This Clever Wall Art Comes From the Most Unexpected Place

published Jan 18, 2024
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There’s no end to good Trader Joe’s hacks — especially when it comes to creative ways to reuse the iconic paper grocery bags. Now, there’s an other great one — and it uses the famous paper bags to create some truly stunning wall art. 

In a viral video, Instagram user @ariellevey shows how she made framed art to hang in her primary bedroom using a gold vintage frame that she thrifted from Estate Sale Warehouse and — you guessed it — Trader Joe’s bags. 

Vey says that the frame was the perfect size to hang on the wall behind her bed. She wanted to add some color to her bedroom’s bare walls, so she set out to create her own framed wall art. 

She began by cutting open and flattening some old Trader Joe’s paper bags. Before taping the various bag pieces together into one large canvas, she crumpled up each one and re-flattened it to give the artwork a crinkled texture.

The artwork itself is made with acrylic paints and features a large terracotta circle and two rows of small green squares on the left and right edges of the painting. Vey mixed a few colors to create the beige background, and she traced the little squares using a box of film. Once the painting was fully dry, she set it into the frame and used a large piece of cardboard to hold it in place. 

In an earlier Instagram video, Vey first introduced her recycled Trader Joe’s bag hack with a piece of art that she made for her living room. Using the same process and materials as the artwork in her bedroom, she painted an alternating pattern of large and small circles in a singular line, tracing a bowl for the bigger circles and a penny for the smaller ones. The frame she used for this piece was also thrifted.

Vey personalized the colors and shapes in her artwork to match the decor in her bedroom and living room, and people love the finished look. “Really freaking love this!!” one person commented on her post. “I’ve been trying to figure out what to hang above our bed for ages. This is such a great idea!!” Another called it a “great upcycle.” 

It’s so easy to recreate this hack in your own home. All you need is a few simple materials: some Trader Joe’s paper bags, a frame, and paint. A few hours later and voilà! You’ll have a custom piece of art that can be tailored to your liking.

The genius part of using recycled paper bags is that you can make the canvas any size that you need — simply cut out and fasten together bags until you reach the desired size. If you’re looking for more ways to be sustainable, consider thrifting a vintage frame for your next art project. And if you run out of paper bags, you know where to easily find more. It’s the perfect excuse for another Trader Joe’s run!