Plus Some Tips for Hitting the Thrift Shop Jack Pot!
Being a frugal gal, with funky taste, I am a HUGE thrift store advocate. For whatever reason upon moving to North Carolina, it took me 6 months to discover the local thrift shops (I must have been busy unpacking). But the first week I had the time, I visited six stores, three of which are on the same block. Since then, I have built thrift-shopping into my hectic schedule.
Friends who aren’t accustomed to thrifting always ask me, “How do you find such great stuff?” I’ve got some advice for my fellow thrift store lovers at the end of this post. But for now, let’s take a look at ny latest and greatest thrifty find – this gorgeous lap quilt made from 60s vintage Paoli silk scarves.
The colors and patterns are right up my alley, and it looks absolutely at home in my home. Even better, it’s in perfect condition – not one stain, rip, or strange odor. In fact it looks as if it has never been used. Once I gave it a place of honor in my house, I discovered a hand embroidered name in one of the corners – ‘Grandmother Peterson 1972’.
If I were Grandma Peterson, I would be rolling over in my grave, knowing that the grandchild I quilted this for, gave it up. Luckily, this lovely piece made its way into the heart and hands of a person who truly and greatly appreciates it for all of it’s funkiness.
Want to make some thrift store discoveries of your own? Here are a few of my tips:
• My best advice on second-hand shopping is to go thrifting regularly. You will not find treasures every time, but if you go often enough, best believe, you WILL start scoring.
• I always have a mental list of things I want, so I can keep an eye out for them. (For example, it’s gardening season, so I am currently on the look out for large planter pots and hand tools.) If you always forget those items upon entering the thrift store, keep a list in your smart phone and review it before you start digging through the treasures. Bonus points if that list includes dimension sizes, so that you can know that table (or sofa, desk, china cabinet, etc) you love will fit your space.
This list will also help you quickly breeze through each store. This is helpful because I usually have one of my wild children, (they despise shopping), in tow and I’m always pressed for time.
• If you fall in love with something, your best bet is to buy it then and there. If you’re short on cash, ask the clerk to hold it for you while you hit the ATM. Worry about where you will place it, hang it, or what it can be used for later. Otherwise, chances are, it may not be there when you return. Especially if it is a busy shop.
• If you are unsure, walk around the store, and weigh the pros and cons of buying the object in question. Once, I spied a brightly colored, hand-painted, hand carved, Bavarian, antique chest being taken off of a truck and loaded into the back door of a second-hand shop. It was all I could think about until the next day when I called the store to inquire about it. They told me it had been sold minutes after arriving at the store. Lesson learned.
Readers – What delightful treasures have you brought home from a thrift shop or flea market?
All photos: Rachel for we heart this
Rachel is a stay-at-home Mom that never seems to be home. She’s a military wife, mother to The Danger Boys and a self-proclaimed craftaholic that enjoys photography, knitting, baking and all things handmade.