Thrift Store Score Vol. 3 – Paoli silk scarf quilt

Plus Some Tips for Hitting the Thrift Shop Jack Pot!

ScarfQuilt Thrift Store Score Vol. 3   Paoli silk scarf quilt

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.

ScarfQuilt2 Thrift Store Score Vol. 3   Paoli silk scarf quilt

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′.

ScarfQuilt3 Thrift Store Score Vol. 3   Paoli silk scarf quilt

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.

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Written by rachelshay

14 Comments

  1. Profile photo of lucylemonade
    lucylemonade

    I adore thrift shops, I plan on scouring them to find a rocking chair soon after our upcoming move. My first ever apartment on my own I bought all my dishware at thrift shops and ended up with these beautiful plates with wood lillies on them, along with pastel glass shotglasses.

    One of my best finds was actually in a storage unit that was abandoned in the apartment I moved into years ago. A gorgeous fall colored lap quilt and a bright orange buddha statue.

  2. Profile photo of marissa
    marissa

    Great thrifting tips! I’ve picked up a few things here and there but no real hidden gems, though a few of my friends have. One found a beautiful pair of leather riding boots and the other snagged the most gorgeous vintage Coach bag ever.

  3. Profile photo of irene
    irene

    Grandma Peterson is pissed! I need to hit the local thrift shop here in town.. It is a good one.. I found some really nice dishes.. I love finding someone’s trash and making my treasure! The changes are high i’ll find something again.. I’m holding off until I make some room in my place.. need to merge and purge stuff! Great post @rachelshay !

  4. Profile photo of krista
    krista

    I’m ridiculously angry for Grandma Peterson…my grandmother was pretty much like the one from “Flowers in the Attic”, so no pretty quilts were ever made for me. ARG.
    I’ve lived up and down the east coast and find that New England thrift shops are terrible. Most people up here are frugal to the point that they wear/use things until they are falling apart and garbage. THEN they donate them.
    PA thrift shops outside Philly are better…southwestern PA thrift shops are the bomb, Maryland thrift shops are okay the further outside of Baltimore you go.
    Right now I live in New England and am so bummed at the sad state of our thrift stores…they’re wretched. It’s all personalized shot glasses and pants with worn out thighs. Or shoes with the soles falling off. Or stained bedding. Ewww.

  5. Profile photo of amity
    amity

    I keep hoping I will find, like, a vintage Chanel suit in a thrift store, because I am really naive like that. But it could happen! My favorite thing to find in thrifts stores are old paintings and books. Oh, and I love snapping up vintage winter coats–I have the coolest navy pea coat that seems to be from the sixties.

  6. Profile photo of heather
    heather

    Aw dang, sorry Grandma Peterson! (Although can I say that thinking about someone shearing up a bunch of fancy scarves gives me a little nervous twitch?)

    I’m a huge thrift shop fan! I have some awesome vintage dishes and tumblers that I adore. Always looking for some great old pyrex too. And I can’t help but gravitate towards the books too @amity! For some reason I never have as great of luck at flea markets though.

    @rachelshay great tips! Especially on buying when you see it instead of letting time go by, and the reminder that not every time is going to yield treasure. My tip? Don’t tell other people your favorite spots! Selfish? Yes. But do you want other people snapping up the good stuff? No! :)

  7. Profile photo of mandabear
    mandabear

    I love your find @rachelshay! It’s really pretty and would liven up a plain couch.

    Even as a germaphobe as big as myself, I do love thrifting. My favorite is furniture, followed by jewelry, followed by toys and knicknacks from the 90’s. I just got a vintage Ghostbusters gumball machine this past weekend. I love it!
    mandabear recently posted..A Good Dog

  8. Profile photo of Kellie
    Kellie

    What a beautiful find and such great tips!! I always strive to be an excellent thrift shopper but rarely achieve it. I always have to be so quick when I am in the stores because of my allergies and asthma. It is such a pain. I know that I miss all of the good stuff!!

  9. daphne

    Great post, I thrift quite regularly and your tips are spot on! I am with @heather and don’t tell people about the really good thrift shop in town:P If you have something in mind you most likely find that item sooner or later, although for almost 10 years now I have been waiting for a 1950’s head vase to pop up at a thrift store…

    @amity, I 100% found a vintage Chanel brooch thrifting one day it’s not worth as much as a suit but it was a fabulous day

  10. kiara

    Simply loved all your thrift store shopping advise, and the keeping a list is the best one, I always follow it when I go for shopping…And from you collection picture, I am jealous of your grandma’s lap quilt made from silk scarves..Simply loved it.

  11. Ryan

    When I was in senior year of high school, me and some friends would regularly visit a thrift store to find unusual clothes.
    I remember I picking up a few polyester polo-style bowling shirts. They were super comfy and just had random stuff written on them. One said “Southern Novelty” real big on the back.
    I’m still not sure what it was supposed to mean.
    Ryan recently posted..The Best Silk Shirts for Men

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