Author: Alyssa Craig
It has been said “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Thrift stores and garage sales are a perfect place to bring this statement to life! While it may not be especially evident to the naked eye, a little creativity and knowing what you are looking for can help you snag a great deal on an item you might otherwise pass up. It is not quite the season for garage sales but they will be coming up soon, so this is your chance to prepare your plan of attack. There are many simple ways to spruce up some great finds.
Here are a few suggestions:
Small Bookshelf: A small bookshelf is the perfect starting point for creating a fun play set for your child. These can easily be converted into a small, play kitchenette where your child can store their plastic utensils and play food. You can also choose to create a little toy workbench.
Large Bookshelf: Coming across an old, rickety bookshelf could be the find of the summer for you! Add some pallets to the backing of the bookshelf. This will not only add stability but also give it a cool, new look. Feel free to paint the bookshelf any color but leave the wooden pallets in their natural wood color.
Chairs: If you can find a set of chairs, you can easily give it a fresh coat of paint and update the upholstery. This can help old chairs to look new and guarantee they will match your other furniture and decor. You might even consider getting mismatched chairs and then updating them in the same way. This would add some character to your dining room while still making sure there is cohesion to the design.
Dresser: Old dressers are also simple fixes that can make a big difference in your home. Paint the dresser a new color and then put a patterned wallpaper on the front of the drawers. If you really want to update the piece, consider updating the hardware. New knobs or handles can do wonders for an old piece and it is such a simple solution! A short, long dresser can also become an entertainment center, with drawers taken out and wicker baskets replacing them for storage.
Scooters and Bikes: Thrift stores and garage sales are great places to pick up some toys such as scooters or bicycles that families have either outgrown or that have sat unused for too long. One great way to get these old toys looking like new is to have a professional apply powder coating like was done with this scooter. This also gives you a chance to customize it to your liking!
Kitchenware: There are many fun items for the kitchen you can find for awesome steals. One thing to keep your eye out for is cast-iron cooking ware. This can be easily restored by removing the rust with steel wool and washing it thoroughly with warm water and mild dish soap. After allowing the pan to dry, cover it in a coating of vegetable oil, place it upside down on a cookie sheet on the top rack of your oven and heat the pan for one hour at 350 degrees. After it cools, it will be ready to use!
Picture Frames: Often times you can find art at a garage sale and quickly pass by it if it does not fit your style. However, try paying attention to the frame it is in instead! It is easy to repurpose a picture frame and you can always remove the art inside if it doesn’t suit your taste. You could even ask the seller if they would consider selling you just the frame.
Old Mirrors: Finding an old mirror with an interesting frame can be a great addition for any room in the house. Not only can you paint the frame to fit your style, but if you do not need another mirror, you can turn the glass into a chalkboard with chalkboard paint. This can be a great accessory to a kitchen or a child’s bedroom.
As the garage sales come around, or your errands take you to the thrift store, keep your eyes peeled for items that you can customize to your taste. You will have a great new piece for your home and a purchase that your wallet can be happy about too.