20 January 2010

Score! at the Thrift Store

hand painted wooden mexican bowl: $1.99

I'm sick today. I feel like poo. My head is full of marshmallows & feathers & dryer lint. I'm sure of it. And I have that deep baritone thing goin' on today. The weather is nasty, in honor of my achy bones & rattly cough.

vintage green writing table: $2

embroidery hoops (to be used as wall decor with cool fabric): $.50/each

But there's always something that will make me feel better.

No, not ice cream. But that's a really good guess.

It's thrifting! There's something so satisfying about finding that one great thing before someone else does. It may be something I've been looking for, or it may be something I didn't know I wanted until it sang out to me. There's an art to thrifting. You have to be willing to be let down. You may paw through every item in the store & find nothing worth buying. But the payoff comes when your trained eye finds that treasure among piles and piles of worthless crap.

reclaimed barnwood frame: $1; new beechwood frame: $3

Liz Claiborn round table cloth: $4

My goal for our little house (which, in a way, was thrifted!) is to buy nothing new for decorating. I will use what I have or I will make stuff or I will buy it second hand.

vintage chenille bedspread, no holes or stains: $5

sweet little limited edition letterpress owl print: $4
(if anyone knows who created this, I'd like to know!)

Here are my rules for thrifting:
  • Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. They will not smell good when you get in your car. But you can't dig if you don't touch. Carry nice smelling hand sanitizer.
  • Don't buy everything that catches your eye. Think about what you'll do with it. Will you wear it? Do you have a place to put it in your house? Will you craft with it sometime down the road? If you're going to take it home & put it in storage or in a pile in the corner indefinitely, don't get it. It's not a bargain if you're not going to use it.
  • Don't spend more than $5 for small stuff & $50 for furniture. Of course there are some special cases, but they are rare.
  • Imagine an item in a different atmosphere. Think of alternate uses for items. Be creative. That tacky ceramic bird figurine might be really cute & current spray painted white & displayed with a few other white accessories.
  • When you're looking through a lot of junk, have something in mind for your eyes to be drawn to - color, texture, shape, etc. Then you to be able to quickly rule out things that don't fit the criteria. For example, when looking through bed linens, I usually look for white pillow cases that have that vintage super-soft high thread count feel. I can quickly scan past all the forest green & mauve pill-y linens without wasting my time.
  • If you love it & it's a good price & you'll use it, buy it. I've had regrets before when I haven't bought something used. You don't always get a second chance at second hand.
new mailbox (which we needed!): $3

wooden lamp (pre-painting): $5

official reproduction of Ansel Adams photo "Georgia O'Keefe & Orville Cox", matted: $4

I went to our local thrift store two days ago & found some goodies. I had to stop looking when I had spent all of my cash. But I found some good treats for our house! I also thrifted last week at the Salvation Army in the city close by. Those are the stores all this cool stuff came from. Happy happy bargains!

4 comments:

Amanda Jo said...

You found some GREAT stuff! Thanks for the helpful tips!

Liz said...

Hi Erin, so sorry you're sick! But your thrifty finds are fabulous. We have the same mail box. :)

They did bring some pillows & a throw as accessories for the photo shoot. Honestly, I was really sad to see them go. I loved those pillows. :)

Hope you feel better soon!

Holly said...

Wow, what a great day at the thrift stores! I think I might be a little jealous!

Back At Ya Babe said...

You are my nifty thrifty kind of gal...I love your finds and I'm doing the same with our new home minus the sofa...I didn't want to skimp. Come out for a trip to the cousins, please? There is no other thrift land out there more magnificent!