Thrifters Treasures: Crafting Supplies to Look for at the Thrift Store First

 You can also find cat twins or unicorns at your local thrift store as well.

You can also find cat twins or unicorns at your local thrift store as well.

It can be expensive stocking up your crafting supplies.  Even with the affordable and helpful source that Amazon is, it can be pricey.  DIY gives the idea of being budget-friendly, but it’s more like a money swallowing monster hobby.  There are some focused economic maneuvers to help ease the pressure on your bank account, however.  Sales and coupons always help when trying to curb your spending but there are some things I always find without fail at the Salvation Army right down the street.  I am not saying you will always see what you are looking for when it comes to thrift stores (they call it bargain HUNTING for a reason) but when I reach a place where I know I need to stock up on certain things, I usually hit my favorite thrift stores first because time after time, they have everything I am looking for. If you are looking for ways to stock up your crafting supplies without breaking the bank, check out your local Goodwill on your way to Michaels to see what you can find.  Here are a few of the items I find at the thrift store, time and time again. 

Embroidery Hoops

I love heading the thrift store to look for embroidery hoops because not only do they typically have them, it’s not unusual to find some cool vintage ones in strange shapes.  They usually are incredibly affordable (how does 99 cents sound?) as well which makes doing wall hangings feel less like an expense burden.  


THERE IS ALWAYS YARN AT THE THRIFT STORE!  Not crappy yarn (well yea, there is crappy yarn) but also really good yarn! I can only assume that people invest in all this beautiful yarn to realize how fucking hard it is to crochet or knit anything besides a scarf and rather than going back to college to get their masters in engineering to make that amazing mermaid blanket they saw on Pinterest they just decided to donate the yarn and write it off at the end of the year on their taxes.  

Garden Pots

I know we are all into houseplants right now but am I the only one who thinks these pots are crazy expensive??  If you think I'm going to pay $87.93 for a planter that looks like a forehead, then you have confused me with Gaggles McForehead, the worlds foremost forehead lover who was left her fathers fortune which was made from hemorrhoid creme (because I’ve never heard of forehead cream.)  Since I'm not Gaggles McForehead, I turn to the thrift stores to look for fun and funky pots which I have had excellent luck finding at affordable prices.

Mirrors and Frames

Frames and mirrors can be tough to spend full price on, especially when you are just planning on painting the frame part with chalkboard paint.  Rather than paying an arm and a leg on a perfect, brand new mirror, just check out the framing section in your favorite thrift store.  There are usually overflowing piles of old paintings and pictures and mirrors just ripe for the picking and upcycling without breaking the bank.


Not to eat with (although you probably could) but melting wax for art projects!  I don't know about you, but I don't want to mix my crafting supplies with my cooking.  I can't imagine throwing a bunch of beeswax into my crockpot I cook with for some craft time, so it makes all the sense in the world to me to go check out the crockpots at the thrift store which are usually cheap being that they are most likely used.  If you can check and see if it works then that is great but know you are running the risk of getting an item that might not work.  Don’t be afraid to ask if the thrift store you frequent has an exchange policy in case it doesn’t work either!  Even though most thrift stores don’t offer returns, it never hurts to ask.


Baskets are fun for painting, using to wrap gifts, storing things and more!  I have turned baskets into pet beds, centerpieces, workout stations and dirty clothes hampers.  They make life more comfortable and fashionable but if you were to go to a big box be prepared to spend upwards of twenty dollars for just one basket.  Most of the time when I visit the overpopulated basket section at my favorite thrift store, the prices range from $1 to $10, and it isn’t hard to find a beautiful one in perfect shape.  People don’t hold on to their baskets like the used to I guess, but one mans trash is another woman's basket. 


Not just scarves but souvenir scarves which are GREAT for decor upcycling.  I have been so lucky to find some cool map scarves and very arty pieces that make great wall hangings, pillows and more.  Scarves are a great way to inject small bits of color into your wardrobe or home, and if you check out the thrift store, the prices are hard to beat.  


Destash is all the little-broken pieces of anything that you can glue to whatever you want.  Frames, scrapbooks, headbands you name it.  I like to find jewelry destash which is pretty easy because you can typically find giant baggies of broken jewelry for 


I am notorious for going to the thrift store looking for shirts and blankets that I like the feel, color or patterns of to upcycle them into craft pieces.  I have used plenty of fabric finds at the thrift store that I have taken home and used for canvas for painting, fabric for cat toys, etc.  Not that I am afraid of going to Joann’s!   I also like to go to the curtain and blanket section to look for fabric because there are usually a few yards of actual fabric tossed in there that have been mistaken for finished pieces! It can just be fun and inspirational to look through the piles of fabric and pull something out that you know you can turn into a beautiful, useful piece again.