April 16, 2008

Thrift to Craft

Filed under: Uncategorized — laupre @ 5:58 pm

There are so many great sources for materials and supplies for crafting out there.  It seems that with the current popularity of being crafty as being trendy, more and more supply shops are popping up.  Combine that with the amazing resources on the internet and you may never have to worry about finding just the thing you need.  One of the great resources for unique supplies, and one of my favorite sources for my personal crafting, is thrift stores and garage sales.

As much a game as it is shopping, you get a chance to hunt and dig, to stretch your imagination and find things to craft with that you may not have thought of otherwise!  I have seen so many great projects popping up that utilize thrifted, recycled, “up-cycled”, and trash materials to create fantastic one-of-a-kind pieces!  It’s really exciting!  Finding a new use for unloved junk, and saving us all a little bit from the landfill is a noble venture, indeed.

There are some things you’ll find the most while thrifting.  Old patterns and notions (bias tape, elastic, buttons, snaps, etc.) can come in handy and are generally dirt cheap.  You shouldn’t have to pay more than a dollar for any of this old stuff.

Old Patterns

Click more to continue reading about Thrifting to Craft

Some thrift stores will have a fabric section as well, although generally limited you may be able to find decent fabric remnants at amazing savings.  Of course there’s always housewares like curtains and sheets that can provide unique fabrics, just be sure to launder them well!  Recreating old clothes into new ones is another great way to combine thrifting and crafting.  I turned a huge, frumpy old suit into a fun and unique outfit for Craftster challenge #23.  The challenge was to spend $20 or less in a thrift store and remake your item into something awesome.  There were so many great entries!

I also like to look for storage solutions to help me store my various supplies.  Bins, tubs, baskets and boxes that you’ll find in your craft stores are usually way overpriced!  I’ve collected file boxes and wire baskets of all sizes!  One thing I’m always on the look out for are these cute little vintage plastic boxes:

plastic boxes

My grandma gave me my first one when I was a girl, and I’ve been collecting them in the same size and style ever since.  They’re perfect for sorting out smaller supplies.

Thrifting to craft may even inspire you to try a new craft. You might find a bag of macramé cord for a steal, or a little rug hooking kit.  How completing a half finished cross stitch sampler that someone abandoned?  I’ve seen all kinds of projects like that to consider.  One that I couldn’t resist was this great, old “Educational Weaving Frame”.  It was $3, and had never been used!  The practice yarn was even still in it.

Wait a minute…..

Can we get a closeup on that girl?

creepy girl

“Yes, Mother, I quite enjoy my educational weaving frame.  No, Mother, I won’t torture and hang my little dollies on the wall anymore.  But, Mother, he was such a naughty dolly”

That alone has to be worth the purchase.

Moving on…. Vintage supplies aren’t all you will find while out thrifting, though.  Just this week a happened across an amazing find!

So much Zipper!pulls

More than 200 yards of zipper tape and 70 zipper pulls!  This find, worth around $100 was mine for just $10.  of course it’s thrifted, so you may not always get what you’re expecting.  None of these pulls actually fit this zipper!  It’s still a great deal, though, and it wasn’t hard to find the right size pulls.

So go out there and scour your thrift store, garage sales, and estate sales for the perfect supplies!  Open your eyes and your mind to find creative uses for unwanted junk!  Feel good about doing a good thing (most thrift stores donate profits to charities, and unsold items usually end up in landfills)!

Just be sure to leave a few good things for me, and have fun thrifting to craft!



  1. Oh, that doll on the wall! Looks like it’s been strangled! Seriously though, garage sales & thrift stores are the best for crafters. I’ve been making aprons from dresses and skirts…no hemming!

    Comment by Queen of Fifty Cents — April 17, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

  2. I love your zipper find have you seen the lovely floral brooches people make from rolled zippers. Check them out on

    Comment by — January 27, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

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