Tag Archives: Thrift Store

Thrift Store Gems

We’ve been thrifting a lot, as usual. It just works out so well to get books and toys used and then pass them on when Jax outgrows them. We’ve also been getting a great deal of wall frames and decor items for Jax’s big boy room makeover. I’ll be featuring a lot of projects from that room as I get closer to completion.

I’m really bummer that our beloved children’s thrift store is now closed. They moved some of the things they were selling in to two tiny rooms of the regular thrift store. It won’t be the same, though. There just isn’t room to have the same stock.

Today was the first day of the official change, so we swung by the store to check it out. The main room was SO STUFFED with clothes racks now that Jax freaked out and needed me to carry him. I found a pair of 3T Children’s Place jeans for him to grow into. In the two kids rooms there was mostly books at this point. I let Jax pick out a $0.50 train toy while I went through them.

I’m in the process of switching Jax’s library over from baby board books to hardback story books. He finally understands not to rip the paper pages and will hold still and listen while I read to him.

Here is what I got today: Tabu and the Dancing Elephants, The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle), Giraffes Can’t Dance, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Press Here and two board books he was interested in, Dinos To Go : 7 Nifty Dinosaurs in 1 Swell Book and Curious George’s Are You Curious?.

Looking forward to all the new stories to read together!

Here are some more recent thrift store finds…

Thrift Store Gems

Sometimes I visit the thrift stores because I haven’t been there in a while, and other times I feel compelled to. The latter is when I tend to find my best deals!

Yesterday I was compelled to visit all three of the thrift store in the area. They are all run by the same charity: a children’s goods store, a clothes and housewares store with an outdoor kid’s area and their newest all-around store that has furniture. That new store is difficult to visit with Jax because it has breakables everywhere and a toy section with signs saying not to touch (the opposite of the rules at the kids’ store.) I was ready for it, though, with Jax in the stroller with my phone and a bag of crackers.

I go turbo speed through thrift stores with Jax. He isn’t very patient when he isn’t allowed to “help” and touch. But 5 minutes is plenty when you aren’t looking through the clothing racks. I was lucky I’d chose yesterday to visit – they were having a 50% off sale on all furniture that had been there over a week (they date the price tags.) Unlike last visit, they had wooden chairs! I had two choices: there were 2 ladder-back chairs for $9.75 each that just barely made the week cut-off and a lonely Windsor fan-back, brace-back chair for $4 (it has paint stains) that was a couple weeks old. I chose the Windsor due to price ($2!!), comfort and not wanting to break up a matched pair. My grand total at that store was $4 for the chair and a wall hook thing to paint for Jax’s big boy room.

Next stop was the kids store. I normally love it, but it was an hour later than I normally go (and summer), so it was packed with moms and kids. Jax immediately started misbehaving from over-stimulation. I looked super-quickly, bought him 2 dvds for $4 total, then carried him screaming (him, not me) back to the car. Ugh!

I almost skipped the last stop, but it was only a block away and I’ve been on the hunt for some large kid items (a push trike and a wooden table). They put their kid items outside by the donation drop off at that location. It is mostly plastic ride-ons and kitchens, a million sit and spins and other plastic flotsam. But, I’ve found a great wooden fridge there, and I’ve seen tables in the past.

When we got there, I wasn’t impressed. Everything was dirty, broken plastic. But I let Jax explore the heap for a while. A woman pulled up in her minivan while he was playing and handed two Radio Flyer trikes to the donation volunteer. He walked them right over to the toy pile while she drove away. They were both pretty much perfect – just lacking the push handles for the back! I figured if it cost less than $10 I’d get it, as I know Radio Flyer is good about stocking replacement parts.

Jackson’s “Bi-cuh-sill-lull”

We carried it inside and before I could even ask the price, They said, “$3!” Say what?! Sold! Jax sat on it ringing the bell as I paid. He had fun riding it with his daddy later that evening but he gets a little frustrated after a while. His legs need to be one inch longer to really make it easy to pedal all the way around. It is super squeaky and needs an oiling. We are looking into the parts needed to add the handle on. Even if it is $20, it is still cheaper than the original $70 price!

I need your help!

I’ve chosen the wall color and fabric for my craft room. The fabric will be on a bulletin board and I’m purchasing a yellow and white ironing board cover from Etsy. But what color should the chair be? Yellow or coral? Thanks to all who have given opinions already on Facebook! It’s such a hard decision! You can’t go wrong with a creamy, buttery yellow, but the chair was only $2 – why not go bold and bright with coral?

$2 thrifted chair – paint it yellow or paint it coral?

A quick note: I’m also working hard on my next quiet book page! It has a lot of details, so it is taking a while. Stop by the Facebook page if you’d like to see regular updates. I post photos nearly every day. I also post them to Instagram (username “iolstephanie”).

Thrift Store Gems

I don’t usually go to the regular thrift store. We have better luck finding things at the kids’ thrift store. The regular store has so many breakables, and Jax does not like being contained while we shop anymore. So, I usually only go there when there is a specific house item I need.

This morning my thrift store “spidey sense” was going off in a big way. I told Jax we were going to the “toy store” (kids’ thrift store) after a quick stop at the regular one. I brought the Beco carrier and asked if he’d like to be carried in it so he could drink the orange juice I brought and he agreed.

We pulled up to the thrift store and were greeted by a huge heap of large children’s toys outside by the donation drop off area. I wasn’t sure if it was just a staging area or if everything was for sale. Some things were priced, but others were not. My eye was drawn straight to a pink wooden fridge. Yes, yes, yes! Ever since I got Jax his little kitchen and gave it a makeover, I’ve been hoping a wooden fridge would show up. It was packed tightly behind a air hockey table so I could only open the freezer. It had water damage like the other kitchen and a missing handle. (I realized the water damage is from the thrift store, not the previous owners. I’d thought it odd a wood kitchen had gotten wet, but it seems they leave them outside int he rain and just close the complex gate at night.) I was able to tell that both doors had working magnet closures and it sounded like there was a shelf rattling around in the bottom. It had a nice curve to the top of it that would help it match his stove.

Jax was starting to freak out a bit after about 2 minutes of me looking it over (he wanted to get down and play) so I quickly went in and did a sweep of the store. I found two scarves for me for $2 each. I took them up to the register before Jax totally melted down and asked if the fridge was for sale. They gave me a price of $10, which is the most I would have paid, and I bought it. I’m afraid I broke a set that included a broken sink and a stove, but oh well!


I’m pretty sure I’ll be painting it red with silver handles. I need to make a new handle for the bottom door. I’ll probably also get some shelves cut out of MDF at the hardware store like the two I added to the stove. The super thin shelf that is barely resting on some tiny dowels right now is worthless. So far I’ve just scrubbed it down and disinfected it.


We headed over to the kids’ store next where Jax is allowed to explore and play. They allow that there, as long as you clean up afterwards. I found him a toy cash register that is basically a huge solar powered calculator. It has some laminated play money in it, but no coins. It is by Battat toys and Parent’s magazine and is no longer sold. It was $2.75. For $0.75 more, I got a wooden fire engine puzzle to put with Jax’s other wooden puzzles in his room.

I’ve done other little thrift trips in the time since I’ve last posted about it. Ive included photos of what we’ve found.

Thrift Store Gems

We made our weekly trip to the kids’ thrift store today. I was a little nervous because yesterday Jax had 6 tantrums in 20 minutes at the mall (and would have had more if we hadn’t left!) And, I had gone there for him to show him a kids’ concert! Ugh. Thankfully, he was a total angel today.

There were massive piles of books this week and they wanted you to pick 10 for $1. It was a little overwhelming to go through them all, but we chose them together until we got to 10. (And took 10 old, baby level books out of his stash to donate once we got home.)

We got: Animals (Brainy Baby), Animals (Brainy Baby), The Pigeon Loves Things That Go!, Spot Goes to School and Gallop!.

We got three Sandra Boynton books: Blue Hat, Green Hat, Barnyard Dance! and Let’s Dance, Little Pookie.

The last two appealed to the graphic designer in me: Animals and Fillmore And Geary Take Off! The Adventures of a Robot Boy and a Boy Boy. That one is a bit advanced and has paper pages, but I loved the illustrations.


I found two shirts for the summer – orange stripes and a cute retro ice cream design. I found shoes for the beach in his current size. Last year we bought them larger and they wouldn’t stay on. For $1.75, it’s okay if he grows out of them quickly! My favorite find is a pair of mint condition DC skater sneakers! They are a size up and so cute.

The final item was $1.75 and was Jax’s treat for being so good in the store. Since he has been studying the alphabet so much, he has come to love the word xylophone. He keeps asking to watch the xylophone Curious George episode on Net Flix. He was very excited to get this tiger one. It isn’t the greatest, but has more notes than his old baby one and you can use it as a piano too.

We stuck our heads into the adult thrift store, but nothing caught my eye.

Find any gems lately?

Thrift Store Gems

We hadn’t gone to the kids’ thrift store in a while. The last time we went was right after the holidays and Jax had a bit of a tantrum when I wouldn’t let him carry a mirror around. I wanted to go once before his birthday, though, so we risked it today. Luckily, Jax was super well behaved!

My main goal was warm clothes. Jax has had a big growth spurt and has grown out of his 18m gear. For about $8, here is what I got in size 2t:

A cute Carter’s rock t-shirt, 2 long sleeve thermal tops (one in dark blue to wear under the tee), a Baby Gap sweater and a pair of Baby Gap cargo pants. The pants have soft faux-suede on the pockets.

They were having a 10 for $1 book sale, but we really don’t have room for 10 more books! I’ll be getting rid of all his little baby books this spring in a yard sale as it is. I did see two I liked, though. Planes board book and Who Do You Love? touch and feel book.

I was excited to see the tool caddy. Jax loves the tool bench he got for Christmas, but I’m not a fan of the nails and bolts not having a proper home. For $2.75 I got a great wooden caddy to store them all, with a few bonus tools and building pieces.

This final item was just one of those steals I couldn’t pass up because it was unique, wooden, a great price and all the parts were there! It is the Battat Safari Animal Bus The bus rolls, has a lid that comes off and comes with wooden animal shapes for each letter of the alphabet. We got it for $5.75.

I can see Jax giving toys a ride in the bus and playing with the animals in his barn. The first thing he did was let several of the animals slide down his playroom slide saying, “wheeee!” Hehe.

And here is a bonus photo to show a little update we made to the playroom. The dollar store sells teaching supplies, and we came across these great educational posters sold in 2 packs. I love the colors and Jax loves pointing to everything he knows on them.

I was hoping to find some alphabet magnets at the thrift store to go on that little magnet chalkboard I just hung. It used to be in the kitchen of our old house and was impossible to write on. I just gave it a good coat of chalkboard spray and now it works great. I think that will be a good spot for us to practice our letters and numbers.

Thrift Store Gems

Sometimes I think I have some sort of thrift store “spidey sense” because I get the sudden urge to go look for something and I find it. Like the kitchen or dollhouse I found for Jax.

Today I woke up with the urge to go to the regular thrift store (I usually visit the kid one) to look for trays and plates for Jax’s birthday party. I am doing a Japanese theme because he LOVES sushi. But I didn’t have any trays or square/rectangular plates to use to serve the sushi cupcakes I plan to make, and my budget is super small.

So, starting with the non-party finds… We found a blank canvas for a couple dollars that Jax can paint for his grandpa’s new condo. We had to stop doing his monthly paintings while the weather is too cold to be stripped down outside. I got a brass lock for the treasure chest quiet book page and a solid wood “J” that is normally $13.

This green bamboo placement was all alone but only 25 cents. It could be good for the party set up. The gorgeous green plate was only $1.75 and could be used for sushi or snacks.

The little Japanese box was one of the first things I saw when I walked in the door. I opened it up and wasn’t sure if it was wax or ink/paint, but at the very least, I loved the box. Everything was perfect and unused, and it was $2.75. I figured I could look up what it was for.

When I checked out, the cashier was excited I chose it. It had just arrived the day before and he told me that the sticks were rubbed on the stone and mixed with water to make ink “like in Japanese movies.” So it looks like I’m the proud owner of some sumi ink sticks and an inkstone!

This final find was just meant to be. I went to the thrift store hoping to find trays I could spray paint black or cover somehow, and they had a Japanese lacquer tray set waving to me from the top shelf. They were $6.75 for all three. Perfect!

Now I just need to fold a zillion origami cranes before his birthday weekend when I’ll string them and paint a bunch of paper lanterns to hang!

Thrift Store Gems

This week’s thrift store gems were mostly books, but I did get a cute olive green flannel for Jax.

For $6.25 we got: the shirt, Waddle! (which is super neat because the pictures move on each page), Goodnight Moon 123 Board Book: A Counting Book (Jax loves the balloon page), Who Am I? In the Dark (which is out of print), Counting (Touch, Look and Learn!) and All Asleep.

Here’s an update on the dollhouse I bought recently from a thrifting trip. It’s barn makeover is underway! I have a couple layers of paint down in most places. The wood is very thirsty so it will need more. I turned the upper floor into a hay loft with real hay I mixed with Mod Podge and then varnished with a clear coat. Once I am done all the painting, I’ll clear coat the whole thing. I’m thinking of sewing a play mat to look like the farm to go under the barn.

Thrift Store Gems

Radio Flyer Scoot 'n Zoom for $7.50

Sometimes it seems like I get an idea in my head for Jax and decide to keep an eye out at the thrift store for what I’d need to accomplish it, only to find it on my very next visit! It happened with the play kitchen and now with a dollhouse.

A dollhouse for boys, you ask?? Why not! My crafty mom was huge into dollhouses and miniatures, making both from scratch. I may have a boy, but I think there are ways to incorporate a dollhouse into his imaginative play time.

We pulled up to the thrift store and I spotted this unfinished wood beauty from the window. I was sold when I saw the $9.25 price tag! This is a $80 Melissa & Doug wooden dollhouse, though it is sold with furniture! I’d originally planned to make him a fire station dollhouse, but the shape of this one lends itself well to becoming a barn. The front door and balcony come off to reveal sliding barn doors. It may not even need those pieces in the end if I do a barn.

Jax keeps saying “House! House!” I really think this would look cute as a red and white barn with faux straw floors and wood beam walls inside. It’s in perfect condition, minus a red paint stain. What do you think?

I think I may hide this away and make it all special and barn-like to put under the Christmas tree for Jax. Maybe with this animal set. There are a lot of cute wooden farm toys that I can add to Jax’s Wish List

These Melissa & Doug Stacking Emergency Vehicles were being sold for $2.50 each, though they were originally a set. I like that they are all wood (except the wheels). Jax is getting into vehicles now, so these stacking puzzles will be fun. So far he is calling them all “Choo choos”. The only other vehicle name he says is “Bus”.

We also got the scooter at the top of the post. He has had a Mickey Mouse car since his first birthday but it is SO LOUD it is driving me a little crazy. There is no volume switch! At the time we got it, all the buttons and lights were more interesting than the actual car to him. Now he is more interested in go, go, going! So this one is perfect both for Jax and mama’s poor ears. And it rolls great outside, which the other one didn’t.

I didn’t look at the books this time. We will be going through ours to see if there are any Jax has grown out of that we can to donate to the library soon.

Thrift Store Gems

My main goal at the thrift store this week was to find a stuffed animal with black fur to cut up and use on Jax’s Halloween costume. Best I found was black crushed velvet, which is just not furry enough. However, I did find a lime green tee shirt perfect for wearing under his costume coat!

Jax had a full-blown toddler tantrum as we checked out because I wouldn’t let him put toy cars into a box for a karaoke machine toy. Sorry, little dude. We paid and went outside to take some deep breaths in the fresh air. It’s just *so* hard to be a toddler!

Here’s what we got for $7.50:

The green tee shirt I mentioned will save me money I was going to spend at the mall on something for under his costume. If I have time (hah!), I could decorate it. A rock ‘n roll motorcycle raglan tee. It has two small, faint green stains but I decided I didn’t mind. Kids get messy. A plaid button-down with drums and flames screen print. They had some Baby Gap jeans there, but they we skinny jeans. I held them up to Jax and just couldn’t go there!

This coat by Little Rebels was only $2.50 because it was on the Halloween costume rack. I think it’s super cute. Probably too big at this point, but we can try it on later with the baby stops wearing his crankypants.


I didn’t have long in the book section before Jax went all nuclear meltdown on me, but I found two good ones. What’s in Space? has tabs you can pull up. And a Melissa & Doug wooden book with wheels called Push and Go Cars and Trucks. Seems like that one isn’t available anymore.

I also bought two tiny metal cars to use in Jax’s quiet book on a future car/city/road page. They had two big bins of all sorts of Matchbox-style cars, but I just loved these smaller, vintage-looking ones. It’s nice that they have no windows so I can tie them to the book with a string. They are so much more timeless then the cars with all the branding and cheesy decals (though I probably wouldn’t turn down flames on the side of my car, hah!)

Find any thrift store gems lately? Please share!

Thrift Store Gems

We found some good stuff this week at the thrift store for $11.41 total!

I always check the shelf with all the soft books and rattles. You can find factory-made fabric books there and cut them up to use the rattles and mirrors. This time I found two not-so-quiet books that have a lot of flaps and Velcro, and every page has a button to play a sound. One book is about animals and the other is a baby’s day. Jax was cracking up in the car over the sounds but was completely uninterested in holding or playing with the books. Very different from my quiet book pages, which he throws a complete sobfest fit if I take them away from him. So do I leave the books as is, or cut them up and sew all the sound buttons into a fun page with pictures/sounds? (The page would be removable for times when the quiet book needs to be very quiet.

What do you guys think?

We also found a Sandra Boynton (she’s a big deal around our house!) Bath Time! book. I’m thinking of packing this up to take on our trip next month, maybe with a couple new bath squirters.

In the regular book section we did well. Books are sold for 90% off the cover price. We already have a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but it is one of Jax’s all-time favorites. This copy was in mint condition and only $0.99, so I couldn’t pass it up. One copy can now stay down in the playroom. We found another Sandra Boynton: A to Z. Also, Carry-Me – Farm Animals and Feelings : A Baby and Blue Book.

Clothes are always hit or miss. Many times, someone arrives just before we do and grabs everything of the exact size/gender we need! That is thrift shopping for you… But, we did good today. Some Koala Baby jeans, a Carters surfer dude tee and a Gymboree go green tee. All that green will look great with a hoodie and Jax’s green sneakers!

What do you think of the sound books? Should I cut them up or leave them alone?

Thrift Store Gems

After a couple weeks of the kids thrift store being closed, we finally were able to get back into our Monday routine and pay a visit after Starbucks!

Jax loves going because he is allowed to be down on his own two feet exploring instead of strapped into the baby carrier or held back. The shopkeeper doesn’t mind him playing wit the toys and nothing is breakable. (Everything is cheap even if he did break or tear something.) I use the thrift store as a place to practice shopping with Jax. He is getting very good at putting things back if I ask. I’ve even started letting him help at the grocery store after all the practice!

There weren’t many clothes in his size today, but we found toys and books. Because I got some toys, I put together a big box of too-young toys for Jax to give away as soon as we got home. When something “new” comes in, something old goes out!

Here’s what we got for $14:

Books: The Laughing Dragon (This book is gorgeous and out of print. A great find!), Baby Faces (Also out of print, this gets great reviews. It shows different emotions.), Way Out in the Desert (I’m putting this one in our bedtime book basket.), Baby Says Peekaboo! (Jax loves books with peekaboo flaps!) and Ten Apples Up on Top! (I handed this to Jax to look at on the drive home and he said “App-Pull! App-Pull!”).


Toys: Little Tikes Wee Waffle Blocks ‘N Bucket (I hadn’t seen this before. I normally avoid sets of plastic blocks, but I like that these are advanced for Jax and will help with his motor skills. For $3.75 they are worth a try! We have a Circo (Target) train like this  Melissa & Doug Stacking Train set with 2 cars that Jax loves. It is his bedroom toy for while I am showering. He has mastered his little train, so I put the one other bedroom toy (a shape sorter he has outgrown) in the donate box and added this train set to his basket.

Clothes: Just a button down I will layer over a thermal. Anything green to match his shoes is good!