Yard Sales and Thrifted Things

Yard sailing. One of my favorite summer activities. Before I get into this post, I’d like to discuss the spelling of yard sailing. This word drives me banana sandwich. I’m a bit of a grammar stickler, and I realize that it probably should be spelled yard saling, but that looks incredibly broken to me. However as my mum pointed out, yard sailing would be riding around in your yard on a sailboat. Which actually sounds like quite a good time, so I will continue to use my wrong (but better looking) spelling. Moving on!

Some of my favorite memories with my grandparents are going yard sailing when I was little. Saturday morning would roll around, me and my mum would pack into my grandparents car with them at the crack of dawn, and we’d truck around different towns hitting up sales.
Now, my Grampa is not your average yard saler (Oh geez, now do I go with saler or sailor??? My grammar OCD is freaking out right now, BAH!) He is what I call a professional yard sailor (saler???). By which I mean on Friday, he gets every newspaper from the surrounding towns, and marks down every yard sale. Then, he organizes that list by what time the yard sales start, and where they are so we can maximize our time by going to them in driving order. Yeah, he’s pro.

As an adult, I still love to yard sale. I still get up to go with my grandparents on Saturday mornings. More often than not, I come home with nothing. But occasionally you’ll find that one perfect thing! Lately, my things have centered around my daughter. I love getting toys at yard sales. She outgrow toys and games so fast that I just find it wasteful to constantly buy her brand new toys all the time. And I’ve never met a little kid who cared whether or not a toy was ‘new’ or not, as long as it’s new to them. Here are some of the sweet finds I’ve found (this year and last) for my little miss.

Storage bin: $4

Second storage system: $2
This was originally marked at $4 but it was missing bins, and I asked her to halve the price, which she happily did! We utilized the missing bins space by taking out the dowels and storing things underneath. FYI, the fullsize version of this storage system retails for $60 on Toys R Us’ website.

Play kitchen (teapot not included, that’s ours): $4
I about died when I saw this fully clean, no pieces missing play kitchen for four bucks! Me and my Gramps had to completely rearrange the back of his SUV for it to fit, and it was totally worth it. My little miss loves it – she loves to make me ‘tea’ on the stove. . .and strangely cooks ALL food in the microwave. Which is odd, because we rarely use our microwave. But the point it she loves it, so it was $4 well spent!

This lovely little rocking chair was $5. My little girl loves to sit in it to read!
However, it did NOT come with all the colored pencil stains you now see – that was my little miss getting a little over zealous in her coloring! But for five bucks, WHO CARES?? 🙂 To me that is also the beauty of yard sales – if it gets wrecked (which often kid things do) you didn’t spend/waste a ton of money. If I were really ambitious I’d sand, stain, and seal it. . .but for now, I’m not. And lastly,

A talking number puzzle: $1

The main things I look for myself are usually craft related. Antique books to use in projects, picture frames to repaint, oh and canvases! That sounds like a weird one, but you can get paintings on canvas at yard sales for anywhere from 25 cents to 2 – 3 dollars. I bring them home, sand them down some, and re-coat them with opaque white gesso – instant new canvas ready to go! Since new canvases cost anywhere from $10 (for small size) and up as you get bigger, I’m happy to save some money that way. I’m sure the quality isn’t as good as a brand spankin’ new canvas, but it works perfectly for my personal use.

Two upcycled canvases, decent size. Left is 14.5″x21″, the right is 16″x20″.
These canvases were FREE. As in sitting in a FREE PILE. I may have done a happy dance in the sellers yard. . .they were half finished paintings which I’m assuming that the owners thought no one would ever want, hence the free pile. Clearly they weren’t thinking of the thrifty/artist/up-cycling crowd.

Antique books (from the 1920s, 40s, and one from the 50s): 50 cents for all four!

The two books on top did originally have covers – I tore them off to use in a photo book project I made for my mom and grandmother this year. I’ve also used some pages from the two larger one to make paper roses for my mom – keep an eye out for a post on that in the future!

SWEET retro camp set: $2
My mum is the one who found this set and snagged it for me. She knew I wanted my own camp set instead of just putting bits and bobs together to use for cooking. Isn’t it marvelous?! There is a set of four plates there, since you can’t really see the full stack. And that teapot – I just love it.

Retro camp cups
My mum also got these for me – I forgot to ask her the price, but I know my mum and she would not have paid more than a quarter for each. They are perfect for me and my husband – he likes a giant cup of cocoa, and I like a nice little cup of tea!

This yard sailing year has been pretty slow for me in terms of going to sales. I broke my ankle (I broke it leaving to go yard sailing actually – oh irony) at the end of May, so there went five weeks of yard sailing out the window! But I’m excited to start going again for the rest of the summer – I’m sure I’ll post more fun finds!

Do any of you yard sale or thrift? What kind of stuff do you look for?

signature image

Connect With Me