Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Three Thrift Store Projects and My New Resolve

The last time I was at Walmart, I had an epiphany as I looked around.  I said to my husband,

"There is nothing here that won't be in a landfill in less than 5 years.  Nothing!  Show me anything that would be worth handing down to a child or keeping for a lifetime!"

We both looked around, but there wasn't anything.  Yes, some things must be consumed.  Food.  Toiletries.  Other kinds of supplies.  That is understandable.

But must all of our Christmas or Valentine's or other home decorations be destined for the landfill?  All of our housewares?  Our toys?  Our furniture?

I really couldn't find a single thing that anyone would want to keep for very long.  It is a HUGE store.  And has a HUGE turnover of inventory on a daily basis.  And all of it.....ALL OF headed for the dump.

That's when I made a decision to not buy worthless things anymore.  I resolved not to buy things that will ultimately end at the dump.  I'm not talking about gum wrappers or potato chip bags.  I'm talking about all the other stuff.  The big stuff.  The tacky stuff.  The endless cheap and shoddy stuff.

Hence my renewed interest in that which has stood the test of time.  My renewed interest in thrifting!

As you may have guessed, I am not afraid of thrift stores.  I think they are fun places to find unique items that you wouldn't otherwise find new at a store.  Yes, it is sometimes kind of gross.  Yes, the stores all have that particular stale smell.  Yes, there is a lot of garbage there (that will also end up at the dump.)  Yes, I do keep hand sanitizer in my purse for when I walk out.  But sometimes, you can find something worthwhile.  Something worth restoring.  Something unique.  Something useful. Something fun!

This last week, I found 3 items that I'm hoping to transform into items of beauty.  I'm hoping that these items will serve well and not end up in the dump!


This simple demilune table caught my eye at the thrift store.  We have been needing a table right inside the family room door for setting down purses and keys and the like.  It couldn't be very wide because of the rug and general pathway of the room.  We had perused the Bassett Furniture store and seen one, but were shocked at the $699 price tag!  This is what it looked like:

The little thrift table looked almost exactly the same!  And it was a teeny tiny fraction of that cost!

When I walked over to take a better look at it, I realized someone had spray painted it very poorly and it was as wobbly and unsteady as could be.  But looking more closely, I discovered it was a kit table (maybe Ikea or something?) and the people who had put it together had done it all wrong!  Some of the machine screws were loose and were the wrong size, and they hadn't lined up the verticals properly before screwing on the brackets.  But it seemed redeemable.  I knew it was a bit of a gamble---but it was cheap, it was real wood, and it might clean up nicely.  We brought it home, took it all apart, bought a couple of appropriately sized screws, and put it together again properly.  It is now as stable as can be!  I plan on painting it some fun color.  (Probably not purple like the Bassett Furniture one, but something fun!)  Stay tuned to find out!


Next up is a dreadful olive green ottoman!  The fabric looks gross and feels even grosser!  But I've been dying to have a little ottoman around for a certain little boy to sit on and this one was just the right size and price.

It has a decent frame and springs and I think I can make something fun out of it.  Maybe I will paint the legs, lose the skirt, and find a fun fabric to reupholster it in!  (BTW, ottomans make a great first time upholstery project!  Nothing too complicated.  Stay tuned for DIY instructions!)


This is an all wood desk.  (No particle board in sight!)  It is sturdy as can be.  And Rachael really needs a little desk for her room.

The drawers open and close as smoothly as can be!  And see how nicely they are constructed with dovetail joints!?

We opened the top drawer to find that it comes from a company called Dinwoodey's Furniture.  I looked them up and found out they were a historic furniture company from right here in Utah!  The company was one of the earliest furniture makers in Utah!  And they used to have a huge store in downtown Salt Lake City.

How fun to have a sturdy piece of real furniture once made by a local company!

Stay tuned to see what fun changes improvements we make to the desk and how it all works out!

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