Thrift Shopping and Refurbishing Tips and Tricks

      Everyone is always asking how we find our Goodwill treasures and how I transform them into art without slicing my purse in the process. Aside from the obvious (Jesus), I've learned a few tricks. 


Digging for treasure, argh! 
  1. Always have an open mind. Not everything is going to be beautiful and most of it is from the 80's which only adds to its decor horror. However, when you find those horrendous pieces wrapped in blue and mauve, keep in mind that their outcome will be completely different from anything anyone else owns, unique to you, your family, and your home. 
  2. Be creative. Think outside of the box. It's amazing what one can do with both an open and a creative mind. Allow your imagination to run wild and never sell yourself short. Don't say, "I'm not creative." That's limiting God on how He can use you, which is a trick from the devil. Allow yourself to be inspired by Him. You'll be amazed at what He'll give you!
  3. When you find something, pick it up if you can. Hold it in your hands and visualize what you want it to look like. Look all around it and investigate its parts. Make a plan in your head and be sure you can achieve it.*
  4. Check cords, plugs, screws: the last thing you want is to buy a lamp or other electronic that doesn't even work. Most stores have a nearby outlet for testing; utilize these bad boys! If your find yields as faulty and you're handy enough to fix it, go right ahead and buy it. If you're not electro-savvy, just bypass it. Here's my theory: if you have to spend more to repair it than you do to buy it, it's junk. 
  5. If you're buying furniture check the structure of the piece THOROUGHLY. Also check for bugs as bed bugs go everywhere, friends. If you find a piece with an overabundance of pet fur, you might wanna move on because there will also more than likely be an overabundance of fleas. Pull away cushions and look into backing for mold. And do the sniff test. ALWAYS. DO. THE SNIFF TEST. Sourness or other foul-smelling odors are clues that you do NOT want to purchase and bring something into your home.
  6. Look for SALES! Goodwill has color-coded stickers for every item. Each color represents something different. For detailed explanations of Goodwill's amazing sales, click here. Also, take into account military, senior, and student discounts. Here's the basic run down:  
  • ALL WEEK, EVERY WEEK: 50% off  the price tag "color of the week:
  • MONDAYS: $5 off of every $25 purchase
  • TUESDAYS: 2 Goodwill Rewards points for every $25 spent
  • WEDNESDAYS: .99 for color of the week clothing
  • THURSDAYS: 20% off for seniors!  
  • FRIDAYS: 2 Goodwill Rewards points for every $25 spent
  • 1st SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH: 50% off of EVERYTHING in the store!!
  • SUNDAYS: .99 for color of the week clothing
Saving your booty. . . pirate's booty, that is! So you've found some great, cheap treasures that you want to beautify: FABULOUS! But you shouldn't have to break the bank to do it. You've been a good steward in purchasing your loot; now reinforce that good stewardship in making it gorgeous.

  1. RESEARCH: Pinterest has loads of blogs and web links that will redirect you to tutorials. However, as mentioned in DIY #2, YouTube can give you an immense amount of videos by professionals. Many times you can collaborate and make your own way; don't get overwhelmed. Just take it all a step at a time. And if you find a tutorial that is over your head, get outta there! There's no point in stressing out over information we don't understand. This is supposed to be fun! For example, I want to reupholster a wingback chair, but I don't sew and I really don't want to rip the fabric from the chair. So I found a YouTube tutorial by a pro; it was TWO HOURS LONG! Heck no! So I kept digging until I found a few that fit my needs and **skill level, and I narrowed it down to only two tutorials, combined them with what I knew I was capable of doing, and voila! 
  2. **Assess your skill level. Folks, you know what you're capable of doing. Don't overshoot like a new calf fresh outta the gate. You'll get hit by a tractor.
  3. *Make a plan: Are you painting? Are you reupholstering? What tools will you need to pull all of this craftiness together? 
  4. Take measurements so you know how much of each tool/product you need. There's no point in buying the whole bakery if you only need a baker's dozen. 
  5. PRICE SHOP! PRICE SHOP! PRICE SHOP! I can't say it enough!!! After you get home with your treasure and you've done the above steps, get online and compare prices. As much as I love Hobby Lobby, it won't always have the best deals. Most of the time it will, but not always. You can check places like JoAnn, Michael's, WalMart, and any other craft dealer you may have access to in your area. I personally go straight to Hobby Lobby, WalMart, and Amazon for all of my craft needs. 
  6. COUPONS! COUPONS! COUPONS! As previously mentioned, I love the Hobby Lobby. I also love their 40% off coupons. However, they only accept one coupon per customer per day. Since the ole HL is just right down the road from me, I literally take a coupon in there every single day and get what I need at 40% off (if it isn't already on sale). It may take me a full 6 days to get everything, but by crackies I won't have to pay full price for it. Another fabulous fact I learned just this week: if you have a 40% off coupon you can use it for other items marked at lower sales. For example: let's say you find a 30% off item. You can used for 40% off coupon for that INSTEAD of settling for the 30%. You. Are. Welcome. 
  7. SALES! SALES! SALES! Watch for sales. HL changes their weekly sales which run from 30%-60% off, and they always carry clearance items which can run up to 75% off. 
  8. Shipping: if you're an Amazon Prime member you can really take advantage of that free shipping. However, if you're not, or another website of your choosing doesn't offer free shipping, forgo internet shopping. 
      Following these simple tips will help you to envision what you want for your house, execute it, and save you money in the process! Above all, LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. Usually that's your spirit of discernment. No joke. Do you think God wants you to get stuck with a lemon? No! He wants the best for you! So ask Him: is this worth it or not? I've often left what I thought were great little prizes only to be directed to something better at a lower price. And you will be amazed at the gorgeous creations you'll have all for affordable prices! 
      If you have any money-saving craft tips, please feel free to comment below! 
In Him,
Brandi 

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