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Let’s face it home decor shopping can be very hard on the wallet. I am a huge fan of home decor shopping, my current favorite stores being Homegoods, Michaels’, TJ Maxx or Marshalls. And if it was closer I would live at Hobby Lobby! (The closest is a couple of hour drive!) But luckily there is another option that is much more kind to my wallet: thrift stores and yard/garage sales.

More often than not I end up going to thrift stores. There are several closest to my work and I can hop over on a lunch break to see if there are any awesome finds!

Below are my top 5 areas within thrift stores to search and what to look for when thinking of home decor.

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The wood aisle is always exciting to peruse, usually finding shelves, boxes, and things that I’m not sure what the original use was! Try to keep an open mind and you might come away with something you had no idea would be so great. Wood items are great because they can be painted in almost any medium and with the bare wood your prep work is minimal. Here is a small bench I found thrifting for $2.99. I may paint it or leave it the natural wood for a more rustic look.

Thrift store stool being used as a shelf


Metal aisle at thrift store, never know what you will find

The metal area is very similar to the wood aisle, think outside the box and the possibilities are endless. Metal can be easily spray painted if you look beyond the original color. I recently found a decorative container in an ugly lime green that already had holes drilled in the bottom. I painted it with a textured spray paint and turned it into an outdoor planter:

Ugly green metal container turned into a succulent planter
Decorative metal container turned into succlent planter with a little textured spray paint


Thrift store glassware can be a great place to find home decor

I love searching through glassware at thrift shops, whether you are a Pyrex collector or a milk glass collector like myself there is usually always something to find. And most of the time it is organized by color. The clear glass jars and containers can be great for a candy bar at a wedding shower or birthday party favor table. Or if you are looking for table centerpiece ideas there are usually a lot of vases in different colors and sizes that can be found at thrift stores. Here is a pic of my milk glass collection, some have been given to me by relatives and others I have found at thrift stores from $2.99 to $4.99 depending on size:

Milk glass collection found through thrifting and gifting


Fake foliage from thrift stores to use in home decor

This spot can be very hit or miss at thrift stores. The reason I say this is because I am very picky when looking for faux flowers and greenery. I want it to look like the real thing and to be a higher quality which can be hard to find. But it is definitely worth taking the time to search through the piles that could be there as you never know when you may find a treasure. Below are some flowers I found that had sticks added to the bouquet and was neatly tied in raffia and ready for display.

Faux flowers used in a decorative dough bowl display


Thrift store furniture is great for updating your home by adding some paint or repurposing

Last but not least is my absolute favorite: Furniture! The furniture in most thrift stores includes a wide variety from couches, single bar stools, dining and end tables and shelving units. The furniture section is always my first stop in a thrift store. Again asking the questions: Can this be painted? Can this be turned into something other than it’s original use? There have been some pieces I have said no to just for the sheer fact that I didn’t have the space to store them. But now that we have the farmhouse that may all change!

Below is a picture of a stool I re-painted with milk paint (read that tutorial here) that I found at a thrift store for $0.99! And you can’t beat a price like that!

How to transform a thrift store stool with a little milk paint

Although thrift stores and yard/garage sales can take some effort and time; I feel you can find some of the most unique items. And sometimes some of the uglier items turn out being the greatest decor with the addition of a little paint and elbow grease.











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