Home » Blog » vintage

Category: vintage

Woven Tennis Racket DIY

So, I’m a fitness junkie (duh) but I am not very excited about the workout “look” that is pretty much universal in the world right now, from clothing to equipment to logos.

The athletic look is basically a one-size-fits-all look. Lots of athletic stripes, lots of hardcore sweaty pics, lots of iron and heathered polyester and patterned leggings. The traditional athletic look is really not my style at all–well, except for the leggings.

In fact, in my search of interior design inspiration for my home gym on Pinterest, I came up pretty empty-handed. Everything looks like a regular jock-style gym (for lack of better terminology).

Let’s change that!

So, I’m trying to come up with some of my own decorations to fuse my love of fitness with my love of vintage and boho styles. Those things usually don’t go together. At least until I get my hands on them.

One decoration I came across on a different search were these embroidered tennis rackets I found on Pinterest. Love at first sight!!!!

 

Woven Tennis Racket DIY

So, I picked up these two old tennis rackets at a junk store for just $0.50 each! I chose two with the most vintage-y designs that I liked. And I like the juxtaposition of wood and metal. They really weren’t in playing shape anymore, so I didn’t feel bad retiring and re-purposing them.

vintage tennis rackets

Then, I just freestyled a weaving design with a “me” color scheme. I used yarn, but you could also use embroidery floss. You just weave under-over-under-over the strings. You can easily weave horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Alternate light and dark yarn colors and alternate the thickness of each section to give it a variegated look. When you come to the end of a section, just tie the string off in the back.

woven tennis rackets for vintage home gym decor

Then, hubby helped me hang them, staggered, over my weight shelf.

repurposed tennis rackets

I love the sporty, vintage vibe these tennis rackets add to my workout space now. I can’t wait to add more elements like this!

If this post inspires you to make your own woven tennis rackets, I’d love to see them!

Would you like more ideas like these?

 

 

PS, I finally claimed this blog over on Bloglovin, and I’d love for you to add it to your regular feed. I need my workout space to fit my personality, so I have lots of styling projects to invent and potential blog material to go along with it.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Easy Budget Picture Collage Wall

I am not very good at following strict rules when it comes to home improvement-ish projects. There was no level or tape measure used in the making of this project.

I’ve had one sad little picture hanging on my dining room wall for, like, years that needed some friends. I started to put together a few framed pretties after framing Hubster’s anniversary card and ultimately decided to make a collage wall.

Photo

To begin, gather some of your favorite photos, art prints, and original artwork with repeating themes and colors. The frames should either be all light-colored or all dark-colored or somewhere in between. If your pictures include matting, the same rule applies–go with a monochromatic color scheme. There has to be some semblance of similarity or your wall will end up looking like a hodge podge–unless you’re going for that look:)

My framed pictures include one wooden anniversary card, one wooden owl card from Mackinac Island, my official NASM certificate, one thrifted 3D picuture, one free print from here, one painted leaf and one watercolor gift from a friend. I love how each piece has a history and story behind it from family trips to personal accomplishments to wedding gifts. Each one is totally my style too with a vintage/nature theme with lots of greens. The final product matches my record player set-up perfectly with its vintage-y vibe.

Wall prints
3D vintage print
The cutest vintage 3D picture ever!

Next, I took all my framed pieces and laid them out on the floor in front of the chosen wall. It took awhile to find just the right arrangement for the wall. The trick is to find a good balance. You want to balance the bigger with the smaller. I also had to balance the white and off-white art backgrounds. Keep all frames pretty close together with about 1-2 inch gaps in between. Add and take away frames until you find the sweet spot.

Wall Collage

Now, most professional collage-ers (whoever they are) will tell you to draw out the pattern on paper and get out the level to find the most precise angles. Well, I made this wall without doing any of those things. You may want to at least take a picture of your set-up to refer back to before you get started. I just eyeballed it. I memorized right about where one picture overlapped another and got to work. I’m not the type of girl who likes to fuss over things.

Finished Collage

Then, I just hammered away until they were all secure (which is really hard for me to do because I don’t like tainting perfectly smooth walls, even if they’re my own). You’ll want to be careful with the nails too, avoiding any electrical wires and ideally pounding the nails into studs. It’s nice when your whole family takes a hunting trip and leaves you with your whole house as your open canvas. Oh the possibilities!

vintage collage wall

Now, I really love walking past this wall. It really makes me smile. Oh yeah, and the best part? I only paid about $6 for this entire project. I paid 50 cents for the vintage picture and around $3 for each of the wooden cards. The rest of the items were gifted or free!

Other good gallery collage wall resources for those who like a little more structure:

How to Hang Art Groupings
Tips for Installing a Gallery Wall
Wall Art Guide
How to Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget
Eight Ways to Display Artwork on a Budget

Easy Budget Picture Collage Wall

I am not very good at following strict rules when it comes to home improvement-ish projects. There was no level or tape measure used in the making of this project.

I’ve had one sad little picture hanging on my dining room wall for, like, years that needed some friends. I started to put together a few framed pretties after framing Hubster’s anniversary card and ultimately decided to make a collage wall.

Photo

To begin, gather some of your favorite photos, art prints, and original artwork with repeating themes and colors. The frames should either be all light-colored or all dark-colored or somewhere in between. If your pictures include matting, the same rule applies–go with a monochromatic color scheme. There has to be some semblance of similarity or your wall will end up looking like a hodge podge–unless you’re going for that look:)

My framed pictures include one wooden anniversary card, one wooden owl card from Mackinac Island, my official NASM certificate, one thrifted 3D picuture, one free print from here, one painted leaf and one watercolor gift from a friend. I love how each piece has a history and story behind it from family trips to personal accomplishments to wedding gifts. Each one is totally my style too with a vintage/nature theme with lots of greens. The final product matches my record player set-up perfectly with its vintage-y vibe.

Wall prints
3D vintage print
The cutest vintage 3D picture ever!

Next, I took all my framed pieces and laid them out on the floor in front of the chosen wall. It took awhile to find just the right arrangement for the wall. The trick is to find a good balance. You want to balance the bigger with the smaller. I also had to balance the white and off-white art backgrounds. Keep all frames pretty close together with about 1-2 inch gaps in between. Add and take away frames until you find the sweet spot.

Wall Collage

Now, most professional collage-ers (whoever they are) will tell you to draw out the pattern on paper and get out the level to find the most precise angles. Well, I made this wall without doing any of those things. You may want to at least take a picture of your set-up to refer back to before you get started. I just eyeballed it. I memorized right about where one picture overlapped another and got to work. I’m not the type of girl who likes to fuss over things.

Finished Collage

Then, I just hammered away until they were all secure (which is really hard for me to do because I don’t like tainting perfectly smooth walls, even if they’re my own). You’ll want to be careful with the nails too, avoiding any electrical wires and ideally pounding the nails into studs. It’s nice when your whole family takes a hunting trip and leaves you with your whole house as your open canvas. Oh the possibilities!

vintage collage wall

Now, I really love walking past this wall. It really makes me smile. Oh yeah, and the best part? I only paid about $6 for this entire project. I paid 50 cents for the vintage picture and around $3 for each of the wooden cards. The rest of the items were gifted or free!

Other good gallery collage wall resources for those who like a little more structure:

How to Hang Art Groupings
Tips for Installing a Gallery Wall
Wall Art Guide
How to Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget
Eight Ways to Display Artwork on a Budget

DIY Jewelry Organization Makeover

My jewelry collection was an eyesore. Let’s just put it at that (you’ll see). I would forget about pieces buried in the bottom drawer of my jewelry shelf, all those necklaces had a tendency to get clumped together, and it just gave me a headache to look at it. Finally, in an attempt to make little spaces like this of my home environment more cozy and put-together, I decided to tackle the jewelry organization project head-on. With a little perusing on Pinterest, I put together some rough ideas of what I wanted the finished project to look like and headed to the thrift store.
I went through about three phases of putting this project together over the course of about a week, so I’m going to share those with you in case it provides some inspiration for you too:
Phase I
Thrifting a jewelry holder and giving it a makeover
Thrifted wooden spoon holder
What began its life as a collector spoon holder (I think??) is now the bearer of all my jewelry.
I went to the thrift store with the sole purpose of finding some old forgotten knick-knack shelf to repurpose, since they’re usually quite easy to come by. After perusing the correct aisle, I didn’t come across any that I was satisfied with. The selection was pretty picked over at the time I got there, so I went on my next mission in the store, to find some 16×20 frames. By chance, I returned to that original aisle again to return something I decided against buying and did one more quick sweep. This ugly gem was hidden under some other nondescript wooden things. It’s really made out of some quite durable wood and had that nice drawer on the bottom for earrings and such. Score!

After work the next day, I took a trip to the hardware store and stood a full 5 minutes in the paint aisle trying to decide what color I wanted this bad boy to be. I had green in my hand, but I was still debating. Our bedroom is green, but what if it didn’t quite match? I finally thought, why not make the jewelry shelf match some of the jewelry itself with a fresh coat of silver? While I was at the hardware store, I also picked out two drawer knobs and some ring screws to add to the shelf for extra storage.

Silver jewelry organizer
The finished product. A HUGE improvement!

Hubster helped me find the right screw length for the side knobs, but I did all the work! These knobs and extra screws on the bottom provide extra storage for longer necklaces and such.
Phase II
Cleaning the jewelry
While I was going through my jewelry, deciding what to keep and what to donate, I came across a few pieces I still really like but that have become quite tarnished with age. With a little research online, I decided to try lining a glass casserole dish with tin foil, sprinkling baking soda over the jewelry, and pouring water over the top. This worked for some of the jewelry, but I had to go back and rub toothpaste on a few items to really get them to shine again. No expensive jewelry cleaner required!
Baking soda and tin foil for tarnished jewelry

Phase III
Jewelry organization

In order to tame the chaos that my jewelry had become, I wanted the finished project to be as orderly and visually appealing as possible. The first thing I did was gather some silver cardstock from my scrapbooking collection. I made these nice earring cards by simply poking holes in the folded cardstock with a thick tapestry needle that I had, but I’m sure a safety pin would’ve done the trick. I absolutely adore how my earrings are all organized and easy to grab now. I can get a good look at them all with one quick glance. And none of them are buried in a mess, only to never be used again. In fact, today I’m wearing a pair of earrings I had forgotten I even had!
Next, I strung all my necklaces on the spoon holder thingies, which turned out to be great necklace holders. Hubster happened to have a nail that perfectly matched the silver shelf, so I used that to affix the organizer to the wall behind our dresser. Now all my necklaces are completely visible, making getting dressed in the morning quick and easy.


Before

It pains me a bit to even show this (bad lighting notwithstanding) “before” picture. It’s really unnerving to keep my jewelry in such a disarray. And you can’t even see the dust bunnies collected there. *Shiver*

After

Not only does my jewelry look much better, but now my collection of glass perfume bottles is also on display again. Those pretties were kind of shoved behind my jewelry shelf and piled on with…random things. Now they’re all out for show again, just as I like them.

I’ve been collecting these pretties since High School
Ah much better

I forgot I even had this little ring holder in all my mess of things. It came in handy since I didn’t really have any other viable, convenient place to store my rings. The ring holder came with a matching vintage mirror and brush/comb set that I have on the dresser too. The vintage “dressing table” theme suits me perfectly!

Jewelry Storage Idea
That’s a wrap! I feel much more comfortable in my room now that I don’t have to look away from my dresser. Tackling these small spaces in my home, one at a time, has done wonders on my comfort level. I am so completely satisfied with these results and pretty satisfied that I tackled this project all myself.

How do you organize your jewelry at home? I’d love to see pictures or hear about your solutions too.

DIY Jewelry Organization Makeover

My jewelry collection was an eyesore. Let’s just put it at that (you’ll see). I would forget about pieces buried in the bottom drawer of my jewelry shelf, all those necklaces had a tendency to get clumped together, and it just gave me a headache to look at it. Finally, in an attempt to make little spaces like this of my home environment more cozy and put-together, I decided to tackle the jewelry organization project head-on. With a little perusing on Pinterest, I put together some rough ideas of what I wanted the finished project to look like and headed to the thrift store.
I went through about three phases of putting this project together over the course of about a week, so I’m going to share those with you in case it provides some inspiration for you too:
Phase I
Thrifting a jewelry holder and giving it a makeover
Thrifted wooden spoon holder
What began its life as a collector spoon holder (I think??) is now the bearer of all my jewelry.
I went to the thrift store with the sole purpose of finding some old forgotten knick-knack shelf to repurpose, since they’re usually quite easy to come by. After perusing the correct aisle, I didn’t come across any that I was satisfied with. The selection was pretty picked over at the time I got there, so I went on my next mission in the store, to find some 16×20 frames. By chance, I returned to that original aisle again to return something I decided against buying and did one more quick sweep. This ugly gem was hidden under some other nondescript wooden things. It’s really made out of some quite durable wood and had that nice drawer on the bottom for earrings and such. Score!

After work the next day, I took a trip to the hardware store and stood a full 5 minutes in the paint aisle trying to decide what color I wanted this bad boy to be. I had green in my hand, but I was still debating. Our bedroom is green, but what if it didn’t quite match? I finally thought, why not make the jewelry shelf match some of the jewelry itself with a fresh coat of silver? While I was at the hardware store, I also picked out two drawer knobs and some ring screws to add to the shelf for extra storage.

Silver jewelry organizer
The finished product. A HUGE improvement!

Hubster helped me find the right screw length for the side knobs, but I did all the work! These knobs and extra screws on the bottom provide extra storage for longer necklaces and such.
Phase II
Cleaning the jewelry
While I was going through my jewelry, deciding what to keep and what to donate, I came across a few pieces I still really like but that have become quite tarnished with age. With a little research online, I decided to try lining a glass casserole dish with tin foil, sprinkling baking soda over the jewelry, and pouring water over the top. This worked for some of the jewelry, but I had to go back and rub toothpaste on a few items to really get them to shine again. No expensive jewelry cleaner required!
Baking soda and tin foil for tarnished jewelry

Phase III
Jewelry organization

In order to tame the chaos that my jewelry had become, I wanted the finished project to be as orderly and visually appealing as possible. The first thing I did was gather some silver cardstock from my scrapbooking collection. I made these nice earring cards by simply poking holes in the folded cardstock with a thick tapestry needle that I had, but I’m sure a safety pin would’ve done the trick. I absolutely adore how my earrings are all organized and easy to grab now. I can get a good look at them all with one quick glance. And none of them are buried in a mess, only to never be used again. In fact, today I’m wearing a pair of earrings I had forgotten I even had!
Next, I strung all my necklaces on the spoon holder thingies, which turned out to be great necklace holders. Hubster happened to have a nail that perfectly matched the silver shelf, so I used that to affix the organizer to the wall behind our dresser. Now all my necklaces are completely visible, making getting dressed in the morning quick and easy.


Before

It pains me a bit to even show this (bad lighting notwithstanding) “before” picture. It’s really unnerving to keep my jewelry in such a disarray. And you can’t even see the dust bunnies collected there. *Shiver*

After

Not only does my jewelry look much better, but now my collection of glass perfume bottles is also on display again. Those pretties were kind of shoved behind my jewelry shelf and piled on with…random things. Now they’re all out for show again, just as I like them.

I’ve been collecting these pretties since High School
Ah much better

I forgot I even had this little ring holder in all my mess of things. It came in handy since I didn’t really have any other viable, convenient place to store my rings. The ring holder came with a matching vintage mirror and brush/comb set that I have on the dresser too. The vintage “dressing table” theme suits me perfectly!

Jewelry Storage Idea
That’s a wrap! I feel much more comfortable in my room now that I don’t have to look away from my dresser. Tackling these small spaces in my home, one at a time, has done wonders on my comfort level. I am so completely satisfied with these results and pretty satisfied that I tackled this project all myself.

How do you organize your jewelry at home? I’d love to see pictures or hear about your solutions too.

Recent Thrifting Adventures

I set out on a mission: to dress up for Thrift Shop Day at work. I mean, how could a thriftaholic like me turn down a challenge like that?

So, I made my way to a local thrift shop that has a dedicated dollar section where they hold all of their…um…real gems. I was easily able to pull together an outfit for $5 and cracked up doing so.

I found some awesome stretchy electric blue leggings, a polyester house shirt with pockets, a gaudy orange knit shawl and a fabulous retro flower purse. Accessories were a $1 pair of shoes, orange and blue beaded necklaces, and a vintage head scarf. It’s difficult to distinguish all the patterns and everything that’s going on in this picture, but you get the point.

I guess it wasn’t quite as “out there” as I thought. Several people just thought that was what I was wearing that day, forgetting it was thrift shop day. Haha! I’ll let you know though, the purse, the shoes and the scarf will definitely be going into my regular rotation. I totally dig the retro purse.

On the same trip though, I was able to pick up some amazing “normal” items as well. I got Peanut some more button-down plaid shirts (his go-to look) and Hubster some brand new-looking jeans.

For myself, I snagged the following:

The cutest purple tank top. Upon examination, it even appears to be homemade. I love handmade any day of the week. I’m so glad I get to give this hand-crafted shirt a good home.

A cute tank by Canadian designer Point Zero that makes for a super-cute workout shirt
And my favorite find of all. I spotted this cute little clutch purse, buried in a bin, under a pile of wallets. I saw the tag on the side right away and thought, this must’ve been made by some cute little creative girl on Etsy or something. It had a ruffle down the front and was just so so cute. Once home, I had to look up the designer on the tag, Lisa Lill Studios. Check it out for yourself. This little clutch retails for $99. Um… SCORE!

I swear, thrift shopping is like treasure hunting for me! What is your favorite secondhand score?

DIY Yoga Mat Holder Tutorial

If there’s one thing that makes me feel like I’m contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle, it’s by reusing and recycling items that I already have or have bought secondhand for new uses. One such project that was born from my recycling efforts is this DIY yoga mat strap.

 photo P4211473_zps82f0c9c1.jpg

I used the black holder that came with my yoga mat (from Target) as sort of a guide when designing my mat holder. The way the strap loops around itself inspired me to produce something similar with a more aesthetically pleasing piece of fabric.

 photo P4211479_zps324da5da.jpg

A scarf is the perfect piece of long piece of finished fabric that you can use for this project, and you can usually find scarves in an array of colors and patterns at your local thrift store or your closet. Mine was from St. Vincent de Paul. If you wanted to use other fabric, simply stitch up the edges and then follow the steps below for the looping effect.

 photo P4211466_zps1060a7e6.jpg

You’ll need a scarf, sewing machine (you could do this by hand), and thread that matches your scarf.

1. First, you’ll want to loop one end of your scarf around itself the way this black strap does.

 photo P4211477_zps29989267.jpg
First loop one end under the rest of the scarf:

 photo P4211468_zps15b2af22.jpg
Then, loop the end back over on top of the fabric and pin the short end in place.

 photo P4211469_zps3877c2b3.jpg

Do the same with the other end and pin in place.

 photo P4211470_zps7db8e4c3.jpg

Then, sew along the edge where you pinned the scarf together. Be sure that the wrong sides of the fabric are facing each other when you sew. Repeat on both ends. You could definitely do this simple sewing by hand.

 photo P4211471_zps0c88571d.jpg

That’s all you have to do, and you have a handy little carrying strap for your mat. Pretty easy, right?

yoga mat holder photo P4211476_zps2deb87ae.jpg

I do think I would’ve liked a little bit longer scarf to create a longer shoulder strip. I can fit this one around my arm, but it really is more the length of a hand strap. I will surely take a trip back to the thrift store for some more scarves. This makes a great gift for the health nut or yoga enthusiast on your list. And it literally takes only a few minutes to put together, once you get that looping thing down.

I’m thinking about doing a giveaway with one of these. Let me know what you think in the comments. If you do use this tutorial, leave a link for me so I can see what you made. Happy sewing!

Skip To My Lou

Show and Tell

C’mon, we can still have show and tell as adults in a virtual world, right? I think so.

Well, the story is that I was completely inspired by this post from Rachel Denbow over at Smile and Wave to make a quilt. I have never felt anything close to desire to sew a quilt before. I thought they were too fussy, too old-lady, too time-consuming, and all those other really bad stereotypes. Boy, was I proven wrong! Rachel actually made it seem doable to me–and stylish! I actually wanted to make one. If you know, me, that doesn’t seem possible. But, on a quilting adventure we will go.

 photo P1201020_zps8c8ad9b2.jpg

The lucky recipient of my very first quilt is my little nephew who turns ONE this Sunday. I chose colors that were youthful, but that would still grow with him, the theme being yellows, greens and browns. Some of the pieces are leftover from a Christmas stocking that I made him, so it will have a special link. I used a 40″ x 60″ fleece blanket as the backing, so the size of the blanket also leaves room for him to grow. I chose a pre-made fleece blanket for my backing, because it’s cheaper to buy a fleece blanket at the store than to buy fleece fabric by the yard. Go figure!

 photo P1201021_zps722251d4.jpg
 photo P1201023_zpsa38638aa.jpg

I made my own binding using the “cheater method” that Rachel recommends. I am all about “cheats” and “shortcuts” when it comes to sewing, as long as it doesn’t affect the integrity of the finished piece. And actually, making binding from the leftover quilt fabric is so much more amazing than just buying premade binding. It matches and it’s so pretty.

Here is the final product, all bundled and ready to be presented to one handsome little guy. I hope he snuggles his face into it as he likes to do with other soft things. That would truly warm his auntie’s heart.

 photo P1201027_zpsc0244e0c.jpg

See that stack down there? That is the beginning of the next quilt I plan to tackle. I want to make a quilt large enough to fit our bed and warm enough for my husband’s liking. He didn’t even mind that there were a lot of pink vintage florals, as long as the quilt is warm. It will be three layers “deep,” with the quilted cotton top, cotton sheet backing (rescued from the thrift store) and a plush fleece blanket for the lining. That oughta do it, right? Then, my Peanut has me on commission to make him a quilt too, even though his great-grandma already sewed him a beautiful one. Who am I to resist his request though? Warms a momma’s heart.

 photo P1201024_zpsf601181d.jpg

Can’t wait for the next round of show and tell. It will mean that I have finished quilt #2. I mean, wow! I never thought in a million years I would be showing you a quilt I sewed. Anything is possible with the right motivation. Thanks Rachel!

Thrifted Goodies for Autumn

This summer, I haven’t been in a big thrifting/rummage saling kind of mood. Someone check my temperature!!! I guess it goes in phases for me. I did have one surge of thrift craving recently, and spent more than I’ve ever spent in a thrift store (which is steal el cheapo!). I made quite the haul, which has quenched my craving for weeks.

These three blouses will be perfect for the fall. Their colors, patterns and coverage speak to the changing seasons. I can’t wait to pair them with skirts and tights.

Thrift Shopping, Thrifted shirts
In fact, let’s play dress-up right now and put a few outfits together. I just couldn’t wait!
Thrift Shopping, Thrifted Vintage Outfit
I love the tie and pattern on this vintage blouse. I bought the skirt that same day. It was a name brand made with high-quality stretchy fabric, and I didn’t even have to brave the mall. Score!
Thrift Shopping, Thrifted outfit
I just fell so hard in love with these shoes, that they had to come home with me. They were a little pricey for a thrift store, but they were brand new, so into my cart they went. The southwestern belt paired with the plaid shirt is super-cute.  The two belts that I found just make me swoon. The leather one has the coolest design in it.
Thrift Shopping, Thrifted belts
I also came away with two other pairs of shoes. I am always very picky and careful with secondhand shoes. I will not buy anything worn. I rarely even venture into the shoe section, but the three I found were all in unworn condition. It’s pretty amazing that I found three brand-new pairs that I loved and fit me in the same day.

Thrift Shopping, Thrifted sandals
Thrift Shopping, Thrifted Shoes

Oh, that felt so good. A whole new fall wardrobe for under $40. I can live with that. This was one of the best thrift shopping hauls I’ve had in a long time.

If you’re curious to try out a new thrift shopping adventure, check out my thrift shopping guide for mommas on a budget Part One and Part Two.

A Thrifting Guide for Mommas on a Budget (Part Two)

Vintage Love
Welcome to Part Two of my guide to thrift shopping, filled with tips and tricks to navigate those beautiful, dusty aisles. If you haven’t already, check out Part One.

6. Think unconventionally. I’ve been known to buy large plaid men’s shirts to turn into toddler pants. Women’s nightgowns provide great yardage of satin material (because it can get expensive at the fabric store). Board games missing their pieces are perfect for recycling into wall art or jewelry. Those tacky wreaths can be deconstructed and remade into modern spring door decorations. Items do not need to serve their intended purposes—they can be made to serve yours!

For example, this vintage sewing basket makes a great corral for takeout menus and phone books.

thrift shopping

7. Don’t judge the bed by its coverlet. Similarly to the above, you can make almost anything suit your taste with a fresh coat of paint. Don’t dismiss furniture because of a few nicks and scratches or metal baskets because of an ugly shade of pastel. It’s amazing what sandpaper, a half-hour, and a small can of spray paint can do!

P9041043

8. Schedule the dates. Almost every thrift store has a special sale day of the week or month. Find out when they are and you might enjoy a ½-price discount. You may also benefit from knowing which days the store tends to stock up for fresh pickings. Be prepared to battle for personal space if you go on Saturday mornings.

Photobucket

9. Make sure you have a truck lined up. And make sure said truck actually has working brakes. Ha! This is especially true for rummage saling and flea market shopping. When you buy new patio furniture for $5, you need to find a good way to bring it home that won’t put anyone’s life in jeopardy. But seriously, this is your warning to have proper transportation at the ready when you find an amazing vintage dining room table for $50 that you can’t live without.

Photobucket

10. Iffy items. Now, I know some people who are completely creeped out by thrift stores. I think they think vintage stores are just teeming with all sorts of unsavory things and characters. The truth is, there are lots of everyday people participating in the equivalent of an indoor rummage sale. It’s not taboo anymore! That being said, there are some things you just can’t buy used (underwear, really???), and we all have our limits and that’s ok! Mine are shoes (unless they still have tags), underthings, anything with holes/pills/stains, pillows, and stuffed animals. I especially stay away from things that can’t easily be sanitized or washed.

Viewmaster

Thrift shopping isn’t the only way to nab unique deals. Other places to find one-of-a-kind steals: rummage sales, consignment shops, flea markets, antique stores, estate sales, and Etsy Vintage. I have barely bought a single article of clothing for my son for full price at a retail store. I mostly go rummage saling or get clothes from other people I know with boys. It seems illogical to me to spend $20 for an outfit that might be worn three times before it doesn’t fit anymore when I can buy a barely-used outfit for $1. We’ll leave those prices to the boy’s grandmas who like to spoil him, right?

I’m not a natural-born mall shopper, so I too like to buy my clothes on consignment or secondhand. That way, my style isn’t a regurgitated version of everyone else’s. I love the thrill of the unexpected, unusual and extra-special. And I loved these longs long before it became popular to pick through the thrift stores and resell items for a giant upcharge. To me, it’s more about clothing my family in a truly unique style on a shoestring budget. After all, that is exactly what those stores were created for.

I hope you are inspired to hit up the thrift store this weekend. What is your favorite secondhand treasure?

If you’re interested in learning even more, here are some other great vintage shopping articles that I’ve come across:

*An amazing post with sizing tips for vintage clothing
*Elsie also has a great list of thrift shopping tips.
*The Girls with Glasses have an inside-Goodwill video series to guide you through the aisles.
*Great comprehensive mother of all thrifting guide from a professional, Freckle Wonder: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.