Fun at the Thrift Stores and Estate Sales

My rat fink buddy signed me up for notices of area estate sales, and with the extra time off I have right now, the temptation has been too great to resist. It didn’t help that the longarm was out of commission for three weeks. Retail therapy is in order.  I have scored some great things recently, you just never know!  One sale I went to on the last day and came home with this huge box of bows, ribbon, gift bags and paper for $5! The two baskets full of Christmas picks and ribbon rolls were $3 for both!

Christmas Score

Walking through after the first trip to the car, I spotted this little yellow bird, perfect for my Sunny Yellow Tablescape with all the birdies.  Of course he had to come home too, for just 50 cents.

Yellow Bird

And from the same sale, I came home with some new blouse patterns and an entire box of buttons.

Buttons and patterns

At another sale, I found all these ornaments for just a few dollars. They will become Christmas wreaths and other decorations, and I’ll bring you those projects as I get to them.

Christmas ornaments

I scored some additional goodies for holiday decorating with these jack-o-lantern candle holders. Aren’t they cute?

Jack O Lanterns

This metal hanger will go perfect on the front of the house in October. It was brand new, the tag still on it.

Halloween hanger

This big galvanized steel tub will be wonderful to hold ice and drinks for our next outdoor gathering, if it ever cools off!  Plus I got several plastic planters with low stands for the veranda.  I think I’ll wait until next year to try to plant in them, it is a little late for this year.

Steel tub

This little metal bucket looks like Christmas, but it really is just barn red with evergreens. What do you think, Christmas only or seasonal for winter too?

Christmas metal pot

Longtime readers may remember that I am likely the only person known that collects ceramic turkeys.  They all come out in November.  Sometimes a few come out earlier, after all we have wild turkeys year round.  I love the colors on this one, found at the Goodwill store recently.

Autumn turkey 2

Of course the flip side to this is I have to find some things to donate. There is a new thrift store in town for Brother Wolf animal rescue, and I stopped by there last week. They don’t have much yet, so I think my donation will go to them. I cannot decide if I should donate the black hexagon salad plates, they go wonderfully with New Year’s Eve table settings and Halloween, but maybe I can figure out something else. They were a thrift store buy two years ago. What do you think, should I keep them or donate them?

Hexagon plates

DH thinks I have too many dishes now, LOL!!  But, I love a pretty table and creating different looks.  Years ago I worked in the china department of a major department store, and we had more sets of dishes than we had space to store them.  I gave in to my grandmother’s badgering and gave her a set with some butterflies on them, and he was happy for a while.  When she passed away I let them go to the estate sale so someone else got a bargain.  When my mother passed away, I inherited all her dishes, and she had a lot as she loved a pretty table too.  I let most of her everyday things go, along with some depression glass, but I kept her Christmas dishes and some of her serving pieces.  That gave me two sets of Christmas dishes, each set would serve over a dozen people!  So, I sold mine, Spode Christmas Tree, and kept hers, Lenox Holiday Tartan.  After 30 years of the Spode, I was ready for something new, and the memories associated with the Lenox set are priceless.

Next time it is back to quilting, as I have a charity quilt on the frame now, and another one coming up.  My Moda Bake Shop recipe will publish on August 14 and I have a variation to show you when that happens, along with my attempts at custom quilting.  New recipes are in the works, and I am planning the autumn event.  So, never a dull moment around here!  Are you a thrift store fan, and what should I do about the dishes?



I had to link this post up with My Thrift Store Addiction’s Vintage Charm!!

Friendship Friday at Create With Joy

Friday Features at Oh My Heartsie Girl

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Pieced Pasttimes Saturday Sparks

Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make

Celebrate and Decorate


30 thoughts on “Fun at the Thrift Stores and Estate Sales

  1. Looks like you’ve had a few fun days! I always think going to sales is like mining for gold. You never know if you’ll find some, but when you do it’s wonderful! Looking forward to seeing how you use these finds in the future.

  2. Phyllis Smith

    Hello again,

    Think I would keep the red bucket with the pine cones since pine trees are grown everywhere and the cones can be used in so many

    Different ways so I vote to keep it.


  3. Good Morning Carole! I have been a bit under the weather lately, so it is delightful to see all of your treasures this morning. What excellent finds and buys you made; I love garage, estate and 2nd hand stores. As for your lovely bucket, I think it should be used all winter long. It is to pretty to only be seen for such a short time as Christmas and it could have so many great uses also. As for your dishes, sorry I am not going there…I love all of your dishes and your splendid table settings, but it is between you and your hubby on storage room and whether you want to get rid of any or not. Hubby and I are trying to discover new ways to store and display all of my treasured crafting supplies, fabrics and everything else that goes along with it! LOL. I really enjoyed your post and looking at your new treasures, have a great time using them! Have a fantastic creative day!

  4. Melanie

    You KNOW if you get rid of those dishes, especially before the upcoming holidays, you’ll need them!LOL Find something else to donate. Easy for me to say. All DHs think we have too many dishes, I think, especially if we’re collectors, and glassware tempts me as much as fabric. I have found fabulous treasures. So I’m a fellow addict and no help to you whatsoever. I love your tablescapes. BTW, I find the best way to donate seasonal items is right after I’ve used them for the umpteenth time–I’m more likely to let go. LOL Oh, and I’d keep that adorable red bucket and use it all winter, not just Christmastime. Fill it with pinecones and place it on your stoop? Well, I’m off to do some thrifting myself today….ta ta…..

  5. catsandroses

    I’m a total thrift shop, garage & estate sale junkie, so I totally relate to your excitement at your finds. I also sell my items online, so play a little game with myself — if I find something to keep, I also have to find something to sell to offset & justify my expense, lol; is a very easy task, with the dozen or so local thrift shops in my area and I always seem to find more to sell than to keep (my biggest sale of late was a piece of vintage fabric which sold for $300 — I easily justified the expense of the brand new bath towels that I found at the same thrift store, to keep!)

    I think you should donate the plates; it would make hubby happy and help a good cause at that thrift store. Especially if you only use them once a year (and that way, if you come across more plates you just can’t live without, you’ll feel better that you freed up some room for a new purchase!)

    Love that little red bucket — I’d get it out after Thanksgiving and would keep it out the rest of the winter. Great score on all the new sewing & crafting items, too. Looking forward to the future posts to see how you’ve used them!

  6. Sharon Schipper

    Honey, if you have space, keep them! Sadly, my old blue willow collection will be thinned out because the kitchen isn’t mine anymore and I have no space to display or store them. I had such plans for them too! All the talk around about simplify simplify… heck, I think my kids can have a big estate sale when I’m gone! My sis is a hoarder, can’t get in her house, but she has some fabulous stuff, the nieces and nephews think they’ll have to toss loads when she’s gone, but methinks someone should go through and have a huge sale of her avon cranberry full set for 16, and she collects that cream porcelain from teh 50’s with little blue and pink roses on it, has tons of it, not to mention loads of fabric. Sigh. We love our pretty things, eh? I need to use eBay to get what the blue willow is worth, but the time is an issue. I need to retire so I can do my home work, but I need to work so I can fund my hobbies! hee hee ps keep the red bucket out all winter! you can put yarn balls or how about a rosemary tree in it to put outside in the spring? smells good when you rub your hands across it walking by too!

    sharon in colorado

  7. Rosemaryflower

    I love the yellow birdie and the buttons and the patterns. I love paper patterns.
    and buttons
    Gosh I have never been to an estate sale. It looks dangerously tempting.
    And for so little you pay, you can always donate the stuff to church or whatever.
    The plates, I cannot help you haha.
    I have given away things to charity and then suddenly find someone that could have used it… and oh well
    Enjoy your time. Try to stay out of trouble 😀

  8. Barbara Jenkins

    I would donate the plates also I also would display the red bucket too. i would like it with cinnamon pine cones set on your veranda with a peice or two of holly.

  9. You betcha – I am a hardcore thrifter, visiting shops 3-5 times per week. I also like ceramic turkeys, I like to celebrate Thanksgiving all its own and not ignore it because it is between Halloween and Christmas.
    I would love to go to estate sales but I think that is for the retired bunch so they can hit them up early.
    If you like doing tablescapes, then you must save all the plates …

  10. Wow. You really cleaned up. I especially love all the Holiday decorations. I’ve never been to an estate sale. I need to put it on my to-do list.

  11. Jennie Rauch

    Ohboy do I love Goodwill, Garage Sales. . . and dishes! Recently received Xmas dishes from hubby’s late aunt – I’ve craved them for a while, so am so excited even tho these aren’t the exact ones I craved! Have my mother’s mother’s hand painted Poppy Trail by Metlox, Dad’s mom’s crystal, hubby’s mom’s silverplate & wine glasses, my Mom’s tablecloth. . . & some stuff of my own to play with. Do all hubbies ask “where will we put it?” when you bring home treasures??! When I mix all my treasures for holiday dinners, I feel those folks are there with us at the table. I’ve been to a few estate sales, but doggone it I agonize over the piles of stuff someone spent time choosing & want to rescue too much! Tho dramatic, I think I’d find it easy to part with the black plates. Just not my style, I guess. Good luck!

  12. There are no thrift shops near where I live in France but when I visit family in the UK, I like to have a browse. Though the majority of their stock is clothing and books, I enjoy having a good look around. That’s where most of my jigsaws have come from and go back to! You’ve had some lovely purchases but then you have a good eye to spot how you can use those items. I’m not very good at thinking ahead like that.

  13. Lynne Stucke

    My, how I love your posts. I feel as though, reading them, I am sitting down and having coffee with a dear friend. Thank you.

    Oh!, and hang on to those plates. They take only a l i t t l e space, and I just know you’ll need them as soon as they’re gone! [lynnstck(at)]

  14. I’ve been thrift shopping more than usual lately, trying to find things for our new get away home. I think you did well. I’d let those black dishes go. They seem rather modern to me and from what I’ve seen of the rest of your things that isn’t really in keeping with your style. Of course that’s easy to say – I have more dishes than anyone needs myself.

  15. Christopher

    Just found your blog and have to let you know that I also collect turkeys! I collect the ceramic as well as vintage. I am getting to where I have to leave them behind because I seem to find so many and the flock is getting too big! lol

  16. Carole, what fabulous finds and great upcoming seasonal items! We have wild turkeys visit our pasture daily…they are interesting to observe! Happy Thursday, Pam @ Everyday Living

  17. manasotavacation

    What a delightful post! Love your “finds”. The plates….well, I will always say KEEP. Love the red bucket….perfect for seasonal and not just Christmas decorating!

  18. Its absolutely decades since I heard the term “rat fink”! It was so popular when I was growing up and when I read it a whole burst of images floated through my mind. Coincidentally, I spoke to a friend from school last night for the first time in years. Your little collection of finds is wonderful. Well done.

  19. dezertsuz

    I love thrift stores, but we don’t have really great ones here. I was doing estate sales in Arizona and got a beautiful love seat at one that I adored, but sold it when we sold our house 2 years later. I love all the things I imagine you doing with those Christmas goodies. =) If you have lots of plates, and you’ve had the little black ones for a couple of years, maybe it’s time to let them move on and you create a new look this year. Of course, were I deciding for me, I’d probably stick them back in the cabinet. LOL

  20. WOW!! I am so jealous of all your wonderful finds!! Love the Halloween and Christmas treasures especially!! I like your black plates because they are so versatile..they can be used for Halloween, New Year’s and for many other occasions because black is classic and elegant. I recently donated an entire service fro 12 to my niece. I never have 12 people to dinner, it took up an incredible amount of space and since my niece is now hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for my sister’s family, she was in need of a larger set of dishes so now she is enjoying them and I made a little room…..

  21. New here, but I like the black plates. If you get rid of them, you will be sorreee! Enjoyed your post….love seeing people’s finds! And I have a bunch of Christmas balls I was thinking of donating, but maybe I should do a wreath like you….hmmm….thinking

  22. Mary Jean Cunningham

    Dear Carole and Everybody Else,

    Reading this posting and the comments is like looking in a mirror – do I have dishes?!? Yeah, so many my husband begs me not to buy any more! I’ve been good and haven’t bought any since getting a 16-piece intact setting of cream-color dishes I use for Thanksgiving and other big occasions; instead, I make sure everything I buy is cream color and change cloth napkins, tablecloths, and other table decor for every season, holiday, etc. I did “cheat” by not getting rid of an adorable set of blue luncheon dishes from the 40s my 95-year-old mother gave me to take to the thrift store – they’re now hiding in a corner of our basement since there is no more room in the cabinets upstairs for more dishes – but I didn’t buy them, so that doesn’t count, right?

    As for thrifting, the best thing for me is not to even go in the door of our local thrift shops, because I will almost certainly find something of value to me – although not strictly necessary…

    And Thanksgiving is the best – no gift giving required and all the turkeys get their time on display here!

  23. I love seeing what other people find at the thrift store. You found some great stuff. The yellow bird and the patterns and sewing notions are my favorites. Thank you for sharing your thrifty finds at Snickerdoodle Create, Bake, & Make!

  24. Betty Jansen

    You are a woman after my heart. I, too, get a a “rush” at an estate sale or thrift store. My hubby’s motto. Bring one in the door. Take one out the door!

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