Thrifty Thursday # 21

Sorry for the delay – I’m getting behind in my days of the week! I do realize that Thrifty Thursday this week is once again on a Friday…maybe I need to set myself some phone reminders. 

Back to the thrifting… Continuing my Labor Day weekend thrifting was the South Eden Flea Market. I have had great successes with this one in the past and this weekend was no exception!

I started my day with a fantasy football draft and a nice hot cup of tea, an excellent start to a Sunday.


Once the draft was done, Sister 3 and I went to pick up Sister 2 and head out to the flea market.
Here’s my haul:


You’ll notice my Americana wagon which is now featured on my accent wall as well as the garden flowers pocket book. A lot of the other pocket guides I gave to my brother who is a middle school science teacher. We always pick up good field guides. The two lidded picnic baskets I am incredibly excited about – one of them even came filled with picnic dishes! I am going to keep the baskets for storage (thinking of setting them next to my couch in the living room) but I think I might end up flipping the dishes in the booth next spring. The blue spool also ended up being for me as it repeats the blue of my accent wall in my living room.

I am amassing a collection of wooden folding chairs. I intend to keep the first two that I found but the other ones I am going to paint and sell in the booth. I also found another neat drawer to potentially use as a shelf on the wall or in some other storage capacity. I also added one more insulator to my collection and some more “junk” for my creation. Is the suspense build up for the end result for my collections of these types of items killing you yet?

I’m also pretty excited about the two books that I picked up. I should have spent more time going through the other books at the booth but the Currier & Ives book has a ton of prints in it that I intend to frame and sell either in my booth or on Etsy (my Etsy shop is currently in process – I will share the link when I’m up and running!) The president’s book contained a lot of neat information but also very interesting color illustrations of the Presidents and I believe that I will be able to frame and sell the prints of some of the more popular presidents as I have seen these in patriotic vignettes on several blogs and in magazines.

All in all, a very successful trip! This one will continue to be a favorite of mine.

Do you have a flea market that is always a must-go for you? Which flea markets are your favorite?

Happy Thrifting!


Refurbished Plant Tray DIY

Several months ago I picked up a wooden tray from Goodwill. At $5.99, it was really pricey but I had been looking for one specifically and despite its, well, horrible paint job, I liked the shape of this one and it was before I got really into thrifting and found a million other trays.


I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do with it but I knew I wanted to get it sanded down. First I was going to try to sand it completely down to the wood. Trying to do it by hand was a silly idea, though it was great for getting out some frustrations. I ended up having to borrow my dad’s hand sander to sand the rest of the way. I realized quickly that because there were so many coats of paint I was not going to be able to get it down to just the wood so in came Plan B.
This was going to be put in my kitchen and my accent color in there is what I call “Cayenne” – a red orange that I took from this sign that is the inspiration for some of my decorating.


This isn’t exactly a standard color so I mixed two of my Americana paints together – bright orange and true red – in order to attain the right hue. I applied it to the tray with a sponge brush but made sure that some of the black showed through in order to show the wood grain. I thought that this gave it a really unique and rustic look, more like a stain than an outright paint color.


I loved how the color turned out but then I noticed the rust colored handles didn’t quite go with the color anymore so I pulled out some jute string and wrapped them to further give it a rustic appearance.

I decided that I wanted to put an array of planters in it so I coated it with polyurethane in order to protect the wood from possible drainage. I chose a matte finish for the polyurethane because I didn’t want my tray to appear shiny.

Next I raided my flea market finds and pulled together a Pfaltzgraff crock that says “Tea” on it (originally this would have had a lid and been part of a set but since the lid had since been lost or broken, I picked this up at Goodwill for $1.99), the silver teapot that once held Newton the Apple Mint plant (poor Newton was beyond saving when I got him and has since passed on), and a little ceramic pig that I had picked up at 3rd Sunday on a 3 for $1 table (Thrifty Thursday #3). She has a hairline crack on her, but nothing too severe so it shouldn’t affect her ability to hold a plant.
I picked up some low maintenance plants from the terrarium section at Jeffrey Alan and planted the 3 containers by first pouring in some rock for drainage and then adding Miracle Grow plant soil. These plants are really great since most of them are varieties of succulents – they don’t need to be watered often. Just check the soil to make sure it is still damp and they will fair just fine!

Voila – a really sweet little plant arrangement to sit on my kitchen peninsula.

What do you think of my tray redo?


The Thrifting Saga Continues + DIY Creepy Halloween Birdhouse

I’m still so far behind in showing all my great finds from my very thrifty week the week of August 10! We covered Monday the 10th at Mission Mart and Tuesday the 11th at Goodwill. Wednesday the 12th I went to the Hope Chest in Pekin, IL. I follow them on Facebook and saw a kitchen table for $19.99 that looked to be PERFECT for my space.

I was right!!


Before I was using a table I had gotten off Craigslist for my duplex to use as a game table/desk in my living room. It served its purpose of collecting clutter but I wasn’t really loving how it fit into my new kitchen – a little dark in color and a little awkward in size. This new table is perfect! I admit that part of its appeal is that it reminds me very much of my mom’s kitchen table. That really makes me feel at home in my kitchen to have a table that was a lot like the one that I grew up eating (or refusing to eat) at.

If you look closer at this picture of my new table, you will see it is covered in TREASURES! While at the Hope Chest I browsed around at their other items and once again had fantastic luck. I only spend $30 – table included for this haul!  

I found the lamp pictured for just $1.99 – I’m starting to really love picking up inexpensive lamps with great shapes. I can’t wait to fix them up for use either in my house or to sell in the booth. I found some more wood frames – all for $0.50 to $0.99 each. I don’t like to spend more than $1 on frames that I’m going to sand down and paint. I also found a little wooden game board, a birdhouse and two napkin holders – one chicken and one cow. The cow I’m going to keep for myself and repurpose as a way to hold file folders in my eventual craft room/office. The chicken I plan to revamp and sell in the booth.
I also finally found the perfect little bird for my haunted bird cage project and he was only $0.29!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up this birdhouse at JoAnn’s on the clearance rack for $3.47. I had the idea that I was going to use it for a Halloween craft.


I right away painted it black and then I started the hunt for the perfect bird to go inside. I was so excited to find that little owl and since his eyes were already a creepy orange and red, I painted around them and just turned the rest of him black.


I glued him to the bottom using clear tacky glue.

I couldn’t help but feel like he still needed something. I originally had wanted to make it look like there were spider webs on the cage and tried to do so by repurposing stuffing that Rusty has ripped out of various toys in the past year and 2 months I’ve had him, but I didn’t like how that looked. I looked through the rest of my craft stash and came across a piece of scrapbook paper that was black with webs on it. I cut out around the webs and decoupaged them onto the bird cage. I love how it turned out!


A delightfully creepy, yet still somehow cute Halloween decoration. I put him in the booth the other night when we unveiled all the hard work we’ve done on Fall crafts.


Recognize some of my signs? I’m so excited with how well the booth came together. Fall is my all-time favorite season and the recent nice weather we’ve been having, while bad for my blogging career as it’s keeping me mostly outside, has been really great for my overall mood and well-being. Let’s hope it’s here to stay!

Happy Thrifting AND Happy Crafting! 

Boo! Halloween Décor DIY

You might recall that at South Eden Village Flea Market (Thrifty Thursday: Better Late Than Never) I purchased 3 wooden Halloween signs that were already mounted with wire for $1 each. They were marked down in a bin underneath a table but they caught my eye. The signs themselves were not the best looking but I saw the potential in the piece of wood and the fact that I wouldn’t have to put hanging hardware on myself. I decided to tackle my first project using these this week and I’m so incredibly excited about how it turned out!

Here’s what I started with:

Not the most professional looking décor though I’m sure this wood sign served its purpose and that the person who made it had a good time. I knew what I wanted to turn it into so first I painted the front of it an off white color called bleached sand (using my favorite Americana craft paint). I seldom use bright white for projects since I prefer a more aged look. True white is a little too perfect for me. After I painted over the design with the white (I didn’t bother to sand the wood because I wanted it to stay rough; 2 coats of white paint covered the previous design completely) I used painters tape to tape off sections so that I could make the sign an orange and white chevron.


I eyeballed the chevron pattern with the tape and adjusted/readjusted until it looked the way I wanted it to with the tape. I could also have precisely measured out sections to ensure that it was perfectly even. For all intents and purposes, this was even enough. I seldom try to aim for perfect because then I get disappointed! The fun with rustic modern is that there is beauty in the imperfections!

I fittingly used “Jack O Lantern Orange” to fill in the lines between the tape and needed two coats of that to get good coverage as well. I let it dry and then ripped the tape off and was loving the chevron pattern! I was almost nervous to continue the craft because I didn’t want to mess up the nice background I had achieved.

Next I wanted to add in lettering. I free hand almost all of my lettering but if you are not comfortable doing that then I suggest a stencil or printing off a particular font from the computer and tracing around that. I lightly drew out my lettering and spider with a pencil and then traced over it with a sharpie to get a nice even outline. I then filled in sections with black paint using one of my awesome paint brushes with the grip (these are actually meant for children but they are so great to use for precision painting and I have little hands anyway).

Here it is!

I am so in love with how this sign turned out! I’ve been practicing really hard to get my items to come out looking clean and professional and I feel like I truly accomplished that with this piece. It goes to show that by taking my time and not rushing anything (I let the background set for 2 days before adding any lettering) I am able to produce quality products that I would be proud to display in my home. …But this one is going in the booth.  


So there you have it. Flea Market castoff to fun Halloween treasure! I have a couple more cute Halloween and Fall projects in the works so stay tuned for some more ideas and how-tos!

To hold you over – here’s the before and after for the two other signs I painted this week!


Thrifty Thursday #15: Whirlwind of Thrift Stores

So you might notice from the title that I switched things up a bit. I am finding myself referencing back to Thrifty Thursday posts in some of my DIY step-by-steps and while I love coming up with creative titles, the hyperlinks get a little cumbersome. Therefore, I am going to start numbering the posts in addition to titling them so I can better show off what I do with some of those awesome finds! I can hardly believe that I’ve been doing this blog for 15 weeks!

This past week I hit up thrift stores like it’s my job (oh wait…). I’m making up for the fact that I’m going to an out of town wedding this weekend and won’t be going to any sales. This way I have enough posts for the next couple of weeks, and considering my massive haul, I am at no loss for content!

Saturday after work I did go to an antique show and sale with my mom. It was fun to look around at all of the antiques and see what they were priced for. Most things were WAY out of my price range but I consider it good research. I did make two purchases while I was there. The first was a mason jar (imagine that!) I had never seen one with “Mason” written in script on it. It was a unique addition to my collection whether it has any value or not so I parted with the $6 for it based purely on the fact that I have seen hundreds and hundreds of mason jars and never came up with this logo.

I also came across this picture that I think is going to look stunning either over my long sofa or my buffet in my living room. I paid $35 for it, but, once again, since I am buying just for me my price tolerance is quite different. This picture makes me happy. My dad is helping me to fix the back of it since it was so old and the cardboard was no longer holding the picture in like it was supposed to.

On Monday after work I had a little extra time so I decided I wanted to go to Mission Mart since I hadn’t been there in so long. Boy am I glad I did! I had such great luck at the first one that I traveled across town to go to the other one as well.


I got everything pictured here for $31! Yellow tags were 50% off so the majority of the frames pictured here only cost me $0.50 each and if they weren’t marked down they were only $0.99. I always pick up good wood frames like this to paint for my projects so finding so many – and some in interesting sizes – was a gold mine! I picked up 15 frames!

The 6 Courier & Ives prints I got for $0.39 each. The pictures were sweet and I might end up framing them and doing some sort of display in my house. One of them is a double so I plan to frame it and put it in the booth. These used to be pretty collectible where people would seek out specific prints and I feel in the right frame that these could make a sweet addition to any home décor.

The little ball mason jars were only $.25 each and will be perfect for some of the crafting ideas that I have in mind. Nestled in with those is an Atlas Strong Shoulder jar. The glass is bubbled which indicates to me that it is older. I don’t know much about Atlas jars yet having just acquired my first one on August 2nd but this little gem is definitely staying in my collection and not being crafted with.

I always pick up cross-stitch fabric when I find it cheap so when I found multiple bags for $.49 each that was a no brainer. It’s always a bonus when it’s colored because then I have options with certain stitching projects. I also found an illustrated copy of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (this is who I thought I was growing up…) for $0.99 so I had to have that for my library as well!

I found two Mason Jars already painted for winter for $0.99 each which is a quick and easy flip for the booth. The wood stick that says “VEG.” I’m not really sure what it was intended to be but it’s wood which therefore makes it paint-able. I’m going to turn it into some sort of garden or pumpkin patch sign.

The rooster frame stood out to me. He was 50% off making him $0.50 so I don’t know if I am going to leave him as is and add him to my own kitchen or paint him a different color and put him in the booth. I think he will look really neat with a small cross-stitch sampler in his frame. The strawberry tin was a bit of a splurge ($1.99) but I wanted it for my own house. I have a thing for tins (see Thrifty Thursday: A Morning on Moss Avenue and Thrifty Thursday: No Pain No Gain) and the colors and design on this one were just great. And finally I added a little wooden sled that I think I might decoupage an old fashioned Santa picture on for the booth, a wooden cutting board that I’m going to paint stripes on to make it look like a feed sack like I just saw in my most recent Country Living Magazine, a white wooden tray because I love wood trays, and a $2.99 lamp that just needs a painting refresh and might be the right size and scale for my buffet. And if not, well there’s always the booth!

So many items to score on a Monday! And that’s not even the half of my week. I can’t wait to reveal the rest of my great finds next week!

Happy Thrifting!


Revisiting the Potato Sack – Fall Picture Craft How-To

So this past weekend the crafting bug bit me again. Bit me hard. I’ve been so obsessed with cleaning and unpacking but that gets really OLD so I gave myself a break this weekend to start catching up on some fall inventory for my booth since I want to get that out there before the end of the month. You all remember my potato-sack canvas how-to from Beyond The Potato Sack Race – Canvas Craft How-To. Well, I promised in that post that that I would not waste one scrap of that potato sack I used for those cute canvas decorations so I am very excited to show you how I used part of that in this weekend’s craft.

First, I gathered all of my materials.  

I got this frame for $0.99 at Goodwill, I cut out a small portion of the back of that potato sack, I bought a bag of leaf table decorations for $1 at Dollar Tree and I picked out a very fall like color from my stash of Americana acrylic paints. I LOVE these paints. I pick up colors for specific projects a lot, but I forget what project I got this for…it’s a really nice deep red though and I thought it would make the perfect frame color for my leaf picture.

So first I lightly sanded down the frame to make sure that it would take the paint. I don’t go too crazy with the sanding – I just rough it up and then I painted it. A lot of times I’m going for a very rustic look so I don’t do multiple coats but I wanted to make sure I had full coverage so I did two coats of paint on this frame.

Next I laid the piece of glass down over my scrap of potato sack and cut around it, leaving a little bit around each edge. I can always trim the excess later, but if I cut it too short then I’ve potentially wasted part of my potato sack.

 I ironed the potato sack so that it didn’t have any wrinkles and then I set out the leaves to find the perfect arrangement. Once I had it I took a picture so that I could remember how it went down.


I glued the leaves down using clear tacky glue (this is heavy duty glue and really works well for a variety of projects. However, a glue gun would also do the trick).

I waited (impatiently) for the frame to dry and then VOILA!

I love how this turned out. I think that I should be able to sell it in my booth and it will look cute in any fall display. All for a cost of $2!

I still have a few leaves left and lots of that potato sack so I’m working on another leaf print idea to frame. Part of sustainable crafting includes doing your best to use up all of the materials that you have! I love getting my creative juices flowing when looking at the materials in front of me and coming up with a great way to use them.

Thrifty Throwback Thursday: DIY Treat Jar

I have been a little preoccupied this week with the new house – painting, packing, etc. – so that hasn’t left me much opportunity for thrifting. Today will be our first Thrifty THROWBACK Thursday because, to steal the hipsters line, I was thrifting before thrifting was cool.

In March I picked up this pretty cool spaghetti jar for $4.99 at Goodwill.

On its own, a pretty cool jar but I was specifically looking for an airtight jar to keep Rusty’s treats in. 

So I taped off the area around the writing:

I filled the entire area in with black paint to disguise the lettering and then wrote “treats” on it in my own freehand lettering (I’ve been practicing for a long time, I suggest using a stencil if you don’t have a steady hand. 


A really cute container that keeps those flavored milkbones fresh!

Thanks for bearing with me during this crazy hectic week! Soon the real fun begins – recycling and reclaiming my way to a delightfully DIY house!

Happy Thrifting!