I confess: I am a craftaholic. Yes. It’s true. [Just ask my wife and she’ll tell you ALL about it.] The strange thing is, I don’t limit myself to just one ‘craft’ or medium. I run the whole gamut. From fabric to fiber to paint to rubber stamps to card-making … the list goes on and on.
On the bright side, I’m very proud of the fact that instead of running out to my local craft store to buy my supplies, I scour the local thrift shops and Goodwill stores to find items that I can buy (for next to nothing) and convert them into something with new life. Example: a pillowcase, in good condition, can be turned into a tote bag, a pencil case, a crochet hook keeper or a travel-size tissue holder.
You would be amazed at all the stuff I’ve dragged home. Every day is a new day at the St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift shop that I frequent during many of my lunch hours. You just never know what you might find. So…I go there often (some weeks I’m there three times). See: I AM a craftaholic. I’m always on the lookout for something that I can buy for a song and dance, make something out of it, and either give it as a gift, or sell it on my Etsy or ArtFire web sites.
I’ve been lucky enough to find bags of good quality thread and yarn. Yards and yards of 100% cotton fabric in perfect shape for about 49 cents/yard. I’ve also found brand new wooden pictures frames and plaques that just need to be painted to become perfect gift items. Can you imagine finding a vintage sewing machine for $5.00? I don’t mean one that is missing all the important parts. I mean the kind that you plug in and it purrs like a kitten.
On one of my recent trips to St. Vinnie’s I found a junior-sized drafting table in excellent condition. The table tilts from a completely vertical position for easy storage, to a 100% horizontal position to use as an extra work surface. My kids love to tape a piece of drawing paper on the board and scribble, draw and paint. The cost of the table? Less than nine bucks!
Books are another ‘trash to treasure’ success story. My boys love to read. So…in addition to their school libraries and the public library, I will often come home with a book for each of them. Most of them are less than $3.00 each. You might have to dig around in the book bins, but you may find a real gem. I’ve found lots of books that the boys were very happy to get. And…when (if) they get tired of them, I donate them back to the thrift shop. Is that “green” or what?
The next time you need something, make sure you check out the second hand stores in your area before you jump online or jump in the car. You may find all sorts of things that can be converted into something new and different. Or maybe something that just needs dusted off or washed up. Finding that perfect item is certainly something to rejoice about.