Thrift Store Art Warms My Heart: Crewel Folk Art

Can we please have a moment of silence?  Someone’s sweet granny’s house was cleaned out and donated to my local thrift store.  They had NO IDEA the awesome treasures they were giving away…

(insert moment)


I happily grabbed 3 different pieces of art and I cant wait to share with you how I transformed them to fit in with my decor.

So today we are starting with my favorite.  $3.00 ladies and gentleman.  $3.00.  I cant even imagine the TIME that went into this piece.  So thank you Doris Parker.  You have made my week.

Thrift Store Crewel Folk Art

As you can see in the larger picture above the cobalt blue velvet is in rough shape (especially around the edges), and the frame wasnt quite was I was looking for.  Sometimes its good when things look like they came from the Thrift Store and sometimes notsomuch.  This was the case of the latter.

I have had a picture hanging in my hallway since the overhaul and while I LOVE the frame and the mat the trellis pattern is a little to mass producey for me.

How To Case In an Entry

Lots of things have almost lived there but nothing was the perfect renter.  Until Miss Parkers art moved in to the neighborhood.

Vintage Thrift Store Crewel Folk Art @ Vintage Revivals

I VERY carefully removed it from the old frame (it was professionally mounted and had about 100000 teeny nails holding it in.) which was fun.

Thrift Store Crewel Art @ Vintage Revivals-3

I decided which part of the design was my favorite (that cute bird) and carefully folded it around the board (I didnt cut it down, just folded the unused design into the back) taped it in and tada!  Instant art!

Thrift Store Crewel Art @ Vintage Revivals-6

Thrift Store Crewel Art @ Vintage Revivals-8

I cant even begin to understand how dear Doris did these flowers:

Thrift Store Crewel Art @ Vintage Revivals-1-3

So what do you think, are you a fan of folk art or does it freak you out?

Love Your Guts



  1. Oh I love that! I have one of a fish which is very similar. It’s handmade but still with a really modern vibe.

  2. Wow, I love this! It looks great in that space. I never ever would have thought to reframe a piece of already framed art like that. You’re awesome!

  3. As it came from the thrift store, no I didn’t care for it. With a fresh new frame and asymmetrical framing solution, I LOVE IT. Nicely done.

  4. wowza!!

  5. I freaking LOVE this!

  6. Love it and totally jealous…
    Well done!

  7. I love it! Great find!

  8. OMG I love this! What a find and so unique!

  9. that looks so great in the new frame, focused in on the best part. I don’t think I would have had the vision to see through that one!!

  10. It is awesome! What a great find!

  11. Love it!! I love the colors.
    I also lucked out and found some art like this at Goodwill, I just haven’t hung it yet…. this year for sure!!

  12. Fan. It’s art.

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  14. Beautiful! The frame & everything together is just perfect…vintage modern & lovely ♥

    I have moments like that a lot, where I feel this sense of gratitude for the former owner, whomever and wherever they are.
    Like last week, when I bought a huge lot of vintage sewing supplies at an estate sale, I had a little moment too and sent up a thank you to the lady who clearly had spent a lifetime gathering and collecting that collection that I now get to enjoy. I know, I’m a bit of a sap.

  15. Mandi – I love when things so lovingly made get rescued like this. Nice job Doris.

  16. You are awesome!

    Nope, I hated it. But re-framed it looks awesome!! We have a ton of stuff like this from my late grandmother. Couldn’t bear to part with it, couldn’t bear to hang it in my home.

    thanks for the inspiration! I will be looking at her pieces with a new eye! :)

  17. Love. Isn’t it the best when you find something in the thrift store that might be a little TOO much, but when you get it home it’s perfect. You scored! Doris is happy!

  18. As one of your few (only??) readers/commenters who is old enough to actually be your grandmother, I did a bunch of crewel pieces back in the day, and love the modern interpretation you’ve given this piece. As for how Doris did the featured flowers, it is actually a very easy stitch called a spider stitch (for obvious reasons).


  20. it looks awesome! i love the colors and of course the cute bird!

  21. I love this so much. You have paid a great honor to Ms Parker for displaying her work and her name for us to see. She did a beautiful job and you paid made a beautiful homage. :)

  22. Love it Mandi! Great job.

  23. It really needed that modern frame! The blue color is so beautiful.

  24. That is GORGEOUS! I am totally envious.

  25. LOVE! I love that you were brave enough to fold it over – I would have wanted to figure out a way to show the whole piece, but it’s obviously not necessary. I love picking up art in thrift stores too… I’m always impressed by some amateur pieces, and wonder why someone didn’t love them after those folks were gone. My gain. :)

  26. LONG LIVE DORIS PARKER’S ART!!! Way to go Mandi. (to answer your question I-heart-folk-art!)


    Those flowers are a spiderweb stitch. I took a Crewel class last year (we have such cool craft opportunities in Austin) and I feel in love. It reminds me that I need to get back to that pillow I haven’t finished yet!

  28. I love it. It is such a beautiful piece. I am amazed how updated it looks with a mat and modern frame. You have such a great eye for diamonds in the rough. I have 2 little cross stitched mice art that I found for my daughters room. I like them as is but now I may try to reframe them for a more clean look. Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. So so so so SOO good!! Love it and am inspired to find my own folk art salvage and give it new life! Great job Mandi :)

  30. its awesome! Doris, if you are alive, you are awesome too!

  31. that looks so good!

  32. I love what you did with the piece,it really brightens up the space.

  33. This is just beautiful. also did you relalize the doily on the picture is hand crocheted. I know the pattern. I have dollies like that.
    I have gotten many pieces of hand work at the thrift store at a great price to use the frames to frame the things my mother in law made.
    I always kept what has come out of them to reuse . I do this kind of work and know the time that was spent to make the priceless works of art.

  34. I love crewel work. I picked up a pick floral one at a antique store that have a more modern feel to the design for my daughter’s room. I’ve been on the lookout for more because I’d love to do a gallery wall of ebroidered/crewel work art!

  35. I don’t always fall in love with them right away, but your reframing made such a difference! I’ll have to start thinking of that when I look at pieces like this. Beautiful piece of someone’s history.

  36. Way to go Doris Parker. This is AMAZING. The colors are so vibrant. Like, this is completely stunning. I love thrift store art.

  37. I love it. I love your modern take on this vintage piece. I will now keep a look out. Thanks for the inspiration.

  38. LOVE!! So jealous of your awesome find!

  39. I love folk art! And you inspired me with that glass bottle/twisty branch combined with the art. I have a bottle with branches against a plain wall, but it looks pretty boring. Your version looks great with the colorful art behind it!

  40. I don’t want to assume that Doris is now in a better place, but if she is, I am sure she is looking down at you and smiling for not only appreciating her work, but for sharing it with us! Thanks Mandy! Great Job!!

  41. I love it! I especially love that it isn’t mass produced. It is real art (versus….. I need something that is this size and this color to fit this spot = not art). Wonderful!!!

  42. love it! it looks great!! (:

  43. I love it. I never would have reimagined it like that though. How do you do it? Any tips for catching the vision? (Like seeing something sort of hideous at the thrift store and then making it beautiful in your mind.)

  44. So pretty. I found some crewel work at a yard sale once, took it home, and made it a pillow front. Yours is beautiful!

  45. Pure awesomeness!

  46. This is one of your many posts that makes me wish you were my neighbor and could go thrifting with me because I just don’t have the kind of vision to look at stuff and see the potential it has to be awesome.

  47. Love it! And the colors!

  48. Stellar! I love it!

  49. i really love how putting it in that frame makes it so much more updated with out losing the folk-art look! the way it’s cropped down into the square really makes it pop!

  50. LOVE it! the bird is adorable and the flowers are gorgeous! Good score, and nicely re-envisioned!

  51. You are an artist and so is Doris Parker!!! Kudos to you both!!

  52. Wow! I feel like I am saying the same thing as all the other commenters, but what an awesome talent you have to see the potential. I probably would have kept walking past that piece, but you saw the beauty in it and re-imagined it for a whole new look. And I love that you had such an appreciation for the original artist’s effort. Bravo!

  53. No, I absolutely love it!!!!! It doeant freak me out at all, I actually feel the opposite. something handmade that one family didn’t want can find a new owner. it may just be the anthropology minor in me talking, but I love things w history!!! And I would have never thought to just crop the piece-that’s brilliant!!! And also something to remember when ur looking ay crusty old goodwill finds!! Lol

  54. How nice that Doris Irene Parker lives on through her art.
    – Another lover of things with history

  55. what a find! it is a little freaky but i love it. i would totally have something like this in my house!

  56. I love the way you reframed it! It looks totally different now. I need to think outside the box (frame!,) like you did, more often.

  57. I absolutely love what you have done with it! It was already a unique piece but you have just made it so beautifully framed and displayed that it makes the piece so much more special!

  58. That is cute! Good score. I need to go thrifting so bad.

  59. LOVE IT! to the Thrift Store to find some! Fingers crossed!

  60. Love the art but love the plank wall even more. The diagonal is AWESOME!!! I love your blog!

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  62. Omg, I want to go to my local Value Village right now but I can’t! I’m at work, suckish! In my family I have been given the nickname “granny style” because of my love of shabby chic and folk art aka needle points. By the way I am not a grandmother nor anywhere near old enough to be one. They just don’t understand me. I feel better after reading all these comments that other people love this type of thing too. I love the way you revamped the artwork and feel inspired.


  64. that color just POPS! And you cropped it perfectly. And I am glad you didn’t cut it off.

  65. Even though I did plenty of counted cross stitch and crewel when I was a kiddo, I pretty much disliked this find. UNTIL you worked your magic on it. Doris & Mandi FTW!


  66. WOW!! I really love it in the new frame and where you hung it. I’ll have to keep my eyes open :)

  67. Gosh, your hallway is my absolute favorite!!! What talent! I’m now going to revisit my thrift store…imagine the possibilities!

    Thanks for the great inspiration


  68. I admit it, in its original form I was not a fan. But cropped and in a new frame….wow! Love it!

  69. I’m glad you DIDN’T cut the design or i was going to scold you!!! But I know you better than that. You wouldn’t dare destroy this masterpiece!


  1. […] Thrift Store Art is my favorite kind.  It just makes me SO happy!  Last year I even did a series on it called Thrift Store Art Warms My Heart.  […]

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