Not sure what to look for at the thrift store to use in your home? Today I have 15 thrift store decor ideas for easily found items. Let me show you some of my best thrift store finds and how I decorate my home with them.
Ideas for Thrift Store Decor Finds
Have you started going to thrift stores yet??? I’ve been telling you all for a while that they can be gold mines of great home decor finds!! I shop at my local thrift shops & vintage markets a couple of times a month.
Not only is it a good way to stretch your dollars but by upcycling stuff, you keep it out of landfills.
Plus, it’s my favorite way to add a little style to a space. Mixing new and old pieces gives your room character.
Here are the things I am going to share with you today:
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Candlesticks are on of the things that I see all the time at the thrift store. They are a great decor item to have on hand to use when you are styling bookcases or tables.
Sometimes they are perfect as is but it’s always fun to paint them to match your style. That is what I did with a set of old candlesticks to update them a bit.
I’ve had this set of candle sticks for a long while now. I’m a little over the distressed look of them so I thought I would give them a quick makeover.
I sprayed painted them with gold spray paint and then brushed the candlesticks with antique wax. Then topped them with battery-operated flameless candles.
At Goodwill last weekend I spotted this candleholder for $4. The paint was a little rough so I knew that I would need to paint it.
Instead of just repainting it black I wanted to go for a more modern gold/brass look.
It barely looks like the same piece!! Didn’t the brassy gold paint really jazz it up??
To finish them off I added white taper candles. I like the modern look of the entryway table with the candleholder and my DIY abstract painting that was on my winter gallery wall.
Old books are great pieces of decor to have in your stash. I like to use books on tables and my bookcase. Books are great for creating a little height when you are styling a vignette.
This set of 4 old books was from a vintage shop near me. They’ve traveled all over this house over the seasons! Now that all the holidays are over and the house is pretty season-less they have made their way over to my tall bookcase in the living room.
Tied with a length of vintage-looking velvet ribbon and a pheasant feather tucked in.
When you are at the thrift store, hit the book section. Check out what the book spines look like under the book covers. You may not care for the book but the cover may be a color that works with your space.
One of my favorite looks for old books is to stack them and then tie a jute twine around them like you are wrapping a present. Tuck in a small embellishment like a leaf, dried flower, or feather for a vintage look.
Another idea is to completely remove the cover and back of the book.
Look for big ceramic bowls that you can use on your coffee table to style with seasonal items. In the colder months simply fill it with pinecones for a quick & easy winter look. In the summer a big bowl filled with seashells looks so pretty!
We are in that in-between part of the year so I am going to go for something that would work all year long.
My idea was to try and copy the look that I’ve seen in some of the expensive catalogs and fill it with moss. Premade moss bowls usually sell for over $100 or more!
This bowl is pretty deep! I didn’t have enough moss on hand to fill it so I filled the bottom with a handful of paper grass. Then I added a moss wreath on top of that.
If I had had another bag of moss on hand I wouldn’t have needed to add the wreath.
It was so easy to do this. Just filled the bowl with a few different mosses. Traditional sheet moss and also reindeer moss ( the soft spongy looking moss).
Frames/Old Art Work
Check your thrift store for picture frames that you can reuse, and keep your eye out for outdated-looking wall art that you can upcycle.
I have a stack of word art and farmhouse-y pictures from Hobby Lobby down in the basement that I have been trying to find new uses for.
In this square wall art frame I printed out a sketch that I had downloaded from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts done by one of my favorite artists John Singer Sargent that I had resized for my square frame.
I resized the print for you if you want to use it in your home. (I resized it to an 8×10). DOWNLOAD HERE.
Check out my Where to Find Free Art to Print for a few of my other resources for printables.
If you come across a larger piece of canvas art, try your hand at abstract art! I’m no fancy pants artist but I did have fun making this piece that was inspired by one I spotted on Pottery Barn.
There is always a big shelf of vases at my local thrift stores. It seems like one thing people tend to accumulate over time and then box them all up to donate…good for us!!
Let me show you some of my best upcycle ideas for thrift store vases that I am using in my home right now.
Here I took an outdated-looking handled vase and used a picture from Pottery Barn as my inspiration to turn it into a fake rustic pottery vase.
On the narrow console table that is behind my sectional, I placed this flea market flip vase.
This is a cool technique to try! Keep your eye out for a tall vase next time you are at the thrift store. This vase is actually glass that had a really bad paint job!
One of my go-to techniques for adding texture to vases or planters (or even a wall) is by using joint compound. It’s easy to work with and gives your pieces an old-world vintage look.
This Pottery Barn Inspired DIY Vase is one of the all-time most popular projects here on Cottage on Bunker Hill! It’s another project where I used joint compound to build a textured look to a glass vase.
The vase is filled with the Moss Branches that I made last week. Another project that you could leave out year-round.
Another thing that I keep my eye out for when I’m thrifting is planters. New ones can be expensive! Remember to look beyond what it looks like now and think of creative ways that you can give it a fresh look that works for your home.
Honestly, I almost left this one on the shelf because I was thrown off by the ugliness!!!
Right now I have a bunch of dried flowers from my cottage flower garden but it’s large enough for a plant or fake tree to fit in too (I’ve used it for both). Check out how I transformed it with paint.
Since I made over these thrift store planters I have used them all the time! The idea for this planter was inspired by one that I saw and loved on the Magnolia website but it was $30 and I just couldn’t pull the trigger.
It was by chance that I found a set of fluted planters that had the same exact shape! See the transformation and the paints that I used to create the antique brass look.
The thrift store can be a gold mine for baskets! My Savers thrift store has a big end cap that they load up with baskets of all sizes.
Over the past couple of years, I have found some nice quality, stylish finds that are so useful around the house.
One way that I like to use big baskets is in place of a planter for my larger houseplants. I like the texture of the basket against the green of the plant.
Smaller baskets can be used in practical ways like organizing smaller items like remotes or keys. But here I used my $1.99 basket to house a faux terracotta bead garland that I made.
Baskets are fantastic for holding dried hydrangeas. It allows you to place hydrangeas so they don’t crush each other and get damaged.
Handled Vintage Jugs
I’ve found vintage-handled jugs at the thrift store, flea market, and vintage shops over the past couple of years. The prices can be all over the place, sometimes they are overpriced so I just leave it!
Last weekend I stopped by Route 1 Antiques in Hampton, NH to browse. It’s a fun spot in a big ‘ole farmhouse with loads of different sellers.
Although I loved the 3 jugs that I spotted I already have one that is two-tone. I left with the one in the middle that was $15.
This jug was a Savers thrift store find, I think it was under $7. When I spotted it on the back of a shelf I ran to grab it!! It was a good find for sure.
Putting All Those Thrift Store Finds Together
On the tall bookcase at the back of my living room, I used so many of the ideas that I shared here today: frames, books, baskets, planters, & candlesticks!
So keep your eyes open and sometimes think outside of the box the next time you are at a thrift store. There are lots of hidden gems lurking on the back of the shelves!!!
And if you need any ideas for your thrift store finds you can always reach out to me here and I can try and give you an idea!!
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Stacy is sharing her pretty foyer and how she is using some of her vintage furniture finds to decorate the space.
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Kim has an amazing collection of vintage home decor that she uses to decorate her cottage. You will love how cozy her home is!
Such great ideas, Jennifer!! I love how you turned those vases into like, brand new pieces!! I too LOVE thrifting. It’s just so much fun and the prices just can’t be beat!
I do a monthly thrifted series on my blog called ‘Thrifted Goodies’ along with MaryJo from Masterpieces of My Life. I would love to have you be a ‘guest’ for a month or two if you are interested!
Best to you!
You always find the best thrift store decor, Jennifer. I’m loving those candlesticks. I always love all your great ideas, my friend.
I loved all your tips and tricks for refurbishing those thrift store items……awesome!!! In several pictures I noticed peeks of your workshop. I would love to see how you have organized your workshop – it looks soooo much neater and tidier than mine:)
I’ll have to get a picture when I organize it again!!!! The couple that built this house had an upholstery business out of the basement so I have a built-in 15 ft long solid workbench and pegboard running across. Then in front of that, I have a standing craft table. It’s cold down there in the winter though because it’s unheated down there!!
Such great finds! They look great in your home. I love thrifting. Hugs to you.
You always find some good treasures. My local thrift store is hit on miss. I need to go to some in Virginia. I would probably have better luck. What I love is how you have transformed your pieces into works of art.
My stores are hit or miss too! I waiting for everyone to do their New Year purges!!
So many great ideas. I love me some thrift store deals.
You and me both!!!! That way we don’t go broke!!
You found some great stuff! I love those candlesticks!!! They are fabulous!
I love how they came out…the power of spray paint!!