The thrill of the hunt quickly goes south when you realize the plaid Herculon sofa you snagged for $15.99 will set you back at least $500.00 to reupholster, not including the twenty some yards of fabric you have to buy. Impulsiveness is part of the buzz, but if you're a thrift shopper who is seriously shopping for recyclable materials, you need a plan. You'll save time as well as money if you know what you're looking for, within general guildelines, and limit yourself to one frivolous purchase a week. Don't get me wrong, I veer, and I veer bad, but I'm getting better. What you want to gather is a well edited supply of simple, basic materials to work with, kind of like a blank canvas with a little something unusual about them. Below is the list and photos I've compiled after many expensive years of unfocused fun. I am pleased to share.
1. Unique side chairs that are structurally sound. Always useful and easy to recover.
Couldn't pass on these charmers.
3. Right now I'm loving the $6.99 computer chairs for reupholstery.
4. Real leather skirts and coats, odd colors are the best for making all sorts of stuff.
Read It! Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design
Want to learn to reupholster anything? This book is for you.
5. Tea carts-cool and lots of potential.
6. Pair of simple, upholstered chairs. If there are two, buy both.
7. Retro or unusual lamps. You can plug them in to see if they work. Shades can be found later. Same rule as above-buy two, if available.
8. Ottomans or footstools with unsual legs or a unique base.
9. Solid, unusual sewing machine tables-great for an entry table and twice the treat if the sewing machine works. Take it out for a tabletop machine and use the table elsewhere.
10. Down filled pillows-I only buy the ones that seem barely used.
Here are a few extras I probably bought on red day.
At Goodwill, you'll get half off during the designated "color" week. If you're lamps are priced at 11.99 each, with a green price tag, and it's green week-you win!
Salvation Army seems to run random sales, mostly on clothes, but if the furniture tag has a date six months old or longer, it's half price. (These policies are somewhat subjective)
Garage Sales-always offer cash and less than the asking price.