DIY Easy Art for Beginners from a Thrifted Frame

How to up-cycle a thrifted frame and paint an abstract landscape using basic paint supplies for easy art to display anywhere around the home.

Color me COMPLETELY surprised that I actually painted something that sort of resembles art. But here we are.

When I found this shabby chic picture frame in the thrift store for $2 (less than that garage sale sticker price), it reminded me so much of the Studio McGee art at Target I’ve seen everywhere lately. Well, you know… without the actual art in it at least.

thrifted picture frame

So I rummaged through my kids’ paint they use for arts and crafts, flipped the paper frame insert over, and started mixing colors and splashing them on the paper to see what would happen. Heavyweight paper would have worked better, but I just used what I already had.

Supplies Used:

Trust me when I say I draw stick people. My 8 year-old is a better artist than I am. But it turns out this was a pretty simple way to dupe art for next to nothing. You can see the quick process in the video:

Before starting the “super fancy painting”, I rubbed down the picture frame with some antique gold Rub n Buff. (I use that stuff on everything.)

Ta da!

DIY easy art painting of an abstract landscape in an antique gold frame

Okay, it’s obviously amateurish, but it’s pretty darn decent if you consider it abstract.

From far away, it almost passes as the real deal, right? Maybe I’m totally blind to how bad it is. I don’t know. Don’t look too closely at those wonky trees. Haha!

kitchen shelf decor with DIY art painting

If it’s really that awful, pick a free art printable to replace it with, ‘kay? 😉

But it was a fun little craft, and really, that’s what DIY should be all about anyway. Just have fun.

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  1. You Did an awesome job. It gives me the confidence to try it on my own. And the trees are fine no tree grows perfectly.

  2. Wow!! Don’t short change yourself!! That came out great! Love the transformation…easy to give the frame new life and be proud of your art 💜

  3. A word from an old woman (me). Don’t apologize for what you make/do. I’ve made lots of things in my lifetime of 71 years, and though I enjoyed making them, I never thought they were “good enough”. I now realize that whatever I do has to please no one but me. What purpose does the angst serve? Don’t wait till you’re 71 to accept this. I’m already awe struck by what you do. Good job!

  4. I actually love it! I’ve been working on recreating an abstract ocean at sunset painting – those kid paints lying around have been coming in handy. I do wish I hadn’t started with a 16×20 canvas, though!

  5. Gorgeous!!! Looks very profesh and not amateurish at all and I love the texture it has! But you definitely have talent, not everyone would be able to make that.

  6. Luuuv it👏👏 And it looks fabulous!!! Not at all like an amateur. Thanks for sharing & inspiring ❤️

  7. Looks great! Thanks for the idea!
    Could you tell me where you bought the vase that’s on your top shelf?

  8. Don’t knock yourself! You did a wonderful job! I see paintings like that occasionally and yours is up there with the best of them. And pairing it with that frame was perfect – especially after using the Rub n Buff. ( I love that stuff, too. Last year I used it on 24 picture frames for my ding room! ) Great job!

  9. Grandma Moses made a lot with stick figures, who knew? Her grandson carries on in the same vein, making lots of $$ for those stick figures. I like yours too, even without stick figures. ann lee s , BC

  10. Don’t let anyone tell you OR you even think it isn’t cool! It looks great. And what a steal with that frame!

  11. Love it Lauren. I don’t see any wonky at all. I would really like to know how you achieved the texture. Unfortunately, the fast motion video was too fast for my eyes.

    1. Hi, Elle! :)I am flattered that you are interested in my technique. I just smudged the paint instead of performing strokes with the paintbrush.

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