Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Hand-Me-Downs, Oh My!

Garage and estate sales, second-hand and thrift stores are great places to find cheap pieces of furniture and accent pieces.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Target; I wouldn’t be a Minnesotan if I didn’t, but sometimes it just doesn’t cut it.  I’m here to show some of my favorite used finds. 

This bench  floats my boat with its dark wood and small size.  This is actually the first piece of furniture Ben and I bought together while browsing a local used furniture shop.  It wasn’t necessarily a fantastic deal, but it was love at first sight, so $60.00 didn’t seem too bad. 

Recently, I started collecting globes.  I love the way they make a room feel.  I found this big guy at a local thrift store for $10.00. 

When I lived in Minnesota, I worked as a real estate agent in Minneapolis selling condominiums.  A couple that lived at my building put three of these Duncan Phyfe chairs by the road for FREE!  I snatched them up right away and we have used them for many larger gatherings.

My aunt has a cast iron match holder similar to this one that I have loved for quite some time.  When I stumbled across this guy at shop in town, I didn’t hesitate buying it.  It’s adorable and useful in its home on our wood chute, right by the fireplace. 

Last summer, my great-aunt gave us some of her old serving dishes, including this footed bowl.  It looks so cute holding our fruit on our kitchen countertops.

I think this mirror is by far the best garage sale deal we’ve ever gotten.  It was kelly green, but we spray painted it black and now it looks almost identical to this mirror that retails for $599.00!

I also bought a slew of large, medium and small glasses from a Minnesota thrift store to use as vases for our June 2006 outdoor wedding.  We had three different vases per table, each with a different type of flower.  It was much more affordable to create three smaller arrangements, rather than one large arrangement.  I’m not very good at arranging several types of flowers in one arrangement, so this was our solution. 

I’ve shared my favorite cheap finds, what are yours?  Any places you swear by if looking for a particular item, say lamps?  Do any have a special meaning or make you think of a certain someone?

Where’d Ya Get That?

Here’s a source list for items in our house.  If you have questions about anything, just ask!

Living Room:

Paint: Wicker Chair by Olympic and Behr’s Vermont Cream color matched in Wal-Mart’s Colorplace brand    Rug: Flor  Sofa: HOM Furniture    Chairs: Dolce Lounge Chair from Target    End Tables: Dror by Target    Lamps:  TJ Maxx    Curtains:  Target    Throw Blanket:  TJ Maxx    Pillow Covers: Hand Sewn Fabric from Joann    Bird Candleholder:  Target    Picture Frames:  Wal-Mart, Target, Michael’s    Artwork:  Custom made by me    Front Door:  Home Depot    Floors:  Original Red Oak Hardwood

Living Room Other Side:

Rocking Chair:  Lay-Z-Boy (is now in the basement)    Desk:  Repainted hand-me-down    Desk Chair:  Target    Black Picture Frame:  Target    Large Frame:  Target 

Chair:  Hom Furniture     Mirror:  Garage Sale-only $5.00!    Candle Sconces:  Linens N Things    Pillow:  I made it.  Here’s how.

Entertainment Center:

Entertainment Center:  Custom Built by Ben    Door Hardware:  Home Depot Modern Bar    TV:  32″ Vizio from Costco    Silver Picture Frames:  TJ Maxx    B Monogram:  Target    Candle Holders:  Target    Clock:  Restoration Hardware on Ebay    Tall Blue Vase:  Crate and Barrel  Short Blue Vase:  TJ Maxx    Wooden Sculpture:  Target    Magazine Files:  IKEA painted Green    Books:  Used, Barnes and Noble    Print:  Made by Me    Hour Glass:  CB2

Dining Room:


Paint:  Mistinted version of Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage (The paint is from Wal Mart and they used the light base. The formula for one gallon is B-37, E-39.5, and T-37.  This is the color used in our basement, too. It can look more green in some light) and Behr’s Vermont Cream-both color matched at Wal-Mart    Dining Table:  DIY Table    Chairs:  World Market    Rug:  Flor    Curtains:  Hand Sewn from Fabric From Hancock Fabrics    Fruit Bowl:  Thrift Store    Plates:  Linens N Things and Target    Candle Sticks:  Target    Light Fixture:  CB2   Curtain Rod:  Wal-Mart    Floors:  Original Red Oak Hardwood

Guest Bedroom:

Paint:  Restoration Hardware’s Sea Green, color matched to Behr and Behr’s Vermont Cream    Headboard:  Free from an apartment tenant    Floral Bedding:  Ross    Sheets:  Linens N Things    Blue King Pillows:  TJ Maxx    Striped Pillow:  Hand Sewn from Fabric from Joann    Picture Frame:  From my Great Grandma    Photo:  Forsyth Park Fountain taken on our Honeymoon in Savannah, GA    White Nightstand:  Built by Ben    Lamp:  Target    Clock:  World Market    Candle Sconces:  Bed, Bath and Beyond    Curtains:  Wal-Mart    Curtain Rod:  Target    Apothecary Jar of Shells:  Michael’s     Pendant:  DIY with coffee filters  

Guest Bedroom Other Side:

Mirror:  Found in the Trash-from Target    Bedside Carafe:  Two Glasses from World Market    Shell:  Target    Artwork in the Hall:  Family Tree made by Me

Main Bathroom:

Paint:  Behr’s Vermont Cream and Restoration Hardware’s Lilac    Vanity:  Built by Ben out of Maple    Drawer Pulls:  Home Depot    Countertop:  Giallo San Francsico Granite Remnant    Vessel Sink and Faucet:  E bay    Mirror:  Reused from Remodel    Light Fixtures:  Home Depot    Picture, Frame and Mat:   Michael’s    Glass Box:  World Market    Soap Pump:  Target    Lotion:  Bath and Body Works    Candles and Jars:  Target  Purple Towels:  Target    White Towels:  Linens N Things   

Main Bathroom Shower:

White and Grey Marble Tile (also on floors):  Home Depot    Faucet:  Delta at Home Depot    Shower Curtain:  Target    Towel Bar and Toilet Paper Holder:  Home Depot

Master Bedroom:


Paint:  Restoration Hardware’s Bay Laurel and Behr’s Vermont Cream   Bed:  Custom Built by Ben    Coverlet:  IKEA    Pillow Shams:  Linens N Things    Throw Pillow:  Hand Embroidered by Me    Nightstand:  IKEA    Lamps:  Home Depot    Clock:  World Market    Pictures:  E Bay    Picture Frames:  Michael’s    Curtains:  Wal-Mart    Curtain Rods:  Wal-Mart   

Master Bedroom Other Side:


Mirror:  Michael’s    Upholstered Bench:  HOM Furniture

Master Bathroom:

Paint:  Behr’s Vermont Cream and Restoration Hardware’s Bay Laurel    Curtains:  Wal-Mart    Floors:  Absolute Black and White Marble from Home Depot    Toilet:  Kohler Highline from Home Depot    Vanity:  Built by Ben    Countertop:  Galaxy Black Remnant Ben Finished    Shower Curtain:  Target   Towels:  Target    Towel Bar and Toilet Paper Holder:  Home Depot    Clock:  Gift 

Boy’s Bedroom:

Paint:  Ralph Lauren’s Riesling and Behr’s Vermont Cream    Crib:  Garage Sale    Dresser:  Hand Me Down    Curtains:  Wal Mart    Curtain Rods:  Home Depot    Crib Blanket:  Crocheted by Me    Sheets:  Target    Crib Skirt:  Target    Rocking Chair:  Family chair    Storage Bin:  Tuesday Mornings    Mobile:  Made by Me    Owl:  Made by Me    Silhouette:  Made by Me    E and V:  Hobby Lobby    Pillows:  Made by Me

 Bed:  Hand Me Down Painted Red    Bedding:  Target    Stuffed Animals:  Kohl’s     Pillows:  Hand sewn by me      Footprint Art:  Inked Feet of my Boys    Artwork:  Canvas Painted by Me    Bookshelf:  Hand Me Down   


Paint:  Benjamin Moore’s Raisin and Behr’s Vermont Cream    Cabinets and Shelving:  Custom Built by Ben    Countertops:  Brazilian Cherry and Carrera Marble    Desk Chair:  IKEA   Desk Lamp:  Target    Storage Boxes and Magazine Files:  IKEA    Curtains:  Hand Sewn from Fabric from Hancock Fabrics    White Marble Vases:  Restoration Hardware    Small Blue Vase:  Target    Little Bird:  Felt Pincushion from Etsy    Picture Frames on Shelves:  Target    Map Frame:  Michael’s    Map:    Light Fixture:  Home Depot    Magnetic Tins:  IKEA   

Office Bookshelves: 


Chair:  Target    Accent Table:  Target    Picture Frame on Table:  Target   White Vase:  Target (was a reed diffuser)    Storage Boxes:  IKEA    Brown Frames:  Hobby Lobby   Art in Brown Frames:  My modern portraits   Drawing Figure:  IKEA    Rose Candle Holders:  Michael’s, Big Lots and Ross    Bird Art:  Custom Painted by Me    Orange Clock:  Hobby Lobby    Wire Buildings:  Target    Butterfly Artwork:  Custom Made by Me    Globes:  Garage Sales and Target    Vacation Jars:  Hobby Lobby filled with vacation items    Books:  Barnes and Noble, Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

Etsy Inspiration

I love  I sell prints and stationery on it, but I also love to peruse to get inspiration.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds today. 

I love these pillows!  So creative, but could be easy to create a custom design for your own home.  It’s as simple as finding a background fabric, fabric paint and sewing the cover. 

I love a whimsical touch, and these pillows fit the bill.  Many other states are available, too.

These leather totes seem so versatile.  I wonder if another fabric or material would work.  I’m sure a pattern could be created to make a similar effect…

On to some unique artwork.  I’m sure something like this could be created using paper punches.  Simply punch your designs and glue in the shape of your choice. 

Punches would also work great to create a custom art piece similar to this:

Here are some other favorites:

I create custom silhouettes, but this is just amazing!  The black is all cut from one sheet of paper!

Amy Ruppel’s prints are adorable, and this print is no exception.

Talk about adorable; I LOVE these measuring spoons!  The price is just a little steep for my budget, though.

I’m still trying to find some great hooks or a way to make them .  I want 3D cast metal bird heads, similar to taxidermy deer heads, but birds.  Hmm…what to do! 

How about you?   Have you found inspirational pieces to customize for your home?

All images found via the featured Etsy seller’s listing as linked above.

Good Things, Martha

I’m here to show off some more recent finds. 

I ordered a new light fixture from CB2 and stumbled upon this little cutie for $9.95:

It was just too cute to pass up.  And the shipping cost was the same for both.  Win-win.

I also found this great entry rug at Ross for

…wait for it…$10.99.  It has the rubber backing we need to prevent sliding and damage to the hardwood beneath.  I love the added pattern and the colors are great for our space (and hiding dirt). 

I’ll share my really great deal soon.  Here’s a teaser-dining chairs. 

What about you?  Any great finds recently?

How to: Add a Custom Touch to Framed Pictures

Remember how cheap I am about artwork?  Well, I have a few quick, easy and cheap ideas to spruce up your frames.

Idea number 1:  Spraypaint the frames.  

First, remove the glass, mat, photo, and back.  Wipe the frame free of dust.  Then lay down newspaper in a well ventilated area.  Spray the frames, keeping the can about 8 to 12 inches away to avoid excess paint drops.  Allow adequate dry time.  Pop the photo back in, hang and enjoy!

Idea number 2:  Double mat your photos.

First, buy or cut the outer mat to the frame dimensions.  Cut the opening 1 inch larger than your photo.  Then, buy or cut another mat with the inner dimensions slightly smaller than your photo.  The outer dimensions should extend at least 1 inch beyond your outer mat’s frame to make sure coverage of the edges. 

You can choose to use the same color for both mats OR add more focus on the photo by using a color that coordinates with your photo. 

To make this look, I cut my white outer mat to fit my 16 inch by 20 inch frame.  Then I cut a 5 inch by 7 inch opening which will accommodate my 4 inch by 6 inch photo.  Then I cut another white mat 7 inches tall by 9 inches wide with a 3.75 inch by 5.75 inch opening.  I painted the inner mat blue, leaving the depth white.  After the paint dried, I taped my photo in place and then centered my small mat on the large mat.  Place the large mat in your frame and hang!

Idea number 3:  Draw a border on your mat.

To get this look, use a gel pen or marker in any color (I used a silver metallic gel pen on a black mat).  Using a pencil, mark your edges at two or more points to make straight lines.  Once you’ve marked all sides (with as many borders you’d like), line a ruler to your edge and make your lines.  Do this several times to make a thicker band of color. 

Here is a detail shot:

Idea number 4:  Frame 3 dimensional objects in shadow boxes. 

Simply glue or tape your items in place.  I am a fan of foam adhesive tape to get your item off the page.

So, there you have it.  Four quick and easy ways to add interest to your art.