Weekends mean waking up a little early, enjoying my quick cup o’ joe, throwing on comfortable clothes and then dashing out the door. Why? Because I have a list of estate and/or yard sales to hit in search of my next treasure.
Call it an addiction if you will but it absolutely gives me a high. Pulling up to the house, seeing all of those cars and people walking out, purchases in hand, the excitement begins to build. What will I find in there? What will I have to pounce on before someone else does? All of these answers are about to unfold.
For those of you who may not know, or those of you who are new to the game, yard sales and estate sales offer an enormous amount of opportunity for the thrifty shopper, the repurposer, like myself, or the person looking for that one-of-a-kind conversation piece with a history to be told. Yard sales are held by all types of people (young/old, city dwellers/suburbanites, families/singles) either moving or looking to rid of unwanted clutter in their home. Yard sales range in size as well. They can be very small or they can be multi-family sales, meaning a lot more variety. The homeowner is usually the person conducting the sale. An estate sale is different in that it usually means the homeowner has passed or possibly, the family for one reason or another is leaving the home and it’s contents behind and moving on. Therefore, in any case, the entire contents of the home are for sale by a third party. Because often times the contents are antiques or things collected over the years, prices are slightly higher than yard sales. However, there are still deals to be had and ways in which you can maximize your dollar, which I will cover in future posts, so stay tuned.
If the idea of shopping yard/estate sales interests you but you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought, I will be sharing my tips of the hunt, one by one. Because I’m also driven to these sales by my love of repurposing and reclaiming beautiful pieces, I will also be sharing DIY ideas for items I come across in my search.
TIP #1: MAKE A LIST – If you have specific items you are looking for, be it, décor, furniture, household items, vintage clothing & accessories, etc., make a list. Keep a running list too if that helps so that you always have a tally of the items you’ve found and the ones you have yet to find. Also, do your research. Know what the going rate is for each item on your list so you’re ready when you spot a good deal. And remember, buying secondhand is usually cheaper than buying new, unless of course you’re buying a valuable antique. A good thing to note, the more sales you visit, the greater your understanding of the value of each piece, as many sales have similar items.
On that note, here is one item that I find most often at estate sales. There are a multitude of ways in which to repurpose these little sewn gems.
Doilies are so grandma chic, giving them so much repurposing potential.
Check out these ideas from Country Living, with instructions on how to achieve the look.
Doily Lamp Shade
How To: Using only the frame of the lamp, drape doilies from top of frame and pin them together as you work your way down. Once you have the look you want, remove the doily skirt from the frame, machine stitch together, while removing the pins as you go. Place back over frame and hand sew the top over and to the frame itself.
Doily Cushion & Draperies
How To: Since some doilies are so beautiful on their own, find a unique way to display them like you see here. Hand stitch your favorites to pillows and cushions or, use doilies of various sizes and similar color tones and stitch them to the hemline of drapes for a custom vintage look. Another idea would be to do something similar to shower curtains or table cloths. That brings me to the next idea…
Doily Table Runner
How To: Place doilies in a pleasing pattern, a little longer than the length of your table and hand stitch together.
Doily Flower Vase
How To: Tightly wrap doily completely around vase. Cut away any excess. Hand stitch in place. Hint: Larger doilies with more open areas or negative space are better suited for this as they allow more light in and keep that airy feel.
Doilies are also great for clothing and accessories, as Etsy seller, BowerBirdInc. has done.
Doily Purse by Etsy Seller "BowerBirdInc."
Or this one by ZiBagz.
Doily Purse by Etsy seller, "ZiBagz."
How To: Place doily on purse, clutch or article of clothing. Cut away any excess, then hand stitch in place. Make sure that it’s secure enough for normal wear and tear.
And finally, doilies are a great way to add interest to your walls or space at a fraction of the cost of artwork, as seen here.
Framed Doily Art by Etsy seller, "The Urban Thimble."
Or, this free form doily art idea from an image on Flickr, using doilies and colored push pins.
Free Form Doily Wall Art
One more doily art idea I found at Tatertots & Jello blog, with a tutorial, using canvas or plywood, scrapbook paper, a little mod podge and colored doilies.
Doily Art on Plywood & Scrapbook Paper
Again, the possibilities of doily uses are endless. I’m sure I’ll have more to add at a later date as I come across other great ideas so make sure to check back. If you have any thoughts or ideas of your own, please feel free to share.