DIY portrait makeover

I am loving the trend of hanging vintage painted portraits in your home. I think it adds warmth and personality. And I love to make up a bag story for the person captured–who were they? What were they passionate about? 

I stopped by a local thrift store the other day and found this watercolor portrait of a sailor. I liked the painting–it caught my eye, but the frame looked modern and didn’t match our decor. The painting was only $15 so I decided it was worth trying to do a DIY project and switch out the frame. 

He looks kind and wise, don’t you think? Like he’s lived a good life and has stories to tell. 

At the same thrift store I found this framed floral art {above} for $5. It’s not my style but I like the frame. Perhaps this could be a new home for our watercolor sailor?

I pulled dismantled the frame and took off the mat {the painting was taped to the mat} and I loved the painting even more once it was outside the frame with rough edges. 

I took the floral art out of the gold frame and laid it over the sailor. Yep, it would fit just fine.

I laid the glass from the gold frame over the sailor and drew around the perimeter with a pencil. Then cut the painting to size. I cleaned the glass well and reassembled the watercolor sailor in his new gold frame. 

He’s hanging out in our guest room with a plant, some books, a basket and thrifted vase. I love the way this project turned out. It would be so fun to hang more portraits on this wall. I’ll have to keep a look out as I browse thrift stores!

Thrifting and decorating friends, what are you on the hunt for these days? Would you hang a vintage portrait in your home?


  1. So awesome! You did a great job. Looks so nice and unique. I think it is a perfect gift for someone you love. I am going to make something similar for my grandma too 🙂 Thank you for such a cool idea.

  2. I was researching cross body tote bags. I am working on a new patchwork design to share with some ladies I have been hosting a workshop with. The workshop is at a transitional housing program for homeless mothers on the journey to self sufficiency. I hope to inspire them to embrace heritage crafts as a means to find fulfillment and earn an income to provide for their children. I found your website here, became interested and landed on this blog post. I know that sailor! He looks exactly like a sailor in my town who we bought a sailboat from several years ago. If it is our friend Peter, yes he is very wise has sailed around the world several times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *