Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Tips: Thrifting

Through out my childhood, I grew up going to garage sales on Saturday mornings with my mom and her friend. We'd have a list from the newspaper and our hunts would take us all around town. I learned to decipher the nuances of what sets special things apart from the usual garage sale junk. Nowadays, I am sometimes tempted to pull over to the side of the road when I see a garage sale sign, but honestly it's not like it was back in the day. Now peoples twenty year old discarded items are mainly plastic or mainly overpriced, but there's nothing like the rush of a good find. Once a year, I always find a true garage sale gem.

During my teenage years, I discovered thrift stores. I became enchanted with vintage dresses and looks that you could only really find by digging though endless thrift store racks. I would say on average about ten trips to various thrift stores, I would walk away with only a few decent pieces. Thrifting for me became all about the hunt.

Thrifting takes patience and thrifting takes a good eye.

On occasion, I still get the thrifting bug. I don't particularly have the patience to hunt through racks and racks of clothing to find that one vintage t-shirt anymore or the vintage wool Campagnolo bicycle jersey, which all have made my true finds list. But I do have a few absolutely must scour racks, for each visit to a thrift store I make.

So what's my thrifting weakness?

Vintage tablecloths.


My love of vintage tablecloths began when I was handed down a few special pieces from a Great Aunt. I began to have an eye for them and vintage combined with floral is just my happy aesthetic. Most of my finds cost no more than $5.00. Typically the tablecloth section is overlooked. I also have a thing for vintage sheets, but they have to be in pristine condition, I use them around the house for drop cloths or to sit on in the grass, not on our beds.

Here's a glimpse at my collection:
(the bottom one, that Tiffany Blue with white stitched floral, is my Favorite!)

Here's the tablecloth being used right now:
(I don't believe in letting collections sit in a closet to gather dust, we use them!)

So why is this a Tuesday Tips? Because people discard and donate items for a variety of reasons. It's not just because they are old and worn out. Thrifting is a great way to save a penny, reuse something in good condition (usually many name brands), and make a donation to charity to top it off. Most of our thrift stores in the area are run by non-profit charities!

Check out your local thrift store, find a gem. You may just love the thrill of a hunt or the rush of a good find.


16 comments:

  1. I like thrift shops and garage sales too, but don't have as much time to scope them out. I love your tablecloths!

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  2. I feel the same way about antique store. My parents used to take us out antiquing all the time. We thought it was the height of bordom at the time - but I do recognize many of their finds in their house (and in mine). Sadly - people pretty much assume that anything old is valuable now (Antiques Road Show is a perfect example) - so you really don't find wonderfully made antiques for cheap anymore. Although my friend Anna from An Inch of Gray has recently proven me wrong with an entire dining set for $30 (I've seen it - it needed some work - but looks fantastic now).

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  3. Here is my problem with "thrifting" or going to garage sales. Whenever I've gotten something under either of those conditions, EVERYBODY can tell. I just don't have an eye for that stuff. I swear it is a gift. :)

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  4. I am game. Lets go. xoxoKeri

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  5. I went thrift shopping just the other day! i don't have the patience anymore either! I love looking through old antique dishes and glasses soemtimes furniture!

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  6. I went thrift shopping just the other day! i don't have the patience anymore either! I love looking through old antique dishes and glasses soemtimes furniture!

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  7. I just don't have the patience for thrift shops or discount stores which basically means that I spend to much money. In this new economy... I better get more patience.

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  8. I love old linens! But I can not stand garage sales. I haven't found a good thrift store here in Utah, but there must be one.

    I am a collector of old teapots and tea cups. They make me so happy when I think of all of the happy times they must have seen.

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  9. I love to thrift, when in Portland, OR there are many wonderful places to thrift, since moving to the SE, not so great, but I still hunt about! Thanks for the reminder of what fun it can be!
    G~*

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  10. I had a friend in college who had a great eye and could find lots of great clothes in thrift stores. It's a lot of work, but worth it.

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  11. I always want to love them, but I'm just so impatient. I get sort of claustrophobic around all that (sometimes unorganized) stuff. It's weird, I know.

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  12. I swear finding bargains is a gift, i have been lucky with a few things, Funily i seem to fair better when the kids aren't with me, funny that!

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  13. p.s the table cloths are beautiful

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  14. Hey - checking you out for the first time and your tablecloth collection is crazy impressive. I've always envied people who can thrift well...I'm so impatient that it's my main problem....and it invades my every step. Especially while shopping for anything and being a mommy!!

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  15. That is a fabbo stack of vintage cloths--obviously you have some stock of patience! Thrifting isn't for everyone, but patience can certainly be learned, and when you are rewarded with a fabulous find for next to nothing it's all worthwhile. And one of the best parts is...no horrible packaging to try to remove!

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!