Vintage Pooh Book | Cross Stitch Flower Art | Bunny Bank | Vase
Bless This House Cross Stitch Art | Wood Shadow Box
Bentwood Chair | Black Desk | Speckled Stone Vase
Blue and Grey Vintage Pendleton Throw | All Botanical Art
Copper Strainer | Woven Basket | Enamelware
Stella’s Bed | Floral Art
Let’s chat about dusty treasures, vintage gems, and old things that can make your sweet little house feel a bit more homey. Bur first, go pour yourself a cup of tea or glass of wine, and then we’ll dive into this thing they call thrifting. In this post I am going to share some insight with you in how I tackle the thrift store, along with the in’s and out’s of bringing old items into our home. I’ll share what materials I gravitate to and what items I always end up combing over while thrifting.
Buying older, second-hand items is a really wonderful way to add charm to a space in an inexpensive way, and because people are always getting rid of things, what you can find on the thrift store shelves is in constant rotation. I have been thrifting for years now, some months a bit more intensely than others, and I’ve learned some things, most of which I’ve discovered by means of doing it over and over with small kids in tow. Which is FUN. Sometimes when I’m feeling ambitious I’ll go with the kids, other times I’ll sneak away on a Sunday afternoon with a coffee in hand and more time to browse. Either way I get to do it, thrifting is so much fun for me.
Various Books | Basket for Magazines | Pottery Bowl
Picnic Basket | Measuring Geese | Kitchen Scale | Old Ball Jar
First of all, why thrift?
- Charm: The old adage, ” one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” rings true for me. I enjoy mixing both new and old when it comes to decorating our home, keeping our newer things neutral to let the antiques with their aged patina really shine. Mixing the two can create so much depth and character while giving your home that extra bit of warmth if your style is on the minimal side like ours. By thrifting you can keep things simple AND cozy.
- Save Money: You can save a lot of money. If you don’t want to spend another forty dollars on another kid shoes, go thrifting. If you want an enamel pot that doesn’t cost a lot online, go thrifting. If you want a vintage piece of art without the Ebay price, go thrifting. If you want some fun but inexpensive seasonal decor, like brass candle holders or apple baskets, go thrifting. If you want to save money, go thrifting. And then go to Aldi, where you’ll save a ton more money.
- Your Stamp: When you shop second-hand you are able to create a look that is your own and something other than what’s advertised in magazines or dare I say, the sameness of Instagram. It’s easy to go to Target and outfit your home, but what you’ll end up getting is a look that is just like everyone else on the internet. Buying eclectic pieces that can’t be bought elsewhere adds something special to your home.
- Quality: You know those old ladder-back chairs that look just as good, if not better, as the year they were handmade? We have several and they are as sturdy as ever. Things were just made better back then and it’s no reason why our grandparents still own a good majority of the things they bought years ago. With all of the mass-produced factory-made things floating around, most of which ends up breaking and being tossed, we could all use a few old-fashioned items in our homes.
- Quantity: Because things bought at the thrift store are less expensive if you purchased them new, you can afford to get things you really like in greater qualities. Example of this for me would be: baskets for storage, kitchenware, vintage skirts, quilts, kid’s clothing, and pretty fabric. I always stock up on these things if I come across something good because a few too many of these items are never a bad thing.
Old Food Crate | Vinyl Records
Green Side Table | Apple Basket for Toys
Floral Cross Stitch Art | Mirror
What’s worth thrifting?
While I think this is a personal topic and differs given your style, there are some wonderful thrifting staples anyone can appreciate. There are odds and ends I always seems to gravitate towards when I am thrifting just to see what’s there that week or month. I have realized I take the same basic approach most everywhere I go, combing through this or that in a rhythm that works for me and suits my decorating tastes. Here’s my plan of attack:
- Avoid the nicknacks and random bear statues and start with the kitchen items, mainly looking over the following materials with care:
- Wood – bowls, glasses, cutting boards, rolling pins, soup spoons, and wall storage.
- Brass – candleholder, bells and small dishes.
- Tin – strainers, bowls, and storage.
- Enamel – perfect for sauces and baking.
- Clay – check the bottom to see if it’s handmade.
- Cast Iron – pots and pans
- Silver – silverware
- Glass – Picardi glasses are wonderful for wine or orange juice.
- Then head over the basket area which will most likely be overflowing with goodness. Don’t forget to look inside them! I only buy baskets if they are pretty darn clean inside and out. My favorites are apple baskets, tightly woven bins, bread baskets, woven trays, and old picnic baskets. Skip on the laundry baskets as those are full of bacteria. We use our baskets for all kinds of storage for the kids and on shelves. It’s a simple solution to keep things where they belong and I never spend more than a couple dollars on one!
- Now mosey on back to the art section, where you’ll have to strap the kids in and get your hands a little dirty. They seem to always haphazardly stack art at second-hand shops, so I sort through them like I am looking for a recipe card focusing on these items:
- Antique oil replicas
- Embroidery or cross stitch
- Botanical drawings
- Wall shelving
- After thumbing through the art I’ll go meander around the clothing section, looking in only a few places. This does change seasonally:
- Mom jeans
- Floral skirts
- Knits, the men’s area have great ones
- Winter coats
- Kid’s shoes – boots especially
- Kid’s warm handmade knits and long john jammies
- Kid coats
- Next up, peek at the following things and see if anything catches your eye. I don’t generally dig around in these areas too much, but if I see something intriguing I’ll scoop it right up:
- Antique wood chairs
- Vintage or collectable kid’s books
- Small furniture like desks and small tables
- Lamp bases
- Vases or milk glass anything
- Pillow cases
- Sheet sets
- Vinyl records
- Wood toys
A few more things to keep in mind:
- Don’t go with hopes to find that “magical thing”. Chances are you won’t.
- Have an open mind.
- Bring hand sanitizer.
- Try things on.
- Don’t necessarily go when there are sales, it’s always pretty crowded them.
- Remember you are helping your community by both donating by thrifting!
I know it’s not for everyone, but I think carefully selecting older items can be a great way of helping turn a house into a cozy home. And for those who favor nostalgia and don’t mind an old ding or two, you’ll love all that thrifting can do for ya! Do you like to thrift? What are your favorite things to buy second-hand? And if you have any helpful tidbits about thrifting I’d love to hear.
*Everything listed below the photos have been thrifted! And remember, always wash and sanitize everything you buy. I use my thieves oil to do this on everything we bring into our home.