I am 22 years old and a college student. Needless to say I don’t exactly have money for home styling. There are, however, many different ways you can create your own décor with a little thrift shopping and elbow grease.
Since I was just a young pup, I’ve always had an eye for what something could be. Thrift shopping seemed to be instilled in my bones. So through the years I began to realize that many of the 10 cent random items I saw could be tweaked and styled into top-of-the-line home and lifestyle products. Being a seasoned thrifter, I’ve learned a few tips on what to look for and how to use it.
First, find a thrift store with these guidelines: good quality (at lease for second hand items), low prices, and as much quantity you can get–sometimes the only way to guarantee good items is having a lot of bad ones to sift through. For me, the Salvation Army and Goodwill are the best. These places have a lot of good variety and good prices. Also, often times they have great quality items.
The next thing I do is look through the store to find generic/plain items that you can make your mark on. These are items such as wooden shelves, white t-shirts, lamp shades, etc. Look for things with no design, writing, or patterns so you will be able to modify to the max. Then, simply use paint, glue, glitter, whatever you want to upgrade these items by painting, carving, cutting, gluing, etc.
Other items I look for are seemingly the opposite of those above. I look for wild and outrageous things that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Things such as psychedelic patterned fabrics, old children’s books, puzzles, etc. These items are great for cropping and adding to other pieces you work on. Also, fabric in general is a wonderful phenomenon, you can do many things with it. A few examples are, when you find an amazingly patterned or crazy piece of fabric, frame it and hang it as a painting, glue and staple it around furniture for reupholstering, use easy sewing patterns to make hats or scarves with it, or pair it with old coasters to make new and exciting coaster accents for any room.
I often times ask the people working at thrift stores to see the items that they can’t display in the store. Places that sell second hand items often can’t put things in the show room because they aren’t “good enough” but I usually find these things to be the most interesting, even if they are tattered. Some places, though, like Goodwill have second hand-second hand stores that they send their “unshowable” items to so they won’t give them to you or let you see them.
One thing I’ve found to be a good find is any old cigarette holder. These are great for making picture frames. All you need to do is open them up, crop your pictures to fit, and slide them in! These make vintage looking picture frames for your tables. Also, you can paint the outside of the cigarette holder or modify it as you want to make it your own. Also, the 10 cent wood shelving is great. I have a picture of one that I styled up. I hope you enjoy the tips and have fun making your own home accent pieces!