Fall Lentil Frames


It dropped another five degrees today which means another chance to use around-the-house items to add some fall lovin’  to our newly painted upstairs (more on that later this week.)


The end result was three, texture-licious frames in yummy fall colors straight from the pantry and recycling bin.




Want to make your own?

To make these frames you’ll need:


(Edited to add: I’ve gotten a few emails about lentils. You can find them next to the rice or in the bulk food section of your grocery store. They run $0.60 – $1.25 / lb.)

As always I hope you’ll rock what ya got and make this look work for you without a trip to the store.

I made simple, three-layer frames from {unused} pizza boxes and wood glue …


… and covered the raw edges with paper scraps for a nice, clean edge.


Frames got a quick coat of paint in the closest color I had to my lentils using my nicest fountain drink palette and a foam brush …


… just to make sure none of that cardboard showed through.

Craft wire was wrapped around the frames to make a simple hanging loop for the back.


Frames were propped up on some cans and a thick coat of white school glue was applied with a cheapie foam brush.  More is more here, people. Don’t skimp. Lentils were gently poured on in a thick layer and pressed carefully in place.  Do NOT shake off the extra until the glue has dried several hours.


The sides of the frame were covered the same way after the top had thoroughly dried.  Pictures and mats were taped in place. Easy. Quick. Done.

Love the texture, but not the color?

No biggie.

I loved—LOVED—the orange lentil frame, but hated it with my living room wall color.  Boo. {Maybe I’ll have to make another one for Halloween.}

Sept 2011 BLOG1

So I just painted over it.  A little copper craft paint and the problem was solved.


Much better match up against those grey walls.



A few THRIVE tips to save you some headaches:

1. If you’re painting your lentil frame, spray paint is easiest. But if craft paint is all you got, thin it down to make it flow like a glaze. I went with 3 parts paint, 1 part water, 1 part white glue and it worked great.

2.  Don’t touch your frame for several hours while the lentils are drying. Don’t shake off the extra. Don’t move it. Leave the dang thing alone. Seriously. If you move or shake off the extra too soon, you’ll get a really thin, spotty layer.  See?

Sept 2011 BLOG2

3. If you skimped on the glue and/or ignored tip #2 — don’t worry. Mix 2 parts glue + 1 part water and pour it over your frame, spreading gently with a foam brush. Then recoat with a thick coat of lentils and let it dry over night before shaking off the excess.

Happy straight from the pantry fall crafting!

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45 thoughts on “Fall Lentil Frames”

  1. Funny but your post reminds me of all the lentil soups they have here. 🙂 They use red lentils in lots of the food here in Turkey. 🙂 These are fun Nike ~ you are like the fall queen. We are still in the 90's here. 🙁 but mornings are cool. 🙂

  2. I love these for fall, but I also feel like if you spray painted them white, gold, bronze or some other color they might make a really great textured year-round picture frame.

  3. These are really pretty! I have been looking for pretty/not-too-expensive fall wreaths (we have a double front door now and so I need two–bah!). I wonder if I could do this over a styrofoam base and if the resulting product could stand having the door shut without falling apart…hmmmmmn. Wheels turning… :). Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Loved the idea, but as a person who raises lentils for a living, I will tell you that the yellow legumes are yellow split peas, not lentils.

  5. @Erin S. — yes, I'm sure you could make this work on a styrofoam base. I'd love to see it if you try it!

    @Anonymous – thanks so much for the clarification! I thought they were all the same and appreciate learning something new. 🙂

  6. I have been "rockin' what I got" this week thanks to your inspiration. I made a fall wreath for my door from an old picture frame, fabric scraps, a small branch, and pretty cardstock…$0. I also needed some greenery in the planters on my porch due to the drought down here in Texas so I made "foliage" out of my ruined green stripe lawn umbrella…$0! Your Fall Frames really gave me the boost I needed to get some Fall Flair goin on at my house!

  7. So freaking cute! Lentil frames?! Are you kidding me?! You are amazing. I seriously need you to come to my house and tell me what I can do with all the crap in here. I have NO imagination.

  8. Gosh these are cute! And so thrifty!!!
    Just one question: is that a real dried leaf you used? If yes, did you do anything to preserve it first before framing it?
    I love thrifty stuff and this is pure genius …well done! I'm so gonna do this asap!! x Mimi

  9. @Mimi – The red leaf is from an old dollar store leaf garland so no preserving needed. I do plan on grabbing some real leaves this fall and will press them in a book for a week or two to preserve them. Hope that helps!

  10. Great idea to layer the cardboard for a thicker frame! I really love the way your lentil frames turned out, Nike! The one with the dried grass is my favorite. I've used lentils for filler in candle holders before – such vivid colors!

  11. I love to eat nearly all beans – except lentils (well ok and lima beans). I HATE lentils. This would be a perfect project for the. Really beautiful!

  12. Very cool. These turned out so extraordinarily well! We once glued lentils onto a willow wreath for Christmas, but I like your frames even better. If you spray painted them white, gold, bronze or some other color they might make a really great textured year-round picture frame.

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