Thrift Store Crafting: What to Buy, What to Make

Thrift Store CraftingA good thrift store is an asset to a community equal to that of a mom-and-pop hardware store, a locally-famous ice cream/snowcone/frenchie stand, and a rockin’ adult co-rec softball team: in other words, it’s crucial.

In my hometown, we’re lucky not only to have all of the above and a library that stocks just released feature film DVDs, but several excellent thrift stores—thrift stores small and quirky, thrift stores large and conglomerate, thrift stores frequented largely by the college students, thrift stores frequented mostly by the townies. As an avid crafter whose Crafting Manifesto dictates that I work primarily with recycled materials, I have throughout several years’ worth of projects figured out a way to use pretty much any kind of thrift store junk to make awesome stuff. Here are some of the possibilities:

Got scratched old vinyl records? Rip them into mp3s, melt them into record bowls, make cuffs or coasters or pendants, or paint them and hang them. Make ornaments or sewing cards or boxes out of the covers.

Got T-shirts? Sew a quilt or placemats and coasters or baby bibs, or appliqué them or stencil them to cover up stains, or mod them into a pleasing design of your own.

Got jeans? Sew another quilt or a jumper for your kid, or more placemats and coasters, or purses or book covers and pencil rolls, or use them to patch your other stuff.

Got dishes or pottery? Use them for storage, shatter them to grind and solder into pendants, drill a hole ino them with a tile drill bit and buy a DIY clock kit.

Got sweaters? Felt the wool ones for stuffies or brooches, mod the cotton ones into dresses or pants for little kids, sew any of them into hats or mittens or scarves for the winter.

Got books? Cut them up for scrapbooking or Artist Trading Cards, hollow them out for secret storage or a funky purse, separate out just the hardback covers for bookbinding into journals or notebooks.

Got board games? Make them into journals, too, glue a jump ring onto a game piece or alter it extensively for a jewelry pendant or key fob, cut strategic holes in them and mount them as photo frames.

What are your favorite thrift store scores?

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


Leave a Reply

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

Gettin’ Crafty in the Kitchen: Infused Vodka

Yearn Worthy Yarn: Rowan (U.K.)