Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gifts That Count: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

When you're thrifty you spend wisely. Instead of buying holiday gifts our friends and families don't need, we should consider practical options. Below I've compiled The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide of thrifty gifts that are useful and worth every penny.

Money spent on quality food and drink is never wasted. Provide your friends/family with...

  • Tea and Coffee
  • Wine and Liquor
  • Homemade Treats
  • Supermarket Gift/Rewards Cards
  • Year's worth of vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Cook Books [Bonus Points: Cook Books on eating frugally]
  • Condiments like BBQ Sauce and Special Spices with festive labels
  • DIY "Make Your Own Cookies" or other "From Scratch" food kits

[Special Mention: Community-supported Agriculture] A CSA share provides fresh produce from local farms for months. Find a local one by going here and scrolling down to "Find a CSA Farm".]

Buy your friends an annual membership and you can save them hundreds or thousands in the long run.

  •  Magazine Subscriptions
  • Coupon or Discount Clubs
  • Warehouse Club Memberships
  • Annual Transit Pass (For the bus, subway, etc.) 
  • Community Garden Membership (grow your own eats!)

Everyone has a creative side, buy gifts that correspond with your friend's hobbies.

  • Museum Membership: Support your local museums, and buy friends/family an annual pass
  • Invest in Art: Buy art from local artists, they need the money during the holidays, too!
  • Craft and Design Books
  • DIY Patterns and Guides
  • Starter Craft Kit: A starter box of craft or clothing repair supplies; for the uninitiated
  • Sewing Machine
  • Annual Pass for your local zoo, theatre, craft night, or other creative activities and events

[Special Mention: Homemade Art Kit] Assemble supplies you know the recipient will use. A sketchbook, pencil, kneaded eraser, and a pencil sharpener are the bare bones for a good art kit.

Almost everyone could use one of these "kits" in their lives.

  • First Aid Kit: Ointment, band-aids, bandages, and cold medicine, all in a cool first aid box.

  • Starter Kitchen Kit: Kitchen basics for a cooking beginner.

  • Car Care Kit: Motor oil, filters, wiper blades, floor mats, car washing supplies, etc.

  • Housecleaning Kit: All house cleaning supplies have to be replaced eventually.

  • Pet Supply Kit: Don't buy anyone a pet without a few month's worth of  the pet's supplies.

[Special Mention: Lunch-Packing Kit] insulated tote-style lunch bag, lunch box or bento box, travel thermos. Everyone can save by packing their own lunch when they go out or go to work.)

What are YOUR Suggestions for the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide?
Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thrift Share: Black Friday Thrifting


'Twas the weekend of Black Friday thrift store sales, what deals did you score? I took it easy and leisurely hunted for essential bits, ignoring the sales and even putting back some pretty vintage bits I could live without.

[Super Mario Brothers 3 DVDs $2.50 each]

They raised the price on DVDs at our local Goodwills, heartbreaking! But even with the elevated price, Mario 3 is my favorite in the series so I broke down and bought this set.

[Work Shoes $2-$3 each]

I finally relented and bought some new work shoes, my old ones were falling apart at the seams; threatening to rupture and bring me down with them.

[Shameless "Looks-like-a-Penis Vintage Mushroom Art", $0.69]

I painted the frame blue and I use it as a coaster.

 [Dinosaur Excavation Kit, 1.99 & Dinosaur Bones $1.00]

I was going to make my nephew a dinosaur learning kit for Christmas, so I was happy to stumble upon this still-sealed Dinosaur Excavation kit. You chip the dinosaur bones out of "stone" with a real chisel and hammer. I love kid's science kits!

[Sexy "Retro Bean Table" $7.20]

My favorite find of the weekend is the retro "bean table" above (Any official name for this style? Help me out!) I donated a few things (ur, two boxes worth) to ease my conscience and squeezed him into the living room. It was a guilty and unnecessary purchase, but it fits in nicely.

More to Come: I found an essential or two from my thrift list. They're receiving some DIY care right now, I'll follow up with the Before/Afters soon!

What did you find at the thrift store this weekend?
Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thrift Blogs You'll Love: Easy Weekend Reading

If you're in the U.S, it's the day before Thanksgiving. You're surfing the web sluggishly, happily anticipating a belly full of bird. Don't worry; this week's Thift Blogs You'll Love are easy reading.

The following blogs have easily scannable content, but they're not low on ideas, inspiration or laughs. They're the perfect reads for a lazy Holiday weekend.

Definitely in the "Why the hell didn't I think of this!?" category, this blog is pure genius. It's nothing but beautiful Befores and Afters. Scan the ample archives for weekend project inspiration.

Art made from junk- a thrifter's dream blog! This blog features a new series of "Junk Art" by established artists and makers daily. Each piece of recycled art has something to love.

A blog by Cara, an artist and photographer by trade and education. The blog is all about imagery, click her "thrifting" tab to scan beautiful images of her thrifted finds.

Where has this website been all my life? It's where DIY meets WTF, the blog chronicles the most bizarre and hilarious things ever listed on Etsy. (It's not exactly kid or work safe, tread carefully.)

Join the Cause: If you would like a blog featured on my Thrift Blog Share, email me. I'm currently looking for guest posts (holiday, crafting, and thrifting themed) too, just throwing it out there!

I'll be back to posting on Monday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

More Thrift Blogs You'll Love:

11/17/10 Thrift Blogs You'll Love:  [Modern Thrifter] [Trash Finds] [Apron Thrift Girl]
Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Make Your Own Thrifted Shabby Chic: Ebook Review


I'm excited to review Fine Diving's new Ebook, Secondhand Shabby. This polished, professional Ebook has truly left me inspired. The design is colorful and modern. The photography is clear and appealing. The Step-by-Step guides are easy to follow.

If you're like me you're not a big fan of fussy, contrived crafts. This book may be named Secondhand Shabby, but it's not your grandma's dainty and tedious floral nightmare. This Ebook's crafts are colorful, modern, and simple. Just read the mission statement:

Repurposed, eclectic, and, above all, not too perfect. 

My favorite craft in the book is the chalkboard chair. Plain wooden chairs are a thrift store staple, and a chalkboard chair allows you to transform your chair into a different art piece on a whim:

Secondhand Shabby Features:

  • Tools of the trade, vital tools for thrifty DIY
  • Expert Tips to Paint and Distress Furniture
  • DIY Candles
  • Meaningful Mosaics
  • Free Templates
  • Decoupage Inspiration
  • And more

Soap Box Time:
I believe in supporting online content makers. An extraordinary amount of effort goes into making quality content, and it's clear that mother-daughter team Diana and Kate Durkes put a lot of energy into their creation. If you enjoy a blog and its content, support it. Bloggers need support just like your favorite magazines do.

Buy Now

Full Disclosure: I receive 50% of every Ebook sold through my blog with an affiliate program. Would I have reviewed the book without the added incentive? Absolutely. (Hell, if you have an Ebook, send it to me, I'd love to read and review it!) Actually, I'm going to practice what I preach and buy Ebooks from a couple of blogs I love right now!
Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thrift Share: This and That for Christmas Crafts

I didn't find much from my Thrift Wish List but I'm happy with my finds. Are you getting your Christmas-Thrift on? Now's the time, don't let Christmas sneak up and bite you on the ass!

[The Weekend'sHaul $12.54 total]

Going Clockwise: Stevie Wonder's "Talking Points" Record, (50 cents) Bird Salt Shaker (50 cents), Tropical Fish Paint by Number ($1.00), Small Metal Tin (50 cents) , Modern Mushrooms (50 cents), Kokeshi Doll ($2.50), Sweaters ($1 each, for Christmas Crafting).

[Mod Wooden Kokeshi Doll $2.50]

My favorite find of the weekend is this beautiful wooden Japanese Kokeshi doll. She's my second thrifted wooden Kokeshi doll (I have 2 more my dad bought me as souvenirs from Japan years ago) I sense a dangerous collection brewing...

[Stevie Wonder "Talking Book" Recod $0.50]

Hell Yes- Stevie Wonder!  "Talking Book" is a gem from Stevie's classic period. (It includes his signature tune "Superstition") I recommend listening to "Maybe Your Baby"- oh baby, it's the funkiest thing Stevie has ever composed. (Don't miss Big Brother either, it's amazing.

[Paint By Numbers $1.00]

I've always wanted a Paint by Numbers, this set with kaleidoscopic tropical fish was irresistible for this fish fan. 

Just look at it. Brimming with potential, waiting for its paint strokes. I can't wait to get started on this baby, it's going to be so relaxing.

 [Mod Mushroom Salt & Pepper Shakers $0.50]

One of these shakers is missing its bottom, but it shouldn't be too tricky to find a replacement. I might clean them and sell them as is, or transform them into psychedelic toadstools with red and white paint and keep them. What do you think I should do with 'em?

 [Cooking Pot $0.00]

Not a thrifted find, but a miracle find. Sensing I needed a pot, the Thrift Gods or some other deity deposited this pot in the parking lot, where it was found by my roommate. Strange, but I'll take it! It's pretty good quality and came right in time for Soup Season.

 [Hen and Chick Ceramic Planter $1.50]

This is a birthday present for my mom (Nov. 24). She collects both chickens and plants and this planter is exactly her style. It's small and lacks drainage holes so I'm going to fill it with a cactus and present it to her on Wednesday.

A Few New Things...

I was tired of the old layout so I quickly created the new design this weekend. I'd love feedback on it! Any suggestions? Expect a few things moving around here and there as I work to perfect it.


I've also created a Facebook Page for Thriftcore.com. I would love for all of you to join. I want us to engage in amazing money-saving, thrifty-fun conversations on the group. I'll also update frequently with news on All Things Thrift. (I'm still trying to figure out this Facebook junk, any pointers would be helpful.)

What did YOU find at the Thrift Store this weekend?

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Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Organization: The Bedroom Attack


This weekend I tackle my nemesis, The Bedroom. I don't want to paint the walls since I should be moving in about three months, yet I want to quickly add color and whimsy before I go.

 [We meet again, vile Bedroom!]

The Bedroom Plans: Brighten up the Bedroom on a Budget!

  • Hang colorful paper lanterns
  • Use these Fall Organization Tips
  • Create an accent wall with fabric
  • Create gallery walls from already-owned art bits
  • Get help to nail art into impenetrable plaster walls 

I'll be Thrifting (Or Dumpster Diving) For...

  • Night stands
  • Curtains
  • An area rug (haha, good luck!)
  • Interesting art pieces

The Bedroom Story

This is the one room in the house I've never liked. This is its story:

Even the legendary Curbly wrote about my bedroom. I love Curbly, but why not write about my living room? I like that room!

I'm excited to thrift for household essentials, christmas gifts, and now bedroom goods this weekend! I'll whip that bastard into shape once and for all. The battle begins!

What Will YOU be hunting for this weekend?
Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your Ultimate Holiday Thrifting Guide


They're coming: the loads of blood-thirsty shoppers that will cut you to get a good deal! Be not afraid; be prepared. Use the following Holiday Thrifting Guide and get good deals while staying safe!

Be Early:

The early bird gets the valuable vintage treasures. Being early is especially important if you're a vintage re-seller and not merely a holiday shopper.

Be Prepared:

Ready, Set, FIGHT!

Hyperbole aside, most shoppers you encounter at the thrift store should be friendly. Start your holiday shopping now so you can spend December relaxing instead of fretting and last-second shopping!

 The Complete Holiday Thrifting Guide:

What Are Your Holiday Thrifting and Shopping Tips?

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Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Real Deal: Thrift Blogs You'll Love

While researching I encounter dozens of quality thrift blogs every week. This new Thrift Blogs You'll Love feature will spread the wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Let us begin:

 [Thrift Blog]

When I first laid eyes on Modern Thrifter I was awe-struck by the superb editing. The Mid Century Modern style logo and clean design prepares us for the theme: Thrifting for Mid Century Modern Treasures.

Must Reads: Modern Thrifter's Thrifting Basics

 [Junking Blog]

An excellent blog by a dedicated and proud trash picker; the ultimate thrifty blog. I love blog posts like, "Refusing to Buy What Can Be Found for Free...Eventually..." With money-saving tips, tricks, and inspiration, this is a must-read for frugal souls.

Must Reads: Four Thrifty Tips for Hopeless Procrastinators

[Thrift Blog]

One of the biggest thrift blogs out there, I would be remiss to leave out Apron Thrift Girl. This blog contains ample thrifting and re-selling information; but the real reason you should read Apron Thrift Girl is the honesty and heart in each blog post.

Must Reads:  How to Find a Garage/Rummage/Estate Sale

Do You Want to Be Featured?

Future Thrift Blogs You'll Love posts will showcase some of the best quality thrifting, junking, antique, vintage, crafting, and art blogs on the web.

If you would like to be featured in Thrift Blogs You'll Love, send me an e-mail (info@thriftcore.com) or leave a comment. I look forward to seeing your blogs!

What are your favorite thrifty blogs and resources? Share the wealth!

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Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thrift Share: The Vintage Autumn Haul


I took the name of the Thrift Gods in vain and they smote me; just like God smote MC Hammer with bankruptcy when he sampled Prince's incomparable When Doves Cry...

Before I penned my Master Thrift List local thrift stores were so abundantly overfilled with vintage opulence I had to hold back (Lest I become the next guest on Hoarders). I didn't find anything on my list this weekend, but the Gods of Thrift had mercy and granted me a couple of treasures.

Sushi Geta Tray
[Sushi Geta Tray $4.50]

I negotiated this tray down from $6.00. The thrift store cashier said he couldn't go any lower because he "Used to work at a sushi restaurant," and "they use these to make sushi so they're really expensive." (Lies, all lies!

[Sushi Geta Tray, Earning its Keep!]

I paid too much, but my tray earns its keep. Right now it's holding my tea cup, tea pot full of jasmine tea, and a glass of water admirably; protecting my desk from (even more) water damage.

Mesoamerican Souvenir
[Mesoamerican Souvenir, $6.00]

Again, too much for a thrift store find, but I knew this was something my friend would kill for. With eyes bright and earnest he proclaimed it his most treasured possession, mission accomplished!

Thrifted Pine Cone!
[Pine Cone, $0.00]

Nature Thrifting: I took a walk to admire alluring "trash" on my block, but instead of finding useful castoffs I discovered this beautiful pine cone. The hunt for more continues!

Vintage Postal Scale
[Vintage Postal Scale $1.00]

I barely made a profit on my last Etsy Store transaction because I underestimated the shipping cost. Never again!

Vintage Owl Lantern
 [Vintage Owl Lantern, $1.00]
I may even throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard like a crisp October breeze just blew through and fucked that shit up. 

The geometric shapes forming the impression of an owl is unique with this rustic medium. I can't wait to use it with a tea light! Can anyone guess what era this is from? Or who could have made it?

What did you find at the thrift store this weekend?

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Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's on Your Thrift Wish List?

What's on YOUR Thrift List? I'm hunting for a few practical items. It might take a few months to gather everything I need, but as you thrifters know, that's half the fun...

[Quality Pots and Pans]
Image from this cute Etsy Shop

My thin, low quality, dinged-up pots are dangerous. I have to remove then handle-less lid from a favorite pot with a butter knife; both then become volatile projectile weapons. Let the hunt begin!

[Mid Century Modern Credenza]
Image Credit, The Sexy Design for Men blog

I'm dreaming of a true landing-pad. I lose the essentials like my keys, shoes, phone, and purse every day! I'd love to find (or make) a sleek modern credenza where I can stash my purse, keys, and shoes when I get home.

[Vintage Medicine Box and Vintage Tool Box]
Image from this clean and modern Etsy Shop

In the event of the inevitable zombie holocaust a first aid box will be your salvation. My hand-me-down Tupperware isn't cutting it for first aid storage. Likewise, my tool box is stuffed to the brim and can't even accommodate my hammer right now, so a new one is on the list.

(I have fun ideas to craft tool and medicine boxes of my own, but I would like to find a base to work with.)

[Desk Chair]
From the amazing thrift blog Hunt for Vintage

I'm starting to write at home more, and my stiff wooden chair needs replacement. Ideally, the chair is a balance of being comfortable and attractive. Comfort first!

[Bedside Tables]
Gorgeously staged photo from Fabulousmess on Etsy

I dream of a spot for the ubiquitous combination of book, lamp, and alarm clock. With a lightning-flash twitch I can pound snooze and end the buzzing tyranny of my alarm clock (instead of literally jumping out of bed and reaching to the top of my bedside-highboy).

From a clean and modern Etsy shop, Industrialrelic

Many have suggested using chalkboard paint to create my chalkboard. No matter how simple it is, when it comes to crafting I'm very short on time. If I'm going thrifting anyway, may as well look out for a chalkboard!

What are the top items on your thrift list? Let's hunt!

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Daily thrift updates, information, and inspiration. Follow Thriftcore on Twitter.

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