I have a hard time spending a lot of money on wall art. I feel horrible saying that. I got my Bachelor's degree in art, so I - of all people - totally understand the effort and talent that's required to create good art. Honestly, I'm just cheap. While I might occasionally splurge for a print or photo I really love, my home is hardly a museum. I can't afford to fill my walls top to bottom with one-of-a-kind art pieces. So yeah, I might be cheap, but I'm pretty dang thrifty, too! Whether it's sprucing up some existing wall art, or creating my own with found items, I can fill a wall for under $40. The best place to find forgotten and dirt-cheap wall decor is your local second-hand store (think Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, etc.). I set out to create a cheap gallery wall using only things I found at the thrift store, and here's how it worked out.
Two months ago I got clean. I stopped buying used furniture and other cast-off household decor. Until last Friday. One little left hand turn off the road to Lowes and I was back at my favorite Goodwill store. Oh so what? I'm not throwing my money away. I'm making charitable contributions. It was different this time. (I mostly bought slick surfaced goodies.)
As far as I know nobody but nobody decorates with shiny brass anymore. That means there's a boatload of cast-off brass lamps available for transformation. Abby saw beyond the brass, got to work with some silver leaf, and spruced up this reject to a more understated elegance. Now it coordinates with another one of her rescued lamp makeovers.
So these are the BEFORE pics.
One late afternoon I stopped into my local Goodwill store. Immediately, I spied this vintage child's rocker in the furniture area priced at a measly $6.99. Old, worn out, and saggy, I was a little interested, but not quite sold until I saw someone else become very interested in it. It was ON!
Image: Shelly Miller Leer
Table purchased Saturday at a city wide 1/2 price sale at Goodwill.
In one out of ten posts I usually mention a shopping trip to Goodwill. For me, it's Mecca, one of my favorite places to relax and do some serious creative thinking. I promote you; I laud you on your good works and pure mission, etc. However, the prices on used furniture and furnishings have skyrocketed beyond realistic value. I mean, come on!!!
The true market value on used furniture, excluding valuable antiques and midcentury designer originals, is next to nothing. Granted, price points are set at whatever the market is willing to pay, a sound retail practice, yet it may be wise to keep an eye on the bigger picture.
The problem is, now listen here Goodwill big shots, people shopping for trendy secondhand pieces will inevitably stop looking for deals in your MDF saturated furniture sections, and people in need of real deals can't afford to pay the kind of prices you're setting. Gradually, your trusty customers will start shopping elsewhere to satisfy their junk addictions or to really furnish their homes.
Salvation Army, for instance, understands they've got a big store full of other people's junk. Not only that, you can point out the junkiness of a piece and they gladly listen and usually come down to what's a realistic secondhand price, not as low as garage sale prices, but close to it.
That's another thing; garage sale season is upon us. You can be sure that, at the end of a long day, garage sale organizers don't want to spend another minute packing up their junk and hauling it up to the Goodwill.
Even on 1/2 price days, it seems that the prices have been set artificially high in order to appear to be a good deal. We're not so enthralled with other people's castoffs that we aren't cognizant of how much money we're spending.
I've always touted Goodwill as the place to find great deals but I've recently found myself listening to others complain about the high prices at their area Goodwills.
Interested in creative reuse, thrift store and flea market finds, and turning secondhand items into showstopping home decor? Curbly's latest Make It! publication has fifteen original projects that show you how to recycle some style!
Day 3 of Pillow Talk over on my blog has lots of step by step photos showing you how to "harvest" fabric from a Goodwill garment to use for pillows, trim or anything else you can think of.
Classes are filling and expanding. I wish everyone could come to my home studio (basement) and learn fast and easy techniques to transform your Goodwill trashy furniture into upcycled beauties. The new class started last night and each one brought a simple piece and a difficult piece. We got started on the easy ones first to get the feel of the tools, staple gun, and to fully understand why upholsterers charge the prices they do. Here's a perfect example of Beginner's Instant Gratification.
You can't imagine my joy when I read the ApartmentTherapy LA post today informing us that felt showed up as a sure trend at ICFF. For so many reasons, felt is fabulous! It's natural, insulative, easy to sew, easy to mold, comes in various thicknesses and colors and it doesn't fray or ravel.
Good thrifting advice is to go ahead and buy a piece if it stands out from the ordinary. What stood out about this table? The legs. Modern, sleek, solid wood and sturdy. The supports are also solid and can be used again, I'm sure. The table tops are a composite wood covered with formica and a plastic band around the edges. See three more very different looks you can get with this $6.99 Goodwill table.
Still oozing with holiday generosity? Clean up and declutter your space, load up unused and unwanted furniture and accessories and...
If you're condsidering handmade gifts this holiday season, you most likely have some creative genes already in place. For that reason, this is a quick "off the top of my head" list of found objects you could artistically and lovingly incorporate into your own sweet handmade offerings. Feel free to expand this as the ideas start flowing. Don't be tempted to buy used and re-give in the same condition. Your family and friends will treasure...
There are no hard and fast rules on re-gifting Goodwill treasures or merely using "gently used" materials as building blocks for your handmade, made with love, tremendously creative holiday gifts. Most people aren't tickled to have your oodwill bargain passed along to them, however, if you've commited to giving HANDMADE this season AND you are the one hand making the gifts, where you buy your materials is up to you. You can save more than a...
There have been gobs of juicy good finds at Goodwill in the past couple of weeks. Maybe it's hot August doldrums and people feel like purging, but I've been hitting the jackpot on every visit. Since my garage is overflowing with all kinds of recyclable furniture, I decided to focus on accessory items for crafting and design for my weekly DIY newspaper column. A few photos and some ideas are included for sparking your own creativity.
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...
Last weekend was spent participating in my favorite sport of Goodwill Hunting. With the expansion of this chain of fine variety stores, it's becoming difficult to hang on to my change. It's also taking up lots of time and gasoline. But what if something tremendous just arrived behind those swinging doors?
I deliberated a bit before shelling out $24.99 for this little cutie. That's my limit........I guess.
The top of the table has some...
It's another week of my Goodwill addiction relapse and here is what I'm on. It looks like a handmade starburst wall hanging. It is extremely heavy. I needed something like this about a year ago and bought tons of mirrord tiles to try to make one. I thought that was going to be heavy!! Anyway, a Saturday dash into my local Goodwill store # 3 found this awaiting me for $14.99! I had to add a little mirror for $2.49 which I bought at the Hobby...