

Some of these supplies may be optional depending on the frame you use. I will share in each step what supplies I used for my project. But you will need to adjust your specific needs based on your frame.

What is a Memo Board?

A Memo Board, ie Bulletin Board, is a flat surface that is used to display any items that need to be easily seen or accessed. It is typically made of materials such as cork, foam, or fabric that can hold pins or magnets to attach the items to the board. Such as:

  • grocery lists
  • sticky notes
  • business card
  • reminders

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Antique Frame Memo Board

The first step in creating your own memo board is to find the perfect antique frame. Check out your local thrift store, flea market, or antique store to find an old picture frame with an antique look.

If you can’t find an antique frame, don’t worry! A simple frame from a craft store will work just as well.

Now it’s time to turn the frame into a memo board.

Watch this on Youtube:

↤ Watch Now See all my videos ↦

Step One – Gather & Prepare Your Supplies

Because neither of my frames had a back or glass to work with I had to get really creative. Therefore I chose to use my Dremel tool to cut my hardboard. But thankfully this was a fairly simple process.

The back of an antique wooden frame missing it's back.
The back of an Antique frame.
A piece of hardboard cut to size, an Xacto knife, and two cut pieces of cardboard.
Hardboard, 2 pieces of Cardboard, and an X-Acto Knife.
  1. Begin by measuring the inside of the frame.
  2. Use a ruler to draw a fairly precise mock-up of your dimensions onto the hardboard.
  3. Leave a bit of room for the fabric later.
  4. Then slowly cut it out using your tool of choice.
  5. Don’t forget to test the fit. And if it’s too snug, sand it down.

Step Two – Cut Your Fabric & Cardboard

I have a stash of bleached drop cloth that I am slowly using and it was the perfect linen color and texture for this project. But you can potentially use literally any fabric you have or want to purchase.

A small piece of drop cloth fabric cut out and laying on a table cloth. It was cut to fit in an antique frame that will become a memo board.
A piece of drop cloth fabric cut to fit.
Two pieces of cut cardboard that had been cut out using an Xacto knife. Measured specifically for an antique frame memo board.
X-Acto knife and two cut pieces of cardboard.
  1. Once you have your hardboard cut, place your fabric over the frame.
  2. Then put your hardboard piece into the frame on top of the fabric.
  3. And then pull the fabric taut.
  4. Cut your fabric with about 1-2″ seams all the way around.
  5. At this point, you will trace your hardboard shape onto your cardboard.
  6. Then cut it out.
Vintage scissors on a burgundy circular background.

Note: You can use scissors, or an X-Acto knife to cut your cardboard or cork out. However, try not to bend or smoosh your cardboard. But if you use cork there isn’t a need to be so careful.

Step Three – Putting the Memo Board Insert Together

Now that we have all of our separate elements prepared, it’s time to put them all together.

Putting the Antique frame together as a memo board with fabric and cardboard.
antique frame becoming a memo board with hardboard put on top of the fabric and cardboard.
  1. Just as before, lay your fabric down into the frame first.
  2. Then layer your two pieces of cardboard (depending on how thick yours is) or cork.

3. And then very last is your hardboard piece.

One side of the fabric on the antique frame memo board is hot glued down.
A bead of hot glue on the bottom part of the Antique frame being turned into a memo board.

4. At this point, pull the fabric taut. Turn the whole thing over to ensure there are no wrinkles.

5. Bead a line of hot glue down one edge and quickly pull your fabric down. Hold it down until it fully adheres.

6. Then continue until all the sides are glued down

Step Four – Adding a Sawtooth Hanger

To hang a picture you need to have some type of hardware. Most frames come equipped with this, however, mine did not. Never fear, if you’re in this situation it’s an easy fix!

An Antique frame backside with a memo board installed and a sawtooth picture hanger installed on the back.
  • The first thing to do is find the top center.
  • Then put your sawtooth hanger in place. The nails are super tiny, so start the hammer gently.
  • Finally, when it stands up on its own gently tap it all the way in.
  • Do this for the second nail as well.

Securing Your Memo Board to the Frame

Note: If your frame doesn’t have tabs and you want to secure your memo board to your frame you can easily use these Glazier’s Steel Push Points.

Repurposing an Antique Frame: Functions a Memo Board Can Serve

My intent is to display all the beautiful vintage art in my antique frame memo boards. However, memo boards are useful for a variety of functions. A few of those include:

Finished antique frame upholstered memo board.
  1. Organizing to-do lists. A memo board can be used to organize to-do lists and keep track of tasks that need to be completed.
  2. Reminders. You can use a memo board to remind yourself of important dates, appointments, and deadlines.
  3. Notes. Memo boards are great for taking notes and writing down ideas, whether it’s for work, school, or personal use.
  4. Messages. If you live with roommates or family members, a memo board can be a great way to leave messages for each other.
  5. Inspiration. A memo board can be used to display inspirational quotes, photos, or artwork to keep you motivated and inspired.
  6. Grocery lists. Use a memo board to keep track of items you need to buy at the grocery store.
  7. Chore charts. For families, memo boards can be used as chore charts to assign and keep track of household tasks.

Overall, memo boards are versatile and can be used for a variety of functions, making them useful tools for staying organized and on top of tasks and reminders.

Creating a Unique Memo Board: Adding Decorations

Now for the fun part! Decorate your memo board with decorative clothespins, sticky notes, and even huge photos. Use it to keep important information, grocery lists, or as a to-do list in your office space or on your kitchen wall.

I chose to use a few of these gorgeous botanical painting prints. But first I did a really fun process to make the art prints look like oil paintings.

Vintage skeleton key icon on a circle of grey.

Optional Personalization for a More Unique Look

  1. Paint it. Give the frame a new life with a fresh coat of paint. You can use spray paint, acrylic, or even chalk paint.
  2. Color Palette. Choose a classic white for a french country look or a combination of colors like pastels for Grandmillennial. A little color can go a long way in transforming your frame into a decorative piece for your home.
  3. Faux Antiquing Techniques. Try gold leaf, a dark wax on light paint or wood, or even Rub ‘n Buff for a compelling “antique” look.
  4. French Country Style. To create a French memo board, staple ribbon across the foam board in a criss-cross pattern.
  5. Rustic Style. Alternatively, you can use chicken wire or sheet metal to create a magnetic board or framed cork board.
An antique frame turned memo board with a botanical print pinned.


Old frames can be repurposed in a variety of ways, depending on their condition and size. Create a gallery wall, Mirror Frames, or Repurpose them as Jewelry organizers, Chalkboards or whiteboards, Photo displays, an Upholstered Memo Board, and even a Tray.

Turning a picture frame into a pinboard is a great way to repurpose an old frame and create a functional and stylish addition to your home or office. Choose a frame, remove the backing and glass, cut, attach, and Insert the cork, decorate the frame, and then finally hang the pinboard.

There are several ways to modernize an old frame and give it a fresh new look. Here are some ideas:

  1. Paint it
  2. Add metallic accents
  3. Change the matting
  4. Use patterned paper as a Backing
  5. Add a graphic element
  6. Use multiple frames as a Gallery

Ornate picture frames can be beautiful, but they can also look outdated and out of place in a modern room.

  • Paint it
  • Remove or Add Some Details
  • Change the Finish: High Gloss or Matte
  • Change the Backing
  • Pair it with Modern Art
  • Use it as a Statement Piece
  • Group them as a Gallery Wall

In Conclusion

Creating a DIY Repurposed Antique Frame Upholstered Memo Board is a great way to give old frames a good use. All the while adding a fun and functional piece to your home decor.

So, head on over to your local thrift shop or craft store and start exploring new ways to repurpose old photo frames. And while you’re at it, cupboard doors, or even old windows into the perfect solution for your home.



Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→


Leave a Reply

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