Thrift Store Art Made Modern for Your Gallery Wall

How to spice up thrift store art with foam stickers and paint.

I’m on an intense mission to get foam craft stickers the recognition they deserve.  These unsung heroes of the craft store can be used to make Citrus Coasters, Stenciled Comforters, Trendy Triangle Planters and now they have made it onto my gallery walls.  Yes, that was plural I have more than one.

Wall makes it sound so stagnate but I think of my gallery wall as a living, breathing organism that is constantly changing and adjusting.  That being said with every trip to the craft or thrift store there is a chance my wall might be changing that day.  The art I find might go on the wall as is, or there is a chance a bottle of paint and a bunch of stickers might be in the works.

Did you happen to catch the episode of DIY This With Jennifer Perkins – Thrifted Art Made Modern for DIY Network where I chatted about my gallery wall and a few clever ideas for refreshing thrift store art?  One of the methods I talked about was using foam stickers and paint to spice up boring, faded or damaged art.

How to spice up thrift store art.

I’m having so much fun making these things that I might just start adding them to my Jennifer Perkins Art Etsy Store and selling them.  In the meantime I’m just going to show you how to make your very own.  If you can cut a triangle, you got this.  Although, that gets me to thinking about making foam hexies with my Sizzix Big Shot (I’ll keep you posted on that one).

How to make thrift store art more modern.


  • Craft Paint
  • Thrifted Picture
  • Painters Tape (or washi tape)
  • Scissors
  • Paint Brush
  • Pack of Multi Colored Sticky Back Craft Foam
How to revamp thrift store art.

Paint Prep

If you watched the video I assured everyone that no decent paintings were harmed in the making of these projects and that is a promise.  The pictures are all paper prints that were mass produced.  That being said I see one version or another of these types of pictures almost every time I go out thrifting – which we all know is every day.  Use painters tape or washi tape to mark off the section you would like to cover in paint.

Adding paint to a piece of thrift store art.

Paint It Already

Cover the section with paint.  You may need more than one coat.  I like to cover the frame as well to give it the illusion that I have dipped the painting in a vat of paint.  What section you choose to paint really depends on your preference and the picture.

Cut out craft foam triangles.

Cut It Out

This is where the magic happens.  Foam sticky back craft sheets come in large packs of different colors and are most often found in the children’s craft aisle.  Use a pair of scissors to cut out a bazillion triangles in different shapes and triangles.  You know isosceles, scalene, right angle – go 8th grade geometry on those suckers.  I wanted this picture to have an ombre rainbow effect so I cut out triangles in several different colors.

Making rainbow thrift store art.

Stick It On

This part is kinda like a puzzle or doing a mosaic.  There is no right or wrong way, just go with your ombre pattern and fill in the white space.  Don’t put your stickers too close together or you will loose the stained glass like effect.  The nice thing about this foam is that A) it is cheap and B) if you decide you don’t like the placement you can pull it up without removing the paint.

How to revamp thrift store art.

Stick It Up

What was once a piece of mass produced art I would never consider hanging in my house is now a unique handmade statement piece that makes my thrift store art modern.

Want more gallery wall inspiration?  Sure you do.

How to make a medusa for a Halloween gallery wall.

Halloween Gallery Wall

As Apartment Therapy once said, I don’t Half Ass Halloween.  Check out some of the fun tutorials for this Halloween Gallery Wall on the DIY Network. Like Marquee Light Candy Corn, Medusa Portraits and Felt Mask Fun.

How to mount a stuffed zebra.

Kids Gallery Wall

Kids like gallery walls too.  My daughter keeps begging for one in her room.  Check out this Mounted Stuffed Zebra I once made for my son’s nursery.  Not into taxidermy, try this toy option.

DIY Network gallery wall ideas.

Tips and Tricks for Creating a Gallery Wall

Also over on DIY Network I have an entire article about creating the perfect gallery wall.  I’ve got 6 in my house currently so I know a thing or two about a thing or two.



One Response to “Thrift Store Art Made Modern for Your Gallery Wall”

  1. arel

    Love it! I’ve been thinking of dip painting some of our art for a while, I like the additional mosaic tiles!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *