6 Ideas for Updating Thrift Store Art

published Apr 10, 2013
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(Image credit: Oliver Jeffers)

Nothing adds character to a space like art. But if you’re on a tight budget, your options might be a little limited. You could make like a college student and thumbtack a poster of The Starry Night to your wall — or you could make like a savvy DIYer and take some thrift store art to the next level.

Related Video: The Secret To Buying Thrift Store Art

Here are six ideas for updating thrift store art.

(Image credit: Oliver Jeffers)

It was this intriguing painting by artist and illustrator Oliver Jeffers that first got me thinking about the possibilities presented by all the unloved canvases at the thrift store. Jeffers took this canvas and dipped it, frame and all, in enamel, creating something different entirely. You can see more of this dipped series here. Jeffers painted these portraits himself (which appear quite lovely!) but perhaps it will inspire you to look at thrift store finds with new eyes.

(Image credit: The Bee and the Bobbin)

Chris of the now defunct blog The Bee and The Bobbin created a unique silhouette of her daughter using a floral thrift store find. I love how it is both classic and modern at the same time. Although the tutorial is no longer accessible you can find more info on the process here.

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

This song lyric wall art used to be a pretty run-of-the-mill landscape painting. The transformation is super easy — find the DIY on A Beautiful Mess.

(Image credit: Under the Sycamore )

Ashley Ann has instructions for turning a thrift-store painting into a cheeky paint-by-numbers piece.

(Image credit: The Mosaic Butterfly)

Are you tired of chalkboard paint? I’m not, and I love the idea of turning a vintage painting into a chalkboard by blacking out some of the elements with chalkboard paint. (This one above was in the Etsy shop The Mosaic Butterfly — it’s since sold.)

(Image credit: Chris McMahon)

If you’re a little more artistic, you can try adding monsters to thrift store paintings. Artist Chris McMahon has created quite a few of these. Guaranteed to give boring landscape paintings a certain je ne sais quoi. Find more inspiration for altered thrift store art on Etsy.

Re-edited from a post originally published on 4.10.2013 – NT