Thrift Store Score: Botanical Prints

Art is one of those wonderful things that can come from all kinds of sources. From preschool children’s art and happy painting accidents, to catalog tear sheets and old books. The possibilities of the latter option are what I’m excited to share with you today…


That big beautiful book of botanical images is something my mom and dad picked up at our favorite estate shop in town. The book cost only $22, and came chalk FULL of beautiful garden artwork just begging to be hung. Although the prints were meant to be viewed while flipping through the big coffee table book, my mom decided that the pages could be put to better use detached from the binding and hung behind glass on the wall.

So, with me on board to document the process and offer input when prompted, we began brainstorming locations for a set of framed botanicals. Ultimately, we decided on the formal living room above their couch. The existing painting is a family favorite (it HAS to be with 3 real live labs roaming around our feet at any given moment), but the piece was a little small for the wall space between the windows.



Down the painting came (to be relocated, as soon you’ll see), and out the big book of prints came so that we could choose the fateful 3. Our process was HIGHLY scientific (sarcasm) – Mom sat on the couch in the living room flipping the pages show-and-tell style, while I sat across the way judging the colors and shapes in their future environment. The possibilities seemed limitless, but we finally managed to come up with a pile of runner ups.




After carefully slicing our favorites from the book using a razor blade, we narrowed the choices down to our top 3 and then put them behind matted frames snagged from a local craft store for around $40 total.




The 3 prints fill the space much better than the lone painting did before, and the red/yellow/green color scheme picks up on the traditional accents throughout the rest of the space. They make a world of difference in fixing the proportions and add such lovely texture.




You’d be hard pressed to get more sophisticated than traditional framed floral paintings – The scripted type on the bottom of each piece really takes things up a notch too. You know I’m a stickler for modern pop art, but even I adore these and wish I had wall space for my own little collection.


So where did the pretty lab painting go? This consignment store gem simply shifted to the wall perpendicular to the new framed flowers, taking up the perfect amount of space between the front windows.



Before I leave you, this piece really deserves some close ups…In my art history classes in school, I was always drawn to paintings that had a bunch of shifting color. This portrait from far away is pretty standard, but from a foot away you can really see all of the variety. Sky blue, navy, emerald, rust, gray – They’re all there is this incredible sea of color that somehow translates into the shiny coat of a dog when seen as a whole. I love it. Could stare at it for hours.




Anyway, have you ever framed pages from a book before? Or do you find the idea of pulling pages out just horrific? I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you cringed at the idea of us removing the prints from the book, but our need for DIY-able, inexpensive art definitely won out in this particular case!

Now, please excuse me while I go gaze at the close ups of that painting again.


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