The Half Craft Guide to Thrifting: An Introduction

thrift manualI’m very excited to announce the beginning of a three-part series on thrifting. Rooting through junk and finding treasures is a great hobby of mine. I find it really fulfilling to uncover something great amidst all of the strange wonder of the rows upon rows of junk.

There’s no way I could pinpoint the best thing I ever found, but the top things that come to mind are a 1960s blender that I turned into a lamp, a gorgeous vintage brocade Lord and Taylor dress, my trusty 1960s stand mixer, which was in perfect working condition, and an awesome ice cream maker that came home with me for $3.50.

Here are some basic tips that apply no matter what you are shopping for:

1. Check for discount days. A lot of thrift stores have specials on certain days of the week or month. My favorite store has half off everything on the third Friday of every month, and when you’re buying furniture or other big pieces, these deals can really save you a lot.

2. Bring a buddy. It’s good to have someone to keep you in check when you’re considering buying something ridiculous, or something you’re not likely to use much. And they can help you carry your loot home.

3. Always think about repurposing. This is really why I love thrifting. Turn a vintage trunk into a coffee table, or turn a plate and a candlestick into a cake stand. Just about anything can be made into a planter. Click here to check out my earlier post on ideas for repurposing vintage suitcases.

4. If it calls to you, get it. Sometimes I hang onto things for years before they reveal their true upcycling purpose to me. But they always do.

5. Think about reselling. If I find a great vintage piece that doesn’t fit me, I resell it on Etsy and pass on its goodness to someone else. Or if I buy something crazy and decide it’s not for me, I can recoup my money. Vintage clothing can really sell for a lot online, just look around to see what other people are charging for similar items.

Please feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

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2 Responses to The Half Craft Guide to Thrifting: An Introduction

  1. Love it! I’ve found some amazing things at thrift stores. My latest great find was a Polish Pottery serving dish (keeping that one). 😉

  2. Solveig says:

    I can relate (: – Just wrote about my addiction the other day: http://roadtowalden.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/thrift-store-raid/

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