Thrifting List: Best Finds For Great Upcycled Christmas Decor
As I write this post, the holiday season has just passed.
We are all packing away our holiday decor. So this is a natural time for a large infusion of donations to thrift stores.
Most thrift stores do not have much storage space to inventory all they receive. So surprisingly this can be a great time to score some holiday finds for next year.
Plus this gives you plenty of time for makeovers and upcycling (two of my favorite kind of projects)!
My favorite local thrift store also has a huge blowout in July. The fully stock their “Seasonal Shop” with Christmas and run a 50% off sale all through July.
Plus estate sales and any version tag~garage~yard sales are great sources for many second hand finds in need of a new life. And we all know these happen virtually any time of year.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why should you treasure hunt for second hand?
Thrifting is great because:
- it’s eco-friendly #1 — saving items from the landfill
- it’s eco-friendly #2 — reducing how much is made in the first place
- it’s budget-friendly
- unique decor vs. mass-produced
- I love creating
- I love clear and creative ideas
List of Potentials For
Makeover, Upcycled Christmas Decorations
Christmas Village Houses —
Yes! These rather gaudy, dated Christmas village houses can be made over into beautiful sleek modern decor.
I chose the go with glossy white houses, adding some metallic green to wreaths, garlands and trees and then piling on some glittery snow.
But these same house can become more whimsical and charming.
If you are into the gingerbread craze, Jen with Midwest Life and Style used similar thrifted houses to create these incredibly charming gingerbread houses.
String Ornaments —
Remember these? String ornaments from the 50’s and 60’s.
I’ve passed by so many of these over the years, but when we were cleaning out my sweet mother-in-law’s house, I came across a whole load of these that I don’t remember ever seeing her use — I think they predated my entry into the family.
They were in pristine condition and I knew I could do something fun with them.
I just didn’t realize how simple it would be! Literally a bit of leftover chalk paint and 20 minutes later, I had ten upcycled Christmas ornaments.
Loved them so much I went back and did many more.
What a beautiful way to remember such a lovely lady. We even refer to them as Mago’s ornaments (her grandmother name).
Nativity Scene —
Nativity Sets come in all shapes, sizes and colors!!!
Some are so beautiful, and then . . . well, you know!
The old sets, or partial sets are typically readily available at most thrift stores and often at estate sales.
But look at what a little spray paint followed by a wash of basic crafting acrylic paint can do! Amazing transformation, right?
Sheet Music —
I bet you’ve seen wreaths made with vintage sheet music for years now.
But my friend Michele [Vintage Home Designs] used sheet music in her gift wrapping. Plus she used sheet music in her Christmas table displays.
HINT: I’ll be making a garland with sheet music (probably in July) so have some vintage sheet music on hand to join me.
Old light fixtures can be found everywhere — even on a neighborhood curb ????!
I picked up this pair, planning to repaint and add some gold detailing.
But once I paired then with reclaimed wood for lamp posts, I loved them in their current aged, faded shape.
TIP: Add battery operated puck lights for a great way to add light where you have no power. So easy and so budget-friendly!
Tomato Cage —
My upcycling bestie, Cindy [Reinvented Delaware] made a very simple tree for her front porch using an old tomato cage as her frame, clippings from her yard and fabric left from another project.
I loved her process of having the fragment of an idea, a rough vision and then making it happen.
Chicken Wire Frames or Doors —
How’s this for a touch of holiday magic?!!!
Sometimes simplicity is the best!
Yes, it’s another of Cindy’s holiday upcycle ideas. So simple, she hasn’t even done a post about these doors, but they are featured in this post along with several other fun ideas.
Excuse this quick pause: Are you enjoying these ideas? Please consider joining this creativre community by subscribing here:
Thanks bunches! Now back to your Thrifting Look For List–
Reclaimed Wood, Spindles and Fence Pickets —
Great for making stars, snowflakes, signs, Christmas houses, Christmas trees and more.
I made this sign from some reclaimed wood that someone else was throwing out.
Vintage Silver Trays or Ironstone–
How about these trees created by Michele of Vintage Home Designs. Yes Michele’s vision knows no boundaries. From sheet music to ironstone to silver!
Both are awesome examples of creating Christmas decor with things you already own or collect.
Similar concept, but this time Cindy [County Road 407] made a wreath with her collection of platters and trays. You could do this with transferware saucers and dessert plates too.
Of course, there are innumerable options for making holiday ornaments, decor, and sweet remembrances as the holiday season approaches.
Pinterest is a great source for Christmas crafts using everyday items such as fabric scraps, glass jars, tin cans, mason jar lids, toilet paper rolls, wine corks combined with crafting mainstays of a hot glue gun, paint pens, pipe cleaners and such. I have curated a board of budget-friendly Christmas crafts that I consider very doable and a bit elevated in taste while still be very inexpensive!
And here’s a curated board of kid-friendly crafts. Be sure to follow these boards as I will be adding to them.
Be sure to pin this to your thrifting or upcycle or Christmas boards to keep it handy:
I hope this post has inspired you! I hope when you stop at an Estate sale or drop into a thrift store you give interesting things a second look. You try to imagine it in a new light.
Don’t hesitate to share something I overlooked. It’s so much fun to support and encourage each other. If you see something and want another set of ideas, send me a picture, maybe together we can come up with a fresh idea that fits your family and your home.