Garage Sale Cameo Upcycle into Dramatic Wall Art

How to Take Something Small and Upcycle it into Wall Art

Long story but I have two large unused IKEA frames hanging out in the basement and wanted something small that I could place inside the large frame instead of a picture to create a dramatic piece of wall art that was still black, but not too dark.

This month the Int’l bloggers are collaborating on pottery, so I these little pottery cameos fit right in.  As a bonus, I am working on adding black to our home decor so this upcycle and the idea for this upcycle had been rambling around in the back of my mind for a couple of months.  I am so excited to get it off my mind and onto my wall.

Upcycling the Cameos

You can update anything small you like for this idea, little metal ornaments quickly come to mind.  For these cameos the only thing wrong is the colour.

Garage sale upcycle into DIY Wall art.


Something small to upcycle

Coordinating paint, I used black and white fusion mineral paint but any paint is fine.

A small artists brush, and a damp rag.

A large deep frame, I used an IKEA Olunda frame.

The paint choices you use depends on the colours you want, you can paint the center ornament any colour you like and then make the frame match.  The best part of this IKEA frame was it’s already black and comes with white matting.

The first thing to fix was the green shadows.  Start by dry brushing black paint over the dark green shadows and then wiping off any excess that is in the wrong place.  I did the gold frame in black but had to redo it, I would hold off on painting the frame until the center is finished.

To cover up the cream and lighten the black, paint the center in very light dry strokes.  Dip the end of your arts brush in the white paint and remove most of the paint onto a rag.  Apply the white paint over the black shadows until it becomes a muted grey. Keep a damp rag nearby to wipe off any paint that totally covers up the black shadowing.   Once the grey was the way I wanted I finished by adding strokes of white over the existing cream. It was surprisingly easy to do, I just made sure to remove most of the paint off of my artists brush before touching the cameo.

DIY upcycle after the white paint is applied.

Let the cameo dry,  you may want to do a second coat for touch-ups.  In the above picture you can see where once it dried  I needed to add black to the frame.

Using a large frame to group small items together for DIY Wall Art

The DIY Wall Art Frame

The Olunda Ikea frame hung out in our storage room for a year. I had bought the frames and ordered some prints online, long story, got ripped off, leaving me with two empty Olunda frames.

When I first opened the frame I was shocked to find out that IKEA replaced the glass that used to be in these frames with flexible plastic.  Originally I was not impressed, but it turned out to be a total blessing.  Because of the plastic, the thicker cameos fit in the regular picture frame easily.  It meant I didn’t have to work at converting it into a shadow box.  Yeah!

To mount the small piece the first step is to place them by eye to where I wanted them.

Mounting upcycled Cameos onto an IKEA frame background for DIY Wall Art

Making sure both cameos were aligned and even.  Once sure  I traced out the outline of the cameo and remeasured.

How to center objects within a larger frame.

I then placed a layer of E6000 glue within the trace marks, placed the cameos on top and then left it for 24 hours.

Tutorial on using Small items to make a large piece of wall art

I then placed the frame over the backing and closed the backing just like it was a picture.

This month two other bloggers have contributed to our link up.  I am sure you will enjoy spin on pottery crafting.

International Bloggers club graphic
Pottery Craft how to turn terracotta pots into tree planters

Terracotta Tree Pots from Michelle at Our Crafty Mix

DIY Farmhouse Vase Makeover

Old Pottery Vase from Sam at Raggedy Bits

DIY wall artb idea with two black and white upcycled cameos on a frame.


  1. Your creativity abounds and never ceases to amaze me! This is a beautiful update to these cameos – a fresh and modern approach on a classic! These turned out beautifully, and will no doubt bring you delight for a long time!

  2. What a great find. I really like the black & white colors too. Painting the frames must have been hard?

  3. I’m loving the black and white contrast, Leanna! The cameos are so pretty paired together in a large frame. Very pretty!

  4. Firstly what a fabulous garage sale find!!! And you sure have given them a beautiful new lease on life! Love the black frames too!

  5. Simply gorgeous Leanna. I’m a HUGE fan of wall art that’s different and unique and these cameos fit the bill perfectly. The effect is so subtle but it draws the eye in and makes you want to get a closer look. Really lovely

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