Thrift Store Haul

I love shopping at thrift stores. Back in high school, finding super cool ‘vintage’ t-shirts at the local Goodwill was the BEST. When I bought my first townhouse in my early 20’s, most of my decorations came from thrift stores or yard sales. There is just something about the thrill of the hunt… and the fact that everything is so inexpensive you don’t have to worry about regretting a purchase.

I’ve gotten out of the habit of regularly visiting thrift stores, but still keep them in rotation when looking for gently-worn kids clothes. For the past few years, I ended up getting Jack’s snowsuits AND swimsuits at thrift stores and many even still had the tags on them!

Over the weekend, after fighting a stomach bug and winning, I was dying to get out of the house for a bit. Jack and I went to the grocery store, and then before returning home I decided to swing by the local Goodwill to see what treasures we’d uncover. With groceries in the truck, we didn’t have a ton of time… but all it took was about 15 minutes and we found some awesome stuff!

I’d been eyeing a button up blouse on the J.Crew website for a while but I’m still not sure I’m really a ‘button up’ kinda girl, so when I saw this men’s version for $5.89 I snapped it up:

Thrift Store Haul - shirt

It’s a bit large on me, but I’m thinking some quick sewing will nip it in exactly where I need it. I’m imagining it under a cardigan with the rolled sleeves showing and some skinny jeans. Or maybe tucked into a high-waisted skirt. Would you be interested in seeing some style options?

Next, we breezed by the kid’s section and I checked both the 4T’s and 5T’s for anything that still had tags on it. I ended up finding two pairs of Car’s swim trunks that didn’t have tags, but look brand-new. Jack is a big fan of Car’s, so I had to check them out:

Thrift Store Haul - swim trunks

I always need extra swim suits for Jack since over the summer I have to send one to his school and one to my parent’s house, so for $2.50 a piece, these will definitely come in handy.

As we neared the checkout, we eyed our final bargain… a stack of 6 Hess Trucks, still in their original boxes were sitting by the register. Jack LOVES his trucks, especially the Hess trucks handed down from my brother, so I let him pick his favorite and he chose the 2010 Truck & Jet set for $15.00.

Buying toys is always a risk since you don’t know if they will work when they get home. But even after I explained to Jack that they might not make noises he was ecstatic to bring them home. In fact, he kept yelling “Thank you! Thank you!” in the checkout line and kissing the box…

Luckily when we got home we found that not only were they still bound in their original packaging inside the box, the batteries still worked too! Oh, and for anyone who thinks that these are expensive collector’s items, I checked eBay and they pretty much go for $10 – 20.

Our entire trip cost less than $30 and I’m super happy with everything that came home with us. Jack has been playing with his new truck and jet every day since we brought them home, which in itself is totally worth it.

Every time I have an awesome thrifting experience like this, I tell myself that we need to do it more often. Of course, many times we walk away empty handed, but that’s just how thrift magic works.

I’d love to hear your thrifting stories! Did you find a diamond in the rough (literally or figuratively)? Have you ever gotten in a fight over an item? What do you like to look for while thrifting?

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Making over 2 Thrift Store Lamps

The better title for this post would have been: Making over 2 Thrift Store Lamps, Googling “Why doesn’t my lampshade fit my lamp”, “How do I make my lampshade fit my lamp”, “What the heck is a Slip Uno Adapter” and “How do I know what kind of fitter is on my lampshade”… then finally finding something at Home Depot to MAKE IT WORK Tim Gunn-style.

That might have been a teensy bit of overkill though…

It all started with these:

Thrift store lamps

These two little crystal lamps were calling my name at the thrift store. They were marked at just $3.00 each and one was even on sale for half off! After I bought them, they just kind of sat around in my office while I did some online lamp shade shopping. I saw a few okay options at Target, but nothing that really seemed like the right design.

Then, on a trip to World Market I found these:

Lampshades from World Market

I didn’t have the bases with me, so I was just kind of crossing my fingers that they would work. Both of the shades were marked as $14.99; however the navy design one had a mark on it so I asked the manager for a discount. {Remember, the secret is to ask super nicely.} She was happy to reduce the price to $11.99 and then I used a coupon to get an extra 15% off of everything. So, the total for both shades was just under $23.00.

I was pretty excited when I got home and plopped the shades on the lamp bases… until:

Crooked lampshade

Well, crap. The lamp socket was too small for the lamp shade. Instead of the shade fitting snugly, it flopped around on top of the on/off switch… this won’t do at all!

At this point I did A LOT of googling around. I found this post on how to determine what fitter you need to be quite helpful. I also found this thing on Amazon, that SEEMED like it might fix the problem: Slip Uno Adapter Harp Converter Lamp Shade Uno Euro Fitter 1 7/16 I.D. Almost $8 each for a fitter seemed a bit steep though, so I did what I always do… I went to Home Depot and looked around.

The nice lady at the lamp section had no idea what I was talking about. Even when I pulled a full-sized lamp from my purse to show her.

{ I mean, why WOULDN’T I walk around with a lamp in my purse? It goes well with the blue crayon, 3 monster trucks and 2 baggies of snacks.}

I decided to just keep walking around to see if I could find anything circular that might fit on top of the lamp socket… and found this:

bushing

It’s a plumbing part called a PVC Bushing that seemed like it would fit nicely. I tried it on the base that I had with me and it seemed to do the job. Since they were only $1.26 each, I got a few of them to try at home with the shades.

Look, they’re like little lamp top hats!

top hats

They fit perfectly on the socket, leaving the on/off switch clear. They also allow the lampshade to balance on top, without flopping around. All you need to do is screw a bulb in and it holds everything together. The only drawback is that you can’t use a fancy energy-saving twirly bulb because the base is too thick to screw in through the bushing. Luckily a regular bulb works fine.

lamp with bulb

Check them out. Sassy, right?!

finished lamps

I already found the perfect space for my favorite one. I love the way the crystal looks with the rougher straw-like shade.

living room

I think the other crystal lamp will end up on my bedside table. I don’t really NEED it there, because we have a remote control for our overhead fan/light. But it looks super cute, right?!

bedroom

Here’s what I spent:

Two lamps (Goodwill): $4.50
Two lampshades (World Market): $23.00
Two bushings (Home Depot): $2.52
Total: $30.02

I certainly could have found cheaper lamp shades at Walmart or the Dollar Store, but I think that the snazzy shades totally MAKE the lamps. It’s like a hard/soft thing going on that works in well with my home decor. They were definitely cheaper than this version of a crystal lamp/rough shade from Pottery Barn for $249 or this mini table lamp version from West Elm for $69. I’m pretty darn happy with my Cheapo-nista versions!

Have you gotten any cool stuff from the thrift store lately? Do you also have issues with lampshades fitting on your lamps? Which one is your favorite – the one with the woven shade or the blue patterned one?

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