Est. 2011

February 22, 2012

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thrifting 101

Hello friends!  Sorry for not posting Monday and Tuesday; at the last minute, I decided to take two days off, and it was a lovely break…but I certainly missed being around here and I’m glad to be back.  
I had a wonderful weekend with Joe – we took a day trip to Jim Thorpe, PA, went thrifting right outside NYC for an entire day, and spent lots of time with my family.  
Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite purchases from the weekend.  And some thrifting tips.  
William Rogers silver plated flatware.

Old glass bottles.  Do you have suggestions on how to clean the inside??

My newest thrifting obsession: textiles.  Can’t wait to use these as props, and even experiment with a DIY or two.  I have no clue what those silver and gold products are – anybody know?  (Update: Lindsay let me know these are sequin honeycomb – the leftovers after sequins are made!!  Thanks, girl!)

A brass + wooden ladle.  
I had some other fantastic purchases this weekend: an old wooden ladder, a vintage suitcase, a large, wooden telescope box, and lots lots more.  The thrift stores we visited (Unique and Value Village) were running a 50% off sale on all merchandise, so you can imagine how much fun we all had!  I’m excited to style these finds and share them with you all again!  
When I go thrifting, there are a few rules I like to follow.  
1. Grab everything you even possibly like and put it in your cart (initially, don’t waste time thinking about whether or not you’ll buy it or if you love it).  
2. Think about every area of your home/life – kitchen, craft room, clothing, fashion accessories (belts, scarves), shoes, miscellaneous textiles (ribbon, fabric, wooden boards, paper, etc.), interior details (lamp, side tables, chairs), larger pieces of furniture, little details, etc.  
3. Make a day of it and give yourself enough time.  You don’t want to feel rushed.  Pack your lunch.  Eat in the car driving to and from each store.  Bring water so you don’t get dehydrated.  
4. Bring a friend.  It’s fun, and sometimes we need a second opinion.  When I bring a friend, we separate while we shop, and then help each other eliminate at the end.
5. After you scour the thrift store a few times and place everything you might possibly like in your cart, eliminate everything you don’t love or have a specific use for.  Inspect every inch.  Make sure there are no funky smells or stains you can’t get rid of.  
6. Have fun, and be persistent and patient!  You might not find everything you want/need the first hour or the first month.  But thrifting really pays off, and it’s so incredibly rewarding.  
Hope your week is going well.  
till tomorrow,
Rebecca
  1. sherri lynn says:

    It looks like you found some amazing pieces! I like your thrifting tips! I haven't been to satisfied with the thrift stores I've been to around here though… I am in search of some new ones!

  2. Viviana says:

    I absolutely love those old glass bottles! Fab find.

  3. lindsay says:

    hi! i actually am taking this art class on reusable materials and just found out what the spools of gold and silver material you have are — it is called sequin honeycomb — it is what is leftover after sequins are made! 🙂

  4. Rebecca says:

    Lindsay! That's so awesome – thanks for solving the mystery !!!! 🙂

  5. Kimber-Leigh says:

    how fun! sounds like a great couple of days! as for cleaning the bottles…i would soak them in soapy hot water…and then use a bottle brush to scrub the insides. (you should be able to find one cheaply in the baby aisle of your grocery store!)

  6. Sarah says:

    I'm totally coveting your ladle! Hope you had a nice little vacation =)

    – Sarah
    http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com

  7. Kelly says:

    Oh my that sequin honeycomb is GORGEOUS! Craft supply envy over here! 😉

  8. Kyla says:

    These are such fun finds! Especially that textile! Can't wait to see what you come up with 🙂

  9. Nicole says:

    There's actually a practically free way to wash the insides of the bottles (a baby bottle brush might not fit into those anyway). Just pour in some sand, water, and soap and shake it real good. The sand swishes against the glass and cleans it. or you could try this rice version: http://www.instructables.com/id/Clean-a-bottle-without-a-brush/step2/A-spoonful-of-rice/ . also, 'sequin honeycomb' is the prettiest phrase – love the background on that fancy stuff! your tips on thrifting are fantastic -i find that 'be persistent' usually means 'shop often,' because it seems that the best thrifting finds are by people who thrift as much as possible, like you 🙂

  10. Wow, nice finds! Love that honeycomb! For the bottles, I would use a mixture of salt + rubbing alcohol, hold you hand over the top and shake it really well over the sink. The abrasive salt should take off dirt/build-up…and the alcohol will take care of any germs 🙂 Then give them a good rinse in hot water, or let them soak in a sink of hot water.

  11. Alexa says:

    Love the tips! The flatware is so cool!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the bottle cleaning tips, friends!! I think I'll try the sand and water mixture, and then soaking in hot, soapy water.

  13. Kylie says:

    i absolutely love thrifting, too. just went this weekend and hit the jackpot. LA has some good stuff!

  14. Sarah says:

    oh I forgot to mention earlier that I tagged you on my blog today =)

    – Sarah
    http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com

  15. Great finds! I love those little dishes you found last week too! I always bring hand sanitizer with me, it can get grimy rummaging through piles of vintage wares

  16. Cossette says:

    Try lemon juice on the insides of those bottles–or white vinegar–or both. Between the two (some soaking and some shaking) you should be able to get grime and spots out.

  17. What treasures! I definitely love a good day of thrifting – and we've got some great stores here in Portland! Can't wait to see what new life you give your new goodies 🙂

  18. Natalie says:

    You're a thrifting queen! Love your finds!

  19. These are great tips! The hardest thing for me is to be patient! Sometimes your local thrift stores have stuff and sometimes they don't! But you got some pretty good finds!

  20. meg says:

    Lovely finds!!!!

  21. What fantastic advice! Try a little hot water and white vinegar in those bottles and swirl–it should do the trick!

  22. you did find some pretty glass bottles! and an old ladder?? i also got some old luggage, and i'm quite excited. love these tips!! 🙂

  23. Shawnee says:

    great tips! i follow these as well! thrifting is THE best. xx

  24. Alice says:

    Those spoons are beautiful!! I am always tempted by flatware at thrift shops… Of course the problem with NYC thrift stores is that the prices are usually not exactly thrift store levels!

  25. Shari Ana says:

    sequin honeycomb? who knew this was a thing??? so amazing, my head is spinning with ways to use it. i'd love to incorporate it into decor for my living room – but i am sure you will find some fabulous ways to DIY. great finds + photos!
    xx shari ana

  26. Sarah Jane says:

    Oh my goodness, I want to go thrifting with you!
    My friends never want to search for as long as I do- they always get bored or sick of it after an hour.
    Making a day of it sounds pretty terrific to me. 🙂
    What good finds here, lucky lady!

  27. Anonymous says:

    For the bottles, An old florist tip… use denture cleaning tablets for the hard water residue. 😉

  28. I LOVE the sequin honeycombs!! How fun to wrap around a pillar candle or something simple like that?

    Hope you and BF had a fun weekend! I can't think of a better way to spend it.

  29. Sarah Roads says:

    Great finds & great tips. Great minds…I just posted something similar. No doubt we could do some major damage together.

  30. Victoria says:

    Great tips and finds:) I get so many of my props from thrift store. As a mom, I have found it easiest to go for a quick look a couple mornings a week. So fun!

  31. Fantastic finds Rebecca!! And your tips are spot on!

  32. VirgilandMarie says:

    I bought a lot of old bottles for my wedding reception, and I purchased a bottle brush from Lehmans.com (where I get a ton of great stuff!!!) to scrub them. Before scrubbing, I let them soak in hot vinegar water to remove build up and hard water, then scrubbed them with the bottle brush. The really tough ones, I scrubbed them with Borax or Washing Soda (just not mixed with the vinegar). It took a while, but finally got them clean!

  33. Ecochic says:

    For the bottle cleaning, try baking soda, or sea salt, and a little water if you can't reach with a brush. Rinse, and shake ready hard.

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