Thrift Shop Talk

recycleI PROMISE I will try to get off my thrift shop soap box after I get this out…..(ok, probably not gonna happen, just being honest).  I find myself in thrift shops a lot because I find them a great place to find projects and even a random vintage find for my shop Rustic Eye.  Because I’ve spent so much time in them lately, I’ve come to have a new appreciation for thrift stores.  I am on a mission to convince all of you that you MUST visit them too.  Here is my persuasive essay in bullet point form (I just love bullet points, don’t you?  I use them a bazillion times a day in my “day job”):

  • MaGazInEs: I’ve said this before on my Facebook page, but it is SOOOO worth mentioning again.  Have you SEEN the prices of magazines these days?  I know you have.  And I really like magazines, but how do you justify spending so much on one lonely publication?  Maybe you convince yourself that it’s cheaper than an interior designer, it will save you money (it says so right there on the cover), or your life will actually improve having read it??  I’m not here to mock magazines- I love them, remember…but I found a way to have my cake and eat it too….get your magazines at thrift stores.  I’ve been doing this for about a year now- I have two local thrift stores that always stock them- one sells them for $0.25 and the other for $0.30.  Um, ya, you read that right….I rest my case.  I often find current (within the last month or two) publications and magazines that I love (DIY, Home Decor…ya know, that kind of thing).  Bonus to magazines- you read them- AND they make an adorable accessory (if you ask me)…just don’t keep too many on hand- that is no bueno (Traci translation: NOT good)!  Donate them back when you are finished with them :)!
  • bOoKS: Kind of the same idea as magazines…I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t enjoy digging through to find what I want….but I’ve found a lot of thrift stores are great at organizing- and it is a pleasure to look for, say, my kids’ favorite book series or vintage books to decorate with (dude- they sell those in certain stores and they aren’t even real- they are just selling the look- FIND YOUR OWN)!  Yes, I highly recommend finding books at thrift stores.
  • CrAFt sUPpliEs:  You will never keep me out of Michael’s or Joanne’s…noooo way.  And, I wouldn’t recommend going to a thrift shop to look for a particular craft item.  However- while you are at your thrift shop- please do browse the craft supplies.  They often have great things at amazing prices.  I recently found a lot of about 8 paper punches (normally $15-$20 each), for around $3.  And, I have been all about these paper punches lately, so imagine my surprise and joy when I spotted that one.  I’ve also scored some vintage manila hang tags (which I’ve used for all sorts of projects), and vintage clothespins (which I adore and find many uses for) on the cheap!  If you use yarn- always see that stuff…I personally have no use for it, but just sayin ;)!
  • JaRS: I know, I know, maybe a little overkill with this one- but, for me, please, if you see a mason jar- just get it :)…stick with me and you WILL find a use for it!  I also don’t think it’s gross to use things (properly cleaned) like glasses from thrift shops…ever been to a restaurant ;)???……just see my post on using thrift shop silverware if you don’t believe me.  I’m on the hunt for different mason jars to make a drinking glass set- non-matching of course- I just love jars for drinking out of, simply charming!
  • tRAyS: Everything looks better on a tray- it just does- I can’t explain it.  It’s just this phenomenom that you must experience.  Silver trays are the best- vintage silver trays, to be specific…you just can’t go wrong- you will find five million uses for them…just trust me on this one…you can add to any holiday decor- no problem, use to coral jewelry or keys, there is just no limit to the functionality of trays and there is really no good reason to buy them new…you can’t beat the character in vintage silver trays :).

There are many more treasures to be found at thrift stores- these are just a few of my favs…but I can’t sign off without saying, DO NOT BE A HOARDER!!!!  Note: I have a strange addiction to watching the show…and can’t not look as I drive by my “Traci-diagnosed” neighbor hoarders…I know it’s a serious disease…but maybe looking to see how much more their garage is sticking out due to stuff overflow is too, we don’t KNOW that.  That said, I am a big proponent of organization and lack of clutter- so only buy what you really, really love and can use- and donate what you don’t need anymore!

Best part:  you are not creating more waste- you are recycling- you are being GREEN- woo hoo, go you :)!!!

Let me know what you LOVE finding at your local thrift stores- leave a comment below!

Thanks, Traci 🙂

Vintage Silver Trays, ahhh :)

Vintage Silver Trays, ahhh 🙂

Vintage Books and Jars for Decorating- YES please

Vintage Manila Hang Tags turned hand-stamped treasures 🙂

Magazines- OH YAAA!

Why are Mason Jars so freakin cute!!??

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Honestly, people, I just can’t get enough of Mason Jars.  I’m pretty sure if you look up versatility in the dictionary (do people do that anymore??!!…ok, well if you “Google it”…) you will find a picture of a Mason Jar.   I use these puppies for everything!  I buy them new and keep them on hand…and pick them up in thrift shops…even have started a collection of vintage Mason Jars- I just LOVE them ♥!

So, let’s talk about thrift shops…do you have ANY idea what amazingness is hiding in those things.  Here is me- I know I need something…like, let’s say, new silverware.  Now, that is a HUGE decision, right?  Because it’s such a huge decision, it takes me FOREVER to make it- too big of a commitment and quite honestly- the sets you can buy all put together in a store- expensive (for any type of quality) and BORING!  The other day, I’m browsing a thrift shop like I always do..and it hits me- I’m gettin my silverware here…a mis-matched set- it’s perfect, it’s super inexpensive, and it has the character I’ve come to NEED in my life.  It’s kind of a drug.  I picked out a bunch with a vintage look at $0.25 each (are you KIDDING me with that price??)…making sure they were all stainless steel so they would last.  I then decide they need to be displayed…that was a no-brainer…MASON JARS!!  I spray-painted a few wood tags (from Joanne’s) with chalkboard paint (another love)….wrote “spoons, forks, knives” on each tag, tied to the jars with jute twine (YET ANOTHER LOVE) and vooala….you really can’t get any cuter or functional than this.  I pulled out a wine crate box from my Rustic Eye “I’ve yet to figure out what I want to do with it” stock to prop them up on…and a silver tray to be the background art…and now I will never look at silverware the same again.  OK- to recap…definitely at the top of my fav craft supplies: Mason Jars, Chalkboard Paint, Jute Twine….gotta have them!!

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