Thrift Store Art Warms My Heart: Be My Groupie?

I am pretty sure that there are few in this world as addicted to Thrifting as I.  And I am also pretty sure that those at that same level are reading this right now.  THRIFTERS UNITE!

If you remember (or maybe you don’t because you are new and awesome) I scored 3 awesome pieces of art when someone donated their cute granny’s house to my local DI (Utah’s version of Goodwill)).  Piece #1 was the hand embroidered Crewel Folk Art done by a Miss Doris Parker that I reframed and hung in my hallway.

Crewel Folk Art Update

Piece #2 was the tropical birds made out of real feathers that I put on a gold leaf background and hung above my orange velvet couch.

Feathered Bird Art

Today my friend, you get to meet Piece #3…or should I say Pieces #3-9?

When I spotted these architectural sketches of English landmarks I may have gasped, bolted, and thrown a few elbows to get them…(don’t act like YOU have never done that.)  In all truthfulness they were just hanging out, overlooked and needing a savior.  Luckily I was the woman for the job.

Ok so go with me on this one.  You know how you find stuff and you are convinced that you HAVE to do something to it to make it your own?  I have had my fair share of those experiences…take Vicki for example.  She was amazing and I painted her, and then a year later saw the error of my ways.  So I stripped her back to her original amazingness.  For some reason I was compelled to change her.  Well my friends, sometimes things are great just the way they are.  They just need a perfect home.

(Enter perfect home stage left.)

Thrift Store Art @ Vintage Revivals-1-3

I haven’t really shared this part of my living room with you yet, granted you have seen bits here and there,  but never the whole enchilada.   I build the giant shelf (literally, its a GIANT at 10 feet long) all because I wanted some sort of a mantle (It is the exact same plans as the industrial modern floating shelves on the opposite side of the room, just enlarged FYI).

It is so great,  I mean I had big plans for it when I built it.  Visions of all of the crap I could stick up there kept me up at night.  And then I woke up from perfectly staged fantasy land and ran face first into reality… the thing was so huge that it dwarfed everything I tried to put on it.


Until that lovely day at the DI that the clouds parted, angels sang Hallelujah and no one else in the store spotted the gold mine perched on the shelves.   I found 6 pictures that perfectly stretched the width of said shelf.

Thrift Store Art @ Vintage Revivals

Repeating pieces of art can make such a huge impact, even if individually they are not stars.  Power in numbers people.  Just like you should always buy lamps in pairs, you should always buy any grouping of art (as long as it didn’t come out of The Comfort Inn originally decorated in 1989.  Please pass on those, mmmmkay?)

One of these pictures is fantastic, but 6 is downright mind blowing.

So do you want to know how much I spent?…They were originally priced at $1.75 each but because I was buying so many the cashier gave them to me for $1.00 each.  (Please don’t throw things!)  Where in this world, other than a thrift store can you find something so freaking fantastic for $6.00?  No where.  Which brings us full circle in my thrift store addiction.

Thrift Store art, Books, Vases

Ok now I want to know, are you a thrift store addict?  What is your most prized score? (If you have a blog post about it leave the link in the comments so we can all come over and drool hard core.)

And there is one item of business.  You guys know that I never ask anything from you (except for your undying love and devotion) but I have something really important I want to chat about.  Nominations have started for Apartment Therapy’s 2013 Homies (which is like the Oscars of blogland.)  Last year Vintage Revivals made it into the Top 6 Best DIY Blogs and I was SHOCKED.  Well this year I would really love to win.  So without begging or being annoying, if you have ever been inspired by a project here I would love it if you would click over really fast and vote for Vintage Revivals, I would LOVE it.   (*you have to have an Apt. Therapy account to vote, they are the simple email address/password no verification  kind!)


And if I make it into the Top 6 then I promise I will post the most hilarious/embarrassing picture that you have ever in your life seen.  And you’ve seen some pretty horrific ones.

Love Your Guts



  1. I voted for you Mandi! I hope you win!

  2. My greatest thrift store find……$75 Room and Board sofa, basically brand new. Retails for $1300. Yay.

  3. Voted for you! Love your blog and you. You inspire me ever day!

  4. High five, Fellow Thrifting Queen! I love your eclectic look – nicely pulled off!

  5. I found a pair of Victorian men’s boots, in great condition, with a patent label dating 1892. Who donates stuff like that to a thrift store? :)

  6. Great find :) The title of one of my blogs was “Best Thrift Store find ever” I found a button that said, “Ask me about May 18th?” It was one of my favorite finds because May 18th is my birthday, but my actual favorite thrift store find is my old man green leather chair and ottoman, which also came from DI (we have one in Sacramento, CA). Good luck!

  7. Holy cow. I am absolutely stunned into silence. Those are the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. What a fabulous shelf!

  8. Hmmm … I cant decide between my flippin’ sweet chevron afghan or brass deer. Hooray for thrifting!

  9. I just scored some awesome finds at a thrift store yesterday! I’m really excited about them :)

  10. Not my style so much anymore, but I scored a pair of Staffordshire dogs at Goodwill for 3.99 each. Got home and checked out all the markings on them online. They are worth $4000.00. Wish I knew where to sell them for that price, lol.

  11. Mandi – – you will never believe what we have by me – a Goodwill OUTLET!! I’m addicted!! It’s crazy cheap – you pay by the pound and they switch out bins every hour. It’s a whole world of it’s own, and I can’t stay away~

  12. Dude, I don’t just love your new living room. I LUUUUUURRRV it. Well done! I have loved watching you come into your own style and it’s a super huge bonus that it is much like mine. Much love from another addicted thrifter who voted for your purty little self.

  13. Mandi, you are amazeballs. Nuff said. :)

  14. seriously.awesome.find. i have a friend who also finds amazing things like this, and we always tell her she “has the DI eye”. cuz she just does. and apparently so do you. luckies!!!!!!

  15. I voted for you!

    Best thrift store was at a Savers – an Ethan Allen campaign dresser in near perfect condition for $45.

  16. what a great idea – cutting and reframing these made them look amazing! I’ll definitely try this next time I spot something that has potential in a thrift shop! Thanks for sharing :)

  17. What a great find! I love them all in a row like that. And $1 each?! So awesome.

    I have some really great thrifted treasures in our home too. Here is my favorite furniture piece…

  18. I love the artwork you found and can’t believe you only paid $1 for each piece! I recently found some artwork at Saver’s that I plan on reframing. Check it out here:

    The most amazing thing I’ve ever thrifted was a $15 campaign dresser: — I still can’t believe the deal I got on it and I’m shocked that no one saw it’s potential!

  19. I will go vote for you now! I am lame. I never blogged about this, but I found the most amazing coffee table a few years ago. It is pretty enormous and I love it. It looks like a big, suitcase made of alligator skin with curvy legs on it. The part of the suitcase with the handle on it pulls out as a drawer. It wasn’t ever a real suitcase (it would be impossible to carry around because it is so huge), but it looks awesome. I scored it for $50!

  20. Amazing find!!! I love that you got them for a $1 each!! Incredible!!! My latest find was not as grand but huge in my daughters world… Which makes it huge in mine!:) ps. Live your intro…you had me at reading this cause just as addicted as you:)

  21. You are AAAAAMAZING, I mean that oversized shelf is spectacular. You better win this year because ALL of your posts are inspiring! Voting now. . .

  22. Ok here’s the thing. There’s lots of DIY bloggers making cool stuff. But you really do have the most incredible imagination and quirky vision for taking the shitastic and making it mind-blowingly amazing. You got my vote. :)

  23. Voted for you Mandi, you deserve to win! Good luck, and I LOVE your pictures and shelf and lights and……I am addicted to thrift store shopping too….ahhh it makes me happy to find a good deal!

  24. shelf and artwork = AHHHmazing!

  25. Thrifters unite! Love it since I myself am seriously thrift store-obsessed. I’ve been known to throw a few elbows when I spy a good item, glad to know I’m not the only one!!

  26. Freaking awesome! 80% of my house is thrifted. Addiction? Yes.

  27. As always, very cool!

  28. Love your blog! I am totally addicted to thrifting as well. There’s a half-price Goodwill less than a mile from my house so that doesn’t help my problem!

  29. I about died when I found rare fabric from a beloved blanket. All of you thrift store shoppers, I would love more if you ever see it.

    Obsessed with this blanket.

  30. I love to go thrifting, but I often come out empty handed and that makes me sad. I did find the most solid and heavy piece of furniture at a Salvation Army, though, and it now lives in my daughter’s room (after it got a little love).

  31. Hi Mandi, love your shelf styling and of course your blog. You get my vote.
    I wanted to share my find–a Dorothy Draper-style Espana dresser for $20. Blog post about my find here:

    And, if you’re even more interested in where I put it and how I styled it, there’s even more:

  32. So clean and eclectic looking! Love! I wish I could get my living areas to look like this…..

    Here is my recent score. I updated it a little…..but still @ $5 you cant beat it!

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  34. Voted! The prints make me think of some similar one that I have in the attic from my motherland (Germany). Got to go digging!

  35. Hey Mandi, Sorry, I’m new to this blog thing and realize it’s early Sat. morning and I need to warm my fingers up before commenting so I can type better. Anyway, I love that you spell your name with an “i” I have a daughter, Mandi and she’s a doll too. I first saw you on Nate (I miss him too–we did NOT need another talk show.) I love your ecclectic ideas and creativeness! My daughter is an interior designer so I let her handle a lot of the changes I am constantly doing to my home. Hey, as her mother, that’s just “pay back” right? Anyway, I love your contests and everything else. Your life story is inspiring. With all the design and craft blogs out there, it’s so awesome that a local Utah gal has represented us so amazingly well! Kudos! If you or any of your fellow creaters need a “low stress” “feel good” “no project” moment-I’d love you to visit Our lives are busy and our creative juices are constantly flowing, so it’s just nice sometimes to take a little breather and remember all the neat people that have helped us along the way. Thanks for your genuine candor. Mary Wilding

  36. I voted for you. I’m like your Utah County soul twin, except I don’t have an awesome blog like you have, and I’m just getting started on my house. I do have one room that is “done,” however, and it features the most epic thrift store find of my life- a 5×7 wool Persian Rug that I scored at the AF DI for $15. The tag on the back was disintegrated so I can’t trace its origin, but this thing is legit. The dye quality is unreal. Here’s the link if you want to check it out:

  37. Oh, I really miss my fave DI spot! I’m still finding the treasures in Oregon but have had really good luck at one Goodwill location. Those pictures are AH-MAZING!!! I would have died if I’d landed on them.

  38. Hey Mandi! You KNOW I was happy to take the time to go vote for you! I’ve been a fan since our CWTS days! I am continually inspired by your design! Good luck!

  39. Hi Mandi- I have a thrift store art story. I saw an oil painting in a thrift store, vaguely recognized the artist name from a walk through a Martin Lawrence Gallery years ago, and bought it for $15. Had it appraised and it is worth $3900. Can’t find a buyer due to sucky economy, so holding on to it and waiting for better times to sell. Artist is Susan Rios.

  40. Hi Mandi–Just found you through the Homies. Not sure how I haven’t before? Whatever, you had me at “thrift store art warms my heart.” I’m in the group. We’ve written about how we choose thrift store art here: And, you can see what happens when an addiction to thrift store art gets a little out of control here: :-)

    Good luck with the contest–

  41. I love you Mandi! You are fun and spunky, the art totally represents you.

  42. Of COURSE I voted for you! I voted for you last year, too! xoxox

  43. I am such a thrifting addict too! When we go to a fleamarket my heart starts beating if my husband needs too much time to find a parking space :)

    My best find was an antique globe which is huge, 63 inches. I scored it for 20€ and then found an online antique shop which sold the same last summer for 1600€. But I will never ever give up this baby because it is just soooo pretty…!

  44. Mandi…..You Rock like elvis. bigtime! i am devouring your site. pin pin pin away praising mandi the real girl who actually takes the time for safety! so appreciate you doing that specifically for your readers, forget liability- most seem to. I look forward to being a very enthusiastic mandi groupie! yes, he — yes i will be your groupie! keep up the great work. can’t wait to delve into your past years archives(: visit me, i in your busy day such a thing could happen …patricia o’neill…only been there 6 months! have no clue whats up with me going viral. finding such as you of course! i hope you don’t mind, but i have been honest with my readers re: what to expect out of your ‘mouth’. a for certain productive lady… yet what i love on tp of all that is your personality. sardonic, sarcastic, self confident,sarcastic, so much shared knowledge = true desire to ‘do it right’, sarcastic, ..hehehehehe yup you crack me up. take care, i am most likely your oldest groupie docking in at 63. don’t look it or feel it in my head. i will die young at heart, been there and done that already at 20 …sooooo even though ca looms like a cloud over me…. i hope the last thing i will read will be one of your postings on someting, making an almost snide comment, be chuckling to your latest posting ..caregivers will know you…because once too weak (drugged to the gills) to read, i will ask that your posting be read to me by my grand daughter, 13 – 40?… she is my twin … and she will ‘get you’ too. keep on keeping on, and hope somehow you end up with bundles of moula and can take a trip around the world. You would like that I think….ta ta…Rishia (aka Patricia)

  45. Okay, you hooked me. I also love to thrift store shop and find treasure. LOVE your shelf art, that was a great deal! You have a great eye and what a knack for putting things together. I’ll be lingering awhile, blog stalking your posts. Kudos!


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