This post is part of a 31 day series – “31 days to decorate your home on a budget.” You can read all the posts in this series here.
If you can’t find good yard sales in your area or it is not yard sale season, thrift stores are your next best option to finding frugal home décor.
Some things you will be able to purchase, take home, and use right away. Others will require some spray paint love!
So on a recent trip to Goodwill, I snapped some pictures of some things you could rescue and some things you might want to just leave there. Here are my tips for shopping at thrift stores.
1. Check for sales.
Goodwill has a “color” that is 50% off each week and will have a sign indicating what the color is each week. Each item is marked with a letter “B = Blue, etc.” or a color tag. Another thrift store that I frequent, Value Village, has 2 colors that are 50% each week and has everything 50% on the last Wednesday of the month (excluding furniture and home décor ). So as you are shopping, keep a look out for the discounted deals for even more savings.
(Another tip: since the sale colors change over at the beginning of the week, shop early in the week if possible to find the greatest selection of discounted items.)
2. Shop for clothes
Of course there are racks and racks of clothes you can search through (I have found some great clothing items at thrift stores!),
but most of the time, my time is limited and I quickly walk back to the housewares department to see if I can find a treasure that day!
3. Know your price points
Just because something is at a thrift store, DOES NOT mean it is a good deal as far as the cost goes. And this is becoming more and more the case as thrift stores are raising prices (Goodwill raised prices significantly this summer.) And the demand for secondhand things continues to grow as more and more people enter the frugal décor world and realize the potential to paint outdated furniture, light fixtures, and décor.
I love milk glass! But I do have to say, Goodwill must have caught on to the fact that milk glass is becoming more popular because I am seeing it priced as high as $6 for simple vases like this! Craziness! I just bought hobnail milk glass cups at a yard sale for 50¢ – so buyer beware! Although, $6 for milk glass is a reasonable price if you compare it to eBay prices and shipping costs, I KNOW that I see milk glass nearly every weekend at yard sales much cheaper so I would pass on this. BUT if you don’t see it as yard sales, then $6 might be a good deal for you.
More milk glass and a candle stick that could be beautiful with a spray paint makeover.
4. Look past the ugly and see the potential
This jewelry box has the potential to be gorgeous!! When I see something like this …
I am mentally imaging it painted white …
or stripped and finished with a dark stain.
and since the one at Goodwill was priced in the $20 range and the ones above pictured were in the $250 range – definitely a good deal to me!
And these 3 candlesticks, although not a set, could become a set with a coat of spray paint! Again look past the ugliness!
A cute little end table, I am imagining painted in white and distressed, and the handles painted ORB.
This is what the above end table/nightstand would look like painted white. Gorgeous!
This piece was gorgeous – I would just replace or paint the knobs.
These could be used as-is. Already black and ready to install
Beautiful serving tray! Could leave as is, paint white or even another fun color. And just because it says it is to display needlework – anything could go in there – fabric, pictures, a cute free printable.
5. Shop for picture frames.
Yard sales and thrift stores are a great place to find picture frames. Just watch the prices. Again, I find picture frames for $1 and less at yard sales all the time so I would not be picking up a basic frame for $3+ at a thrift store.
When you are looking at frames, pay no attention to the contents of the frame – you are looking at the condition of the frame, does it have glass (if you want it to), and the price. Everything else can be changed with some paint.
I love ornate frames like this – they are beautiful painted white, distressed, and glazed. But I wouldn’t pay $4.99 for it – $2-3 would be my maximum price.
6. Check the lamps and lighting department.
This is one of the first areas I check. I love finding light fixtures for $5 that I can paint and use to update my home.
This lamp could be a definite spray paint redo possibility. Painted white or oil –rubbed bronze – it could be very cute! But priced at $5.25 is a little on the high side for me.
This little white lamp is adorable!! And for $4.04 a little more reasonable price.
7. Don’t forget your linens
Now for the fun part! The items you should probably leave on the shelves…
a family of ducks anyone? I don’t think even Sherry at Young House Love would want to add these to her collection
these are a little scary!
clay lions anyone??
And one more tip – shop often! Thrift store put new things out all throughout the day, each day, so every day you shop you will find new things.
What are your favorite tips for shopping at thrift stores? Or your favorite thrift store find?