Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Thrifting: It's A Secondhand Winter Wonderland

"Now bring us some figgy pudding."

There are seven days left until Christmas. And like many frantic holiday shoppers, I've hit malls, outlets, supermarkets and yes, wine and spirits shops. And I've hit them hard. There was just one place I hadn't been able to hit in anticipation of the big ho-ho-holiday bonanza. 

That's right. I'm hanging my head in shame that, I, the sole force behind Let's Go Thrifting, had yet to visit the thrift store for some holiday inspiration. And so, with a week to spare, I reached out to the kind folks of Impact Thrift, to ask if I could take a few holiday themed photos for this very blog post. And of course, they welcomed me back to take a gander at what festive wares they had in store. 

I was not disappointed. And this got me thinking. Could a well-stocked thrift store be a one-stop holiday shop for gift-givers, party goers, social hosts, and Christmas revelers alike? Well, let's see...

There are lovely dinner platters to bring that you wouldn't mind leaving for your host to keep. Of course, you might want to keep them too...especially that one on the left. But, hey! This is the season of giving! 

There is a bounty of holiday tins. And they'll make a perfect presentation for all of the candy and baked goods you'll be giving to friends and family, or as storage for delicate tree ornaments. 

Talk about some elegant serving options. If you'd like to host a holiday dinner party, why not keep it classy? You can bring your guests some figgy pudding---whatever that is---and  do so with a lovely silver serving bowl. 

And don't forget the decorative touches...

Oh. My. God. How cute are these ornate candle holder gift boxes? 

And carolers-- you can never have enough carolers, even if they demand figgy pudding. 

So, if you're looking for holiday decor, elegant dining inspiration, last minute gifts, or something festively appropriate to wear, thrift shopping can help you be merry, bright, and on budget. 

What holiday goods have you purchased secondhand? 

Season's Greetings and many thanks to the folks at the Feasterville Impact Thrift Store! 

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thank You, Thrift Shoppers. Thank You.

Happy Thanksgiving, thrift shoppers!

As the official start of the holiday season screams, "eat more, buy more, spend more," it's all too easy to consume and be consumed by what we falsely believe to be important. 

Aside from the doorbuster deals and the family dining, this is a season to be decent human beings. And to me, thrifters, by their very nature are truly decent people.

We distribute our dollars through the community via charitable shopping. We keep usable items from landfills. We're financially responsible. We're creative and resourceful. 

So if you find yourself overwhelmed by all the holiday bells and whistles, just listen to your own heart and believe that YOU are an important part of something bigger. Thrift store owners, volunteers, and staff appreciate you choosing secondhand shopping over the standard retail experience. And this is especially true during the holiday season, when their charitable causes are likely in the most need.  

Your spending power makes thrift stores thrive. So thank you for shopping secondhand. 
And thank you for being part of the Let's Go Thrifting community! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

How Thrifting Can Inspire Your Creativity

Thrift shopping means bargains for shoppers, funds for charities, and a second life for useful items that would otherwise meet their end in a landfill. As an alternative to standard retail shopping, thrift stores provide us shoppers with a potential treasure trove of fashion, housewares, entertainment, electronics, and more. 

But have you considered thrift stores to be fuel for your creativity? I, myself, am a sponge, constantly absorbing droplets of information and inspiration. And when I'm out thrifting, I'm just sucking up all the visual cues to creative projects in the making.  Maybe it's a worse for wear dresser that could be given fresh paint and a fresh purpose as a bar. Maybe it's a richly colored textile that inspires a photo shoot. The creative possibilities abound. 

And for me, there are two specific and much sought-after sources of inspiration: Vintage photographs and skeleton keys. And I've grown to ask myself why I've been compelled to collect these relics. Both are tangible reminders of a bygone era. Both have an intimacy, a closeness that meant something special to the original owner. 

I've salvaged many vintage photographs from the thrift and made a gallery for others to enjoy them as well. But it just wasn't enough. Flipping through my photo album of found memories, I had a thought. I wanted to make them into something more. And so I did. 

Using the magic of Grafix Shrink Film and small novelty skeleton keys from AC Moore. I made a charm bracelet entirely inspired by my two beloved thrift-found collections. And in the coming days, I'll be posting a how-to guide for the process, and an exciting corporate sponsored giveaway from the Grafix company, so you too can create something special.

After a few days of seeing my vintage wares dangling from my wrist, I had another thought. And while it at first seemed impulsive, I knew it was something I wanted all along. But... that's for another post. So stay tuned for the big reveal of yet another thrift-inspired bit of creativity and an official giveaway announcement. 

How has thrift shopping inspired you?

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Just 2 Days Left For The Hot Kitchen & Home Giveaway!!

Click me!

Don't forget to get those Rafflecopter entries in for your chance to win a copy of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s & Beyond.  The 'copter will fly away in just over two days.

And... drum roll, please. There's even more exciting LGT happenings on the horizon, including a product review, craft project, and a corporate sponsored giveaway!

To make sure you're in the know, stay active on the Let's Go Thrifting Facebook page.

And since Facebook is hellbent on making page management difficult to navigate without paid boosts, make sure you click "Get Notifications" on Let's Go Thrifting, and all the other pages you support! You don't want to miss out on any future thrifty announcements, right?

Right! So stay thrifty, my friends.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

How To Make A Country Bumpkin Pumpkin

While some people prefer to be elbow-deep in pumpkin guts, I thought I'd try a little something different from carving this Halloween. So I thought to myself, why not use some spray paint?

After picking the perfect pumpkin from Styer Orchard, I decided to take a look at my crafting supply chest and see what I could create with what I already had in stock. I wanted something country chic, something vintage-inspired, something classic. 

Supplies Used:

  • Rust-oleum Paint and Primer Spray in Navajo White
  • Rust-oleum Spray Grip
  • Tiger Bond Extreme Adhesive
  • Burlap Ribbon
  • Jute 
  • Small Wooden Letters
  • Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer 
  • Latex Gloves 

So I spray painted that pumpkin white. Note that I protected the stem with painter's tape (since I had something crafty in mind for that later). I also ended up doing a light second coat to touch up a few flaws, but was otherwise pretty pleased with the color.

After ample drying time, the pumpkin was ready for some shabby embellishments. I chose a wrap of burlap ribbon for the pumpkin itself, and a wrap of jute for the stem. Believe it  or not, the tiny wooden letters were an afterthought---but one I really like. 

I used Tiger Bond to adhere the burlap to the pumpkin, the letters to the burlap, and to secure the jute wrap to the stem. While at first, the glue seems pliable, Tiger Bond dries to a tight, permanent hold. So, be careful not to glue yourself. And protect your working space with wax paper, aluminum foil, or old newspapers.

After all of your decorative additions are dry and secure, try using a light spray of Mod Podge or other brand of protective sealant to better hold everything together, and to keep your design shiny and new. 

Looking for a pumpkin design to use beyond Halloween? Why not try using an autumnal color palette, colorful Fall leaves coated in sealant, or vintage buttons as accents?

As for me, I think I'll keep this one around for a while! 

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Revisiting Good Stuff Thrift of Fairless Hills, PA

While I don't get to the area as much as I'd like to, I've come to realize that Fairless Hills, PA is quickly becoming a secondhand hotspot. Not terribly far from Oxford Valley Mall, located just within a few miles of each other is a Salvation Army, a Goodwill, and an up-and-coming chain known as Good Stuff Thrift.

You may recall Good Stuff Thrift from my previous review. And again, the sales floor is neat and organized, and the seasonal spread of secondhand goods impressive. The staff is friendly, and believe in the importance of customer service as strongly as they do the Good Stuff philanthropic mission.

And while I'll always hit up the Goodwill and Salvation Army for the goods, I visit Good Stuff Thrift for the potential treasures and the design inspiration. Much like the Doylestown location, the merchandise is curated from run-of-the-mill donations and creatively staged. It's more than just suggestive selling. It's a collection of thoughtful vignettes, seasonal displays, and an elegant yet homey atmosphere in which to peruse the possibilities. 

In the 6 months since my last documented trip to Good Stuff Thrift, they've done some renovations that added an estimated 3,000 square feet to the sales floor. And though management admits that this does cut into some of the back room space initially designed for processing donations, the employees seem to be in their element. 

I will say that while those dreaded NFS (not for sale) signs sting just a bit in creative thrift store decor meant for display-only, I do appreciate the effort. I'm admittedly just a wee bit jealous that I don't own all of the pretty things. 

But I did score this goth-romantic filigree pattern mirror for $4! I didn't immediately have a space in mind for it. But as soon as my fingers grazed the intricate pattern, and my eyes caught sight of the price tag, I just knew it was coming home with me. As you can see, there's no shortage of lovelies for sale at Good Stuff Thrift.

Good Stuff Thrift is located at:
543 Lincoln Highway 
Fairless Hills, PA 19030


Have you entered the Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles Giveaway yet? 

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles Book Giveaway!

Welcome to the new and improved Let's Go Thrifting.

Now featured on the illustrious domain, LGT is the real deal. And to celebrate the first official day of the Let's Go Thrifting relaunch, I've decided to reward one of you loyal readers with a lovely prize! 

If you're a vintage enthusiast, a nostalgic home decorator, or a dedicated reseller of kitschy kitchen goods and housewares, then this book is an invaluable resource. It's colorful, informative, and chock full of coveted collectibles. And for one lucky reader, it's going to be a domestic dream come true. 

Open to all Let's Go Thrifting readers residing in the United States, this giveaway of C. Dianne Zweig's tome of treasured vintage wares is hot, hot, hot! Just link in your social media accounts and send me those tweets and comments. 

The rafflecopter flies away on November 10th, when a random winner will be selected. 

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shop Let's Go Thrifting: Etsy Discounts and Official Merch.

Greetings, thrifters! As a special thank you for reading, and to celebrate tomorrow's Let's Go Thrifting re-launch, here's a special treat. From now until November 1st, use the coupon code GOTHRIFT15 for 15% any item in the shop. 

And if you're looking for a bit of legit Let's Go Thrifting wares, check out the LGT logo merchandise just designed for Cafe Press. There are tote bags, trucker hats, tee shirts, mugs, and more! I just ordered me one of these bad boys. 

And for a limited time you can also get 15% all Let's Go Thrifting merch, and any other Cafe Press items with the code SCARY15 at checkout. Check out the shop and see if there's something that strikes your fancy. 

But enough of me peddling my wares. Tomorrow is the big day--the official move to a .com and with it, all of the glitz and glamour expected of a blog re-launch. I have posts of Halloween crafts upcoming, an exciting giveaway for all vintage enthusiasts, thrifted Fall fashions, and good ol' fashioned thrift trips documented for your reading pleasure. 

And it's all happening in just a few hours! So stay tuned and stay thrifty, my friends. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shop Let's Go Thrifting: An Etsy Sneak Peek Preview

Colorflo Mod Lucite Napkin Holder

Otagiri Sir Cat Creamer

Wallace Berrie & Co 3D Glass Silhouette

Napcoware Japan Floral Salt and Pepper Shakers

Jacquin Forbidden Fruit Liqueur Bottle 

See anything you like?

Great! Because these fresh new finds and more are on their way to the Let's Go Thrifting Etsy shop in the next coming week. Once everything is officially listed to my liking, I'll post another brief announcement and a special discount code for 15% off for all of you LGT readers out there in the blogosphere. And in related news, an exciting giveaway is soon to be announced! If you want a head start on gaining entries, be sure to like Let's Go Thrifting on Facebook and follow on Twitter too! 

As always, thanks for reading and thrift on with your bad selves. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Let's Go Thrifting Is Going Global!

After an extended absence granted me a long time to consider my many creative aspirations, from the book that I've been writing, to the other blog I've been designing, and anything else that has my synapses on rapid fire, I remembered one crucial thing.

The one constant creative outlet in my life that has true staying power is Let's Go Thrifting. 

And so, with a paid two week vacation from my day job in the very near future, I've decided to dedicate the time and effort to make this secondhand solo mission into something serious. 

On Monday October 27th, the Let's Go Thrifting blog is officially becoming a .com  

Following the design revisions already in progress, the fresh and exciting content I've been drafting, a giveaway and much more, LGT will be moving from its humble blogspot beginnings to the big time. So prepare yourselves for the grand Let's Go Thrifting re-launch.

As always, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting, sharing, emailing, hashtagging, Facebook-liking and all of your contributions. 

So stay tuned for more updates as the 27th draws nearer and stay thrifty, my friends. 

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Decorative Avon Addition To The Boudoir

Is it just me, or did Avon really have it going on back in the day? Take the vintage design of the Avon "Sonnet" beauty dust container that I found. Isn't it a thing of beauty? 

I've been spotting a fair amount of vintage Avon perfumes lately---all kitschy, and still quite potent with that vintage Avon aroma. But when I spotted this white ridged wonder at the thrift shop for just 99 cents... I snatched it right up. 

Anything with that glamorous "Shall-we-retire-to-the-boudoir" aesthetic is just irresistible.  

And in keeping with my mantra of making vintage decor double as secondhand storage solutions, this container is a stylish way to keep my cotton balls handy for manicures and a strict beauty regimen. You stay magnifique for all those late night rendezvous in the boudoir. 

Join the link-up love at Sir Thrift-A-Lot!

Have you heard Avon calling at the thrift store?
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Secondhand Storage Solutions: How You Can Keep It Neat For Cheap

Vintage White Owl Cigar Box, $1.00. 

Thrift shoppers are often met with skepticism. Sometimes, thrifters are met with disgust. And on the rare occasion, we're faced with just honest curiosity. And since the advent and popularity of Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, there's one curious questions I'm asked more frequently than others. 

"Where do you put all this stuff?"

While some thrifted wares, such as clothing, accessories, furniture or electronics have a functional purpose, others serve only as a decoration or display piece. These are always dangerous buys. Too much decor in a limited space can run the gamut from kitschy-clutttered to complete hoarded hell. 

The simple solution would be to simply buy less stuff. And while I do place more value on quality of vintage thrift store finds over the quantity, sometimes you just can't talk yourself out of sweet thrifted temptation. 

So how do I balance between the stuff I want and the space I'm working with? 

Talk about "vintage filler." Look how pretty and practical it is!

I've been making my thrift purchases do double-duty. That vintage White Owl Cigar box is cool. But it's super cool now that it holds my favorite ephemera. It's a functional display piece that stores my old maps, post cards and photographs. 

When you think storage solutions, your mind probably goes to that dark place in the corner of your closet that's stacked ceiling high with Rubbermaid totes and cardboard boxes. But the next time you go thrifting, think outside the boring old box. Instead, hunt for a beautiful vintage storage piece that you can display proudly.

Small Wooden Crate, $1.00.

Take this wooden crate. I'm planning on painting it a creamy egg shell color and using it for storing spices and dried herbs on the kitchen countertop. Can you see it in your bathroom holding clean washcloths? Or maybe it would be good for keeping craft supplies handy instead of scattered in that black hole of a junk drawer. (Don't worry. We all have at least one junk drawer).

Galvanized Pail, $1.00

Galvanized pails are secondhand gold when it comes to stylish storage solutions. I've always wanted a collection of vintage pool balls to display. And when the same rummage sale yielded that set of old pool balls for a buck and this galvanized pail also for a buck...I plopped those balls right in the pail and went skipping down to the checkout counter. 

You could use a pail for gardening supplies, for countertop cooking utensils, for storing all of the dog's toys when you don't want guests tripping over them...pretty much anything your frugal little heart desires. 

When looking for practical display pieces that can function as storage, there are three main things to consider: purpose, space and value. Is the item both aesthetically pleasing and a functional means for storage?  Will bringing the item into your home mean more usable space or less? And of course, does the form and function of the item validate its cost? When you take all of these factors and an open mind to the thrift, you'll find yourself making thoughtful choices of what to bring home and what to leave behind. 

So the next time you're fretting over space, stuff and storage, don't lose sleep over thrifting less. Just thrift smart instead. By making your secondhand hauls act as creative storage solutions, you'll never end up on Hoarders...Well, unless you hoard storage items. And in that case we might need to call a specialist. 

What secondhand storage have you found lately?
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday: Double Your Vintage. Double Your Fun.

Vintage novelty photograph with frame,  99 cents. 

I had almost given up on my pursuit to keep Vintage Photo Friday a regular segment here on Let's Go Thrifting.  Family photographs and snapshots have become increasingly hard to find at the thrift stores. And outside of antique stores (with antique store prices at that. Hello, sticker shock), I fear that they're being forever lost to the landfills. 

But in a recent trip to the Goodwill of Warminster, PA I unearthed several quality finds, including the very subject of this post. While I love the nostalgic nod to yesteryear with staged novelty photos, this vintage-on-vintage photograph was a majorly surreal secondhand score. 

Then? It was faux vintage. Now it's vintage twice over. 

It's circa 1960 and these two couples are posing with a mock Oldsmobile from the 1930s, in front of a suburban landscape backdrop. 1960s and 1930s? It's doubly vintage!

And including the classy filigree frame, this might be my best find for under a buck. 

Have you spotted any vintage pics at the thrift lately? 
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