Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Secrets to Thrifting - 5 Items to Snag

 I mentioned yesterday that I LOVE to go shopping for second hand items to decorate my home.
I look forward to it like some people look forward to going to the mall.
I guess what I love most about it is the thrill of finding something unique -- something that everybody else won't have.  I mean, anyone can march into Ikea, Pottery Barn or Target and slap their credit card down to buy a new serving bowl or a piece of art to hang on their wall.
But when I find a cool architectural piece that someone thinks is junk and sells it at their garage sale for $2 I feel giddy inside.  When I hang it on my wall and people who come over ask where they can buy it, I feel like I've just gotten the very last pair of size 7 1/2 killer stilettos.
Not only do I love that I have something unique, but I also love that I have something with a history.  I love wondering where the object -- no matter how small -- came from. 

Who were its owners? 

What is its story?
I feel the same way about my clothes.  Yeah, I still shop at "traditional" stores like Gap and Banana Republic, but I treasure the clothes I find at vintage boutiques and the Salvation Army. 
It can be overwhelming the first time you walk into a store, like The Salvation Army -- a rainbow of clothes sorted by color -- a half off color of the day and walls filled with seemingly useless junk.
One thing that helps is if you KNOW what you're looking for. Sometimes you're on a mission -- like the time I was searching specifically for wool sweaters in creams to make my felted wreath.
But other times, you might just want to browse. 
Either way, there are certain items I always look for when I'm thrifting.
Here are my top five home-relate items to buy second-hand:
1. Apothecary Jars

                                                                                               Source: via Ginnie on Pinterest

These are great for decorating - you can add fun elements for holidays, seasons etc.  You can also use them for storage in your office, bathroom or bedroom.

2. Mason Jars

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Mason jars are one of the most useful items I have in my house. I don't think I could ever have enough of them.

Not only do old mason jars make fabulous vases, but they can also be used to hold silverware for a casual dinner or barbecue.  They can be used to store dry goods, like pasta or beans.  They can also be used as votive for candles. 

3. Christmas Lights

                                                                                                   Source: via Kati on Pinterest

As I mentioned on yesterday's video, it's inevitable every year . . . no matter how careful we are in storing our Christmas lights . . . at least one strand won't work when we go to decorate our tree.  I have repeatedly found Christmas lights in their original packaging for $1-$2.   I've never, ever, regretted buying them.

4.  White platters
I don't mind if the platters are a little chipped - it gives them character.  I mainly look to see that the platter is a nice shape with a fairly smooth surface.
I like to find platters because I like to monogram them using my Silhouette (for myself or for gifts).  I also like to put vinyl messages on them for the holidays.  Oh, and they are also great for actually serving food!  I'm not much of a colored-dish kind of girl - most of my dishes are white. I like to see the colors of the food stand out on the platter.

5. Interesting Picture Frames


As you can see, I don't  even care if they have the glass. I look past the color too; this one was an ugly gold color when I found it but we spray painted it black at one point and then white.  
I love unique picture frames.  We have been collecting frames and painting them white to create a little gallery of black and white photos up our stair case.  Maybe some day we will finish it.

Those are the top five items home-related I look for when I'm thrifting.  Of course I find other things too but these are the five things that I'm sure NOT to pass up if I find them. 

What would you add to the list?


  1. Stephenie,
    You know I share the same passion for treasure hunting. I don't want a cookie cutter home but one that is decorated with things that are special or that I find appealing.
    Some of my favorite finds are books {4 for $1} Most are new {Doesn't anyone read anymore?} and I've also found antique 1st editions.
    Your Friend,

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