Let Mr. Kate Be Your Thrift Store Guide

Thrift shopping takes patience, persistence and often, a creative eye. Sometimes what you see isn’t necessarily what you’ll get as an end result. For example, a beat up picture frame might look like a piece of junk at first glance, but with some care and restoration it could end up becoming a work of art itself. The same goes for clothing. I was advised to pay attention to prints and patterns more than shape and size because a great tailor can turn almost anything into a perfect fit. 

As much as I love looking for treasures, I’m no expert when it comes to seeking out a diamond in the rough. Luckily Mr. Kate, an expert in all things thrift, is giving us some of her best advice when it comes to shopping in thrift stores. And in honor of it being National Thrift Day, Kate threw in one of my favorite DIY projects featuring painted patterned mugs!

I’ll let Mr. Kate take it from here. Happy thrifting!


Mr. Kate’s 3 Expert Tips on Thrifting:

1. Get Funky With Kitchen Items
Shop home items like glassware, vintage silver trays and mugs. Mix and match clear glasses for that bohemian chic effect and you can unify a set of mismatched mugs with some fun hand painted patterns using a sharpie or porcelain pen like in this DIY. Display a stack of mugs on a thrifted tray and everyone will be shocked that they were a thrift store find!



2. Make Your Own Art
Jules, you know what you’re talking about! Frames are one of my favorite things to get at thrift stores. Look for brass or ornate wood frames that would otherwise cost way more at a frame store. Sometimes there is awesome art inside those frames but more likely you’ll want to cut open the frame in the back (but leave the matte!) and replace with your own awesome art or photo print. You can just tape up the back of the frame again with some masking tape and no one will be the wiser. Arrange a batch of thrifted frames like these as a collage wall and you’ll be super proud of your decorating skills and thrifty-ness.

3. Use Your Imagination
For clothing it’s true that you can find some amazing patterns and fabrics that can be tailored to fit in a more contemporary way. I like to seek out thrift store silk blouses and scarves. Sometimes there are shoulder pads in the blouses which I take out, so they fit cute and loose and then wear them tucked into heigh waisted jeans or with a cute skirt and a jean jacket over. The scarves are great to jazz up old purses or a plain blazer, just tie one around the purse strap or tuck one into your blazer pocket and you’ll instantly feel more stylish.

** Bonus Tip **
Want to spruce up the shelves in your place? Look for little figurines at the thrift store like animals or fruit that are often way too granny-chic and get passed up by everyone. But if you clean them off and give them a quick coat of spray paint in a glossy white or a fun pop of color, it’s all of a sudden something you’d see at CB2, for like, $40! Boy!

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