Monday, July 15, 2013

Don't pay retail! Look for these 5 things in a THRIFT SHOP!

Ohhhh, was it ever hard for me to limit this list to JUST 5 items.....
 I personally look for about 30 different things each time I go into a thrift store...
But these are my favorite home decor items that I find are almost always cheaper than paying retail and usually quite plentiful.


Whether you are redecorating a room or just freshening it up a bit a little money goes a long way in the lighting department of a thrift store.  Look for styles that are timeless - even if it's an ugly old brass lamp from the 80's - and give it a fresh coat of spray paint.  

Lamp shades are relatively inexpensive compared to buying a whole new lamp - and to save even more money, use fabric that matches your decor and cover the old lampshade that came with the lamp.  Simply use spray adhesive to attach the new fabric. 

And don't be intimidated by an old lamp with sketchy wiring.  You can buy a rewiring kit at a home improvement store for less than $10 and switch it out quickly with a screwdriver.  If I can do this, anyone can, trust me!




Picture frames, mirrors and framed art is quite often found in abundance in thrift stores.  From ornate vintage framed art to dollar store metal frames and everything in between - look here first before buying new.  Again, a little spray paint can go a long way to update the look of a frame or mirror.  Look for thick wooden frames that can be painted to match your home decor for a fraction of the cost of retail.

Here's a frame that I purchased in a thrift shop and recently upcycled into a cool tray for my dining table.  You can read about the UPcycle, here .





Single chairs are often times plentiful in thrift shops, sometimes you can find them in pairs - such as these two cuties that followed me home the other day for $6.99 each.

As long as the chair is sturdy, look past the color, paint and most importantly fabric seats.  These kind of chairs are easily transformed by unscrewing the seat from the frame, recovering with material of your choice and stapling the new fabric in place.  While you have the seat unscrewed, give the wood a fresh coat of paint, reattach the seat and
you're done! 

 Look how great this one turned out!  I painted this with homemade white chalk paint, lightly distressed it and then hand waxed it.  Then I covered the seat with this amazing fabric that I found at JoAnnes.  Perfect fit for my dining area!       Look around your house, there's got to be a corner somewhere that you can add an extra chair or two!!! 





 Yes, everyone knows that dishes are easy to find in thrift stores, but it's either hard to get a complete set (which most of us want!) or let's face it some are just plain ugly!     I like scouring these aisles,  however,  for the unusual.  Yesterday at Goodwill I ran across this ceramic Monopoly serving platter for $6.99.  How fun would this be for game night snacks?  I didn't buy it because I really don't have the room to store any more platters, but I loved it!

I did not hesitate to bring home this lovely Haeger leaf shaped bowl for $4.99, however.  I keep it on my bathroom counter to hold jewelry.  Isn't it sweet?

For this final category - you almost ALWAYS have to be able to look beyond the face value of the furniture.  As long as an item is solid wood and has great lines, you really can't go wrong!  My favorite finds have always been dressers and china cabinets.  Just look what a fresh coat of paint can do to update a well made, solid wood piece!  You can read about this before and after project here.

What do you look for when you're thrift store shopping? 

Linkin up to these parties:


  1. My top FAVS to shop for too. We should go shopping together! Blessings to you, Patti

    1. YES!!! I love thrifting with people who really "get it"! lol!!

      Thanks for stopping by...
      Suzie @ Dorothy Sue & Millie B's too

  2. Indeed it would be hard to settle on just 5 things! Most time I thrift, I don't know what I'll come home with LOL! Your list does cover some great items to hunt for and much less expensive then "new" ~ Do people really buy new anymore heheh!! Visiting from Linda's at Coastal Charm :) Judi

  3. Yep, all those are great things to look out for at the thrift store, especially the lamps and frames, but I look at curtains as well, partly to cover windows of course :), but also because you can get some really good fabric for much less than you'd pay at a fabric store

  4. I agree with your choices, plus I look for fabric and pieces made with awesome fabrics that I can repurpose! Lately I have picked up some great yardage at my local Goodwill for only 99 cents each. Most pieces are at least a hard, many are more. Feel free to stop by Mollykid Studios and check out some of my projects if you would like :)

    1. Great tip Molly! My daughter picks up fabric there and has made me a couple of awesome pillows!

  5. Great tips! I especially love looking for picture frames I can redo with chalk paint. They're so cheap at thrift shops!

  6. Good ideas! I always feel a little lost looking around the thrift shops. Thanks for linking up at Whatever Goes Wednesday last week. This was the most viewed link, so we'll be featuring it over at tomorrow's party! Congrats :) We hope you'll come join the party again!!!

  7. We always look for bed linen and other large items of clothing (esp denim!!) for their fabric potential... even when we're not sure what we will be doing with it! xx

  8. Dishes are my favorite things to look for in Thrift Stores. I love going "treasure hunting" there. Found you at Whatever Goes Wednesday. I'm co hosting Tasty Tuesdays this week and would love you to stop by with any recipe links.

    Lori's Culinary Creations

  9. Frames are a favorite of ours to shop for at our local thrift shop. We also shop for clothing, books and hand bags. My girls have developed a great eye for finding the perfect deal. such fun!

  10. This is a great recap! Thanks for joining Grace at Home--I'm going to feature you this week! :)