How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art via


There’s nothing I love more than scooping up something that someone else doesn’t want anymore….and making it my own.  My friend was selling this HUGE dinosaur at her yard sale and I couldn’t resist.  I knew I’d either paint over it to reuse the canvas….or maybe change it up a bit.  Mr. LBB loved the dino but Boo thought it was too scary.  So I changed him up a bit to be more of a pop art dino!

Here’s the before:

thrift store painting BEFORE via #upcycled


The first thing I did was use a pencil and some acrylic paint to add polka dots….or pixelate the dino:

upcycled paintings via


I didn’t even finish full areas…..just “dotted” until my hand got tired:

The art of recycling, reusing, repurposing & upcycling via


Pink is almost the opposite of green and brown right? I like opposites.


Then I used tape and paper to mask off the areas of the painting that I wanted to keep and went crazy with spraypaint and stencils:

revamp thrift store wall art via

I love using the “reverse” side of the stencil once it’s laden with paint:

thrift store art finds via

I let Mr. LBB and Boo pull off the paper and tape to reveal the dinosaur:

We thought he needed some bling on those teeth so I added some liquid gold leaf.  Think of it as a “dino-grill”:

diy upcycled art via


The finished “pop art” dinosaur:

Making Recycled art via


Here’s a race horse painting that I picked up at a thrift store.  It was way too southwestern-themed for me…..but I loved the color of that blue horse in the front!

Things made from recycled paintings via


The first thing I did was to make it more of a modern gallery painting by attaching 1.5″ lattice board to the side:

how to make a gallery canvas via

Then I carefully taped off the horses (doesn’t have to be perfect!):

masking off a thrift store painting via

I layered stencils and bubble wrap prints over top the tape to give the effect of 3-D. Not sure where this one will go yet in the house:

things I found at the thrift store to revamp via

The dinosaur is in my office for right now: (you can make that Coca Cola sign too…..tutorial is here)

upcycled thrift store art via

Now I hope you’ll never pass by a thrift store painting without thinking “maybe I can change that up a bit!”



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  1. Del Marie Riley says

    Awesome idea. I’m a thrift store junkie and yet, I’ve not thought about doing this. You can bet I will now. Lol. Thanks so much for opening my eyes. Yahoo!!

  2. Jackie says

    My daughter saw this and wants one….sadly I do a terrible job at trying to copy your art which I learned when I tried to do an aurora button collage for Christmas!!!! I think if I do anymore I can start a blog called!!!!!!

  3. Jawan says

    I have already left a message on my favorite local thrift store’s Facebook page to be prepared for my visit this week….looking for art!

  4. shari says

    Not sure I would classify either technically as “pop art” 😉 BUT, you did SUCH an amazing job!!! Especially with that horse painting!!!!! I didn’t think that one could actually be saves looking at the before pic 😉 But of course you did it!! xox

  5. says

    OH my GOSH!!! These are AMAZING transformations! Totally something I would not think twice about in their original state.My first impulse would be to just use the canvas for something different. but…… I just LOVE this look. Now I gotta hit those thrift stores again. :)

  6. Kristin Appel says

    First of all, I LOVE all of these. But the horses one is AMAZING!!! They seem to fly right out of the canvas after your redo. Can you be more specific about how you did it? I am definitely going to try and do the dinosaur one for my son’s room. :)