DIY: it’s been a popular abbreviation among thrifty crafters for quite some time. In our past blogs, we’ve given you more than a few different ideas for Do-It-Yourself projects you can create using objects from ThriftWorks!, like picture frames, silverware, even wedding decorations! This time around, let’s focus on a DIY success story.


Meet Meiko. This fuzzy feline belongs to Amy Jo Paul of St. Cloud. Her one-of-a-kind portrait (hanging on the wall) came from an upcycled thrift store print. The story of this unique work of art is just about as interesting as the painting itself.
“It’s something [my boyfriend] Chris came up with,” says Amy. “He saw it and realized it looked similar to my cat. He gave it to me for Christmas with the idea that I could paint the cat in the picture to look like Meiko! I think he secretly believes I’m a crazy cat lady.”

Cat Paintings

This painting is just one example of how to reinvent mass-produced prints. “Art in your home is so personal,” says Paul. Some may see it as taboo to paint over someone else’s art, but mass-produced art is a common occurrence in many stores and thrift shops. Reinventing them – as in Meiko’s case – is just one way you can take a thrifted object and make it your own.


In this painting, Amy explains, “I approached it by taking colors from another painting I have in my house and incorporated those colors into the painting. I made the wallpaper a mint-green color, brightened up the flowers with tints of red and yellow, and changed elements of the shelf to match my other decor.”
Cat looking at painting
To make the white cat in the painting look more like Meiko, Amy blended shades of gray with the existing white, then changed her eye color. “It only took about an hour to complete,” she says.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve done something like this,” says Amy. “I’ve used lots of different approaches. I’ve used a gel medium to create more texture on some art prints.”

Depending on your goal, this can be a good method to match your decor items and add an element to the print that makes it a personal work of art.

TIP: Amy used acrylic paint on this painting, which can be found nearly anywhere; craft stores,
big chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target – even the occasional thrift store (hint, hint).

Hopefully, Amy’s (and Meiko’s) one-of-a-kind picture has inspired you to create your own personal portrait. Stop by ThriftWorks! and see what you can find – you’ll never know what will inspire you!