Thrift stores are an excellent way to add flair to a home or a wardrobe without spending a ton of money. To find treasures, thrift store shoppers can benefit from a few tips and tricks.
Keep a list of what you need. It’s easy to get lost in a thrift store and come home with a whole lot of nothing or way too much. Keeping a list of items you need or would like to have is a sure way to stay on top of your budget and to make sure to not end up with a storage place that resembles a thrift shop of your own.
When searching for clothing items be sure to have a tape measure with you and to know your measurements. Many times sizes and tags are missing from items and it’s easier to measure than to have to return something.
Many furniture items in thrift stores have been repainted many times or are in need of a good coat of varnish to brighten bare wood. Remember that furniture can often be spiffed up with a little sanding and a coat of paint. Additionally, there are many non-toxic paint strippers on the market to help you bring an old furniture item back to its original and quite likely beautiful, state.
Let your crafty side show. A plain wooden table can be turned into a work of art with a paintbrush, paint, and a handmade stencil. A simple black dress can become glamorous with a string of pearls sewn into the collar. A patio table can be transformed from dull to dramatic with a bit of broken tile and some mortar and a couch can become uniquely yours with a few hand made pillows or a slip cover. Letting your crafty side out can literally transform a thrift shop find into something fabulous.
Give it a good sniff. Thrift store items tend to get a bit on the musty side. It isn’t a bad thing, it’s a fact of life and most often that musty smell can be aired out or the item can simply be washed and good as new. However, occasionally there are items for which no amount of air or fabric freshener can help. Avoid bringing those home and your friends and family will thank you.
Think outside the box. Sometimes an old book is just that…an old book. And sometimes, with a little ingenuity an old book is a shelf. Amazing and functional items can be created out of what others would consider junk. An old book can be fastened to a steel elbow and attached to a wall to become a bookshelf. An old end table can become part of a bedside stand and a small bistro table can become a desk. Beauties, and function, are in the eye of the beholder.
Whether you’re seeking furniture, decorative items, clothing or even appliances, thrift store shopping can turn up fabulous finds. It takes a keen eye, a focused mind, and the willingness to see a diamond in the rough.