4 Tips for Finding Decor at Thrift Stores

Thrifting Vlog Home Decorating by sheholdsdearly.com

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Finding decor at thrift stores can be a great way to add new elements to your home without breaking the bank!

Now that most thrift stores are opening back up after being closed these past few months, those of us who love thriving are in for some really successful treasure hunts!

Lots of people have had the time they’ve always wanted to finally be able to spend time de-cluttering their homes, and now we get to reap the benefits of that – finding great pieces for even better prices.

Thrifting is actually one of the three main skill sets I encourage every DIY decorator to hone.

The best 3 skill sets for the DIY Decorator:

Thrifting | Being able to upcycle items at found at thrift stores, garage sales, or on craigslist or that you might receive as hand me downs opens you up to such a wide array of pieces.

Painting | Knowing how to prepare items and paint them well really allows you to transform what you find into what you want it to be! It’s not usually a very difficult or expensive process, but it gives you a big bang for your buck.

Sewing | I don’t mean you need to be able to whip up a new dress in an afternoon, but if you can make repairs, make simple alterations, and sew nice, straight lines, you’ll open yourself up to a whole world of possibilities.

These skills are something I really like to touch on in my weekly Behind the Scenes group!

If being a part of a community that discusses and learns about home decor skills together sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can join the wait list HERE to be notified once our registration opens again!

How to Shop for Thrift Store Home Decor Items by sheholdsdearly.com

Tips For Finding Decor at Thrift Stores

Number One | Start with a list

I keep and add to a running list of specific things I might want to look out for I’m at the thrift stores, (like if I know I need a furniture piece in a specific size, or a certain article of clothing or pair of shoes).

But I also have a more general list of things I ALWAYS look out for. (More about those a little later).

And of course, though you have a list – this is one of the times I’d say it’s usually OK to veer off the list when you find something truly special.

One of the great joys of thrifting is finding something you didn’t even know you needed. It’s the thrill of the treasure hunt that adds to the experience!

Thrifting for Farmhouse Decor by sheholdsdearly.com

Number Two | Be prepared to get your hands dirty.

I think it’s safe to say that thrift stores might not be the cleanest place (just the sheer volume of the number of people represented by the items gives a picture into that), but when you go in to them knowing that anything you find and love can be cleaned, it helps keep an open mind!

Wearing “work” clothes, and being willing to open boxes or move items around to see what is there will really give you the freedom to find those special pieces that might otherwise have been hidden.

That said, I do carry hand sanitizer with me and use it for after I’m finished shopping or garage saling!

Decorating with Thrift Store Finds by sheholdsdearly.com

Number Three | Give Furniture a Thorough Look Over

When you’re considering something like a larger piece of furniture from a thrift store – always check the quality before buying!

Open and close every drawer. Sit on the chair.

Thrift Store Decor by sheholdsdearly.com

At the store, before you’ve committed to anything is the best time to find out about those unsupportive springs or drawers that get stuck.

And within that same vein, know your limits for what things are or are not deal breakers.

For me, a vase with a crack that can be turned toward a wall when styling is a-ok! A dresser with stuck drawers is an automatic pass.

Be willing to see the life that something can have – even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it immediately. But know yourself and what things you’ll want to fix up or can tolerate, and which things you can’t.

Tips for Buying Furniture at Thrift Stores by sheholdsdearly.com

Number Four | Think outside the box.

Keep an open and creative mind about the things you’re seeing. I’ve seen fun DIY upcycles where vases were turned into lamp stands, and table cloths were made into slip covers.

My husband and I turned an regular old coffee table upside down and made it into a DIY Chicken Crate Coffee Table.

I said it above, but when you have the skills to modify things to fit what you’re dreaming of – the possibilities are truly endless as to what you can do!

Decor I always look for at thrift stores:

Remember earlier when I said I keep a general list of things I always search for at thrift stores?

Here’s the overview:

Fabric | Being able to sew means that a large curtain panel (as an example) can be turned into many of the same things you could make with brand new fabric off the bolt from the store. Blankets, sheets, clothing items – any of them can be modified to work for most of your sewing projects and inspirations!

Thrift Store Finds Befores and Afters by sheholdsdearly.com

Within the fabric and linens I also always check their pillow selection. Not as much for the pillow covers, but for the pillows themselves inside! If I can find good quality feather pillows, I always buy them and wash them for use in our decor.

Decorating with Goodwill Items by sheholdsdearly.com

Christmas Decor|I’ve had a lot of luck finding pieces to supplement my Christmas decor at thrift stores. I think because that’s one type of thing people are used to de-cluttering and so there’s a steady stream of new pieces!

How to Find Decor in Thrift Stores by sheholdsdearly.com

Jars | Always worth perusing the aisle with the jars and glassware! Lots of treasures to be found.

Decorating Tips with Thrifted Items by sheholdsdearly.com
Best Tips for Thrift Store Shopping by sheholdsdearly.com

Containers | Crates, boxes, baskets, bins, you name it – I always check through and see what they have! Containers have such a multi functional job in our home, and I love finding new cute ones that fit with my style.

How to Find Inexpensive Farmhouse Decor by sheholdsdearly.com

The Thrift Haul

I also wanted to share some of the decor items I found on my latest thrift store hauls with you!

This cute green and red fabric that I think will be adorable Christmas pillow covers.

Finding Home Decor Fabric at Thrift Stores by sheholdsdearly.com

Two Christmas theme pots that I will either use as gifts (maybe filled with a flocked tree or paper white bulbs), or in my own decor!

Findig Thrifted Farmhouse Decor

Adorable vintage wooden blocks – looking forward (in the future) to Grandchildren some day! I got these for $1.50, and I think they retail closer to $30!

Farmhouse Thrift Store Decor by sheholdsdearly.com

A cute burlap shopping bag with bamboo handles.

Styling Farmhouse Decor from Thrift Stores by sheholdsdearly.com

A cute glass jar with a copper lid that was made in Italy.

Decorating with Farmhouse Style Thrifted Decor by sheholdsdearly.com

Wine Crate with beautiful burned label on the sides and top.

Organizing with Thrift Store Decor by sheholdsdearly.com

Olive Tree Topiary

How to Decorate with Thrift Store Finds by sheholdsdearly.com
Best Decor Items to Thrift Shop For by sheholdsdearly.com

Last but not least, I also made this handy printable for you! It lists my general “must check for” type items that I always keep my eye out for when I’m thrifting.

I hope it inspires you and helps you find some treasures of your own the next time you make it out to thrift!

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6 Comments

  1. Joy Gross
    June 14, 2020 / 6:44 AM

    Great ideas.. thank you.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      June 16, 2020 / 11:18 PM

      Thank you, Joy!

  2. June 14, 2020 / 9:03 AM

    I did the same thing as soon as our Goodwill opened. But, with too high of expectations going in, I was greatly disappointed. I think the piles of good stuff was still sitting outside. They had received so much stuff they couldn’t even get it all in the store. Maybe I should check back now and see if the quality of the items has improved.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      June 16, 2020 / 11:20 PM

      Oh man, I’m sorry, yes check back later!

  3. June 15, 2020 / 6:13 AM

    Great post! I so enjoy thrifting and decorating with my finds! Sarah, I couldn’t get the printable to work. When I put in my email, it just freezes. Can it be sent to me?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      June 16, 2020 / 11:20 PM

      I’m sorry, Angie. I just emailed it to you! xoxo

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