If your symbols are amenable to Unicode characters with a suitable font (emojis, dingbats, etc...), then you can use the text-along-path function (or, to make things a lot easier, the
ofn-text-along-path script). The text input fields take anything from your clipboard so you can copy symbols from your web browser open on some Unicode page.
If you have one image, you can also copy it to the clipboard and use it as a brush(*) with 100% spacing, and "stroke" the border (either as a selection or a path). You may want to use the "Track direction" dynamics (and use an upside-down image, hint, hint...).
One last solution is to create strips by copying your image to the clipboard, select it as a pattern, and bucket-fill with the pattern, either directly in your image, or in a separate image plus copy/paste and possible rotation.
(*) the first item of the brushes/patterns lists is the "clipboard" brush/pattern which is connected to the current clipboard contents. If you use it, make sure you reset it afterwards, because if you clipboard doesn't contain an image the brush/pattern no longer works and you will pull a lot of hair before you understand why.