Friday, October 22, 2010

10 Easy Thrift Store Halloween Costumes

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Each dusty item in a thrift store is a glorious Halloween opportunity. Here are 10 Easy Thrift Store Halloween Costumes you can make from items you find while thrifting.   





Good luck finding a red stripped beanie with a pom pom on top like the real character. You might have to paint on some stripes and sew a pom pom on top with a couple of quick stitches.



Tatter a cheap suit, bring as brief case. Wear zombie make-up, and if you work in an office all day you might already have the blank, soul-less stare.



Find the ugliest 80s dress in the thrift store and accessorize with a dollar-store tiara. Tease your hair within an inch of its life, don't forget your red-as-a-baboon's-ass lipstick!



Another easy one because it doesn't necessarily have to match, perfect for thrifting.


The hat might have to come from a costume store unless you're up to making one, but the rest of the accessories should be easy to find.



If you don't know what Rhythm Nation is, remove yourself from this blog and educate yourself on YouTube this instant. I will make this Rhythm Nation costume one day!



This costume is deceptive. After attempting it by combining the wardrobe of a few friends we realized it's a subtle art, not merely an amalgamation of every accessory you own. The easiest way to achieve the look is to start with a basic "Japanese Schoolgirl outfit" (skirt and button-up blouse are easy to find), then embellish the crap out of it.  Bangles, one million bows, and don't forget knee-high socks. Kawaii!


Gaga is the epitome of disposable music; bubble wrap is perfect for her look (and I'll be surprised if she hasn't worn it out before). If no one "gets it", kick them in the face with your 10-inch tall spiked heels. 




Steampunk can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. The thrift store has ample treasures to plunder for the look. The key piece is goggles spray painted gold. Wear that with anything Victorian-style and you've got it.

What are your favorite Thrift Store Halloween costumes!? And Remember:

  • Tatter the outfit and add "zombie" in front of the costume name
  • Do this and the costume will be infinitely more awesome.
  • This is the rule of Halloween. Do not question it's authority.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thrift Share: The Vintage Owl Haul

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I'm currently thrifting for essentials only, but the vintage owl jars above were a happy accident. On the way to the thrift store with friends these owls sat on a table in a park seconds from my apartment; unique, beaming, tempting.

I stopped the car, shamelessly asked for a birthday discount and got the entire set of vintage owl jars for $10.00. The lamp was $7.00, perfect for my desk at work.



Book, bowls, snacks, apron, vintage fabric, tea, yay!

The Birthday: October 16th was my birthday. Above is a photograph of the birthday gifts from my friends. The small get-together this weekend was resplendent. We scarfed pizza, beer, wine and cheesecake while ruthlessly mocking the Nightmare on Elm Street Remake. I love each gift, my friends know me so well!



Owl Votive from a set of three, a gift from my friend Michelle

Goals for Thriftcore: Twenty-four is a strange age. It feels infinitely older than twenty-three; and I'm more driven than ever to succeed at my goals. The expense of this drive is loosing most of the perpetual happiness I used to feel (it's been replaced with stress, anxiety). One of my goal is to continue writing quality content for this blog.

Blog Giveaway Winner
I used a random number generator to select the winner of the Vintage Halloween Giveaway. Congratulations to Lara of My Adventures in LaLa Land. I can't wait to host more Giveaways in the near future! Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Thrifter Tips: The Top 5 Ways to Organize Your Bookshelves

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Organized Bookshelf of Thrifty Fun
My dining room/library/craft space in my small apartment.

Your eclectic collection of books and knick knacks is making your bookshelves look more like Sanford and Son than a dream library. I had the same issues, and applied the following solutions to organize my bookshelves.

1. Purge: Don't read it? Don't love it? Purge it! I sell my unused books and DVDs to Chamberlain Book Mine, our local pimp master of used book stores.

2. Facing: To project the image of a perfectly stocked store, retail chains practice facing; they pull all products to the front of the shelf or display. Pull your books forward so the books in your bookshelf are even all the way across to instantly eliminate chaos.

3. Organize: From here, start to rearrange the books on the shelf. All sets and volumes should be together, in order. Arrange books in order of height, color, or alphabetically; whatever pleases your eye and makes the books 100% assessable.

4. Think Groups: Arrange your collections in groups in the spaces between your books. Collections always look best grouped together. You can do common objects, shapes or themes. You can play with mix-matched items and work it until you have a balanced arrangement.

5. Bookshelf Backdrops: Use fabric, paper, or paint to give your bookshelf a backdrop if you crave more details or harmony.

Using these bookshelf organizing tips you should have a better balanced bookshelf in minutes. Thrifters can get out of control when the books and knick knack cost mere pocket change, but with a little artful rearranging (and purging!) you can make it work (and make room for more thrifty goodies)!

By the way... I'll announce the winners of my Vintage Halloween Giveaway on Monday. You have one more weekend to enter! Good luck!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrift Share: Name This VintageThing

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Vintage Thrift Store Mushrooms
I bought this interesting mushroom-on-a-log-thing on impulse at the thrift store, it's so unique. It would be an ordinary knick knack if it wasn't for the strange indentation in the front (back?) I can't help but wonder what it's meant to hold.

Is this homemade, manufactured? It's hard to say. But I love the muted color of the tree trunk, the line design, and the mushrooms that are growing out of all corners of the log like remnants from a psychedelic hallucination.

What Do You Think This Item is?

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Vintage Thrift Store Mushrooms
It's about 8.5 inches long and 4.5 inches high.
Sitting on a small shelf.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thrift Store Halloween Costumes: Superheroes AND Alter Egos

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This Thrift Store Halloween Costume inspiration is from a cosplay group I witnessed at an anime con last weekend. Equal parts super hero and alter ego, it's really clever and easy (easier than the whole damn superhero outfit, naturally). Use a suit you already have or find one at the thrift store. Obtain a mask (often a mask and no costume at thrift stores) and voila, fun costume.

And if anyone asks "What're YOU supposed to be?" you can uppercut him Mortal Kombat style and say, "I'm Batman AND Bruce Wayne. My fists are registered weapons!"  then a roundhouse kick for the KO. Wow, I want to dress up as Batman for Halloween now...

By the way... I'll have Thrift Store Halloween Costumes featured here until the sorrowful end of October. I love Halloween! 

And... I'm still giving away vintage and homemade Halloween goodies. Enter for your chance to win.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thrift Share: Records, Books, and Bits

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Vintage Goods from the Thrift Store


Glasses, Records, Books, Vintage Things, Gifts for Friends...

This weekend my friend Fenna and hit up all of my favorite thrift stores in St. Augustine. I was highly selective and put many vintage pretties back, but still ended up with more than I intended...


Beautiful Wrapping Paper from the Thrift Store


I really like this clock and paisley wallpaper I found for .50 cents each. I might use them to line the back of shelves or other crafts. The clocks remind me of Alice in Wonderland somehow.


Colorful fall leaf wax candles


I've never bought candles or scented-type things from the thrift store but these soy ones smell amazing and the colors are very vibrant. I'm going to send some out to whoever wins my Vintage Halloween Giveaway


vintage 70s craft books and art


I tried and tried to resist both "The Creative Family Workshop" and the interesting colorful art plaque next to it. Then I found out the books were half off just bit the bullet. They were $1.50 each. The unique art was $2.00.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Giveaway: Thriftcore Vintage Halloween

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Halloween Giveaway


In honor of my favorite Holiday I'm giving away some fun Halloween arts, crafts, and vintage goodies.

Giveaway Prizes Include:

- Cute Halloween Owl Art
- Halloween Votives
- Halloween Ink Blot Art
- Cute vintage wooden Halloween Ornaments
- And some Surprise vintage goods!

Here's how you can enter:

- Leave a comment on this blog post (include an e-mail I can reach you at if you don't have a blog)

- You MUST complete the survey below, let me know you've completed it in the comments.

- You get an extra entry if you follow the thriftcore twitter account, just leave an additional comment once you've followed.

- I will use a random number generator and announce the winner on October 18, 2010

As nerdy as it is...

I genuinely love producing content every single day for this blog. But I'm not going to lie, it's a significant investment of my time. It might not  look like it, but a good post usually takes 1 to 5 hours to complete.

I spend a lot of time researching and marketing behind the scenes. I do it because I'm passionate about the subject and about making websites, but it's not easy.

I want to ensure I'm writing content you want to read. Otherwise, I'm wasting hours of my scant free-time for no reason.

Thank you for reading. This blog has become the website project I'm most passionate about, and exciting changes as well as valuable information and inspiration are always being worked on behind-the-scenes. Expect more giveaways, too!

Complete this Survey to Enter:

I would be grateful if you would let me know why you picked the answer you did in the comments! I want to craft content you want to read, content that will help you!






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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thriftcore's Thrifting Essentials Part I

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I approach thrifting like an archeologist excavation; you need the right tools to easily unearth treasure. Below are my basic thrifting essentials.


1. Notebooks and Pens: Have one notepad to keep your weekly thrift lists. Cross off each item you find and write the price next to it so you have a sexy tangible list of how much you've saved!  

2. Shopping Bag: Not all thrift stores have shopping carts of baskets. Keep a shopping bag in your car just in case.I use the beautifully designed recycled ones from Blueq.com.

3. Hand Lotion and Hand Sanitizer: It's handy to have hand sanitizer to clean dirt and dust until you access a sink. Hand Lotion is my essential because dust, dirty, and frequent washing saps moisture from your hands. Use a non-greasy formula or dust will stick to you!

 Successful Haul of Thrift Goods using my Thrifting Essentials (Details Here)

4. Measuring Tape: I NEVER leave the house without my rolled up bit of measuring tape. I'm always looking for frames, mat, and bits of furniture that have to be JUST the right size, so this is a vital tool.

5. Your Fancy Phones: Connect to the web and see if an item is valuable BEFORE you bring it home.

I never connect to the web via a phone. Call me old fashioned, but I like to take extended breaks from any internet usage. It's necessary because I work in internet marketing and use the internet ALL day every week day.

On to Part II: As thrifters we like to peek into the past and into other people's lives. We're part voyeur, admit it. Next time I'll give you an exclusive peek inside my bag of thrifty essentials and provide more detailed descriptions. If you have any particular questions about thrifting tools and goods you want answered in future posts, let me know!


What are YOUR Thrift Store and Junking Essentials? I'd really like to know, share your secrets!
 
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Easy Halloween Craft: Ink Blot Art

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Thrifted frames, scrap paper, and cheap acrylics. That's all you need to make some "Ink Blot Art" for Halloween. It's easy, you basically put paint on the page and fold the page in half to make a shape. You can use tools to manipulate the paint or ink and make new shapes and forms.

What do you see in these shapes?

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Japan-o-Files: Thrifting for Japanese Design

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It's obvious from past posts and my art style that I have a fascination with Japanese Design.

Vintage Japanese Lamp

My latest find from Japan is this beautiful lamp. Assembled in Japan, likely in the 1960s, it's filled with subtle details.

Vintage Japanese Lamp
The scene from Mt. Fuji is hand-painted on glass for the background. Soft light emanates from the etched glass of the sides. The light bulb sits within the screened section. In the center is a beautiful golden pagoda, and beside it, a chrysanthemum.

Vintage Japanese Lamp
The lamp really warms up the room. I added my thrifted 1975 Barry Ross Screen print of Japanese maidens in the garden and my small collection of kokeshi dolls to the mix for a bed-side Japanese still life.

Vintage Japanese Lamp
When I prowl thrift stores I instinctively zero-in on the object from Japan, it's like I have a built in homing devise. It might not look Japanese, but I'll examine the object and note the "Made in Japan" stamp or etching every time.

I've decided to periodically post on my Japanese finds. I can't be the only Japanophile thrifaholic out there! Who else collects Japanese designs from the thrift stores? What do you hunt for?

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Thrift Store Goodies

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This weekend we embarked on an aggressive Thrift Store Hunt for a chalk board. I didn't find one, but I didn't leave empty handed....

Halloween Tree Vintage Ornaments


I found a bag of small wooden Halloween ornaments for $1.45. They're perfect for my black Christmas tree (Halloween Tree?)

Halloween Tree Vintage Ornaments


The bag includes little ghosts, pumpkins, bats, and witches. Probably not true vintage like we crave, but still cute.

Retro Vintage 70s Owl Needlepoint Art


This large framed owl needlepoint piece came framed and it's in very good shape. I bought it to sell it but it's so lovely, I might keep it.

Retro Vintage 70s Mushroom Needlepoint Art


I'm also trying to decide if I will sell or make these charming needlepoint art pieces. I love the cozy home still lives and the retro mushroom art. I'll likely list them in my Etsy Shop.

I didn't find the object of my desires (chalk board) but that'll give me an excuse to get back to the thrift stores ASAP. Not like I need an excuse...

Retro Vintage 70s Mushroom Needlepoint Art


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Friday, October 1, 2010

Make Your Own Easy Halloween Votive

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Decoupaged votives are incredibly fun and easy to make. In a few minutes you reap the satisfaction of a completed craft. I have a more detailed tutorial on making decoupaged glass votives here.
You can use mason jars, old glasses, thrifted glasses, or votives from the dollar store. Simply rip pieces of tracing paper or tissue paper into strips and cut out your desired design. Glue your design to the glass, then glue the strips of translucent paper behind it. (I used Elmer's glue, but you should probably use modge podge).

You have the option to design beautiful silhouettes for your votive, or keep things simple and churn out a big group of them. You can make these so quickly that you'll have a big group of them to cast a comforting glow in your house in no time.

This post is linked to: Frugal Friday / Feature Yourself Friday / Finding Fabulous / Tidy Mom / Favorite Things Fridays / Flaunt it Friday / Fun to Craft
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