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


  • SusieQT 09.01.2013 at 12:56

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

  • annie and m 09.01.2013 at 13:10

    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!

  • Mosaicwench 09.01.2013 at 13:31

    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.

  • Mandy Beyeler 09.01.2013 at 13:33


  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos 09.01.2013 at 13:55

    I freaking LOVE this!

  • Vanessa 09.01.2013 at 13:56

    Love it and totally jealous…
    Well done!

  • Nancy@OwensOlivia 09.01.2013 at 14:05

    I love it! Great find!

  • Julia Konya 09.01.2013 at 14:16

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

  • 09.01.2013 at 14:26

    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!!

  • Christy Our Southern Home 09.01.2013 at 14:27

    It is awesome! What a great find!

  • wherelovemeetslife 09.01.2013 at 14:34

    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!!

  • Dixie Mom 09.01.2013 at 14:35

    Fan. It’s art.

  • Unknown 09.01.2013 at 14:39

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  • Maya 09.01.2013 at 14:44

    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.

  • Dharma 09.01.2013 at 14:51

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

  • Sarah 09.01.2013 at 15:35

    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! :)

  • DeeAnna 09.01.2013 at 15:37

    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!

  • artluvr 09.01.2013 at 15:45

    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).

  • Esther 09.01.2013 at 15:49


  • Nicole 09.01.2013 at 15:51

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

  • taidyeoriginal 09.01.2013 at 15:54

    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. :)

  • Jenn 09.01.2013 at 16:01

    Love it Mandi! Great job.

  • Christina 09.01.2013 at 16:01

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

  • Meg 09.01.2013 at 16:04

    That is GORGEOUS! I am totally envious.

  • Junque Rethunque 09.01.2013 at 16:05

    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. :)

  • Lynn 09.01.2013 at 16:10

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

  • Lindsay 09.01.2013 at 16:20


    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!

  • Jamie 09.01.2013 at 16:21

    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.

  • CMG 09.01.2013 at 16:27

    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 :)

  • Paul/Heather 09.01.2013 at 16:44

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

  • jennaandcalder 09.01.2013 at 17:08

    that looks so good!

  • Andrea Turner 09.01.2013 at 17:23

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

  • Ro Wieser 09.01.2013 at 17:35

    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.

  • Dear Emmeline 09.01.2013 at 17:50

    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!

  • Barbara 09.01.2013 at 18:00

    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.

  • Mekenzie @ 09.01.2013 at 18:12

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

  • Sheila 09.01.2013 at 18:40

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

  • Melanie 09.01.2013 at 18:42

    LOVE!! So jealous of your awesome find!

  • Craftivity Designs 09.01.2013 at 19:02

    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!

  • Karina Arshad, Kaza Design, LLC. 09.01.2013 at 19:20

    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!!

  • TJ 09.01.2013 at 20:07

    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!!!

  • Teresa 09.01.2013 at 20:09

    love it! it looks great!! (:

  • the Danosaur 09.01.2013 at 20:18

    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.)

  • Kathy@mishmashmom 09.01.2013 at 20:27

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

  • Jenn 10.01.2013 at 03:35

    Pure awesomeness!

  • Jen 10.01.2013 at 03:56

    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.

  • Suzanne and Nate 10.01.2013 at 05:32

    Love it! And the colors!

  • loreleibarrett 10.01.2013 at 08:17

    Stellar! I love it!

  • Jess Lonett 10.01.2013 at 13:18

    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!

  • Ragazzarte 10.01.2013 at 15:31

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

  • Homefire 10.01.2013 at 15:49

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

  • The Goddess Howe 10.01.2013 at 16:46

    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!

  • ira lee henson 10.01.2013 at 16:54

    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

  • Kay 10.01.2013 at 19:15

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

  • jackie jade 10.01.2013 at 20:22

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

  • VictoriaVM @ Frankfully 10.01.2013 at 23:37

    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.

  • Angela Giaco 11.01.2013 at 03:56

    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!

  • SimplePrettyThings 11.01.2013 at 14:01

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

  • TracieB 11.01.2013 at 18:30

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

  • derrickandlisadye 11.01.2013 at 18:40

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

  • derrickandlisadye 11.01.2013 at 18:40

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  • Jessica Robertson 11.01.2013 at 21:34

    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.

  • Kirsten 11.01.2013 at 23:03


  • Bob and Cindy :: Living Our Life 11.01.2013 at 23:27

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

  • Cindy * Daisies and Crazies 13.01.2013 at 23:12

    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!


  • Reenie 14.01.2013 at 21:52

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

  • jessica 15.01.2013 at 07:47

    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


  • Michele 15.01.2013 at 21:11

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

  • crystal 02.01.2014 at 22:01

    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!

  • Last Week’s Thrifting Treasures - Vintage Revivals 03.02.2014 at 16:55

    […] 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.  […]

  • Anne Alexander 21.06.2015 at 22:53

    Hey, I was amazed, and have to flip between the photos of your door way… cannot believe how much the blue pic changes the whole look… and you are so sweet to list the artist name…
    You have a eye for the Thrift Store buy…


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