10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting

Hi Everyone!
Y’all know I am a major, like as in….rarely pay retail, thrifter. And when it comes to projects/crafts/DIY that are home décor items, I always look at what it could be instead of what it is when I go thrifting. So, I have a mental list of things that I ALWAYS look for or check out when thrifting. And I have a set price in mind in which I will pay for these items. And I almost never go past my price. I can honestly say that the below items I rarely pay over $2.00 for. Unless it is something I am just over the moon about, $2.00 is my cutoff point. And I stick to my guns. I learned a long time ago to just walk away if it is not in my price range. Which happens more times than not. I don’t even want to go into the insane prices some of the big “charity” thrift stores are charging. I rant about that enough on Facebook. LOL
10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting. Thrifty stores, flea markets, yard sales, garage sales, autions, estate sales...look for certain bargain finds.10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting. Thrift stores, flea markets, auctions, estate sales, yard sales, garage sales and any other thrifting place, keep an eye out for these bargains!
I adhere to a pretty strict thrifting budget for projects/crafting. I do things a little different than most. I don’t come up with a project and then go out to find the items I need to create that project. Okay, I have done that a couple of times but, mostly I look at the things that I have picked up when I found them for a very low price and work from there.
Here are 10 of the things I watch for when thrifting:

 I see sheets as large piece of fabric. I don’t buy them to use as linens. I buy them to use many different ways such as napkins, table runners, quilting, curtains and backing for throws. That is just to name a few.
Here is an example. I was doing a purple theme tablescape and wanted pretty light purple and white napkins. so, I made some from a pillow case I had bought a few months prior because I though the colors and design were pretty.
10 Things I look for when thrifting

Have you priced pillow forms at the store? They are expensive. So, I look for decorative pillows just to use the pillow form. I remove the fabric, wash and dry the pillow and create my own decorative pillow.
10 Things I look for when thrifting
First of all, I love pretty cloth napkins and I use them. But, I also buy them for remaking decorative pillows.  There are a lot of little cloth projects that I will use cloth napkins for such as table runners, placemats, sachets, mug rugs, make a cute little wine bottle bag, ornaments, cloths in baskets. Any a bunch more.
Holy cow! Faux flowers are so expensive at craft stores! The only time I seem to buy flowers from a retail store is when they are seriously marked down to 75-90% off. But, I do love the big beautiful flowers that are more expensive. So, I keep my eye out for them at thrift stores. Generally I find great deals on out of season flowers when I am thrifting. They will be in arrangements or wreaths. Generally the arrangement or wreath looks like crap  worn out but, I know I am going to tear it apart and just use the florals.
I bought this pot of flowers back in July. Nobody wanted Fall flowers then so I got them for $1.00. You will see an arrangement for Fall in an upcoming post using these.
10 Things I look for when thrifting
And don’t over look the bags of flowers or green leaf garlands. These too are great finds at thrift stores!
10 Things I look for when thrifting

Always look at the wreaths at thrift stores. Don’t pay attention to the ugly dusty outdated flowers on them. Generally the uglier they are, the cheaper they are as well. Just pay attention to the foundation. The wreath form is what you are looking for. Large grapevine wreaths are not cheap when you buy them at Michael’s or other craft stores! I always search out the wreath sections at thrift stores. I can’t remember the last time I bought a brand new wreath unless it was a small one at the dollar store.
10 Things I look for when thrifting
Big decorative frames are so expensive. Heck, just plain frames are expensive! I rarely look at pictures for the actual picture. I am always searching for cool frames to use in different ways. I have shared a lot of thrifted frame projects here on TTG. Sometime the frames are actually used to hold a picture but, more times than not they are used for an entirely different purpose! Even big ugly plastic frames can be turned into fun things!
10 Things I look for when thrifting
It’s not as easy to find these types of things anymore. Everyone is looking for pretty antique doorknobs or hinges. But, they can be found. But, also look for new hardware pieces. They are generally in the odds and ends aisle. I have found many cool curtain pull backs, finials and brand new still in the package bathroom towel bars or things like that.  You can also find drawer pulls in different places. Confession time! I have gotten many decorative pulls and knobs from curbside freebies! Yes, my eyes are always searching on trash days! I have stopped and removed the knobs/pulls from many a broken old dresser or kitchen cabinets that are outside by the curb for trash. I keep a couple of basic tools in my truck and take the knobs off these soon to reside in the landfill items.
10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting. Thrifty stores, flea markets, yard sales, garage sales, autions, estate sales...look for certain bargain finds.10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting
I pick up those .99 cent bags of little crafting doodads all the time. A lot of it may be the whole 1980’s cutesy country themed items but, there is generally a lot of good odds and ends in those bags. Ribbon is a biggie to me. I use ribbon a lot in projects. They may have spools of ribbon that someone has used part of it but, there is still plenty to play with.
10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting. Thrifty stores, flea markets, yard sales, garage sales, autions, estate sales...look for certain bargain finds.10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting
In this category I include the bags of sewing notions. Always search through these bags for buttons and other items that can be used in crafting. People generally overlook these bags because they are just “a bag of junk”. I’m glad people think this way. I like “junk”.
10 Things I look for when thrifting
Just like the bag of odds and ends craft items, I look at those bags or bundles of candles that are all mix and match. Many are broken or nicked up. First of all, these are great to keep in your emergency stash for power outages. Who wants to burn the pretty “good’ candles!
10 Things I look for when thrifting
Candlesticks can easily be transformed into whatever you want them to be. Don’t look at them as they are, think of them as what they could be!
10 Things I look for when thrifting
This may seem out of place in this list but, I also own a business and need to keep certain paperwork. Binders are not cheap to buy. Especially the big ones. But, I have no desire to waste my money on buying these retail. You can find these at thrift stores for about a $1.00. They generally have a ton of them. I use them for household things as well.
10 Things I look for when thrifting
Well, that is my top 10 thrift store items I look for on a regular basis. It is such a habit to look for these things that I don’t even realize I’m doing it.
10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting. Thrifty stores, flea markets, yard sales, garage sales, autions, estate sales...look for certain bargain finds.10 Things To Look For When You Go Thrifting
Do you have certain things that you always look for when out thrifting?
Thank you for stopping by for a visit! I hope you have a wonderful day!


  1. What a good list. I look for things for the Grands now and books of course. I also look for kitchen items that might be useful but I wouldn't pay full price for. I agree on frames and crafty items. I have a bunch of things I need to paint if it EVER stops raining here.

  2. We look for a lot of the same things. I am co-host of Vintage Charm link party and this is a perfect post to share there. The party opens at 8:00am EST on Thursdays and closes on Monday. Hope to see you there this week.

  3. I buy the binders all the time. I hate the start of school because they all disappear. I have found several that already had sheet protectors in them. I store things like warranty paperwork, bank statements, inventory pictures with the story (furniture I have inherited, so the family won't garage sale it willy-nilly after I am gone) and my craft dies and rubber stamps.

    I have also done the sheets, pillow cases, and table linens. My fall, Christmas & Halloween tablecloths have all been thrifted. I have found some really nice napkin rings. I got a box for $5.00 that had almost two dozen in all kinds of colors and metals. I admit not to have used all of them yet, but the holidays are coming, and I have 25 people in my family if they all show up. I also got a couple of curtain headers (I don't know what you call them, but you put them at the top of the window to hide the top of the blinds) that I turned into table runners for the entry hall table, and the dining table. They were $0.79 cents, and the ones you buy retail are usually $12.00 or more.

    I buy flower pots if they have them. The ones on the balcony never seem to last more than a season or two.

  4. GREAT list - well done, agree with you completely!

    Can't wait to see your new floral arrangement.

    This is a post I did recently that showed what I did with assorted old ugly floral from thrifting:

    I wish I had thought of taking a before shot= they were soooooo ugly. : - )

  5. I love to thrift, so I really enjoyed your blog post. Good advise and great ideas. Like Linda, I look for the Grands and love to pick up kid's books for them.
    I haven't gotten into the floral thing yet...seems like a great idea.

  6. Awesome idea's and I do love to go thrifting.
    Joy @ Books and Life

  7. Glad you live on a different continent , we'd be fighting for the same stuff in the thrifts . I have the £1 rule , if it will make me happy I will buy it

  8. Books. I love to read and books from the books stores start at $15 or more. I have found lots of fiction and other helpful books at thrift stores. Sometimes for as little as 50c to $1.

  9. I look for books with colorful covers, wreath forms, fabric, ribbon, linens, lots of things! I love paying next to nothing for things I love! Enjoyed your post so much!!


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