Your home is meant to be your comfortable space. The place to unwind, feel at peace, let the worries subside. For us, our home is also the place to showcase our collections, DIY projects, and other treasures. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure… and, well, we’ve inherited or collected quite a few treasures throughout the years. Here are some things I won’t pass up if offered, or the things I try to look for while thrifting or antiquing. Hey, I will even pull over if there’s something worthwhile on the roadside.
Sturdy wood furniture – this hand-crafted shelf was passed along to me from a friend. It’s solid, in lovely condition, holds our hefty books and allows us to display other items we’ve found or collected along the way.
The other thing I always look for at second-hand stores are picture frames. We use them to display photos, artwork, and even some of the insects we’ve collected. They are often in abundant supply and much much less than purchasing brand new at a big box store.
Books – novels, geography, historical and art reference books are always far less expensive second-hand. Many thrift stores also offer BOGO purchase deals or member coupons for their media selections because there is almost always an overstock.
Fun artwork – now this is always hit or miss. Sometimes you stumble across some neat original artwork like the few I’ve found throughout the years. Most of the time it’s replica prints of art you see all over the place and it’s worth purchasing for repurposing the frame alone. Sometimes you can even repurpose the canvas and create your own artwork for less than purchasing new blank canvases. Keep a keen eye out, and soon enough you might find a gem or two.
Woven baskets – I tend to look for different sized baskets for different purposes throughout the house. I have a few to house plants, some to stash blankets in the cooler months, and some to hide away things we use for homeschool that I don’t want constantly on display.
And I’m not too fancy to turn away from a good roadside or dumpster find… With a good scrub, some fresh paint, someone’s trash could be saved from destruction to continue on with a new life.
The previous owners of my kitchen breakfast table left it beside a dumpster. We gave it a super sanitary scrub, sanded it down a bit, painted the legs and sealed the top, and voila! We’ve had it and used it for well over a decade. It could have been turned to scrap wood, but we saw it’s potential and put it to good use. The chairs were also discarded from someone moving and no longer needing them.
I’m a sucker for a good handmade piece of pottery. I love handmade mugs and will snag one if they are $2 or less to use at home or incorporate into a cute Christmas or birthday gift with a box of tea or bag of specialty coffee.
Jars and unique planters – I like to use mason jars for seasonal decor when I’m not using them for food storage. Larger jars can be expensive brand new, so looking for them while thrifting usually turns up some options and saves me some money. I love having indoor plants all throughout the house, so when I find a fun planter at a good price I snatch it up.
Lastly, outdoor furniture can be pretty pricey, so when I see outdoor options available, I give them a good look over. These woven chairs were bright red, but at $12 for both, I knew I had to take them home. I grabbed a couple bottles of spray paint and gave them new life.
Second-hand shopping has become something my entire family enjoys. We make it a fun activity by seeing what kinds of “treasures” we might discover. Some days I give my kids specifics on finding items or books and a certain price point and they seem to really be up to the challenge! I hope you find the joy in looking at items in a new light and pushing yourself to extend the life of disgarded items if you don’t already. Happy treasure hunting!