Saturday, August 20, 2011

The How To's of Thrifting

I do not claim to be a connoisseur of thrifting, but I have been known to snag a good bargain here and there! A lot of the furniture in my home came from either a flea market, garage sale, or consignment.  I am proud of my bargains because they have WAY more personality than something you see in every decorating store you walk into.  For instance, in the picture above I have a vintage cake pan and a wal-mart plastic cake pan.  Which do you like better? Personally, I prefer the vintage because it costs less ($11.00), will last 40 years longer, and has much more personality than mr. plastic who dropped my petit fours last week!
Today with the help of Con, we shall share our thrifting secrets with ya'll.  So get excited!

First, I'm gonna show you a few of my finds, tell you how much I paid, and where I got them.

First up is Doris.  I bought her on Craigslist because I needed extra drawers and storage.  She was well worth the $125 I paid for her & she adds so much to our bedroom.  I love you Doris.
Next up is Bert.  Haha, isn't that a funny, fitting name?  Anyway, I paid $40.00 for him at the Pearl Flea Market. 

Elsavador, Franklin, and Henry were $1.00 at a garage sale.  We painted them and now they live on dude's dresser.  He would love nothing more than to bite their heads off.
P.S. how funny are these names that I'm coming up with?  I'm cracking myself up!

Our dining room table and china cabinet were bought at a garage sale for $600.00.  It retails for over $3,000.  We did have to buy new glass for the table for $40.00 though, but all in all MUCH cheaper than brand new!

These pictures hang in my dining room & I paid $15.00 for them.  Remember, when you're thrifting that even if you don't like the picture, you can still use the frame for something else!  These frames have a lot of detail and would probably be close to $50 a piece at a frame store.

I spruced up my guest bath for $20.00!  That included an aqua toilet paper holder with matching towels, beautiful vase, shower curtain, and towel holder for the sink!  Most came from garage sales.

This piece was $5.oo and I keep all of dude's bath stuff in it.  I love the way it looks in his bathroom!

Little dude here is expensive, but his bumper pad at his grammy's house was only $12.00 at Ross. 

Now, the how to's of thrifting! 
GARAGE SALING: the art of discovering another person's junk and making it your treasure.
Hands down this is where you will find your best deals.  However, it is hit or miss.  Half the time I find myself wondering why the heck these people are sitting in the heat to sell crap that needs to be thrown away!  First, you need a game plan and a friend.  Thrifting is so much better with  a partner who can help you to not junk up your own home.  We use Craig's list to find where the garage sales will be held and sometimes the people hosting the garage sale will include what items are for sale.  Just simply go to your local craigslist and under for sale click on garage sale. Make a list of all the garage sales that appeal to you and get directions from mapquest.  Also, we ride down old fannin & look for garage sale signs.  For some reason we always find good things in Barnett Bend.  We heart BB. 

CRAIGSLIST: a website created by a guy named Craig that we use to find nice second-hand furniture & baby items.
We use Craigslist when we are looking for something specific.  Before dude was born, mom got most of her baby gadgets to keep at her house from craigslist.  It is so nice to be able to load dude & not have to bring a billion things because she has them already!  Here are some items she bought from craigslist: stroller, johnny jumper, baby gates, baby bed, swing, bath tub, and a diaper bag.  It was crazy for her to spend all that money on brand new things when they were in excellent condition!

CONSIGNMENT: usually an air-conditioned store that sells nicer, fun stuff and is more expensive than a garage sale.
Our favorite consignment stores are Forget Me Not, Repeat Street, and Bloomingdeals.  You can also sell a few of your nice things via consignment.  Usually the store owner gets 60% and you get 40% of whatever it sells for. 

FLEA MARKETS: usually an unairconditioned building where different people sell treasures in their designated shops. 
We also love flea markets!  We especially love them when the weather is cooler & it's not 120 degrees outside...  We go to the flea markets in Flowood and Pearl.  You would be amazed at some of the cool stuff you will find!  It is also worth mentioning, though I'm not sure they fall in this category, Goodwill & Salvation Army.  Also, you can go to the Second Chance store (where we donate our refinished furniture) to support battered women.  Those places donate all proceeds, but they will not negotiate on price! 

Tips on Buying Furniture:
  • Look for cracks, wheels missing, chips, etc.  Inspect the piece!
  • If you are refinishing, then make sure you buy real wood. We've learned this the hard way.  Con brought home a beautiful armoire that we later realized was particle board- we wasted our money & ended up giving it away because it wasn't worth refinishing!
  • If you like it, buy it!  Especially if it is cheap:)  So what if you ruin it during the refinishing process when it only costs $4.00...
  • Find pieces that are unusual & fun.  It's those pieces that people notice in your home!
  • Look for signs that say "Moving Sale" or "Estate Sale"  That is where you can find great furniture pieces.
  • Negotiate.  Especially if you are at a garage sale you want to offer them less than what they have it marked.  Nine times out of ten they will come down on the price!
  • HAVE FUN.  We do it because we enjoy it.  It is so fun finding old forgotten pieces & turning them into unique treasures..  However, it is not for everyone!
We hope you have been enlightened and inspired!  Now get to thrifting, it can bring you happiness:)

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