Common Treasure Finds for Thrift Store DIY Ideas

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Style your home while saving money through these thrift store DIY ideas that are easy to make and good for the environment.

As the adage goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and the thrift store culture fully embraces this philosophy. While going on a treasure hunt for used goods may not appeal to you at first, you might be surprised at how many people love the hunt, especially when it comes to locating interesting and unusual pieces of furniture and decorative art.

However, what if you could give your living space a complete transformation without spending a fortune? This is precisely what thrift shops are there to help you with. They sell home decoration things at far lower prices than department stores.

There’s no better time than now to test your skills in doing thrift store DIY projects than by refurbishing vintage and antique pieces, particularly with maximalist settings and other on-trend interior design styles. So, if you’re thinking of shopping at thrift stores, here’s everything you need to know.

Tips When Thrift Store Shopping

1. Maintain an open mind.

People often purge their homes of worn-out stuff, so it’s common to see chipped, ripped, and scratched items in thrift stores. Thankfully, a few stitches or a fresh coat of paint can take practically anything from ashy to classy. If you enjoy doing thrift store DIY projects, such as restoring thrift store DIY tables, this is for you.

2. Learn about the inventory.

Depending on where you reside and the business concept, you may find that one store has more of one type of goods than another. While huge chain thrift stores provide clearance items from popular commercial merchants, a family-owned thrift store or consignment shop may solely carry vintage furniture and clothing.

3. Visit frequently.

Many larger retail thrift stores have a quick turnover and routinely shift their merchandise. So, if nothing piqued your interest during your initial visit, you might come across a one-of-a-kind item the next time.

4. Know what to avoid.

It’s worth noting that some used items, no matter how well you clean them, are better kept on the shelf. Due to the likelihood of lead exposure, pest infestation, or defective wiring, the following items can be risky or even hazardous to bring home for your thrift store DIY ideas:

  • Old Furniture – Old furniture may give out strong odors that result from mustiness, dampness, and dirt.
  • Plug-in appliances – As a general rule, try to avoid bringing home old appliances. While they may have a certain charm, they may also have faulty or decayed wiring that can lead to a house fire.
  • Overused mattresses and pillows – Mattresses and pillows that have had extensive use may easily be infested with bed bugs or dangerous germs.

Thrift Stores Items Perfect for Thrift Store DIY Projects

When thrifting, you can find numerous interesting furnishings and accessories that can give you thrifting ideas for your next DIY project. Here are some typical items to look for at thrift stores:

Picture Frames

Thrift stores usually have an abundance of picture frames. Frame aisles often offer framed artwork and pictures that you can use as-is or swap to showcase your preferred photos on your wall.


Trays are easy to come by at the thrift store and are great for decorating and crafts. Considering their flat surface, they are ideal for painting or decorative paper or design transfer applications. You can use them for serving or simply as a centerpiece on your living room or dining table.

Ceramics and Vases

You might be tempted to skip over the glassware like vases and bowls. However, with a bit of glass paint or decoupage, you can transform these thrift store finds into wonderful creations. Alternatively, clear glass bowls and fishbowls can be used to create fairy landscapes or succulent pots.

Wine Bottles

Old wine bottles are frequently found in the glassware area of your local thrift store. These can easily be repurposed into bespoke DIY lamps. Fill the bottles with colorful ornamental elements, such as marbles or sand, and purchase a bottle-lamp kit from your local hardware shop, which includes all of the bulb and lighting needs for the top.

Old Sweater

Are you an expert sewer? Consider turning an old sweater into a lovely, fuzzy pillow cover. Use them on throw pillows to add texture and warmth to your couch or bed.


Thrift store tables that are in good condition can be used in kitchens and dining areas or as a desk. Try restyling the table with paint, fabric, or even a tablecloth, especially if it’s damaged or needs some DIY love.

Dining Chairs

Whether you’re seeking a complete set or a random chair, dining chairs are always available at thrift stores. Try painting, reupholstering, or staining your chair if it needs some tender loving care.

Wooden Ladder

An old ladder may be too flimsy to climb, but it is ideal for holding little, lightweight goods. With a bit of cleaning and a splash of paint or stain, you can use it to hang your towels and other linens. Utilize it as a rustic-chic rack in a laundry nook or against a bathroom wall.


Thrift stores are well-known for stocking exquisite and antique rugs at reasonable rates. An excellent Persian or Oriental area rug may give comfort and texture to otherwise bare flooring, sprucing up any living space. Since thrifted antique rugs are almost always handmade of natural materials, consider contacting a professional rug cleaner in your location to clean them safely and correctly.

Trunks and suitcases

Flea markets and thrift stores are great places to locate industrial trunks as storage pieces, and vintage suitcases. They can be cleaned and used as occasional tables.


Any thrift store will have mismatched dishes in various colors and designs. Make a collection out of them, hang a plate wall, or turn them into mirrors.


Some say they aren’t adept at thrift store shopping because they are allergic to dirt, lack patience, or simply have dismal luck finding treasures. The truth is that anyone with an open mind can think of thrifting ideas and be a smart thrift shopper. It’s as simple as determining whenever an object requires a thorough cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, or even new functionality. With all the above ideas, you’ll surely have fun shopping and refurbishing your thrift store finds.

Unleash Your Skill and Creativity With Haven House and Thrift Store.

It’s impressive what thorough cleaning and a new coat of paint can do. So, whether you’re going to a thrift store in Destin FL or a flea market near your neighborhood, look for one-of-a-kind items to upcycle. With a little effort and creativity, you’ll be able to recreate your thrift store DIY ideas into reality. Truly, one person’s trash can be another’s treasure. Visit us now and start your DIY journey!