Hey y’all! Thanks for joining me today! Before I forget, I wanted to remind y’all to follow along on my social media as I share inspiring photos and tips for the home. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest! I’d love for you to stop by and say hey! 😉
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the thrill of the hunt when it comes to finding pretty accessories for our home. I don’t care what it is — an antique frame, paint-by-number artwork, vintage crates, furniture, old books, pretty dishes — you name it, I’ll find it. Lol!
Well, this thrift-store “hobby” of mine started a few years ago, when the world of Pinterest began. When my sweet friend, Paige, introduced me to this fun website that lets you save any and all inspiring photos, I was hooked on all things decorating and diy. All of a sudden, I desired to make lots of changes to our home, and that was gonna require either A. lots of money or B. doing things myself. I chose the latter route…partly by choice, but mostly because of necessity. And you know that old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That, my friends, became very true for me when all of a sudden I wanted to renovate every area of our home! I had to be frugal, and that meant shopping at second-hand stores and looking past the delapidated state of an item to see its potential.
With that said, if I can find awesome deals and treasures at thrift stores, so can you!! Join me as I share with you 12 tips to scoring some budget-friendly home decor! But I’m warning you now….You’re gonna be hooked, and once you’re hooked, there’s no turning back! 😉
1. Look for discounts in the store. For example, Goodwill has the “color of the week” for half-off prices, and every Sunday, a new color represents the discount. There’s usually a big sign just as you enter, announcing which color is 50% off. Also, our local Goodwill offers an extra 25% off for all seniors on Tuesdays and for all service members on Thursdays (i.e. veterans, firemen, policemen and those in the military — thanks to all of you for your service!). Goodwill’s discounts vary by location, so check with your local store for discount dates and percentages. Another fun tip is that other thrift shops will discount an item based off the date of the item’s tag. For example, if you pick up an item that was tagged in October, and now it’s already January, it might be 30% off…or even more! Don’t be afraid to ask if there are any special discounts for that particular store.
(The sign in our local Goodwill, announcing what the color of the week is.)
2. When shopping at “mom and pop” shops…When it comes to shopping at non-chain thrift stores, most of them can negotiate with you. Mention that if you choose to purchase both items as opposed to just one item (for example), would they be willing to drop the price. Nine times out of ten, they’ll be completely open to taking less! Like my daddy always says, “The worst they can say is ‘no’.” 😉 And do your very best to let the seller name their desired price FIRST. What if they were going to take less than the price you named?? That would be a tragedy!
(The above pic is from a local thrift shop owned by a church in town. Similar to Goodwill, they also have a sign at the front door, informing shoppers of the store’s discounts. The phone pic below is something that I bought from them recently. I included the tag to show how the owners discount according to the tag’s date. )
3. Shop often. Thrift stores are constantly getting new inventory, so try to pop in often — on your way to pick up your kiddos from school, during your lunch break…or even in the evening, right after your children are in bed. You don’t need to take an hour in the store. Just walk quickly through each aisle. I usually try to allow about 10-20 minutes at a particular thrift shop a couple of times a week before heading to pick up my kiddos.
I found this dining set at Goodwill one day during one of my frequent “quick” trips. Boy, am I glad I stopped in that day!
Isn’t this gumball machine the cutest thing ever?! Yep, I found it at a thrift store!
4. Shop early. For the best finds, be sure to arrive as soon as the doors open on any given day, but especially on Monday (in my opinion). Why Monday, you might ask? Well, for one, most families do all their “spring cleaning” on the weekends and end up making their donations on Sunday afternoon. So, there’s usually a fresh supply of items on Monday mornings. And of course, yard sales always happen on the weekends, which means more donations flow in on Mondays as a result. Also, some shops change over their discounts either on Sunday (such as our local Goodwill) or Monday. Shopping early will ensure you get first dibs.
This trailer-hitch-turned-decorative-stag is one of my faves! Found him at a thrift shop begging me for a makeover! 😉
5. Be patient. Don’t lose hope or get discouraged! That “steal of a deal” item that you’re searching for is out there specifically for you! I promise! But, in order to find that treasure that you’ve been really wanting, you have to be patient. There are many times that I’ve walked out of a store empty-handed. And that’s okay. Don’t give up! 😉
Here’s an office chair that I found at Goodwill and transformed into a cushy, modern rolling chair.
6. Visit thrift stores in high-end districts. I’m a little hesitant to share this tip, simply because I’ve found some seriously-great treasures at thrift stores that are located in the middle of nowhere. But I’ve also consistently found expensive items (e.g. a Limoges oval vegetable dish similar to this one for only $12!!) from stores located in nice areas.
I found this colorful cuckoo clock for pennies at one of my fave high-end thrift stores. You can read about that story here.
Here are some fun accessories that I’ve found at various thrift stores.
7. If you see an item that you really like, but aren’t sure where you’ll put it, go ahead and put it in your buggy….Don’t hesitate. That way, you can think about it while you look for other treasures in the store. You can always put it back if you change your mind. Trust me, this tip is a definite must. I’ve learned the hard way…. 🙁
Here are some clipboards that I bought at a thrift shop. At the time, I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but I purchased them anyway. I’m so glad I did!
8. Don’t buy the item simply because it’s a good deal. Make sure you love it! There are so many good deals out there, and your time will come!
I’ve found a lot of these pretty pieces at thrift stores for great prices. You can see more of this pretty china here.
This beautiful blue and pink plate is one of my favorites. I found two of them at…you guessed it…a thrift store! 😉
These gold-rimmed plates were 25 cents each at another favorite thrift store of mine.
I’ve loved collecting pretty pieces for dining over the years! But since there’s so much out there, I’ve learned to only buy what I love, which is pretty much all of it! Lol!
9. When it comes to shopping for furniture, don’t settle. Check to make sure the chair, end table, ottoman, etc. has good bones and that it’s sturdy and not wobbly…or that it’s at least fixable.
And what do you think about this super-shiny brass bucket filled with over-sized sea shells? I found these thrifted accessories on separate occasions.
10. What to look for…Not only is a thrift store the perfect place to find great furniture, but it’s also an incredible resource for dainty china, vintage linens, tiered trays, coffee-table books, candlesticks, fabric remnants, colorful tins, pillow covers, sewing notions, pendants, paint-by-number art, cool frames, lifeless lamps that need a facelift….The possibilities are endless!!
Loving this $3 vintage paint-by-number from Goodwill!!!
Here’s a sample of how I updated two lamps using a can of white spray paint and some Rub’N Buff.
I love, love, LOVE my collection of vintage hankies! I’ve picked up a variety of them from various thrift stores (and antiques stores) over the years. This “Spring banner” was so easy to make….Just simply tie the ends of each hanky together to make one long garland. 🙂
11. If it’s delapidated, look past its current state and see its potential! You can easily touch up or transform an item with chalk paint, a can of paint, or spray paint! Love the curves of a lamp, but hate the fabric on the shade?? No worries! Hot-glue some pretty fabric to the shade, maybe add some trim, and then spray-paint the lamp, and voila! You’ve got a beautiful new-to-you lamp! What about a cool, detailed frame, but the color and matting is just a terrible avocado color. Have no fear! Use a can of spray paint, and spray both the frame AND matting! Did you know you could spray the matte?? Well, yes you can! I love modern paint. 😉 Another idea for an ugly frame — Spray-paint the frame, and then apply some chalkboard paint to the glass to make a fun chalkboard! Yes! DIY is so exciting to me…especially when you can bring something back to life!
Here’s a thrifted chandelier that I updated with a can of white spray paint.
Loving this bright, thrifted bed sheet that I used as a tablecloth for Spring.
12. Be willing to dig! Wear gloves if you have to. 😉 But rummage through cluttered shelves and racks of junk at thrift stores….You never know what you’ll find! One time, when digging through the cluttered flatware drawers at a certain thrift store, I found a beautiful, MONOGRAMMED sterling silver serving spoon for $1.21. Not only that, the monogram was the first letter of our last name. Score! 🙂 You can imagine the excitement I felt in that moment!
Here’s a thrifted spice rack that was outdated and thirsty for a fresh coat of paint. You can check out more on this project here.
Well, what do you think? Are you inspired to run over to your local thrift shop and see what kinds of deals you can discover?? I’d love to hear about them! I know you’ll find some awesome treasures!
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