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My Latest Thrift Store Finds

January 17, 2024

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January is a great time to shop at thrift stores.

They're full of new stock, since people are purging and organizing and the treasures are priced right.

Here's what I found this week.

My Latest Thrift Store Finds Red Bag filled with thrift finds

I have one rule about shopping during the days right after Christmas.

You know when the sales are supposedly the best?

And you can stock up for next year...along with the rest of the world.

Yeah, my rule is...don't do it.

During high school and college, I worked as a retail salesperson in too many shops to name.

Then after college and during the year I was pursuing my master's degree, I was actually a retail manager.

At the mall.

So call it first hand knowledge. Or PTSD.

But either way, the memory of those experiences keep me at home until the middle of January.

Far, far away from the stores.

Ok, well, most stores.

I still go to thrift stores.

For some reason, that seems to be the super slow time.

No crowds, no lines and a lot of "new" old stuff just waiting to come home with me. Stuff that people cleaned up and out, before and after the holidays.

Lucky me.

While the whole world is taking time to purge and organize in January, I'm collecting.

Here's what I found!

My first find was the best. It was right at the front door, eye level and red.

Red Thrifted Pitcher

Best of all it was $2.99 and I'm a sucker for pitchers.

Needless to say it came home with me.

In the same shop, I also found this metal/ chalkboard sign.

Thrift Store Metal Frame Sign

This one is aching for a makeover. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with it, but it's definitely going to get a paint job and that chalkboard is going to go.

I love yellow, but not this hue...also as a former teacher, I've had my fill of chalk dust. Ick.

I'm still unsure about the chain, I'll have to see how that shakes out.

Metal Chalkboard Sign

Frames were also plentiful and I grabbed a bunch. These lovelies will remain as is.

They're in perfect condition and match my decor as is...and at $1.99 each, they were a bargain.

Small Oval Rose Picture Frames

However, these next two frames will definitely get upgrades.

This one was $2.99 and already a distressed white, but it's plastic and while I love the scrolls and detail, I don't love the shiny, fake looking texture.

Ornate White Picture Frame

The next frame will also be, um, fixed. I adore that sweet floral border, but not the silver/gold finish.

Again, not sure how it'll be transformed, but that matte mix of metallic paints needs to go.

Floral Patterned Round Picture Frame

I also grabbed this old Yankee Candle ceramic shade and plate for $2.99.

Now I don't burn candles in my home, I strictly use battery operated ones.


But I'm sure there's a way to contain one of those remote votives so I can dress it up with my thrift store find. I also my give this a painted upgrade...or not. I just don't have a place for it with those colors, but we'll see.

Ok, so here's where it all gets interesting. 

On a table in the back I found these tiny toleware trinket trays and almost fell over. There were six of them for $5. Major score.

Mini Painted Metal Floral Trays

I've seen them in other shops, for much, much more, usually between $5 and $10 each.

The minis are all over Etsy.

Granted, these were not in the best condition. While some were nearly perfect, others were almost completely faded.

Painted Floral Mini Toleware Trays

To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the faded ones.

Part of me wants to restore them, but part of me wants to paint over them do something fun.

Six Black and Floral Mini Toleware Trays

Makeovers bring me such joy, but they're a sweet set as is. I just don't know if I'm talented enough to fill in the blanks, so to speak. 

I'll keep you posted.

By contrast, I found something that needed absolutely nothing, but a good cleaning at a Christmas fair. This white mirror backed plate rack shelf was only $15. So I scooped it up without hesitation.

Thrifted Mirrored Plate Rack on a green bedroom wall

It's a little unnerving, grabbing something that doesn't require a refresh, but also quite nice. Easy. 

We literally brought it home, wiped it down with some vinegar to make that glass shine and hung it on the wall.

Of course, now I have to find another place for my framed floral paint by number and some fun trinkets to fill those shelves.

A tough job, but someone's got to do it, right?

No worries, apparently I have a staff I can engage for the hunt. My daughter clearly has an eye for treasure, as evidenced by the unique brass Christmas tree candle holder she gave me this holiday season.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Vintage Brass Candlestick Christmas Tree on a piano in living room decorated for Christmas

She found it in the same shop where I picked up my cherished vintage pitchers.

She admitted that is was a bit more than we usually pay for our second hand finds, but I searched online and the only others I found were more than double what she forked over for it. 

You can see one just like it here.

Another score.

It's made for very small candles and since I only have battery operated ones in my home, I made due, but I'm on the hunt for the proper sized ones as we speak.

Vintage Brass Christmas Tree candle holder cup

I'm sure I'll find them somewhere.

Maybe even in a thrift store when I have a chance to go back again.

Without the crowds.

Quietly browsing.

Just the way I like it, especially after the holidays.

πŸ˜‰

Have you been shopping??

Happy Thrifting, Friends!
Kim Signature


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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It was a good shopping day for sure!! ☺️

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  2. Wow - you did great! That red pitcher calls your name! I'm anxious to see what you do with these things - especially that yellow, which I'm not fond of either. :)

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    1. Thanks Mari! There were so many good finds, I actually had to stop myself…and yes, that mustard yellow needs to go!! πŸ˜‰

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  3. First, the brass tree/candle holder. Great score!!
    The toleware!! Seriously, don't do anything at all to them! Just attach some kind of hanging apparatus and hang them like you have them pictured! The "faded" ones are fine, but you could make them part of the pattern; maybe put one on opposing corners or both in the middle. Some things don't have to be perfect. ;-)
    For the record, the after-Christmas rush didn't seem to be that bad, at least not at Home Depot when I returned a table saw (don't die of shock! I hated the table configuration and in a month didn't even turn it on, though I had a few things I would have liked to make.) There were only about 10 cars in the parking lot on Dec 27. Maybe more people are getting into thrifting instead of retail??

    Hope you're staying warm over there! It's so cold in MI that I haven't been out (thrifting or otherwise) in a week! Saves money, though! lol!

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    1. I'm warm, but only because I'm inside. Haha!! It's too cold out there for me...how many days until summer? πŸ˜‰ I will definitely be hanging these on the wall. I want to put them above two mirrors in my room and the hallway. They're just so pretty. So far the consensus is to leave them be...so that's probably what I'll do!! Stay warm!!

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  4. I don't do after Christmas sales anymore either. I hate the crowds and there is really nothing 'new' that I need that is worth arm wrestling for it. lol

    The tree is darling-your daughter knows you well.

    I love the little mini-toleware trays. John's grandmother used to call them 'poor man's silver'...lol..She, of course, had the 'real' thing---lol....His other grandmother, however, had a large toleware tray that I wish I had...I think it ended up being donated to a thrift store along with a lot of her stuff. So sad.

    Have a wonderful rest of the week. We are minus 16˚ here this morning (not counting wind chill)..lucky us. xo Diana

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    1. Minus 16 degrees!?! Yowza. I thought 20 was bad. It’s tropical here compared to your weather. Brrr!! I love those little trays, too. I remember a shop in our town that used to sell large serving toleware trays. Everyone registered there for their wedding gifts and those trays were always on the list. By the time I had ring on my finger, the fad had passed, but I’ve always loved the look..and these minis are just the right size for my teeny cottage. Plus, they'll just hang on the wall, which is great, since I’m not serving anyone here on a regular basis!! πŸ˜‰ Stay warm my friend.

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  5. That chalk board sign looks awfully familiar; I bet I have something similar in my stash (if only I could find it lol). Great score on the brass tree; love that!

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    1. Thanks Sara!! I love that tree, too. It really was a neat find and a great gift.

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  6. Like you, I have all the Christmas "stuff" I need. I just love all your finds - you have a great eye for finding things that will repurpose beautifully! I just love the mirrored cabinet - wow, what a find! You will dress it up amazingly! Stay warm in this chilly weather :)

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! I do love that shelf. It really was a find, I can't believe no one else grabbed it in the early hours of the fair. I guess it was meant to be...for me!! Stay warm and enjoy your snowy walks!!

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  7. Every single thing you talked about, I thought was amazing. But then you kept going, and going, and going...you made out like a bandit! That mirrored shelf unit is spectacular, and sometimes it's worth spending a bit more. My favorite way to look at it is to count how many years you will use it and love it, versus the price. It very often works out to $1 - $2 per year, for the simple pleasure owning something you love. And that brass tree from your daughter is stunning! I've never seen anything like those mini toleware trays! I have one (full size) from my mother that I truly love, but have not been able to use very often. I haven't ventured out for any post-holiday shopping OR thrifting; I have been holed up with my sewing machine working on winter pillows! Thank you for sharing all your beautiful goodies!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kristine! I had fun shopping, buti really had to stop myself from buying. There were just too many good bargains the day I showed up, but this house is tiny. I needed to rein myself in!! You're right about the prices. That's a great way to look at the value. I'm jealous of your pillow making. I have bolts of fabric and very little motivation. I need to work on that! Enjoy!!

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  8. Love your brass Christmas tree! Look online (Amazon) for short taper battery candles. My husband broke a battery taper candle and ordered me a dozen replacements. Lol

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    1. Thanks Doris!! I'm a huge battery candle lover. I never thought to look for smaller tapers, but I'm off to peek right now. Fingers crossed and thanks for the suggestion!!

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  9. Umm, that would definitely be PTSD. Been there done thatπŸ˜‚ You found some great items! I’m overdue for a thrifting trip.

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    1. Hahaha!! Totally!! It's funny, if you've worked it, you know!! 😳

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  10. I think my favorite is the red pitcher! I haven't been thrifting lately, but I really need to as I've run out of books to read...and there are a couple of small things I want to keep my eye out for. Happy thrifting - January is perfect for it!

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    1. When I brought that pitcher to the register the ladies who rang me up were shocked that it was under $3...and so was I!! It really is pretty. Now I just need to warm up enough to get to the grocery store so I can fill it up with some bright tulips! Happy Thrifting!!

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  11. Kim, you really did score. Some beautiful treasures. The red pitcher is just gorgeous and such a great price. I have a thing for pitchers too..xxoJudy

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    1. Pitchers are my true weakness, Judy! I have far too many, I have nowhere to store or display them and yet, I can never pass one by...hahaha!! I think that's the definition of a decor obsession!!

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  12. Holy Moley, woman. You've really found some fabulous deals!

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    1. Thanks!! I really did. I'm so happy with everything...now I just need to find a place for them all!!

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  13. The red pitcher definitely had your name on it. Love all your great finds. Stay warm and cozy. Hugs. Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I just couldn't pass that one up. I was almost hoping it has some ridiculous price tag on it, since I have no more room for pitchers, but the price was too good to resist. Oh well, I guess I it was meant to be mine!! Happy Weekend!!

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  14. Oh, you founds some beautiful things! I can't wait to see what you do with these because I know it's going to be good!

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    1. Thanks Mandy! I just need to find the time and motivation to get moving.

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  15. I am so envious of the red pitcher...I would have fought you over it had I been there:) A few years back I did luck up and found the cutest, sweetest, fattest red pitcher that I absolutely adore and it was $5.00...perfect condition. I love white pitchers too but the red goes so well in my kitchen. I usually go shopping at Wal-Mart the day after Christmas to grab tissue paper, bags, etc. but couldn't this year because I was sick! You really are the Thrift Store Queen. We live in an area where there are almost no really decent places to thrift. The two closest Goodwills just leave a lot to be desired. Happy New Year to you and Happy Thrifting!

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    1. Haha...yes, so funny, the woman at the register looked a little annoyed when I showed up at the counter with the pitcher. She was like, where did you find this? Then she questioned the a few of the other ladies, asking when it came in and how did she miss it? 🫣 I almost felt a little guilty buying it!! Sounds like you found a perfect one, too. I love white, as you said, but there's something about that red that just takes your breath away!! Thanks for taking the time to comment!!

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  16. I love the red pitcher and the other unique finds that you found thrifting. It's so nice that your daughter knows what kind of items you like and I love that tree. I hope you are staying warm and cozy on these cold days.

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    1. It was a very sweet gift, Julie. She really does know my style and apparently she knows her prices, which makes this frugal shopper very happy!!

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  17. I know the things that need makeovers will be magically transformed by you! It has been much too cold here to go out and do any shopping, but it "warmed up" into the teens today and so I went to TJ Maxx. Didn't find much - just a light sage colored "shacket" and a trio of Burt's Bees lip tint balms. I have three bags of things to donate and I plan on going to a thrift store within the next week to do so. I'll poke around while I'm there, but there's really nothing I need. I find these days with focusing on getting rid of stuff, unless something *really* speaks to me and I know exactly where I'll put it or how I'm going to use it, I pass.

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    1. Thank Melanie! I do love making things over. The satisfaction of rescuing something, getting creative and giving it new life so it's useful in my home...and matches my decor...makes me smile. 😊 I also went to TJ Maxx yesterday, I didn't find much, but my girls sure did!! It's good to be 20!!

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  18. Kim I love all your finds but most of all the frames! They are so unique. I always try to buy them at thrift stores but lately have had no luck. You hit the jackpot with these items.

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    1. I thought you'd like those frames, Mary!! I take that as high praise coming from an expert!!

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  19. You sure hit the jackpot, Kim. I just love all of the frames and I know you'll make them all pretty - can't wait!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann! The stores were full and quiet, so I had time to really browse and buy.

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  20. WOW!!!! You had fun! Jeremy and I recently hit a jackpot on frames at one of our favorite thrift stores.
    I am so excited to see your 2024 creativity begin. :-)
    Carla

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    1. Thanks Carla!! I've been so busy around here lately, I'm just now getting around to digging into the crafty part of the process. I hope your 2024 has been lovely so far. ❤️

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  21. Kim,
    You did good, Girl!! I love the red pitcher....And those trays are to die for!! I actually bought a similar frame like the ones with the flowers that you showed only the flowers on mine were pink.... I have to admit that you now have gotten me into the mood to go to some thrift stores....and that wall shelf!! Stunning!! Thanks so much for sharing and thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comments!! I hope you are staying warm!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. I did well, Deb, thanks! It was a fruitful shopping day and now I get to play and maybe shop some more so I have something fun to display on that shelf!!

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  22. Nice finds!

    Deanna Rabe

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    1. Thanks Deanna!! It was a fun shopping day!

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  23. I’m pretty much enchanted with all your wonderful purchases, Kim! I ❤️ that red pitcher and oh my, those tole trays are darling! Great finds! No, I have not been shopping. I love January when all is quiet and back to normal.

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    1. Hi Kitty!! Thanks for the visit! I can see that red pitcher and those trays on one of your lovely table settings, surrounded by something home baked and yummy!!

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  24. My goodness Kim, you are right, you daughter has an eye. I am in love with the tree! You also found so many wonderful things thrifting. I also worked retail while going to college, and I always stay away from the crowds like yourself. I agree, I think we suffer from PTSD Christmas nightmares. You know, I kind of love the faded trays. I have been on the look out for a few myself with no luck. I will keep searching since they are obviously out there, ripe and ready to be picked. Hope your new year is off to a wonderful start!

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    1. Thanks Cara!! She really does have a great sense of vintage style and I am such a perfectionist when it comes to decor, but the fades trays are making me smile!! Thanks for popping over! Happy New Year!

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  25. What a great haul! I’m overdue for some thrift shopping which I hope to remedy this week. The brass tree is splendid. I found small tapers, just a couple inches, at Party Supermarket. Real candles but I don’t burn real ones ever. They are bigger and fatter than cake candles and fit into the holes of small White Sea urchins which I display in summer. Or maybe the candles used on those old fashioned Swedish Christmas angel chimes will fit. My heart skipped when I saw the tiny toile trays. I had that set and 4 full size ones that I hung on the walls of a MI lake house kitchen but we sold it furnished and I nearly cried over those trays. Haha. Your newest follower Pamela

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    1. Hello Pamela!! Welcome! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. Thanks for the candle tip, I think I would be very happy to just have candles in the tree, just for display would be super. I'll have to look for the ones you suggested. Your house sounds wonderful! I give you a lot of credit for selling it furnished, that must've been hard to part with some treasures, but it sounds like some lucky buyer hit the jackpot!!!

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  26. What makes it a PLATE shelf?

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    1. Hi Mary! Thanks for asking. There's a groove that runs the entire length of each shelf about an inch from the mirror backing. In the shop they had plates in there and I should've grabbed them, because the shelves are really small and most plates are too large to fit. I've since been on the hunt for more. ☺️

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