Top 5 Thrift Store Must Haves

*For some reason the links back to old posts is not working in (as far as I know) Internet Explorer.  I don’t know if this is just happening on my blog or if it is issues that Blogger is having!  I am so sorry, I have emailed them a few times and am waiting for a solution!

Do you know how to shop at a Thrift Store?! For those that are not yet thrifting ninjas it can be super intimidating to walk into a slightly stinky store.  Right?  Piles of used crap that no one wants everywhere…well, it sounds like heaven to me!

Everyone has their go-to staples in life.  When I am out Thrifting I have my go to items that I buy hands down every time I find them.  Everyone’s are going to be different.  By discovering what you gravitate toward you can determine what inspires your personal style.


These are the things that I will buy even if I have 10 in my garage already (which I probably do…)

1. Ornate Frames.

Mirrored Dresser

Really I know that you were SHOCKED that this is my #1…NOT.  So why?  Why do I feel the need to buy every cool frame that I find?  Because they make me happy.  I can talk about how they bring back memories of my grandmothers (cause they do) but mostly I love how they can hold their own.  How you can group them and even when they are super different they all go together so well.  I love how they bring a bit of class to a space that has old wood and bright colors in it.  So what are some things that you can do with frames?

Well, like I did in my Master Bedroom you can do a grouping, you don’t even need to put anything inside them!

Gallery Wall

Its quite inexpensive to have mirror cut to fit inside.  I spray painted all of these ones Krylon Gloss White and have them hanging floor to ceiling in my entryway.


And then you can take it a step further and make your own Anthro knock off acid mirror if you are feeling brave (its not that scary!)



2.  Random Statues and Such.  I love when you see a room design and at first glance you love it but then you see something that throws it off a little and makes it quirky. And then you love it more.  Look for things that are strange-ish but still have good lines. Animals are good.  And anything that is green glass comes home immediately.

Thrift Store Finds


Check out all the random goodness on the Custom Shelves that I built at Hailee’s for less than $30!



These copper circles in my newly updated entryway are spools of some sort.  And I totally love the shoe form.



3. Lamps and lighting.  Yet again another shocker, unless you have never read my Look What I Found Friday Lamp Hoarder Edition.   If I see a great lamp I seriously consider buying it, and if there is a pair I ALWAYS buy them.  So what makes a great lamp?  Usually brass are the first thing that catches my eye, but when you are out thrifting usually the ones that have the HUGE shades on them are the ones that you want.  And any chandelier that has potential and a great price tag is so going home with me.  My best score ever was the ginorm chandelier that I painted purple for my entry way that was only $15.00.  That was once in a lifetime I think. Bummer.

Tandem Bicycle


This one was a Re Store score that we used in Hailee’s.  You can see the full tutorial here.

Light collage


I LOVE this brass beauty that I used in the Epic Room Makeover Giveaway.



4.  Chairs, chairs, chairs. Its safe to say a chair or 2 is probably what I will be buried with one day. (Mostly because my hubs will want to get rid of them so bad.)  A chair has the ability to bring SO much to a room design.  You may not want to upholster your couch with funky fabric but using it on a chair has the same type of impact without all of the commitment.  I look for chairs that are in good shape, or can easily be repaired. I look for something that can be made to work in whatever room I want.  (Since I don’t usually NEED them at the moment, they have to be flexible in their style.)

You can see more info on the store that I am at here.

Euro Treasures 041


Ok now don’t judge me.  BUT this is a pic of the chairs that I sold at my Hoard Sale.  I saved the very best ones for my garage…since that’s where they still are.  But I am going to tell you just like I tell my husband daily, I will be using them…..sometime.  Also, can you believe that every single one of these chairs sold in less than 2 hours?!  When it gets closer to garage sale season I will have a killer post for you!



5.  Anything that speaks to you.  Depending on the project that I am working on I am on the look out for different things.  Right now I am looking for lots of old doors and door knobs.   You want to have an idea of what you are looking for, but don’t be so set in your design idea that there isn’t room to let it evolve.  Also if you live in Southern Utah and have any doors let me know!

This anorexic lion coat of arms is probably the most random thing that I HAD to buy.



It took me a few months but I found the perfect spot for it in my Master Bedroom.

Bedroom Makeover Ideas

So now that you know WHAT to look for make sure you read 10 Secrets From A Thrifting Goddess where I tell you HOW to find them!


Love Your Guts


  • Our Delightful Home 23.01.2012 at 14:07

    Great list!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  • Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants 23.01.2012 at 15:35

    I’m glad you don’t live near my thrift store, we look for the same things… but I kinda wish we did live close so I could go to your hoarding garage sale! How is that for indecisive???

  • Rachel Eff 23.01.2012 at 15:44

    I just finished this post and re-read your 10-tips and now I want to go thrifting!

  • Katie Goldsworthy 23.01.2012 at 16:27

    lol. Great post! I think you and I are related somehow!

    @Creatively Living

  • Maria 23.01.2012 at 16:53

    omg frames! I love them at thrift stores not only because they’re super useful, but SO much cheaper than the new version! Awesome list :)

  • beccalouise 23.01.2012 at 17:28

    I always buy lighting and lamps (found a couple chandeliers with the crystals still on them), but I can NEVER find nice frames. You must be snatching them all!

  • Sam, Leave The Nest Up To Me 23.01.2012 at 18:25

    Your brass bed is absolutely gorgeous! I think my jaw dropped!

    I want to start thrifting for a few small pieces that I need. Thanks for the tips!

  • Sarah Horton 23.01.2012 at 19:02

    Oh this is fantastic. Thanks for the tips. I am so envious of all your projects. Your house is a dream. I wish yard sales were year round or else thrift stores were in more abundance in central PA !

    • Amy Renea 16.08.2012 at 00:49

      GIrl – you need to hit AUCTIONS – central PA is ripe for the picking!

  • Kristy Creighton 23.01.2012 at 23:21

    This is a great rule-of-thumb list! I go to all my thrift stores and Goodwills at least once a week and I keep a running list of specific things I’m looking on my phone for easy reference!

    I’m a new blogger myself, but a long-time DIYer, and I just love your blog! I could just die looking at those endless rows of chairs! (Chair-envy!)

    Hope you’ll come visit me over at sometime! :)

  • Jess 24.01.2012 at 00:52

    Great post! I love your home. I am really attracted to prints but its hard to put them together in the right way sometimes. Yours is done so well! Inspiring:)

  • Sunday 24.01.2012 at 13:19

    Great post! I basically have this same list running in my head and didn’t even realize it. I also ALWAYS look for books to paint. My fav are the Readers Digest books – they are the perfect size. I can not believe what I can find at a thrift store. Thanks for sharing!

  • Toni K 24.01.2012 at 14:08

    Thanks for a great post!

  • Katy 24.01.2012 at 18:20

    Whoa, that’s a lot of chairs! I too, love chairs, but you have me beat on that.
    I love finding them free on Craigslist and redoing them, I have some I need to makeover now, can’t wait!
    Oh, just thought of this, I read/saw this somewhere – paint a chair (not a ladderback but the smaller version) with different colors on each slat, legs, seat. Call it the party chair and it’s used for when someone has a birthday – they get to sit in it!!

  • Lindsey 24.01.2012 at 19:24

    loved your chair section! thats hilarious and I cannot even imagine what your husband must say!

  • Julie 24.01.2012 at 21:52

    It’s so true, you never know what you’ll find thrifting. You have a good eye for making things purely lovely and giving them a new stylish life. Great sharing.

  • Jasanna Czellar 25.01.2012 at 00:09

    haha i Adore thrifting! good for you! I have to keep an eye out for fun animal sculptures now!

  • Terry 25.01.2012 at 04:55

    Great post on thrifting. I went today and am kicking myself tonight for leaving a set of glass canisters…my go to item!

  • Catherine 25.01.2012 at 23:21

    Great post – thank you! I think I need to carry a list round with me, that way I don’t get over whelmed and end up looking over something amazing!

  • Veni Vidi Vici 03.02.2012 at 18:06

    I am so glad that I found this post (and I am going to the one you recommend at the end right after writing this comment), because I am completely LOST when it comes to thrift shopping. I just go into the store, smell the place, and get frustrated and leave. Then I see what you ladies find and I feel very tempted to just hold my nose up and get with the program already. LOL! Great post!

  • kerikins 18.02.2012 at 20:54

    You are my goddess of inspiration!!!! I am in absolute awe. Thank you for reminding me to go with my gut and you’ll use it wisely later! Keri

  • Anonymous 27.05.2012 at 19:48

    I love your blog, I am 15 and have started thrifting within the past year I too also collect frames and I paint them I’m not sure why I like them but they just make me really happy when i look at them. I have also bought a couple of dressers that I plan on painting to put in my bedroom. I want to redo chairs for our dining room but at the thrift stores in the the town that I live in the prices our outrageous for a simple chair and thy are very hard to come by. Thank you so much for sharing this list :)

  • Crystal 16.08.2012 at 18:21

    Do you only buy wooden frames? I saw a couple of interesting frames the other day, but didnt buy them because they were kind of sort of… well, plastic :(

  • Katie VanVliet 18.08.2012 at 19:55

    I always HAVE TO BUY any letterpress blocks or type, unless they’re lead. If they’re wooden or mounted to wood; I buy ’em. Then again, I print them, so it’s less for decorative purposes than art-making purposes.

  • guiltlessreader 31.08.2014 at 19:16

    i have a problem with frames. anything burnished, intricately carved, really speaks to me. but it doesn’t get any nods of approval from the hubs.

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