Guest blog: The Craft of Thrift

The Craft of Thrift

originally published on Tag Sale Tales

One of the best things about thrift stores can be the forgotten corners full of too much stuff that no one on staff feels like straightening out, or hasn’t had time to look into. You know these parts of the store, and they probably give you a little electric jump when you approach them!

I often find that the craft and sewing sections tend to be full of treasures that aren’t marked with prices, or are displayed in huge lots. This can be a golden ticket for the crafty thrifter who is looking to strike a deal. Oftentimes you can scoop up a bargain by buying in bulk. For instance, if they are selling something by yardage, but you’d like to take the entire reel, you can often get a break in price.

Whenever my local thrift shop has their seasonal “bag sale” event (everything you can fit in a plain brown shopping bag for $6), I head straight to the craft section, and take advantage of all the unwanted knitting needles, lace trim, and fabric I can get my hands on. I don’t think that I would be able to continue crafting if I were paying full prices for all of my materials and equipment, and I encourage you to seek out a thrift shop for the same reasons if you want to try something new, but can’t afford new materials. The best part is that if and when you abandon a project for good, you’ve only lost a dollar or two in the process.

Here are some of my favorite finds in the craft section of the thrift store:

Knitting needles in all shapes and sizes.
Jewelry and Findings.

Craft Encyclopedias and How-To Magazines.

Vintage Fabric.

Vintage housewares to try and emulate.

Other things I can think of to look for include:

    • Sewing Notions.


    • Handbags that have clasps or zippers you can repurpose.


    • Clothing that you can rip apart and use for other projects.


    • Organization bins, or shelving.


    • Old cameras, frames, and photo equipment like tripods or camera bags.


    • Board games with interesting pieces.


    • Fabric jewelry boxes that you can customize.


  • Zippers, snaps, and buttons either on display or taken from clothing out on the racks.

My ultimate find would be to get a working, adjustable dress form very cheaply someday. I am always on the lookout for one! What are some of your favorite crafty things to look for when you thrift?

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