I talk a LOT about thrift stores, garage sales, and the like. I preach about the great items you can find at bargain prices and the many other benefits—finding pieces with personality, breathing new life into once-loved items, and being friendly to our planet. In many ways we are a wasteful society. We tend to want the newest, trendiest things and our landfills get filled quicker as a result.

So I encourage you to hit the thrift stores and, with a little TLC, you might find a new favorite piece…a real show-stopper, a conversation starter, a diamond in the rough. Enough with the clichés!

In this blog I’ll share some of my recent purchases in the hopes of inspiring you to “hit the thrifts” and begin a new relationship or rekindle a dormant relationship with sanders, spray paint and bargain shopping.

On the surface this is just a floor vase, but I needed something big enough for this spot and didn’t want to spend $20 to $60 to get a new vase. At my local Goodwill I found this plain glass vase with a price tag of $1.99. That’s more like it! After several coats of acrylic paint, I had the vase I needed for a grand total of under $3. I already had the goodies to go in the vase, but even if I hadn’t I still would have come in around $12 total.

This little cutie was in a furniture salvage store. It’s a little telephone table, from the back in the days when phones were attached to a cord in your house and you needed somewhere to put it (seems like so long ago!). I decided to spruce it up and transform it into a little side table. The piece cost $10 and the makeover cost about $2 worth of chalk paint (I make my own, but that’s another blog entirely).

I was thrifting with a friend one day and wasn’t looking for anything in particular but this signed painting caught my eye. She was not looking too good... a blonde wood frame and a peach colored mat. Ugh, very 1987, but the price was right: $9.99. The photo is beautiful with its sepia tones, and I thought it could look contemporary with some TLC to the frame and mat. I didn’t reframe it. I simply took everything apart and painted the mat and frame with a flat black paint. The cost for me was zero because I always have extra paint lying around, but you could buy paint for around $3 and a grand total of $13 for a beautiful new piece!

I was looking for some metal art to fill a wall in my bathroom, and one day while running errands I ducked into Goodwill (I had to, it called to me) just to see what goodies they might have. Since Goodwill clearly was trying to communicate with me (how rude if I were just to pass by), I found this piece. It had shiny gold paint with a bronzy finish. Not my taste at all, but using some dark gray hammered paint I had on hand and adding a touch of teal as highlight, I made it my own. The price was right at $5.99, and I had the paint on-hand and used maybe $2 worth.

Finally, one of favorites of late—this cute little bench. It looked pretty atrocious in the store—zebra striped furry fabric on the bench and chipped dark brown legs with gold accents on them. The piece itself was an Ethan Allen and in good shape. Price = $29! Cost to fix her up? Zero for me, because the fabric I used to recover it was a shower curtain I already had and flat black paint I also had for the legs. Even if you had to buy fabric and paint, the total cost would be under $50—pretty sweet for a classy looking piece that will last a long time.

I hope I’ve inspired you to get shopping and create some treasures of your own. If it’s new to you, just jump in and give it a go! Once you’ve created your newest favorite repurposed item, please share it with the world by posting on our Facebook Page and you can help inspire others to do the same!

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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