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6 Items To Look For At The Thrift Store

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Our homes are decorated with a lot of our thrifted finds and makeovers. Here are 6 items to look for at the thrift store.

We get a lot of questions from you about our thrift store shopping adventures. Jenn and I love to thrift, bargain shop, yard sale and estate sale. Also, we get excited over a great deal and the thrill of the hunt! You’ve asked us what we look for and ultimately buy. We typically look for items that can be used in our own homes and that don’t cost very much money. These are the 6 items to look for at the thrift store.

6 items to look for at the thrift store.

Today, this post is for you! Here are our top 6 Items To Look For At The Thrift Store:

1. End Tables

We are addicted to end tables. I know that sounds crazy but let me explain. End tables are small and they can be used in home decor in a multitude of ways. They can be tucked in a corner, used at the end of a bed, extra seating for dining or as a foyer table. And of course – they can be used in the traditional way as a side table.

I bought this table for $10. I love the spindle legs and its size. The color is a different story. After painting it in a creamy white this table has been used in my foyer, upstairs office area and Jennifer’s front porch.

$10 Thrifted Table Gets a Makeover

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

Our end table was a $5 deal because it was missing a drawer. The size was perfect for my living room and I really liked the shelf at the bottom. The missing drawer didn’t bother me at all…I turned that side to the wall and you would never know. Don’t discount a find like this. You could also use a basket for the opening space.

Bargain Table Makeover

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

2. Lamps

Lamps are some of the best purchases you can make – especially brass lamps. They are inexpensive, heavy, sturdy and easy to paint.

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

With just a coat or two of spray paint you can achieve an updated look in minutes. This lamp was painted in glossy white…

Brass Lamp Makeover

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

Our brass lamp was spray painted as well..

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store…with Looking Glass spray paint that looks like Mercury glass.

Mercury Glass Lamp

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

Easy Lamp Makeover with Spray Paint

3. Silver Trays and Platters

Trays and platters can be used in a lot of ways. We never spend more than $5 for each tray.

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift StoreThey can be used as plate chargers…

Using Silver trays as Plate Chargers

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift StoreHere’s one that I painted with chalkboard paint for the dining room…

DIY Silver Tray Chalkboard

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

4. Frames

You can take a grouping of mismatched frames…

Painted Thrift Stores Frames - perfect for a cohesive look for little money.…and give them a cohesive look by painting them all the same color.

Painted Thrift Store Frames

Painted Thrift Stores Frames - perfect for a cohesive look for little money.Thrift Store Frame and Printed Book Page Art

This frame was .50 cents! I added book page art – which brings me to our next category

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

5. Books

We are always on the hunt for books to use in our decor. We try to always spend 25-50 cents for each book. By removing these covers…

Book Covers…you can find books that all have the same cover color.

Matching Book Covers

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store


We have also painted the book covers to achieve the look that we want…

Chalk Painted Books

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

Chalk Painted Books for Decor

6. Items to Repurpose

Last, but not least is items that can repurposed. Be on the lookout for things that can be reused or reworked in a different way.

Like this cutting board…

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

…that became a new table top.

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

Cutting Board into New Table Top

Or these furniture legs…
6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

…that we used as curtain rod finials.

6 Items to Look For At The Thrift Store

DIY Curtain Rods

* Tips

Here are some other thrift shopping tips that are our standard guides:

  • Keep a running list of items that you are looking for.
  • Designate a budget and stick to it. Lord knows, we can get carried away sometimes.
  • Take a tape measure. You don’t want to make a purchase only to discover that it is too large for your space.
  • Consider buying holiday items in off-season. You get better deals this way.
  • Keep an open mind. You never know what you will discover.
  • Go down each aisle twice – in opposite directions. You will be surprised by what you missed the first time.
  • When buying furniture, check it carefully. Specifically look at the condition of the body, if there are drawers make sure they slide easily and check for odors. Chairs need to be in great condition. If they are not sturdy this can be a difficult and costly repair.

I hope this list is helpful. What are your best thrifting tips? We love to hear what your good deals are!

Until tomorrow,

Vicki's Blog Signature

6 Items to look for at the thrift store.


  1. Great tips!! I never thought to go down the aisle twice in opposite directions. So smart!! Love all of the projects you’ve done with your finds too!

  2. Vicki, I love all the tips your sharing and agree with all of them. I was cracking up on “Go down the Aisle” a 2nd time. I do that a lot in my favorite aisles and so many times I find things the 2nd time that I missed. You’re absolutely right. Great tips girl. Have a great day, xo Lisa

  3. Great finds and tips ladies! Love all the creative new uses for the things you found! Hug, CoCo

  4. Love these tips! I totally agree with going down each aisle from both directions, sometimes I see all new stuff! 😉

  5. love your ideas…I always go back up an aisle in the opposite direction, as the sight lines may uncover some new treasure. I use baskets a lot, and have found some fab Longeberger and Portsmouth (NH) baskets (I am in the northeast). Prices here are not as cheap as yours but regardless there are treasures to be found. Recently found a fab large chowder tureen with shell handles for only 3.99! Also, NEW Ralph Lauren twin sheets for guest room at 2.99 each.

    As we often host “soup & salad & dessert” potlucks, it will have a place of honor filled with my own clam or fish chowder (white only, never a tomato broth). Last week found found a never-used West Elm throw for 6.99 in it’s orig packaging and two sweaters, also new, from Nordstrom’s plus size dept. I wound up with six items and only paid 19.99 total as it was 20% off Tuesday! Score.

    Alas, everyone else is also shopping the thrifts these days so the finding of remarkable treasures is becoming few and far between. That’s okay as I have plenty of items here that I can repurpose, using some of your tips.

    Wishing you well!

  6. Great tips!! I wholeheartedly agree with your tip to make a second round. Many times I’m amazed at what I missed on the first pass!

  7. Gret list ladies! Thrift store shopping is one of my favorite things! I love finding amazing pieces and amazing prices! You girls have found some beautiful things on your thrifting adventures! Thanks for sharing!


  8. I love this post and I love scrumping and thrifting. You wouldn’t believe what I found at the dumpsters this past weekend, a water dispenser crock – I won’t be upcycling because I’ll use it in its intended purpose next summer. It was just sitting there at the side of a dumpster – I didn’t even have to “dive” for it!!!!

  9. Love your blog! I’m so glad I found you ladies. I’m a dedicated DYI’er who is always looking for new ideas….And we’re practically neighbors! Sue from Powder Springs, GA

  10. Great tips; I, too, loved the one about going down the aisle from the other direction! I have a short friend; at first, I thought it was our difference in heights that let us “see” different things. Nope, we just appreciate and see second uses for different treasures; we had a good laugh over it. In our case, we shopped for things to make dollhouse miniatures, another addiction!

    1. Hi Kathy – So glad you liked our tips. It is funny how a second glance let’s us see things differently. Sometimes we swear that an item wasn’t there before. Usually we laugh and say “How in the world did I miss this”? Thank you so much for writing. We hope that you and your friend have much luck on the treasure hunt for your miniatures! It sounds like so much fun and a wonderful creative outlet.

      Vicki and Jenn – 2 Bees in a Pod

  11. Good morning,
    One addition to add to your thrift shopping tips??? Leave your husband home. 😊

    1. Margo –

      HAHA – you have made our day. Yes, this is a great tip! Thanks so much!

      Vicki and Jenn ~ 2 Bees

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