DIY: Inspired Thrift Store Art

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

One of my favorite Pinterest boards is my “well said” board. For some reason, a simple “go for it” type of statement, done in pretty lettering or on a colorful background makes me nod my head and get motivated. This project takes those inspiring statements off our virtual pinboards and puts them on our walls.

Finding second-hand original paintings are not as hard as you would think. I brought these two paintings home from my local thrift store a few weeks ago. My criteria was nice shapes and colors, and I always love flowers. The unframed one was $1.99, and the framed one was $6.99. Not too bad!


DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

  • A thrift store original painting done on canvas, like an oil or acrylic painting that you like but are willing to alter. You will need access to the back of the canvas for embroidering.
  • Spray Paint (Optional- to paint the frame)
  • Computer and printer
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Tapestry or yarn needle with a sharp end (not rounded)
  • Scrap yarn

Step 1: Prep Your Paintings

Clean the surface of the painting and frame gently with a cloth and all-purpose cleaner. If you’d like to paint the frame, cover up and tape off the painting and give the frame a few light coats of spray paint to cover. Allow to dry.
DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

Look for inspirational quotes to embroider on your image. They shouldn’t be too long or wordy, the shorter the better. Choose the area you will embroider on the painting and roughly measure it. On your computer, experiment with  different fonts and sizes until you find what you like, and print out.

Step 2: Choose Yarn

Choose your yarn, can be highly contrasting, or subtle. I chose a slightly contrasting color and used worsted weight wool yarn.

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

Step 3: Add Embroidery

Lightly mark the center of the painting using a pencil and ruler to help layout your words. Cut out the words and tape them down on the front of the painting, making sure the area you will embroider isn’t obstructed on the back. Using the pointy end of your yarn needle, poke holes through the letters/front of the painting, spacing them evenly around each letter.
Perfection is not necessary here.

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

To embroider the letters, thread your yarn needle with a length of thread and knot one end. Embroider each letter with a backstitch, adding any sort of special details you’d like. I added french knots in some areas. (Rebecca Ringquist teaches  an Embroidery Sampler class on Creativebug that can give you lots of ideas for stitching.)

DIY Inspired Thrift Store Art

Hang and enjoy!

Blair Stocker


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