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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Jars | Always worth perusing the aisle with the jars and glassware! Lots of treasures to be found.
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.
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.
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!
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!
A cute burlap shopping bag with bamboo handles.
A cute glass jar with a copper lid that was made in Italy.
Wine Crate with beautiful burned label on the sides and top.
Olive Tree Topiary
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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