Jul 052012

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and cool fourth! We spent the day with family, swimming in the pool, eating delicious food and then walking to fireworks. My sweet two year old, Gabe, was captivated by the fireworks. They’re a fun, festive event, but nothing beats my boy’s sweet head snuggled into my chest and arms wrapped around my neck because, as he said, “I a wittle (little) scared!” Oh, sweet Gabe. You melt my heart!

Moving onto the topic at hand. Thrifting! It’s like treasure hunting for grown ups. I love it. Our home is filled with thrifted treasures. From furniture, to art, to kitchen items, to clothes. We own a lot of second hand items. Not only does it save a lot of money, it has (in my opinion) so much more character than new, store bought items. I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned. And then, of course, share a couple pictures of my thrifted finds!

Thrifting 101:

1. Go often. Thrift stores are always putting out new items. The good things don’t always last very long. Go often. Like weekly. Or more, if you can.

2. Be prepared to leave empty handed. It’s OK to walk out without a treasure. More often than not, I don’t bring anything home.

3. Think. If I see something that intrigues me, I put it in my cart. And I think about it. You can always change your mind and put something back if, after some thought, you realize it’s just not what you want or need.

4. Make laps. I always make multiple laps around the store. Like three or more. Why? Because it can be sensory overload at first. So much stuff. It’s easy to miss something at first glance. Lots of time I don’t find anything until the second lap.

5. Get to know the boss man (or woman). In one of my frequented thrift stores, I know the boss and the boss knows me. We’re on a first name basis. I kid you not. It’s great! If I find something I like (mainly larger items) I just find Mike and practice a little negotiating. When he sees me walk in, he usually says, “If you find something you like, let me know! I’ll help you out!” It also helps to know the boss when you find something that’s not technically for sale. For example, I found an old wooden crate holding books and really wanted the crate. So I found Mike and worked out a deal. I also found a great step stool that was probably used in the store (it didn’t have a price tag) but again, I found Mike and worked a deal.

6. Don’t be afraid to bargain. Even if you don’t know the boss man, find someone that works there and make an offer. My sister in law found a hanging chandelier that she liked, but it was marked at $50. I found someone that worked there (not the boss) and, after some back and forth, settled at $27.50!

7. Be open minded. Sometimes things just need a little TLC or a coat of paint.

8. Think outside the box. Items can have more than one purpose. For example, I found a 2004 calendar and brought it home. Why? Because it has beautiful prints of Monet paintings and at 10 cents (less than a penny a print) it makes really cheap art!

Previously I had a white dresser against this wall in our dining room, but I wanted something with more storage. So I sold the white dresser on Craig’s List and used the money the buy this. (Here’s an example of how it pays off to know the boss man.) It was priced at $50 but I got it for, oh dear, I can’t remember exactly now… $25 or $30. The same price I sold the white dresser for. Win! The burlap sack is also in a thrifted frame. (The old windows leaning against the wall are a project in the works.)

The picture and the frame are both thrifted, but at different times. I can’t remember how much the frame was, but no more than 25 cents. The picture was 25 cents. They fit together perfectly. *I loved this painting, but the colors were originally a bit bright for me. I took some dark stain, rubbed it over the painting and wiped it off to give it a more antique look.*

I believe this mirror was $1.50 and is one of my favorite finds.

The large flower painting was a huge score at the thrift store. $3.50. Yes! The boat picture was $2. The ‘Zora’ hanging is the end of a crate, I believe. My mom gave it to me.

This is an old rice sack I’ve been carrying around. When I gave our downstairs bathroom a little makeover, I remembered this and decided it’d make the perfect window covering. I was inspired by my dear friend, Sara, who has burlap sacks hanging over her bedroom windows. I think it’s charming. (Yes, this is also the header image of the blog!)

You probably recognize this picture from yesterday’s post. But this plate was thrifted for 25 cents. There were two of them and they’re my new favorite plates to eat from.

I got two of these green glasses for 50 cents total. I love them. And the glass vases/bottles were 25 cents a piece.

This is a thrifted lamp that sits on Gabe’s little table. I believe it was, oh, $1. And the lampshade was a quick diy project with rope and hot glue.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my thrifted treasures and are inspired to get out and go treasure hunting! Have a blessed day! Thanks for reading.

 July 5, 2012  Posted by at 09:18 diy, our home

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