A few of my favorite finds! To inspire you and help you think OUTSIDE of the box!
There are so many treasures hiding at your local thrift store, and even more available on Marketplace or online garage sales! Sometimes you really have to look, but most of the time you just really have to keep an open mind! Always remember that things can be PAINTED, taken apart, re-upholstered or added to. I'm talking lamps, pictures, frames, decor, etc! Not to mention any furniture that looks scratched or dull! Don't let that ugly brass or 1980 color themed item turn you away, you'd be surprised at what a little spray paint can do!
When you are shopping on Marketplace, at garage sales, online or a thrift store.....you still have to be thrifty! Believe it or not, there are people selling things who think that their item is invaluable and want to make as much money as possible, even though it's not worth it! You have to be sure all pieces are there, it's not broken (some things you can fix), it's real wood (if you're looking for wood) and not just veneer (fake wood). Don't be afraid to make an offer. People do it all the time. I do it too, I am always reasonable and only if I think the item is overpriced. You also have to be willing to walk away, unless it's something you absolutely have to have!
My Top 5 Look-Fors on social sites/thriftstores/garage sales (to help you create treasures!)
1. Frames, frames, frames!
You can replace the picture, take the picture out, or just hang the frame, but frames are one thing that I always look for! They are so versatile! If you can find the cool ornate frames like the one below, you've found a treasure! Any kind of frame can be painted, but when you have an ornate frame, it looks even better! You can distress the frames, stain them or paint them! Even if you don't like the picture but love the frame, you can use placemats, printed pics, material, etc. to put in as your picture; the possibilities are seriously limitless! You can also go pictureless! Just hang the frame either by itself or with a wreath, letter or wall word in the middle! You can paint the frame to give you a pop of color and then sand the edges to give it a distressed look!
This cute little guy below was a square mirror with such a cool frame, I just didn't like the color of the frame....or the mirror! But I knew it could be something awesome! Plus I loved the fact that it was square! (A post is coming on how to make this "frosted" decor as well as a barn door using the same technique on the glass!)
What to do with frames: - paint them, distress them, paint with black chalkpaint and write on them, take the picture out and just use the frame, insert your favorite patterned material instead of a picture, frame a cool placemat, frame a wreath, frame the letter of your last name....the possibilities are endless!
Lamps are always a plus, especially if you're like me and you'd rather have lamps than overhead lighting! Thrift stores usually have a ton of lamps, and most of the time, people pass right by them because many of them are...well...just ugly. They're either old brass, burnt orange or a pattern we don't like......until you PAINT THEM! They have SO many choices for spray paint now; flat finish, chalk finish, gloss...oh and the colors...limitless! If you're looking for a lamp, little or big, you'll pay a pretty penny for a brand new one....but you'll only pay a few bucks at a thrift store, spend a few more on paint, and you'll have a lamp that you love! Sometimes you luck out, and they're perfect! (I paid $8 for BOTH of these lamps! I didn't paint these. Although I love green and plan to keep the base color, I do plan to change out the shades! Just haven't gotten around to it yet) But check out the shape of the base! It's perfect! I could paint it white and sand it to distress it for the "farmhouse look", paint it solid black, or leave it as is! It's a great shape with awesome lines!
I LOVE tables! (lol, ask my husband, I have several, well, more than several, at home right now that I am going to refinish....not for myself either, just to do it!) You can find tables in all shapes and sizes! You can use them for nightstands, end tables, storage, and more! You may love the color, hate the color....but just look at the structure itself. Is it sturdy? Is it real wood? Is it a good size for you? Is it priced right? (I don't ever pay more than $20 for an end table I am going to refinish, and haven't paid more than $40 for a set of 3) Could you use it? THEN IT'S A NO BRAINER! New tables are SO expensive, especially if they are solid wood! Many of you know, unless you're willing to pay an arm and a leg for real wood, nothing is built to last anymore like it was when these tables were around! (below) Don't be afraid to jump in...if you need a table, look no further than marketplace or your local thrift store!
To see how I transformed this table (and others like it) you'll be able to click HERE soon!
4. Kids' Wooden Furniture
Upcycling children's wooden furniture can be SO MUCH fun! It also makes an amazingly special gift for anyone who is expecting or that perfect gift for a toddler's birthday! These finds will last forever and you know they'll be well loved and cared for! One of my favorites is toddler rocking chairs! Kids love to rock! (I don't even have grandkids yet, but I already have a play room full of kids furniture, books and toys! All bought from Marketplace! I know this may sound silly, but I do have a great niece and nephew and friends with small kids who visit, so it all gets used :) )
Anyway, another favorite of mine are toddler table sets! They are perfect for bedrooms, playrooms or in the kitchen! Kids can use them to craft on, play on, color, or even eat! They're so versatile and you can make them so personal! I've also found and upcycled toy chests, bookshelves, and chairs for toddlers. Items I have found on Marketplace that I haven't had to upcycle are outside slides, picnic tables and swings! (To see learn how to paint the images on your furniture, you'll be able to click HERE soon....and NO, you don't have to be an artist, you just have to know how to paint in the lines!)
5. Home Decor
Another thing I look for is small home decor, ie. shelving objects, table top decor, baskets, etc. This is where you have to remember that you can spray paint anything! So that figurine (owls are really popular) that's painted so awfully that it looks creepy? Spray paint it a solid color! White is always good, but for a pop of color choose one that gives your space a "pop"!
Those old books? Paint them white, tie them together with burlap and paint words on the binding! OR, tear the binding and front/back covers off and paint the new binding white! You know, like this:
You can use spray paint, or acrylic paint in 3 oz bottles from Walmart for $.50! Get the twine from Walmart back by the home improvement section where the tools are! (cheapest place) Sometimes, you can even find the twine at the dollar store! (you can find books there too
Just a Few of My Favorite Finds
So those are just 5 of my favorite things to look for on virtual garage sale sites or thrift stores. I love to shop thrifty! I love to get a bargain (sometimes I love it too much because I buy things I don't even need - try not to fall into that trap). I also love to upcycle and then sell! If you get into upcycling and selling, it's totally worth your while to buy things YOU may not need, but others might want. If you start this, just be sure that what ever you are creating is marketable and in demand.
Happy thrift shopping! Thanks for visiting!