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Thrifting for Affordable Art Collections

By Rachel
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Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Rachel Granholm

Thrifting for affordable art collections encourages you to adorn your walls in a creative way while staying on a budget!

Attention all art lovers and bargain hunters! Are you tired of overspending on expensive artwork or settling for mass-produced prints? If so, then it’s time to dive into the world of thrifting for affordable art collections. Yes, you read that right – art doesn’t have to cost a fortune and is endlessly fun to look for!

Thrifted Goodies Volume 20

Hello, guys! Welcome back to the blog and to the next installment of the ‘Thrifted Goodies’ series! If you are new around here, welcome!

This is a monthly series where my friend MaryJo from the blog Master’pieces’ of my Life and I share thrift hauls, thrifting tips, and general thrift shopping advice. Sometimes we invite guests, who share a love of thrifting and collecting vintage decor items, to join us.

And, today, you are in for a very special treat. We are sharing not two but THREE different thrift posts and ways to use thrifted, vintage decor in your home!

Guest this Month: Home Made Vintage

Danielle, who is a giddy, super hilarious, and endlessly talented content creator on YouTube, is joining us this month via video. Her channel, HomeMadeVintage, is full of amazing thrift hauls and vintage decor styling. I am so excited to welcome Danielle and introduce all of you to her!

She has the best content…check out her video, linked below, and subscribe to her channel while you are there!

Home Made Vintage Thrifting Video

Home Made Vintage Social Channels:

MasterPieces of My Life

My friend and partner in this series, MaryJo, is sharing a thrifty post all about her collection of vintage filigree metal picture frames. How fun is that?! After you are done here, head over to her post and say hello!

MasterPieces of My Life Social Channels:

thrifted metal picture frames

Thrifting for Vintage Artwork

More and more people are turning to thrifting as a way to curate unique and affordable art collections. And, with the rise of sustainable and budget-friendly options, thrifting for vintage artwork, or art in general, has become a popular past time.

thrifted art on a Winter mantel

Art on a Budget

So, whether you’re a seasoned thrifter or new to the game, get ready to discover the untapped potential of thrift stores when it comes to building and thrifting for affordable art collections.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of thrifting, provide tips for finding hidden gems, and share new art finds to add to my growing thrifted art collection. Get ready to add some thrifty flair to your walls!

Rachel from The Antiqued Journey

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What to Look for When Thrifting Art

There isn’t a set of rules when it comes to thrifting, especially for art. I always tell people to buy what you love, even if it’s not monetarily valuable. When you purchase things for your home that bring you joy, you are making an invaluable investment.

So, when I’m digging through the art section at a thrift store, I am basically searching for pieces that speak to me. There are many varieties, themes, and realms of art, making it accessible for anyone.

vintage barn oil painting in winter

When I’m thrifting for vintage artwork, the subject matters that I gravitate towards are:

However, there is literally something out there for everyone, no matter your art style or decor preference. Other themes that can be found at thrift stores include:

a thrifted vintage oil painting with red flowers

Thrifting for Affordable Art Collections: Signed Art from the Thrift Store

Many people like to purchase art that is signed by the artist. And, truly, you can find that at just about any thrift store. There are so many pieces of artwork with signatures.

Does that make the art more valuable? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on who the artist is and what the subject matter entails. My advice would be to get on Google and do your own research. The Google Lens tool is actually very handy for things like this!

signed artist print of an antique truck sketch

I do have a handful of signed art pieces in my collection, however I don’t search specifically for signed artist prints. If you are interested in that, the photo below shows you, from left to right, the number of print it is out of how many made, the title of the piece, and the artist signature.

I will say that it is pretty neat to come across artist signatures, especially while thrifting for vintage artwork!

farm scene artwork

How to Care for Vintage Artwork

When I’m thrifting for art and find a piece that I love, I do a once over of it to make sure it’s in reasonable condition. I am not an art conservator and I don’t really want to pay to send my thrifted art to one, so I just make sure that the art I’m buying is in good enough shape to display in my home.

I look for any tears or rips in the picture itself, check the frame for any structural issues, and make sure the glass isn’t cracked.

a vintage fruit needlework picture

Once I get the art home, I do take a damp rag and wipe the whole picture down. This removes dust, dirt, or anything else that might be lingering on the piece.

When needed, I use a hammer to tack any nails back in the frame. That’s basically it!

Where to Store a Thrifted Art Collection

As far as storing an art collection goes, find a space that is dry and dark yet easily accessible.

I have a space in my closet that holds all of my extra artwork. It’s nice and dry in there without any sunlight, which helps prevent fading. And, it’s easy for me to pull from when I rotate art in and out throughout the year!

Thrifting for Affordable Art Collections- Thrift Haul

Okay. After all of that pertinent information, let’s get into my thrifted art haul.

I’ve found some fantastic pieces of vintage artwork over the past few months and can’t wait to show them to you!

Thrifted Art #1: Old Scenic Mountain

The first piece of art is a vintage scenic picture.

There is an old barn situated at the base of this mountain and I think the scale of it all is just incredible! I spotted the edge of the gold frame sticking out from a bin and was thrilled when this is what was showcased inside.

thrifted vintage artwork

The frame itself is just spectacular! I have never found an art piece with this ornate of a frame on it before so that basically sold me on it. But, the majestic scene makes me feel like I can just take a deep breath and breathe in the fresh mountain air!

I believe the color tag was half off the day I purchased this, making it a grand total of $4.00. I have it displayed on an open wall shelf, nestled amongst a bundle of old railroad tines.

vintage art found at a thrift store

Thrifted Art #2: Brown Barn

The next thrifted artwork on the list is this glorious brown barn!

Now, I can’t take credit for finding this one. When we were in Florida, my uncle gave this to me. He knows I collect barn pictures so is always keeping his eye out when he’s thrifting.

He found the barn art itself, unframed, for $7.00. He purchased the frame separately, but still thrifted, for $8.00. So, that’s only $15 for both the frame and art. Incredible!

brown barn thrifted art

As you can see from the photo, this art is numbered, titled, and signed by the artist.

When I talked to my uncle about it, he conquers that this piece is a hand colored etching. How cool is that?!

thrifted artwork

I have this one hanging on a wall between my hutch and the patio door.

In the morning, the sunlight streams in through this window, creating glorious lighting on the picture. It’s a win-win for both the artistic aesthetic and my plants!

thrifted art on wall

Thrifted Art #3: Horizontal Farm Scene

How cute is this one?! Yet another find from my uncle, this adorable farm etching was purchased for just $9.00!

This is the first horizontal art piece that I’ve owned and I’m pretty excited about it.

farm scene artwork from a thrift store

The red and blue colors in this picture are so vibrant amongst all of the green trees.

Hubby and I love being out in the country down in Southern Minnesota and this scene is reminiscent of the farms in that area. It’s a special reminder for us.

I don’t have this one displayed right now but will pull it out closer to Summer, near the beginning of June, for the warm season! I think it will look festive with patriotic decor, don’t you?!

farm scene artwork

Thrifted Art #4: Daisy Watercolor Painting

There is just something about a watercolor painting that I just adore, especially if it’s a floral-themed watercolor.

How pretty are these watercolor daisies?! I love how dainty and delicate this painting feels. And, it was just $5.00!

vintage watercolor daisy painting

Daisies are one of my favorite flowers, especially during the Spring months!

Again, I don’t have this picture displayed yet but I think I will style it into my Spring hutch display in a few weeks!

watercolor daisy artwork from thrift store

Thrifted Art #5: River Scene Oil Painting

You guys. Look at this massive piece of art…isn’t it just incredible?! Look how beautifully it glows!

I have a soft spot for vintage oil paintings, especially landscapes. This scene reminds me of the many rivers we have fly fished on and is so peaceful to look at each day.

This art was found later in the day and I cannot believe someone else didn’t snatch it up before I got to the store! But, I am thrilled that I saw this sticking out of a large bin, and for only $6.00!

large thrifted oil painting

And can we talk about the frame?!

I’ve seen frames like this before at vintage shops and from online sellers but they are so expensive. Needless to say, I’ve never come across a linen and wood frame at a thrift store of this size, let alone surrounding a stunning painting.

I hung this art on a large wall in the office. The beauty about where it hangs is that it can also be seen from the long hallway that connects to the living room. It’s just the most serene scene to walk past throughout the day!

thrifted vintage oil painting

Thrifted Art #6: Antique Truck Sketch

The last thrifted art piece for the haul is a super neat sketch of an antique truck!

I found this one recently at one of my favorite thrift stores for only $4.00. Old things, no matter what it is, speak to me. Old trucks are especially fun. I just think old cars are made in such a handcrafted way and this truck is no exception.

vintage thrifted truck sketch

The wood frame, along with the matting around the print itself, are in amazing shape. I didn’t need to change a thing to make it fit on this small wall space in the office!

Truly, thrifting for affordable art collections is all about finding things that speak to you and having them blend seamlessly into your existing decor.

thrifted vintage truck sketch

Shop the Look: Thrifting for Affordable Art Collections

Closing Tidbits on Thrifting For Affordable Art Collections

Thrifting for affordable art collections is not only a sustainable and budget-friendly solution to decorating your walls but is also a great way to support local businesses.

By following the tips and ideas outlined in this post, you can curate a beautiful and meaningful art collection that best represents you and your home.

Remember, thrifting for vintage artwork is not about the price tag but the story and personal value behind each piece. So next time you’re on the hunt for some new artwork, why not give thrifting a try? Be encouraged to find what speaks to you, seeking to give new life to old things of the past.

signature from The Antiqued Journey

Leave me a comment! Do you like to thrift for art? What types of art do you gravitate towards? I love hearing from you!

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Click the red button in the left corner to PIN it and save for later!

vintage thrifted art collection

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.

Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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Other Thrift Posts to Enjoy

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How to Thrift for Vintage Books

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Thrifting in Florida

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Thrifted Copper Decor Ideas

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Hello I’m Rachel.

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique and vintage. Let’s journey together!

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