Restoration Hardware-Inspired Framed Antique Art for $3.20

When you choose to be a one income family, for the sake of your family, you learn a lot about being thrifty.
Fortunately for me, I can truthfully say that has always been my nature anyway.  Practical.  Thrifty.  Boring.  It’s true.  One year, when I was 12, I gave my mother rubber gardening shoes for Christmas because the price was right, and it was so very, well…practical.  I thought she could use some shoes.
Then I accidentally told her what her gift was. I said I needed a box to wrap the shoes in.  Then I cried.  And she kinda laughed, in a sympathetic kind of way.

So anyway.
I’m also a very visual person.  I love to decorate.  On a shoestring budget.  One of my favorite things to do is visit thrift stores and antique stores.  You can find the neatest things at those places…
Like these…


I love beautiful, old things.  They have a story.  So, of course, these framed prints caught my eye from across the room at the local ReStore.  I also loved the size, shape, and color of the wood frames.
I had been looking for something to go on either side of the china hutch.  I knew I would use the frames at least.
They were marked $2.00 each.



But.  They were 20% off.
Even better.
When I got them home and showed my girls (trust me,my son wasn’t interested…), they said Don’t cover them up!  And the more I looked at them, the more I loved them.
Upon close inspection, I realized these were actual magazine pages from an issue of Harper’s Bazar…

dated December 5, 1885.
And we are currently studying that era in history.
Instant connection.  I love when that happens.
We had so much fun reading the ads on these pages…
including the back when I took them apart.


It really shows what was relevant to people at that time.
So much better than just reading about history in a textbook!
To freshen up my vintage wall art, I decided to paint the mattes.  I used a can of white semigloss and a sponge brush, because that’s what I had on hand.
The pages were so well-attatched to the mattes, that I didn’t want to disturb them, so I covered the pages with scrap paper and painted the mattes.  I used three coats of white (allowing for drying in between coats) because I wanted the mattes to look crisp and new, since the prints are aged and the frames are rustic.  I like contrast.
I reassembled everything, and that was it.
So for a grand total of $3.20, I bought framed, matted, pieces of antique wall art…
and a history lesson to boot.
I hung them in the dining room.
I think they’ll make nice dinner conversation and have every guest squinting to read all the fine print.
For $3.20.  Take that, Restoration Hardware. 😉
Just kidding, RH.  Thanks for the inspiration.  🙂
If you’re feeling inspired, feel free to pin some pics and leave a comment!

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  1. Deb Foglia | 8th Mar 15

    Looks so great! Love vintage photos…I've been looking for some for my dining room as well.


  2. The Long Awaited Home | 8th Mar 15

    Wow, what a great find! I'm with your girls, don't cover them up!

  3. Lynn Riggs Driver | 9th Mar 15

    Thanks, Deb! Maybe you'll find some at a local thrift store or flea market. Good luck! 🙂

  4. Lynn Riggs Driver | 9th Mar 15

    Yes, I am loving them! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  5. Karen @ karensuponthehill | 10th Mar 15

    Those look so great! I love unique wall art!
    I would love for you to stop by my blog and join our Something to Talk About link party!
    We are open Monday-Thursday.
    Have. A great day!

  6. Lynn Riggs Driver | 10th Mar 15

    Thank you, Karen. I will do that! 😉

  7. Karen @ karensuponthehill | 15th Mar 15

    Thanks so much for linking up! I look forward to what you have to share this week!

  8. Dagmar | 2nd Jun 15

    Please add a link to my Thrifty & Vintage Finds post so I can feature this amazing find! I love how you updated them. I would have bought them as well.

  9. Dagmar | 2nd Jun 15

    I featured this post, thanks for linking up! I saw that you mentioned the party in another post you linked up – thanks so much!

  10. Lynn Riggs Driver | 3rd Jun 15

    That's so nice, Dagmar! Thanks! 🙂

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