Learn how to use thrifted art for Fall decorating to effortlessly transform your home!
As the leaves transform and temperatures drop, the urge to give our homes a cozy Fall makeover is in the air. But you don’t need to break the bank to decorate for the season! With thrifted art, you can infuse your home with unique, on-trend style—while staying savvy with your budget. Join me as I show you how to use thrifted art for Fall decorating to create stunning and one-of-a-kind seasonal displays!
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How to Thrift for Vintage Art
Thrifting for old artwork is one of my very favorite past times. I refuse to purchase art from large retail stores anymore because they just don’t give me that vintage, patina-d look that I adore. There’s nothing better than art that is slightly worn and faded, showing signs of age with it’s chipped paint or wrinkled paper.
My advice for thrifting artwork that speaks to you is to thrift often. Try and get out at least once a week to see what your local thrift stores have on the shelves.
When initially searching for thrifted art to use in your home, notice what themes, colors or subject matters you are drawn to. This will help train and develop your eyes to hone in on art pieces that might be of interest to you.
As an example, I collect vintage country landscapes with old barns in them. Because I’ve practiced doing this for many years and know what colors and characteristics are present in these pieces, I can usually spot the art treasures amongst the others fairly quickly, even if just a corner is sticking out.
Other places to shop secondhand for artwork include estate sales, garage sales, Mercari, and Facebook marketplace.
What to Pay for Thrifted Artwork
This all depends on what an art piece is worth to you. There are thrift stores and other secondhand shops that know what they have and, as such, will price the art accordingly.
My stance on this is that all of their inventory is donated, meaning these shops don’t have to pay a dime to stock their stores. So, I personally won’t pay more than $15 for a piece of art from a thrift store, even if it’s a fantastic piece from a well-known artist.
That being said, if you find art that you simply love and can’t see your home without it, then it’s probably worth purchasing.
How to Use Thrifted Art for Fall Decorating
Thrifted art is versatile, allowing for each piece to be used in multiple ways.
When I style thrifted art for Fall, my go-to colors are oranges, browns, tans and deep reds. These are tones that pair well with my Fall decor as well as other artwork that I may have around the house.
Below are three different ways of decorating with secondhand artwork!
Styled In a Vignette.
Larger pieces of artwork, like the one seen below, are fantastic pieces to incorporate into seasonal displays.
Vignettes can be as simple or as detailed as you would like. Through the use of just a few pieces of Fall decor on my mantel, the thrifted oil painting with coordinating colors ties the whole space together.
When thinking about thrifted art, don’t box yourself in to looking at only framed or canvas pieces. Art can also include postcards or simple sketches!
The antique car sketch below was drawn by my very talented husband. This was for a class he took when we went back to school for graphic design years ago. While cleaning out a closet earlier this month, I came across a whole folder full of these postcards. I couldn’t bear to throw them out so I kept them, knowing I could use them for something.
Then, when I started decorating for Fall, I instantly realized how lovely these charcoal sketches would look within vignettes, especially for the Autumn season! I simply tucked this car sketch in between some milk glass and amber bottles. It’s an unexpected decor piece that really catches your eye when walking past the shelf.
This barn sketch was another one that I found in the stack. I mean…how did I not know about these?! They are so good.
You know I love a good old barn…it doesn’t matter if I see an actual barn out in a field or in a vintage painting! Doesn’t this postcard look lovely tucked in amongst my vintage decor?! It’s amazing how the sketch depicts a barn in the late Fall, which is perfect subject matter for the season.
When thrifting, it’s more common to come across smaller scale pieces of art such as this vintage barn on a wooden plaque. These are wonderful items to purchase because they can be used in many areas of your home, especially those little nooks where you don’t know what to put in it but need something small!
This type of art decor will also be priced much lower. I paid $1.00 for this item a few years ago. This Fall, I have it styled on a skinny shelf in my entryway with other small decor items like a velvet pumpkin and a faux maroon stem.
On a Picture Rail.
Another idea for displaying thrifted art is to utilize a picture rail. Simply put, picture rails allow you to display many pieces in a creative way without sacrificing floor space.
When trying to create a home that is distinct to you and your definition of home, think about how you could use things in a different way. Incorporating the use of picture rails on a large wall may be able to help you achieve that distinctive look.
This thrifted barn painting, which you might have seen in my last Thrifted Goodies post, is one of the Fall art pieces that I have displayed on the picture rail this season. There’s a cool story behind this art piece so go check out that post if you haven’t read it yet!
The next piece of art on the rail is a vintage watercolor painting. This is one of my favorite barn scenes in my collection and, as you can see, is a quintessential scene of Fall in the country.
On the other end of the rail is another large thrifted painting featuring not only a barn but a river, too!
I rarely come across art that has rounded corners so this one was super neat to bring home.
As you can see, all three thrifted pieces of art are extremely different and don’t necessarily ‘go’ together.
However, I liken a picture rail to a gallery wall. It doesn’t matter if the art is all different styles, color schemes, frames or sizes. The rail itself will make all of the art feel cohesive.
In a Hutch.
My favorite way to decorate with vintage or thrifted art is by styling it in my hutch. This is an unexpected decor idea and creates an extremely unique display. Like I said above, don’t limit your art to just framed pieces. Old books can also be used as art, especially in small spaces.
This recently acquired antique German birthday book from the 1800’s is, in my opinion, the epitome of old books. I mean…it’s SO cool! Side Story: There are names and dates in here from 1840. And, as I was flipping through the pages the other day, I came across last names of ‘Schmidt’, which is my mom’s maiden name. So, who knows if these people could be related to me…I would like to do some more digging to find out.
Anyways, I digress. I have the book open to one of the October pages and simply leaned it up against the ironstone platter. Voila! Instant art.
So, if you have some old books laying around your house, flip through it and see if there are any pages that catch your eye. Many times old books contain beautiful illustrations that you can prop open.
You can also place small scale art on the shelf of a hutch. This helps create dimension and warmth, especially when placed amongst dishes or other more utilitarian items.
This little vignette was created within the hutch itself, helping to tell a story of sorts. That’s what art does, right? It tells a story which is different for each person that looks at it.
I think that’s why I’m so drawn to old pieces of art. There is not a right or wrong way to look at it. Art doesn’t judge you…it welcomes you with open arms, inviting you to be the next part of it’s ages-old story.
As you re-arrange your home for the new season, I truly hope that these ideas for how to use thrifted art for Fall decorating are helpful. Decorating your home with secondhand finds, especially art, brings such life and movement to each space.
Thrifted art is a great way to spice up your home decor for the Fall season. Whether you opt for vintage art, upcycled artwork, or a unique DIY project, thrifting is a great way to add a touch of character to your decor while on a budget.
Be encouraged to search high and low for that perfect art piece, finding renewed perspective along the way.
Leave me a comment! How do you decorate with vintage art? I love hearing from you!
If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.
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