The Five Best Things to Score at a Thrift Shop That You Can Almost Always Find!

by | Apr 27, 2017

I PROMISE I will try to get off my thrift shop soap box after I get this out.  Ok, probably not gonna happen, just being honest.  I find myself in thrift shops a lot because I find them a great place to find projects and even a random vintage find for my vintage shop Rustic Eye.

Because I’ve spent so much time in them lately, I’ve come to have a new appreciation for thrift stores.  I am on a mission to convince all of you that you MUST visit them too.  Without further ado…

1. MAGAZINESmagazines in boxes

I’ve said this before on my Facebook page, but it is SOOOO worth mentioning again.  Have you SEEN the prices of magazines these days?  I know you have.  And I really like magazines, but how do you justify spending so much on one lonely publication?  Maybe you convince yourself that it’s cheaper than an interior designer, it will save you money (it says so right there on the cover), or your life will actually improve having read it??  I’m not here to mock magazines.  I love them, remember.  But I found a way to have my cake and eat it too…get your magazines at thrift stores!  I’ve been doing this for quite some time.  I have two local thrift stores that always stock them.  One sells them for $0.25 and the other for $0.30.  Um, ya, you read that right.  I rest my case.  I often find current publications and magazines that I love.  DIY, Home Décor…ya know, that kind of thing.  Bonus to magazines…you read them AND they make an adorable accessory!  Just don’t keep too many on hand- that is no bueno (Traci translation: NOT good)! Donate them back when you are finished with them :)!

2. BOOKSbooks as decor

Kind of the same idea as magazines.  I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t enjoy digging through to find what I want.  However, I’ve found most thrift stores are great at organizing making it a pleasure to look for, say, my kids’ favorite book series or vintage books to decorate with (dude…they sell those in certain big box stores and they aren’t even real)!  So, I highly recommend finding books at thrift stores!

3. CRAFT SUPPLIEScolored pencils at varying heights

You will never keep me out of Michaels or Jo Ann’s…noooo way.  And, I wouldn’t recommend going to a thrift shop to look for a particular craft item.  However, while you are at your thrift shop please do browse the craft supplies.  They often have great things at amazing prices.  I recently found a lot of about 8 paper punches (normally $15-$20 each), for around $3.  And, I have been all about these paper punches lately, so imagine my surprise and joy when I spotted that one!  I’ve also scored some vintage manila hang tags which I’ve used for all sorts of projects, and vintage clothespins (which I adore and find many uses for) on the cheap!  If you use yarn, I always see that stuff.  I personally have little use for it, but just sayin ;)!

4. JARSflower in mason jar

I know, I know, maybe a little overkill with this one.  But, for me, please, if you see a mason jar just get it :).  Stick with me and you WILL find a use for it!  If all else fails, use them as cute vases for single stems.  For extra cute points, tie some twine around the top and repeat for a set of jars.  Items grouped in odds (3, 5, etc.) work best for decorating.  I learned that from my Grandma :)!  I also don’t think it’s gross to use properly cleaned things like glasses from thrift shops…ever been to a restaurant ;)???  I’m on the hunt for different mason jars to make a drinking glass set.  I just love jars for drinking out of, so charming!

5. TRAYStray to organize space

Everything looks better on a tray.  It just does, I can’t explain it.  It’s this phenomenon that you must experience.  Silver trays are one of the best.  Vintage silver trays, to be specific.  You can’t go wrong and you will find one million uses for them.  Just trust me on this one!  You can add to any holiday décor, use to hold jewelry or keys, there is just no limit to the functionality of trays and there is really no good reason to buy them new.  You can’t beat the character in vintage silver trays :).


Good question!  But, don’t worry.  I found this great resource to help you locate thrift stores, consignment, secondhand, and even vintage shops!  Check out The Thrift Shopper and you might even learn a tip or two more about thrift shopping!


There are many more treasures to be found at thrift stores.  These are just a few of my favs.  But I can’t sign off without saying, DO NOT BE A HOARDER!!!!  Note: I have a strange addiction to watching that show…and can’t not look as I drive by my “Traci-diagnosed” neighbor hoarders…I know it’s a serious disease to be a hoarder…but maybe looking to see how much more their garage is sticking out due to stuff overflow is too, we don’t KNOW that.  That said, I am a big proponent of organization and lack of clutter.  So only buy what you really, really love and can use and donate what you don’t need anymore!

Best part- you are not creating more waste.  You are recycling and being GREEN.  Woo hoo, go you :)!!!

Let us know what you LOVE finding at your local thrift stores!  Leave a comment below!


-Traci XO