How to use Thrift Shop items in your decor

It’s no secret that I have a little addiction to thrift store shopping. It’s a wee thrill when you see past all the junky big box cast offs to a little gem with more value than it’s price sticker would have you think. Bringing value to old items also tickles my fancy, I mean, why buy new at top dollar when you can invest a little time to revamp something with fresh purpose?

Using thrift shop finds to decorate our home means that we can be thrifty yes, but it also means that when my kids destroy something, as kids often do, I don’t need to get upset. If they gouge a hunk out of a $1500 dining table then oh boy, that hurts. If they gouge a chunk out of a $50 dining table it’s nothing to be upset at – you just get out your spackle and slap on a new coat of paint and there’s no real harm done.

I also really enjoy looking for vintage or antique pieces that have much more value than what I would pay in the thrift store. Potentially, I could resell these items to recoup some cash if need be. So far, I haven’t sold much because I fall in love. I can’t help it, I just do – but the potential is there. If we needed to scrounge up some extra cash for vacation I could flip that $30 coffee table for $75 after a nice coat of paint. Read more about ‘How to Flip Furniture‘ 

Mixing thrifted items with new items works well too so don’t be afraid to have different metals or wood tones all in one space. There aren’t many rules for this, just have an open mind and look at things for what they could be and not what they are, sitting among all the other junk in the store.


~ Go often. The goods in your thrift shop will turn over fairly quickly as new items are dropped off. I go about once a week.

~ Spend time. Thrift shops can be messy and that means you might not really see what is there until you walk around a few times and really look.

~ Have an open mind. What would that table look like with a coat of paint? What would that basket look like filled with flowers? How could you use that chunk of wood?

~ Pick things up on spec. If it’s a good value piece but you aren’t really sure what you will do with it, but you KNOW you like it, grab it. I have had things sit in my closet for a year before finding just the exact right use for it. You can always resell if it just isn’t working out.

~ Don’t worry about matching. Frames don’t have to match. Wood doesn’t have to match. Nothing needs match. Mix things up for an eclectic look. New and old work together and many of the trends you love can be worked with thrift shop finds too. That orange vase that’s just the right size but is oh so hideous can be spray painted white or gold easily!

~ Don’t get discouraged. You might go three or four or more times before you find a treasure but I promise you – there will be a treasure!

Which item from the Thrift Store scene below did I purchase for our home? See the makeover! 



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