15 Thrifted Makeover: Mini Abstract Art #SwapItLikeItsHot

You guys, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for today’s post. It has been far too long since I've posted anything tutorial-wise so I'm hoping that this post will curb some appetite.

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Before & After | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

You see, I've been following this super rad challenge called #swapitlikeitshot since its inception back in June when a good friend of mine, Dena from Hearts and Sharts told me all about it. Basically, a bunch of bloggers virtually get together, hit up their thrift stores, and send their blog partner a couple goodies to revamp. Then, we all repurpose those fun finds, come together and swoon over the clever transformations.

Swap It Like It’s Hot, bloggers sending thrited treasures to revamp | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

One of my favorite makeovers to date was this bird house turned herringbone mini-shelf from the super talented Alice from Thoughts from Alice.

Flea Markets, Thrift Stores, Estate Sales, and the like are beyond up my alley (hello, #thriftscorethursday much?!). So imagine my surprise when I opened and email from the hosts Charlotte of Ciburbanity and Jessica of Gourley Girl and Guy inviting me to play along. I may or may not have attempted some outrageously awkward adult cartwheel, which are so much easier when you’re young.

If you follow along in Instagram, you may recall a peek of this sweet thrift score package I received from my BFF/Thriftscorethursday/thrift sister from another mister Brynne over at The Gathered Home. Here’s another look:
Swap It Like It’s Hot: The Gathered Home’s Finds Before | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

The mini artwork, with those gawgeous gold ornate frames, called to me.

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Before | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

 I’ve been itching to create some home-made artwork for some time now and really wanted to experiment on patterns, sizes, shapes, mediums, and styles keeping black and white as the only consistency. And in order to make these mini-masterpieces fit my style, these were my weapons of choice:

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Supplies | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

  • Ruler
  • Cardstock (I used 80lb)
  • Scissors/Paper Cutter
  • Mini Washi Tape (mine was from Amy Tangerine’s line)
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Thin Sharpie
  • Printer
Painting over these sweet little portraits would personally sadden me. So I took the whole, no harm no foul route by setting aside the originals and replacing with thick cardstock to fill the frames. These paintings had the wire staple looking guys, nothing a flat head screw driver couldn’t pry open:

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings, Remove the back | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

However, if you’re pressed for time or lazy, I’m not here to judge. Simply measure the old painting, and cut your paper to size or close your eyes and paint over that sucker.

Here’s the part where you get creative. These are the methods/styles I chose:

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Abstract | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Abstract: I practiced on a few pieces of regular printer paper until I found the right “look.” I fell for the one where I dabbed the paint brush in paint and painted a straight-ish line keeping the natural brush lines. Imperfections are your friend here dots, running out of paint, adding a little swoosh.

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Curve Stitching | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Curve stitching: Remember middle-school geometry?! Well you’ll be putting it to use with this guy. Simply measure the dimensions of each side of your paper. Then either pick a number of ‘points’ or find a number that’s easily divisible by your dimensions. Remember the more points the tighter the curve. More lines can get messier so I would suggest a super fine sharpie (or other drawing tool).

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Bold Lines | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Striped Graphic Lines: Since these paintings were pretty small, I used mini/narrow washi-tape to tape off random striped sections. Then slap some paint on, wait a few minutes and peel away. Touch up if necessary. They’re not equidistant, and there’s some imperfections but like it that way.

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings Spiral Triangle | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Spiral Triangle: I whipped this ditty up in Photoshop inspired by this snippet of video with an ever so light edge around the image to aid during the cutting process. Then simply converted to PDF, and carefully cut to size.

Swap It Like It’s Hot: Mini Gold Paintings After | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

We plan to add these fun mini-masterpieces to our Skylark Travel Trailer once we actually have walls this spring.

Now it’s time to head over to Ciburbanity to see what Charlotte did with the items I sent her:

Swap It Like It’s Hot: My Gifted Treasures | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

I hope you enjoyed these makeovers as much as I did!!


  1. Love it! You can never go wrong with abstract art and awesome gold frames ;)

  2. oh i love these, trisha! the look amazing!!! love the combo of the black and white modern with vintage gold!

  3. Very cool!! Love the different styles of art you created, and how they pair with the ornate frames :)

  4. I'm OBSESSED with curve stitching!! Love the idea of doing it a decorative frame... I have SO many from flea markets that I might have to copy cat you!! Thanks for being part of the gang!!

  5. Sheesh, you are so talented. Love the artwork you created. Looks so good with the gold frames.

  6. Girl, this is awesome!!! I was so secretly hoping you would do something like this - I could picture modern art inside the super vintage frames and you knocked it out of the park! Love these!

  7. Great job! I love the different looks you gave them all!

  8. Love those old frames! You gave them an updated, contemporary look!!

  9. Such a great contrast with the old style frames and the contemporary art!

  10. I just absolutely LOVE what your came up with! They pair so well with the ornate gold friends. So cool!

  11. These came out awesome! They'll be one of my features at On Display Thursday tomorrow :) Thanks for sharing them!

  12. Love the gold frames. Love how you put your cool, unique spin on them. Amazing transformation!

  13. Love these! They are bright and chic, totally like you :-) Great use of those awesome frames.


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