Using Second Hand Finds In Your Home

Our $20 thrift store chair sits comfortably in front of our $18 yard sale dresser.  When we pulled into the parking lot of the Goodwill the other day, I told my husband how I never find anything good anymore at that particular store. I was dreading going in. Then I saw the chair.  I remembered it from a month ago when it was $25 and I passed it up.  But this time my husband was with me and he liked it.  As we carried it out a well dressed lady admired it and complimented us~wow, it had been sitting in the store a month and I had already passed it up once.  It’s got one little rub off on the front there that looks worse on camera and the back cushion could use some extra stitching to keep it attached.  Now that I have it home I realize I would have paid even more for it.  But $20 was my limit to risk it not working.

The key to thrifting is most certainly persistence. You can’t go in a thrift store once every couple months and then complain if you never find anything.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky but, if you really want to find the deals, it can be a fun little hobby to stop in every week.

I passed up this coffee table the first time I saw it at the Goodwill.  A few weeks later I went back and immediately noticed it again.  $16 was such a deal for this great table.

I found this ornament wreath in October while thrifting, and all those dried leaves came from the Habitat ReStore.

Lately I’ve been drawn to urns and vases and ceramic or pottery style finds.  Two or three dollars can get you a fresh little something.

What’s your latest find?


  1. Deanna Winne says

    you’ve inspired me to go and see what I do find…thanks!

  2. What wonderful find! I love the chair — absolutely beautiful. The pillow on it is just perfect. I agree, one must go often to find the treasures! I might have to jot down “thrifting” on my calendar today — it’s been awhile!

  3. I truly love that chair! This reminds me that I need to do more thrift shopping :)

  4. Loving this post! I soo agree with you about people only going to GW once a month or so and then saying they can’t ever find anything. I go at least twice a week and I always come out with something. I just posted about a few things I found this week.

  5. We have a ton of second hand finds in our home that we have refurbished or just let them be natural, but they fit right in :)

  6. Not home related but I found a beautiful pair of $200 leather cowgirl boots, in my size, for $7!

  7. I am one of those “never find anything” people. I go once or twice a year. Perhaps I will go more often now!

  8. You’ve inspired me to visit the Goodwill today. I’m a little scarred from watching all of the people on the show “Hoarders” go, though….

  9. recent find? end tables for our living room! what I’m scouting for? some kitschy and colorful dishes!

    i agree – in order to be more apt to finding ‘good’ stuff, you need to be a regular in thrift stores
    i tell my boys we’re treasure hunting. :)

  10. Just wanted to share this- my 4 yo is snuggling in my lap, and saw the top picture. She said, “Oooohhh, pretty! Pretty chair!” :)

  11. I went to our Goodwill a few weeks ago looking for frames. I found a couple, but the real steal was a brand new Lodge Cast Iron Skillet for $7. I guess I’m more on the practical side of thrifting, eh? I always come out with stuff like that and never any decorating things. I’m going to have to change my thrifting perspective. Maybe taking my husband would be a good idea!

  12. That is quite the find, love the lines and the nail head trim. And…with a piece like this it looks great with some wear! Enjoy it! Janell

  13. I absolutely, totally and completely LOVE that chair. It would match my living room perfectly. So jealous!! You sound like me, I’ll go and procrastinate so much that I won’t purchase something and then end up regretting it. So glad that the chair was still there for you!!!

  14. I found an upholstered chair at Goodwill recently for $35. It is the perfect size, in great shape, but the fabric is fairly hideous. I call it ‘granny chic’. I’ve contacted two local places, and it’ll be $250 to recover. That’s fair I guess, but I’m tempted to buy a neumatic (is that right, or does it have a silent ‘p’ at the beginning?) nailer and give reupholstering a shot on my own.

    My boys were absolutely confused as to why I was so excited over an old $35 chair. I did the happy dance in the store when I saw it. I made my oldest stand guard near it as I was going to pay for it. When I came back and asked him if anyone else was eyeing it, he said “Uh Mom, I don’t think you have to worry about anyone else wanting this chair. I think people were trying *not* to look at it.” Silly boy.

  15. You know, I used to be one of those “couple times a year” shopper, but I had a bit of a wake up call 2 weeks ago. My grandmother passed away and the stuff of hers that we gave to Goodwill was incredible! They were beautiful. My mum and I had taken as much as we could yet we still gave so much wonderful things away. Somebody is going to get a steal of a deal!

  16. Yay! I’m happy for you. I love your finds!

  17. My whole house is practically furnished and decorated with second hand items from thrifting, yard sales and Craigslist. I’ve refurbished, recovered, painted, and let some stay the way I found them. I love the hunt for a bargain and I doubt I’ve spent more than $1,000 on everything. Lately I’ve been looking for ironstone dishes and have really lucked out at Goodwill and the Salvation Army stores. Love the chair…great find.

  18. I love that table you got for $16! I have found quite a few goodies. One of my favorite was a Better Homes and Garden lamp for $3!

  19. I love thrifting. I’ve become such a thrifter that now I find it hard to buy new!

  20. Our goodwill stores are not so hot around here. I need to check out our Habitat store. My hubby and I find some good buys at antique/resale shops occasionally. I have never bought an upholstered piece second hand though.

    Hubby has found some real steals at pawn shops – he buys a good many tools there. You have to know what you are looking for and the cost/value. We recently bought a nail gun for hardwood floor for less than half price. Our home has only two rooms of carpet in it, but in a few months, hopefully that will be gone!


  21. I’d love to thrift if i had your stores! We have MANY Goodwill stores in my town and they are SO overpriced! I’m confident there would be an $80 price tag on that chair and $40 on the table. It’s so out of control!

    p.s. love all your finds… such cool colors, what a change from all the country themed red you used to have!

  22. WOW, great and spectacular finds:) I love thrifting, and our restore is the bomb. Recently I found some really great pictures that I’m going to turn into chalk boards, and some terrific chunkie monkey wooden candle sticks. Love your blog, love your style, keep up the great work!

  23. A gal after my own heart! I love treasure hunting for Goodwill goodies (and other thrift stores too;) Congrat’s on the chair, love it!

  24. I’m not able to go to thrift stores often, but my and my sister’s best find this year was gold balls for our family’s Christmas tree. They were on clearance at the thrift store for 10 cents a box! It enabled me to have a gold and red tree this year.

  25. Your chair is so familiar to me because I have the exact same one only in red – also found at the Goodwill. I had been looking for an ottoman. The ottoman that came with this chair was what caught my eye – they told me that the price was $15 as a set. No, ma’am, you can’t buy just the ottoman. Silly me! The chair sat in my garage because it smelled and the seat cushion was in terrible shape.

    Finally, a friend brought me to my senses and told me to have a new seat cushion made from upholstery fabric – now it’s my favorite chair in the living room.

  26. Oh lucky you! That really is a beautiful chair and if you hadn’t taken your husband it wouldn’t be sitting in your house!!! I’ve been admiring your glass coffee table for a while and wondering when you’d tell us about it. It is so chic looking. Yay for Goodwill! Too bad they don’t have them here in Utah. They have Deseret Industries run by the Mormon church and I’ve found a few good things, I also have the thrift shop at Hill AFB.

  27. Love the chair…and I love thrifting. I think having your husband with you is the key. I know that I’ve passed on something I liked becuase I really didn’t think he’d like it. And like you, I didn’t want to spend the money then risk hearing complaints for the next however long!!

  28. I just love being a thrift hound, recycling, repurposing, whatever you call it. Lately, I have found tons of great toys and a small table (free and all it needs is a coat of chalk board paint on top) and two chairs ($2.98 each) for visiting nieces and nephews, a darling snow man nesting box set ($6), and a great pair of wrought iron candle holders ($4.98 each) that just complete my mantel.

  29. Thrift stores are great and that chair is magnificent! But here in Georgia I don’t really see things this nice in the thrift stores. However, garage sales seem to be an entirely different story altogether…We recently went to a garage sale and got a great tile table and chair set for the kitchen area for 30 bucks and also found a dvd/vcr combo in new condition for 15 bucks.

    The garage sale deals are so good in fact that sometimes even if I don’t have anything particular in mind I will still pause my daily routine to follow a garage sale sign or two.

    Thanks for a great post too!

  30. Tracy-definitely give reupholstering a try! TOTALLY worth it! I did a sofa one time and the only part that gave me problems was the back, there didn’t seem to be a way to get the fabric nice and tight without the nails showing-.29 cent a yard braid and a hot glue gun fixed it right up! LOL! And really, the back never saw the light of day, it was always up against a wall.

    Nester, the chair is GORGEOUS and looks fantastic on that rug-leather furniture plus oriental rug is a classic that always looks “right” and leather furniture looks good with a bit of wear. If it starts to bug you, mix up some paint and dab it on or add some nice wide upholstery trim there and it’ll look like it was meant to be.

  31. All of my end tables have come from a thrift shop or a yard sale. Same with all of the dressers in my boy’s rooms as well as night stands. I even bought a beautiful Italian leather sofa from a family friend for 200 bucks. It was a 3000 dollar sofa when they got it! My dining table came from an antique store and my hubs built our butcher block in high school. I am constanly getting compliments on my furniture. Thrifting allows me to change my look when the mood strikes without going into debt.That and a handy Husban :) I recently saw a beautful coffee table on the restoratiopn hardware website my husband is in the process of building one for me. It wll save me over a 1000 dollars!The only brand new items we have in our living room are our reclining chairs and I hate them I would love to have a couple like your new find.

  32. Unfortunately I haven’t had even the $2 or $3 to go out and find something new and fresh for my home…so I’ve been making it instead! I’ve been busy making pottery as Christmas gifts, but there’s no harm in creating a few things for myself. Merry Christmas to me!

  33. Love your blog!!!! How inspiring to see your beautiful finds! I think I need to start going thrifting EVERY week and not feel bad about it. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Wow! What a gorgeous chair. I think I would have paid 50 bucks for that thing! Good for you! Persistence is the key for sure. I have been going to my Goodwill lately and not seeing much of anything, but I will persist. :)

  35. My most recent find was a BEAUTIFUL Lustre Ware gravy boat right before Thanksgiving. It cost me $2 and looked gorgeous on the table. I love Goodwill.

  36. I got lucky the past few visits. I do go maybe once a month, but that’s because my Goodwill is not a place I pass in my travels, I have to plan a visit and usually go early on a weekend morning. One of my last visits there was with my daughter and we were on the look out for lamps for her apartment. We found two and I painted them for her. New shades and they are brand new {to her} lamps! The find I was real excited about this year was my soup tureen. Perfect shape and with the ceramic ladle intact!

  37. Well. To find a thrift store as cheap as yours, would be wonderful. Wow!! The one in our area (sometimes) takes an arm and a leg and then makes you pay out the nose and then some. It’s really, really fun when you can acutally find a real bargain in there, these days. That’s what rare treasures are all about, eh?

    And, you’re right. You’ve got to go almost once a week to make it worth the effort.

  38. these are great finds! i’ve never been a thrifter or a huge fan of goodwill, but will have to start frequenting them.

  39. I found a lovely Waterford compote at GW for only $9; it was it perfect condition but rather dirty! I also found a vase in my sister-in-laws Portmerion pattern for $.99, along with a nearly new Miro metal spritz cookie press, also $.99. I was very happy to find a back-up cookie press since Miro is no longer in business. The ones on Ebay usually go for $30 plus. Love your chair!

  40. I love second hand, too! I’ve found a lot of great finds, furniture, clothes, and toys. My most recent score, though, was a beautiful hand painted Armour for under $100.

  41. Last things I “found” were Christmas PJ’s- like new,for my son, $1.50! and of course, and new cheese dome/cloche~$3! ;)

  42. P.S. FYI, you can buy “touch up markers” that cover flaws in leather furniture and on wood. I have a used maroon leather chair that I “touched” up and was very happy with the results. I think I bought the wood markers at Michaels. I have several in different shades.

  43. I love your style! That chair looks so inviting and comfortable. I too love second hand finds!
    I’ve started a blog as well to help people to decorate on a dime. I am also doing a giveaway for those who love free….as well as almost\

  44. Some amazing finds in there! Because I live in a resort area, there are some pretty darn good things in thrift stores. Sometimes I walk out with a gem! Like when I walked out with a $450 Hubbardton Forge ceiling lamp for $15 …

  45. My latest find only $2.00 and a new thrift store I ish I can post a pic. how? To show you hat I found. My blog = Boardwalk

  46. I love the thrift store! Great finds! Where did you get that gorgeous bowl under your coffee table. It’s gorgeous!

    Lately I hunted around the thrift store for some pieces to do a nautical bathroom makeover. I love how it turned out with an oversized clam shell, mini sailboat and a few others. You can check it out here!

  47. I totally agree about having to go in at least once a week just to check things out. I went last saturday to Goodwill and when i walked in it was chaos a sweet lady told me everything was half off! so i wen to the other goodwill in our area and then my usual thrift shops and i scored big! Check out what i found!

  48. Our Goodwill has gotten insanely expensive so I haven’t gotten anything lately – I wondered if it was just a trend in my neck of the woods or if this is true of Goodwills everywhere?? Also, I’m kind of freaked out by all the talk of getting bedbugs from second hand furniture so I’ve been extra cautious lately…..I usually get my best deals at garage sales – last year chair with ottoman for $20!!!
    I love your new chair though!

  49. I totally agree with you! May latest finds are white dishes and plates, I’m trying to fill up the top of my kitchen cabinets.

  50. Really lovely finds. I love the color of the chair. Question – when you get an item home, how do you clean it? I have heard such bed bug horror stories from wood pieces.

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