Revamp this piece by using a felt-tip pen to draw a sea monster rising from the water.

How to Revamp Thrift Store Wall Art

by Kris Gleba

Along with wine and chocolate in any form, visiting thrift stores may be high on the list of items that make your life as a busy mom a bit easier. When you find that your rapidly growing child just grew another inch, find clean, quality, used clothing at a thrift store. When you need wall art that is not only new-to-you, but reasonably priced, head to the thrift store. Make a night out of enjoying your three favorite things: a bottle of wine, a chocolate cupcake and creatively revamping wall art fresh from the thrift store. Not only did your life get a bit easier, it also got a lot artier.

Creature Feature

It seems that every thrift store has at least one landscape painting with happy little trees and majestic mountains towering in the distance. But those trees won't look so happy when you change the scene with a little paint or felt-tip marker. To revamp the nature scene for a teenager, draw a UFO in the sky or a monster climbing the mountain and breathing fire onto the tree. To alter the art for a young child, paint a robot or a fuzzy, friendly monster on the mountaintop, and put the child's initials on a tree trunk. If your art skills are less than ideal, use stickers or wall decals.

Cut and Paste

Add a sense of the familiar by using photos of your friends and family and pasting them onto thrift store art. Cut out their heads from pictures, in either a somewhat choppy manner with scissors or more precisely with a utility knife; paste the heads onto the bodies of human and animal subjects in the paintings. Ensure that the head shots you create are the exact size or much bigger than the subjects' heads. Any part of the original head should not remain visible after pasting. This kind of cutting-and-pasting art alteration works best with reproductions of known works. Your guests probably don't have a painting of their child crossing the Delaware with George Washington!

Say It and Spray It

Give new life to metal wall art by opening a can of creativity, courtesy of spray paint. Create a wall display of various pieces of metal wall art -- framed scrolls, fake flowers or geometric shapes -- transformed with spray paint. Choose spray paint in a bold hue, such as fuchsia or chartreuse, that also complements a curtain or throw pillow within the same space. Alternatively, use spray paint with special effects such as fluorescent, or up the ante and go really bright with glow-in-the-dark paint.

You've Been Framed

If it's considered "bad art," more often than not, it's at the thrift store. You can always toss out the offending art and keep the frame. Fill an empty wall or stairwell with a collection of empty frames. Paint the frames the same color, such as a cherry red or jet black, or keep them as-is. Toss out the art and repurpose the frame as an organization center. Replace the art with a piece of cork or plywood cut to size. Paint the plywood with magnetic or chalkboard paint to transform it into a writable surface. Should your home have a rustic or shabby-chic style vibe, replace the art with a sheet of chicken wire. After you secure the framed chicken wire to the wall, use wooden clothespins to hold memos and photographs to the wire.

About the Author

Lowell, Massachusetts-based writer Kris Gleba has been writing home decor articles since 2008. She enjoys all aspects of small home living, from complete gut remodels to ingenius home decorating that incorporates style and function. She has previously written for the “Athol Daily News.” She holds a degree in professional writing from Fitchburg State University.

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