Garage Sale Finds into Framed Art

K & I have a small obsession with maps.

We already have a map of Cape Cod Bay and Washington DC in our apartment.

So when I stumbled upon a copy of the Charts of the Illinois Waterway at a garage sale, I knew I had to go back and get it. K also told me I had to go back and get it.

garage sale1

It has maps of the Mississippi, the Chicago River, the lock system, and the canals that helped reverse the flow of the Chicago River.

K was thrilled with the purchase. We knew right away they would make great additions to our growing map collection.

The maps hung around for a few months until I finally got around to finding frames for them, even though we did not have much wall space left anymore.


We picked our favorite two: one of the waterways of the U.S. and one of the downtown portion of the Chicago River.


They look pretty good over the TV and am happy with the purchase and placement of them. It is also always a way better story when you can say you got something at a garage sale!


Revamping An Old-ish Frame

For college graduation (which is now, sadly, quite a few years ago), I gave K a special present.

We had met/bonded over cycling in the Indiana University Little 500, and during our senior year, K’s team placed in the top 5 out of 33 teams. It was a huge deal!

So I took his bike jersey he wore in the race (never even washed it), and got it framed with a little plaque underneath to commemorate it.

At the time of this gift, I was still in school, so not made of money. I went for the cheapest frame I could, which ended up being a nice glossy white. It was just fine for the time being.

The jersey and its white frame looked decent the next couple of years as it hung in K’s various bachelor pads. However, now that we live together and are trying to be adults, the gaudy white frame had to go.

For the past month since we have moved in, the jersey has been sitting on the floor because we had no idea what to do with it. It did not go with anything. Furthermore, I had the jersey professionally done, so I could not just swap out the frame.

We decided to go with my now tried and true method of fixing stuff: spray paint.

This project was going to be a little too big to accomplish on my fire escape, unlike my previous projects. Therefore, I hauled the jersey to the suburbs and painted it in my parent’s garage.

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I had just done this with our bathroom mirror, so I was a pro at taping up and prepping the frame.

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After letting it dry and cleaning up, I noticed I left a little something behind…Sorry Dad!

jersey frame3

Lesson learned: use a bigger drop cloth.

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Now the jersey looks 500000000x better!

Have you ever had a special piece that you loved, but it just did not fit with your decor? What did you do?