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How To Repurpose Old Art

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Take Hideous Art And Make It Fab Again

Do you have some wall art that no longer goes with your new decor? Maybe one of those giant canvases of you and your now-ex husband? Unless the art is moldy or decayed, why not take that perfectly-good canvas and diy yourself some new art? No talent required—I certainly don’t have any!

How it started

As you can see, I’m a fan of drama, so I have a turquoise blue accent wall.

As you can see, I’m a fan of drama, so I have a turquoise blue accent wall.

Here’s the frame of the art in question. This is cheap, cheap plastic with a wood look that wouldn’t fool a five-year-old.

Here’s the frame of the art in question. This is cheap, cheap plastic with a wood look that wouldn’t fool a five-year-old.

Here is the “art” in question. I bought it out of some dudes van in 2008 for $10. It’s not even canvas, it’s textured cardboard.

Here is the “art” in question. I bought it out of some dudes van in 2008 for $10. It’s not even canvas, it’s textured cardboard.

What to DO with it?

Okay, so you’ve identified it. Great. Now, what on earth can you do with this junk that’s not also gonna be hideous?

The good news is, there’s no pressure. Even if your efforts don’t succeed in making anything worth framing, the worst you’re out is time and stuff you weren’t using anyway.

So with that in mind, what can you do? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Decent frame, but no other good materials? Turn it into a cork board, or a photo collage.
  • Terrible frame but the art is okay? Maybe just ditch that frame. That whole canvas - only look is still in.
  • Don’t have anything “good” to work with? Don’t forget about holiday decor. Something that might be a little tacky day to day might make a cute Christmas decoration.

The transformation

Two coats of house paint that has been sitting under the sink for three years.

Two coats of house paint that has been sitting under the sink for three years.

Art Deco-rating

I have like, zero artistry so I needed a simple design

I have like, zero artistry so I needed a simple design

Anyway, the blingy tape did a lot of the work for me.

Anyway, the blingy tape did a lot of the work for me.

I originally was going to do something to the frame, maybe spray paint it, but since the art was so loud I think the plain frame works.

I originally was going to do something to the frame, maybe spray paint it, but since the art was so loud I think the plain frame works.

Where’d I get the gold tape?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jo Gavilan

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