Thrifting for old frames to love. The start of our home art gallery...

I recently moved back home from California to Oahu in late July with my husband, Danny. We're expecting our first child in October, and decided that home (around our families) would be the best place to raise our baby girl (her name is Julyiana!)  After searching high and low, my husband found us a cute and quaint place on Enchanted Lake in Kailua. We wake up to the beautiful light of sunrise and we watch the sunset behind the mountains every day. We never expected to live on the lake, but when the opportunity presented itself, we couldn't just walk away especially since the weeks prior had us feeling like it was going to be much harder for us to find our own place before Julyiana's birth.  We are fortunate and grateful for those who steered us and helped us along the way to get where we are today.

Since we've moved into our new home, my obsession with thrifting and bargain hunting has increased times a million. I love thrifting for clothing, especially with my twin sister (her taste in style is quite different from mine, but our interests are fairly alike).  But, now that Danny and I have our own place to furnish, organize, and decorate, I've moved on from clothing to other things... such as: wicker baskets for organizing, glass bowls, vases, and... PICTURE FRAMES. (You could say that I'm in my nesting phase of my pregnancy.)

I've probably visited the Salvation Army and Goodwill too many times to count in the past few weeks, finding woven baskets (because I just can't do plastic containers) for less than $3.50 and woven/wooden picture frames for less than $3.  Going every single day to these stores might sound a bit crazy and too excessive, but you never know what's being put on shelves! And at these shops, it's considered 'one-of-a-kind' finds.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

My most RECENT find was from two days ago. I went out to pick up a side-shelf from our friend, Cassandra, who was selling a bunch of things on Facebook.  As I was on my way to her house, I drove past St. Anthony's Thrift Store in Kailua (on Makawao Street.) What. I had not realized it existed (you won't find it on Yelp) and it's open to the public.  After I picked up the side-shelf, I made my way to the thrift store to take a peek, making sure I texted my husband to let him know what I was up to yet again.  His reaction to my uncontrollable need to visit this thrift store was, "Of COURSE you're there."

As I looked around, I saw more woven baskets that I imagined could be used for organizing office supplies (I eventually went back to buy five medium sized baskets which cost me less than half the price of a venti iced chai latte at Starbucks.) Then, my eyes rested on two pieces of wall art. I picked them up to inspect the frame, which was real wood and hand painted with a matte finish. $10 each (both frames were 22 3/4" x 26 3/4" in dimension). I figured that no one really wanted to buy them since the backing was stapled to the frame itself, making it much harder to replace the painting with a photograph or another piece of art.  The mat board within the frame could only fit an 8x11" piece; but a person could go to Ben Franklin for custom matting that would fit a larger piece.  I put the frames down and decided to take a day to think about it.

(I'm pretty sure my twin sister would love this artwork.)

After taking a day to really think about it, I couldn't resist. I had searched online, walked through multiple stores on Oahu, and visited other thrift stores looking for frames that I could fall in love with.  I didn't want to buy a brand new plain wooden frame, not because I couldn't afford it, but because it just didn't seem like a fit for our home.  Danny and I have furnished most of our home with 2nd hand furniture, and we are still waiting the arrival of some custom handmade artisan furniture from Bali.  I would say that the majority of the things we posses have some kind of story to go with it, it belonged to a friend of ours, or was gifted to us.

I went back the next day after to see if the frames were still available, and they were still there in their same spot begging me to take them home. I smiled and told the lady, "I'd like to buy those."  And while I handed her $22.25 for two large frames and five woven baskets, I stared at the butterfly brooches and pendants pinned to a piece of cardboard next to her office desk.  I took a mental note and decided I would eventually make my way back to pick some up for my nieces and maybe even to use in a photo shoot.

I had been looking for a wooden frame for an aerial photograph of Enchanted Lake, which my dad printed for us a few years back.  This frame, which ended up being Pier 1 according to a sticker on the back (the painting was by an artist named Martin Roberts from his Parisian Series), was just perfect. I took apart the backing and wire one staple at a time...

... and placed the photograph directly on the mat to cover the painting (I'll eventually replace this mat board with a new one that fits this 11x14" image. For now, this will do. In fact, the imperfections are fitting for this sepia-toned print.)

(Enchanted Lake, Kailua)

Since I don't own a staple gun, I used these really short and tiny nails at all four corners, which locked the thick cardstock backing into place.

Then, I used whatever screw I could find (ideally you would use a wood screw), to lock the wire back into place. Don't mind the scratches, it was a bit difficult trying to get the staples out here. (For a more refined look, you could replace the board with a brand new one. But, does anyone ever really see the back of frame?)

And just like that, an old frame made new! It's now hanging on our wall, and will be surrounded by other frames in all different sizes and styles.  This is actually the first image we put up in our new home.  It's a perfect start to our photography and art gallery wall. If this coastal white looking frame starts to bother me tho, I might just stain it a bit and change the matting; the ideas to customize something like this are endless.


Frames found at St. Anthony's Thrift Store, at the corner of Makawao St. & N Kalaheo Ave. in Kailua
Originally from Pier 1 Imports
Photograph is an 11x14" reprint from my dad @im_out_hiking