Thrift Shopping Finds

I try to get out to go thrift shopping on a regular basis.  Some of my favorite places around Lancaster are:  Goodwill, Salvation Army, and then local places – Thrifty Elegance, Stock Swap, Charlie’s Used Furniture, and Attic Treasures, which is only once a month at a local church.  I haven’t had much luck with furniture lately, but I have gotten some good deals on accessories and other small finds.

Thrifty Elegance is a newer store, and I don’t think I have stopped in a single time that I didn’t buy something!  I bought this painting after debating the purchase several times that I stopped in.  I loved the colors and knew they would work in many places in my house, but I hated the frame and the picture and mat are not a standard size, so I wasn’t sure what I would do with it.  But, one day I finally caved, because for only $11.95, I figured I could spend a little money on it to make it what I wanted.

Thrift Shopping - new painting

This picture was before I did anything to it.  I started just with some spray paint to see if that would be enough to make me like the frame.  I’ll share the after pictures soon.  It just got a final coat of paint today.

On the same outing I bought some more pictures.  I haven’t found a spot for these three yet, but again the colors work well in our house.  I think all three were only $6.

Thrift Shopping - 3 wall canvases

I can’t remember if I bought the birdhouse in the same trip or not.  But, it was $5.  It’s pretty tall, and I like the natural texture to it.  I tried it in the foyer, but it didn’t go over well with Bob.  So, I’m still looking for the right spot in the house for the birdhouse too.

Thrift Shopping - Birdhouse

I know when I got the birdhouse, I also picked up this fake plant for $2.

Thrift Shopping - Fake Plant

We have tons of real plants, but it is too difficult to have real plants in the basement, so I need some more faux ones to add some “life” to the basement.  I plan to paint the pot for a new look.

Just last weekend, I picked up this beauty.  I couldn’t resist the branches and flowers, especially for only $4.  Again, its pretty large and it hasn’t found its spot in the house, but I’m sure it will soon.  I might even use some spray paint to give it a new look too.

Thrift Shopping - branch flower wall art

On another trip, I picked up these two vases, which were $4 for the pair.  I bought them in anticipation of changing the color scheme in the living room with the new sectional.

Thrift Shopping- new ceramic vases

I put them on the mantle today, and I’m really enjoying the nice pop of color in the room.

In early June, I went to Attic Treasures for the monthly sale.  I didn’t spend much, but came home with a few treasures.

Thrift Shopping - vases cutting mat and book

All of the glassware was 25 cents each.  I’ll give the green ones a coat of paint to really show off the texture.  The cutting mat was only 25 cents too, and it will come in handy in my scrapbooking supplies.  And, I couldn’t resist the upholstery book for 50 cents to help me try to figure out some of the more complicated upholstery jobs.

A few weekends ago, the Salvation Army was having 50% off the whole store.  I knew I needed a cart as soon as I saw the sign!

Thrift Shopping - scrapbook - paper holder  and wreath from salvation army

The plastic container is to hold scrapbooking paper.  It was $1.50.  The album is a Creative Memories scrapbook album.  The sale price was $2.  Someone had written on 2 of the pages, but since it is refillable, it is definitely worth it.  The wreath is quite crazy, but underneath all of that fabric is a white painted grapevine wreath for just $1.  I didn’t waste any time cutting off all the fabric as soon as I got it home.

Thrift Shopping - grapevine wreath uncovered

I’ll use it to create something new when I’m ready to change up my current Spring wreath that is still on our front door.

The purchase that I really was excited about the most was this bamboo tray table.

Thrift Shopping - bamboo tray table - price is right

It was half price too, so for $1.50, I got the perfect size table to put my laptop on while I’m sitting blogging.

Thrift Shopping - Bambo tray Table - use for laptop

I’ve used it regularly, like I am right now typing this.  It is nice that I can pull it out and sit on the couch to type, but can easily tuck it behind the door in my craft room to put it away.  I left it the natural color, which is a bit worn for now, not sure if I want to paint it or not.

Later this week, I will share the updates to some of my finds.  Anyone else have good luck thrift shopping lately?  Any yard sale finds?  Anyone local that has other thrift shops that I should check out?

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My Craft Room

Sorry for the delay…I know I promised this last week, but right now my full-time job is taking most of my time and energy, which doesn’t leave a lot of time left for me to create and blog in the evenings.  I should get back to a better balance of work and fun soon!

When we finished the basement, one of the perks for me was that it freed up one of the spare bedrooms upstairs  so that I could create my craft room.   What is now the craft room, has had many different looks since we moved into our house.  Our initial plan for the room was to use it as the guest room.

Craft Room - Before as spare bedroom

It was very crowded.  And, we never used it as a guest room.  Then, we swapped the guest room with the office.  It worked better for us, and the guest room was transformed into its current look.  The office was originally a combination of furniture from my house and Bob’s house.  Then, eventually we got the desk that Bob now uses in his Music Room in the basement.  It was in the office upstairs before the basement was finished.  So, when the basement was finished, it left a blank slate for me upstairs to create my craft room.  I had a clear vision for the room – I wanted a large desk that I could have room to spread out when I was working on crafts, and I wanted a comfortable place to relax and maybe read a book.

Craft Room - After full view from doorway

I have everything I wanted, and was able to furnish the room with all used furniture.  I’ll admit I made a mistake on the desk at first.  I caved and bought a little desk at a used furniture store, but quickly realized that it wouldn’t suit my needs.  At the time, I still had a desktop computer, so I wanted room to hide all the components under the desk.  The little desk didn’t cut it.  I made it work until I found this large desk when I was out for one of my Saturday morning thrift store adventures with my friend.

Craft Room - Desk before

The desk matched the dimensions of the space almost exactly, and it was only $119 for this large desk.  It was a bit deeper than I originally wanted because of the windows in the front of the room, but I really did want all the space.  I knew I could change the look of the desk with a quick coat of paint.  Next step was the place for relaxing.  I began my search looking for a daybed, but I wasn’t finding anything.  But, then I found a sleigh bed on Craigslist and thought a bunch of pillows could make it function like a daybed.  I think I ended up paying $70 for the daybed.  I did the same thing with it as the desk, just gave it a quick coat of paint.

Craft Room - Desk and Bed before decorating

At this point, the room was very bare.  I did buy new bedding, I believe it was from Kmart.  After I got the desk and tried working at it, I ran into another problem.  Most of the chairs I had or found were too high.  Once I sat on them, I couldn’t fit my legs under the desk.  So, I spent a lot of time going to yard sales and thrift stores with my tape measure trying to find a chair that I could make work.  Finally, I had luck at the Goodwill.  Unfortunately, I must not have taken a before picture, because I can’t find one in my files.  But, it was a plain wooden chair for $5.  I inspected it and knew that I could easily remove the wooden seat, add foam and fabric to make a cushioned seat and give it a coat of white paint like the rest of the furniture in the room.  I did just that and I have a very comfortable desk chair, that I can actually sit in and fit my legs under my desk (its where I’m sitting right now).

Craft Room - Desk Chair - painted and reupholstered

The other projects I did on the desk side of the room, include the fabric bulletin board for family photos.  I found a cork board at a yard sale, popped it out of the cheap frame, wrapped it in batting and fabric and then used ribbon and bronze nail heads to make the grid.  I love that I can easily change the photos as time passes.  The floating shelves we originally in our living room, and we weren’t using them anymore, so I moved them to the Craft Room to give me more space to decorate.  I change them seasonally.  I just went back to mainly butterfly décor, because I have tons of it from my previous home.  The lamps are from the same thrift shop that I bought the desk.   The desk decorating is still in flux.  I had a desktop computer until a couple months ago, and I have not finalized how I want everything to look now that I have the laptop.  Its weird, but the desktop monitor provided height in the middle of the desk, and now I feel like everything looks flat.  The wicker chair is the mate to the one in the basement that I got from a friend at work.  I sewed the seat cushion and pillow cover.  Even the trash can and little chest were yardsale/Goodwill items that I picked up.

Craft Room - After Desk side of room

When I just added the new pillows to the bed, it led to me changing all the décor in the room.  It quickly went from this:

Craft Room - Before

To its current look, which includes the new pillows and a bit more butterfly artwork.

Craft Room - After sleigh bed with new pillows and wall art

I had bought this book years ago, because it had colorful butterfly book plates in the back.  It cost $1.48 at Ollies.  So, I used two pages in my new wall art.

Craft Room - Butterfly book for artwork

One is in the small 5×7 frame on the shelves.

Craft Room - Butterfly decor on floating shelves

And the other page is part of the gallery above the bed, in the center on the bottom.  I kept two of the frames the same – they just each have a piece of scrapbook paper in them.  The larger butterfly print was originally a fabric stretched on canvas that I bought at the monthly church thrift store for 10 cents.  I removed the fabric from the canvas (it looked cheaper that way) and then popped it in  a white spray painted frame.  The individual butterflies were from my grandmother.  They got a coat of spray paint too; they were originally very brassy with a wooden center.

Craft Room - New Butterfly wall art

The mirror that was here got relocated to the other wall, which is the small space between the closet and the door to the hallway.   The mirror now reflects the light from outside instead of just the other side of the room.  Framing the mirror are more butterflies with a fresh coat of spray paint.  These were originally dark brown.  They are very sentimental because my Mom has a set at home.  I found these in my thrift shopping travels and knew I needed to have them.  I’m happy to finally have a place to hang them.  The bamboo shelf is from the same thrift shop as the desk.  As I think about all my purchases from that shop, I’m very sad that it is now closed.  This whole wall, as skinny as it is, contains many sentimental items.  The little tin lamp is a tart warmer, that was a housewarming gift from  my Mom when I bought my first house.  The shadowbox is one I made with my wedding bouquet, Bob’s boutonniere and our wedding invitation.  The bottom shelf has all of my scrapbooks that I have filled with pictures of our trips, wedding, and just life in general.  And, they are sharing the shelf with our unity candle from our wedding.

Craft Room - Bamboo shelves and wall decor - after

I am thrilled with how this room has evolved.  It functions well for me as a craft room, and is pretty enough that I just enjoy sitting in it to relax.

Craft Room - After full view from doorway

I’ve seen some beautiful and amazing craft rooms out there.  Do any of you have a designated craft space?  Or, do you just use whatever space suits the project at hand, table, floor, etc.?

A touch of Easter

Easter Decorations - DIY spraypainted branches with hanging eggs

With the beautiful weather we are having right now, I knew it was time to decorate for Easter and begin preparing for Spring.  I started with reusing my spray painted branches that I’ve been using since last Easter.  I used them in the Fall and Christmas time too.  I put rocks in the bottom of the vase and hung speckled eggs on the branches.  I placed everything on a spring runner and added the candlesticks that I used at Christmas.

Easter Decorations - Dining Room Centerpiece  Branches with hanging eggs

The next area that got a touch of Easter was our mantle.  My Mom gave me her ceramic Easter village a few years ago.  Last year I used it in the foyer, but I decided to try it on the mantle this year.  I’m not sure if it will stay there or not, but I like having some decorations in the living room.

Easter Decorations - Easter village on mantle -no lights

The nice part is there is an outlet on the mantle, so it is very easy to light it up and enjoy the glow.

Easter Decorations - Easter Village on Mantle

My craft room got a touch of Easter too on the floating shelves.  I already had gotten out some of my butterfly decorations when I took down the Christmas and Winter ones.  So, I just added the bunnies and egg.

Easter Decorations - Floating shelves in craft room with butterflies and bunnies

The final area that is ready for Easter is the foyer.  I had everything I used, other than I bought the little basket at a Church thrift shop on Saturday for 10 cents, and I created the Easter “art.”

Easter Decorations - Foyer table with DIY ar and eggs in baskets and vases

I even made use of our junk mail that I had shredded as the nest for the eggs.  This is the first I found somewhere for the little purple vase and purple candlesticks.  I’m not sure when or why I got them, but I must have known I would find a use for them some day.

Easter Decorations - Eggs in vase and candlesticks and purple thrifted vase

I made the Easter art using my Cricut.  If you are a Cricut user, it is the Celebrate with Flourish cartridge.  I realized it will come in handy for more than just scrapbooking our holiday memories. The vase of faux flowers normally sits on my desk, but I thought the touch of Spring flowers worked well with the other Easter decorations.  I used more shredded paper as filler in the basket, so that the eggs were popped to the top of the basket.

Easter Decorations - DIY Art using cricut - eggs in thrift basket - flowers in vase

Are you enjoying a taste of Spring weather where you are?  Have you decorated for Easter? What are your thoughts….should the Easter village stay on the mantle, or should I move it somewhere else?

 

 

Spring-Thing-Party

 

A new look for my nightstand

When I decided to move my jewelry into our closet, it freed up space on top of my nightstand as well as leaving me with any empty wall above it.  I took advantage of the opportunity and used what I had in my supplies to give my nightstand a new look.

Nightstand- Before

I removed the jewelry box, jewelry rack, lamp, and the hanging necklace display.  The box with the butterflies is where I store my cell phone charger and accessories, so it is functional for me, but it did not have to stay on my nightstand since I got a new phone I don’t have to charge it every night now.  The alarm clock is necessary, since it goes off at 5am everyday!  The other item with the 2 swans is very special, as it was a wedding gift from my co-workers.  It says “two hearts beat as one,” and I just love it.  I started the process by removing everything, and I ended up with a look I really like.

Nightstand - After Pictures and new decor

I’ll admit…I removed the alarm clock for the pictures, because it looks better without it, but it still does sit on the corner of my nightstand.  I had the lamp in my décor supplies.  I bought it at a yard sale, originally for the shade, but I never ended up using it anywhere.

Nightstand - Vignette-glass tray-two hearts-books-plant

I added the plant for some color and life.  The plant, including the pot, was on clearance at Lowe’s for $4.  I picked it up when I went for the closet reorganization supplies.  I wanted to keep the swans on he nightstand, but they seemed lost.  Once I added the books, it seemed much more put together to me.  And, then I added the glass tray to finish it off.

Nightstand - after close-up of thrifted glass tray

I got the tray for 50 cents last month at Attic Treasures, which is a monthly thrift shop at a local church.  It was too pretty to pass up.  Plus, by adding the glass tray to my nightstand, it prevents me from piling other things on top of it. 🙂

Nightstand - After Pictures from Pennsylvania book close-up

For the wall décor, I also pulled from my stash of supplies I had.  The 3 frames and mats were sitting empty in the closet.  And, I also had this book:

Nightstand - Pennyslvania Book for Pictures

I had bought the book at a thrift store for $3.  It was cheap because the pages were loose.  I was glad they were loose because I only bought it to use the pictures from it.  I pulled out local pictures from around the Lancaster area and put them in the frames.  I think I would prefer the frames to be a different color, but I’m not sure what.  What color frame would you use?  I have some time to figure it out, because my preferred method for changing frames is to use spraypaint.  And, its definitely not warm enough to set up my spraypaint shop out in the backyard right now!

Nightstand - After

Overall, I’m really happy with the new look.  And, Bob gave it his approval when he returned from his trip too.  He thinks the frames should be a different color too, but we couldn’t decide on what.  Any suggestions?

Bamboo Chairs – Before and After

I took my mother-in-law on one of my recent thrift shopping adventures.  We were actually shopping for her, she wanted to find a new nightstand.  But, of course I had fun looking as well.  We both lucked out at Charlie’s Used Furniture in Lancaster.  As she was checking out nightstands, I was just browsing the store.  I found a pair of bamboo chairs.

They were definitely used, but in good enough condition for me.  I didn’t really know where I would put them, but I inspected them and knew they could easily be reupholstered. I still wasn’t sure until the owner ventured over to see how we were doing, and informed me that the pair were half price.  So, instead of $19 each, I could have the pair for $19.  SOLD!  Meanwhile, my mother-in-law also found a nightstand she liked, so we did good on our first stop of the day.

I had flipped the chairs over to see how they were put together, so when I started my disassembly at home, it was a pretty easy process.

There was only 1 screw in the front and 2 on the rear of the chair holding the seat to the base.

I removed the seat and was left with the fabric staples to remove.

I found a surprise after removing the fabric, which I just use a flat screwdriver and then pliers to pull out the staples.

There was another layer of fabric under the first one.  I’m sure this was the original fabric, and the previous owner had just added new fabric  on top of it.  I wanted to make sure that the foam was in good condition, so I also removed this layer of fabric.  Once all the fabric was gone, I found the foam in very good condition.

I had some batting on hand, so I just added that as an extra layer to maintain the condition of the foam and hold everything in place before attaching my fabric.  I purchased 1/3 a yard of fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics, on sale for only $14.99/yd, so my cost was $10.  The fabric is called Signoria Harvest, and it was in the 55″ rolls of home decor fabric.

The batting and new fabric are secured only with the staples.  I do one side at a time, then the opposite side and then repeat the same steps on the other two sides, saving the corners for last. I didn’t want a seam to show on the corners, so I rounded them the best I could and stapled.  That part took two hands, so I don’t have an in-process picture.

To make sure I was fine with the corners, I tested it by putting the seat back on the chair.  Looks good to me.  I also used some wood glue to secure sections where the accent details (not sure what they are called) were coming loose.  Then, I had to get Bob’s help to secure the seats back on the chair, as it was much more difficult putting the screws back in than taking them out.  I held the seat in place and he used his drill to make them really secure.

 For now, the chairs have found a place in the basement beside the console table and under the sconces.

Puddy gives his approval by testing them out in their new home! 

While I was rearranging, I started to take down some of my Fall decor and change up the look on the console table.  I still feel like it needs something else.  I seem to always struggle with getting the right look on tablescapes and vignettes….it takes me a few tries before I get it right, and I have to live with it a while in between the tries to decide what I think about it.   Any suggestions on how to finish off this spot in our basement?  Am I the only one who is ready to take down all the Fall decor and start decorating for Christmas?

Cheap Sconce Makeover

My sconces makeover took much longer than I expected.  The actual transformation of the sconces was relatively quick and easy.  This is the before look, which I showed previously.

I bought the sconces for $2.99 each at the Salvation Army.  I gave them a few thin coats of spraypaint, and they were ready to be hung.  I ran into issues with finding the right candles though.  The distance from the candle holder base to the ring was 6″, which I thought would work with most standard pillar candles, but unfortunately most 6″ pillar candles are really only 5.5″, so it ended up looking really strange.  I did find some nice candles in my searches, but I was not about to pay $27 for a candle to put in a sconce I paid $3.  Finally, I found success at Wal-Mart.  They had 8″ pillar candles for $6 each.  I bought 2 and was finally ready to share my sconces.

The only problem was that the overall look  just seemed weird.  We had the picture hanging on the wall for a long time and it always looked very sparse in its surroundings. I should have taken an true before picture to show how lonely it looked.  Its a very long wall in our basement and the couch doesn’t sit directly against the wall, it is probably about 10-12 feet away from it, so the long wall really needed help.  The sconces did help, but then I decided to try what had once been our foyer table under the picture.  This was all part of the rearranging that occured with my free corner shelf and the sconces.  The previous foyer table had just been living under another picture in the basement near the bar/dining area of the space.  So, I stole that table and its accessories and lived with it under the picture for a while and decided it could stay.  Here’s the current look.

And,  here is another view so that you can see the perspective of sofa in front of it.

It is also really difficult to take nice pictures in a basement!  These are about as accurate as I can get the colors without much natural light.  So, what started out as quick little project, ended up creating a lot of rearranging in our basement.  But, the good thing is I think it created some improvements.  The lamp on the table under the pictures creates really nice light as we are relaxing on the sofa watching TV or reading.  I have more areas of the basement to show in some upcoming posts.  There were many projects that happened along the way as we furnished the basement.  Plus, I’ll share the true before and after of the basement with the concrete walls and floors, to the warm cozy family area we have now.

Anyone else work on a quick, easy project that ended up snowballing into many other projects?

Breakfast Room Conversion

When we first looked at our house, my only concern was it felt like there were too many eating areas.  With just two of us, I wasn’t sure how we would use a kitchen bar, breakfast room, and dining area.  Here is our floor plan, so you have a point of reference for the multiple eating areas all within very close proximity of each other.

But, we loved the house and since it was my only hesitation, it was nearly a forgotten thought shortly after I said it.  We ended up purchasing a new dining room set, because neither Bob nor I had one that we felt suited our new home.  Bob did have a small table and set of chairs that we thought could work in the Breakfast Room, as well as an antique buffet.  So, we moved in and set up the room with what we had.

This was the state of our Breakfast Room around Christmas time 2007, just weeks after we moved in.  Bob and I actually used the small table quite often to eat, until we got stools for the kitchen bar.  Once we purchased our bar stools, eating in the Breakfast Room, even if it was for dinner, became a thing of the past. 

I kept picturing the room as more of a sitting/sun room.  But, with the rest of our decor and style, I knew I couldn’t furnish it with really light and airy sunroom type furniture.  Fortunately, I make it a habit of popping into Goodwill and Salvation Army, which are the common thrift stores in our area.  One day at lunch, I decided to go to Salvation Army and lucked into 50% off furniture day.  I spotted two of these chairs.

I liked the chairs, and since they were 50% off, it made them only $25 each.  I wasn’t positive that Bob would like them, so I snapped a cell phone picture and texted it to him.  I didn’t have time to wait for a  response, so I went back to work.  He checked out the picture and decided they were good.  So, I rushed back to the store after work and snatched up the two chairs. I had never done any reupholstering with tufting, but I figured I would give it a try.

I offset the cost by selling the old table and chair set on craigslist.  With cash in hand, I was able to purchase the supplies I needed:  fabric, a button kit and trim, and still have some money left.  I knew the room needed something else besides the two chairs, so I kept searching the thrift stores.  One Saturday, as I shopped with my thrifting friend, Judie, I spotted a $20 side table.  It was ugly, but it had potential, and it matched the measurements I was looking for, except it was a bit tall.

When Bob saw the table sitting in our Breakfast Room, he really thought I was crazy!!  I explained my plan to convert it into an ottoman…he still doubted me, but for $20, agreed it was worth a try.  I needed his help though, because at the time I was not using power tools, especially not a saw.  I gave him the measurements I was looking for and he sawed off the bottom portion of the legs.  I purchased foam and attached it to the top of the table and secured it with batting by stapling it underneath.  I used the same method for the fabric and Bob had drilled holes in the table top so that I could use them as my guide for the buttons for the ottoman.  That may have been the most challenging part, getting the needle through the thick foam and securing the buttons in place, but Bob helped and we made it work.

Today, our Breakfast Room is more of a Sitting Room, and it gets so much more use.  The sunlight streams in the room in the morning and its a great place to sit and read, chat, or just relax. 

And, the wonderful sunlight is also the reason I tried taking twilight pictures of the room.  Its not the best, but it gives you a truer picture of the colors.  The bright morning light washed out the pictures too much.  The side table has a marble top and wooden legs, and was a later addition to the room when I found it at a yard sale for few dollars.

Anyone else have successful thrifting and repurposing projects to share?  How about rooms that were transformed into a different use?