Nesting With a Thrift Shop Frame — A Before & After

by Katy on July 18, 2013 · 11 comments

I get occasional flak for the apparent frequency of my thrift shopping.

“How can you call yourself a Non-Consumer if you’re constantly shopping?”

But there is a method to my madness. I’m constantly keeping an eye out for certain objects. This may be for gift giving, (such as this adorable miniaturized LL Bean tote bag from last week) or simply items I need or want. And then of course, I occasionally come across underpriced items that I turn for a profit. (This last practice completely subsidizes all my thrifting.)

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a 24″ square frame since last May, when I unearthed a matted but unframed collotype art photograph in my father’s attic. This photo was taken in 1992 by my brawny macho husband Dale, whose first college degree was a Bachelor in Fine Arts in photography. Sadly, the white mat was smudged and dirty looking, and the photo itself was coated in dust.

Needless to say, I rescued it.

I really wanted to get it properly framed, but that didn’t mean I had plans to spend $200 on a custom frame.

So I kept an eye out.

And when I spied what looked to be a 24″ square frame at the Goodwill Outlet for the low, low price of $3, I knew to snap it up. Sure, the frame itself was gunmetal grey, but a small amount of black spray paint fixed that issue.

frames before

Unfortunately, the frame turned out to be 23″ X 22-1/2″, but that’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed. (We own a mat cutter which has come in surprisingly handy over the years.) I was able to remove all the mat smudges using a non-grit white eraser, and I cleaned the photo itself with a feather duster. A few coats of black spray paint and blammo, my poor husband’s photograph was finally and properly framed!

Nest Photo

The photograph is currently hanging at the top of our staircase, so we can see it every time we walk up to our bedrooms. I have always loved this photograph, how the nest has a etherial luminescence. And I love how my manly husband has this secret fine art background that no one would ever guess.

Staircase photo

And I saved the numbered floral print and mat for my next garage sale. My plan is to get $3 for it. 😉

Have you discovered the wonder that are thrift shop frames? Please share your stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

megyn July 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

I’m pretty sure you stole my cat in that last picture. If I could post it, I’d show you how our cats are practically twins. Hopefully yours is not as crazy as mine 😉


Katy July 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

This cat is a ravenous pig, and has no interest in attention from us lowly humans. Luckily, her sister is a sweetheart!



Jacqueline July 18, 2013 at 10:05 am

That photograph made me clutch my heart! Beautiful! You did a great job with the new-to-you frame and I love where it is located in your home.


Katy July 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

Thank you! I’ll pass that along to my husband. 🙂



Joanna July 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Your husband’s work is beautiful…but kitty stole the show!


Sharon July 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Smart and beautiful. Congrats!


Rebecca B. A. R. July 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

I always keep one of the free Ikea paper measuring tapes folded up in my wallet for time when I need to measure things at a thrift store. We have one really nice thrift store close to where I live, but they don’t have any dressing rooms. This way, I can measure pants there, and compare them to my ‘favorite pants’ measurements that I keep with me in my wallet all the time, too!


Monica July 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

Great idea!


Sheri July 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm

The picture looks great! Don’t you love it when things work out? 🙂


Jessica Wolk-Stanley July 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

That looks great! I have to unearth some of my Montgomery originals soon.


Katy July 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

We are going to do sooooo much thrifting when you get to town!



Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: