Thrift Store Decor Secrets That You Should Know

Best Thrift Store decor thrifting tips // Tantrums and Tools

My 6 Best Thrift Store Finds

If you’re looking for thrift store decor ideas or thrifting tips, then you’re in the right place! I love decorating my home, but I’ve always been a frugal shopper. I’m also on a pretty tight budget (hi, single mom here, with two kids in childcare!!!), so the items in my home aren’t necessarily expensive, just selected. It may sound superficial but decorating and the aesthetics of my home matter to me; it’s about building a feeling.

Do you recall the part about being a frugal shopper and living life on a budget? So, this is where thrift store decor comes in! I’m going to share my best thrift store finds, thrifting tips (and secrets), and what to look for while thrifting, so you too can decorate your home with thrift store decor! Oh, and I’m going to show you that thrift store decor doesn’t mean old, cheap or ugly!

Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.

How to decorate your home using thrift store decor // Tantrums and Tools

Thrift Store Decor Idea #1: Jars + Containers

Thrift store decor // Tantrums and Tools

The thrift store has a plethora of old jars and containers, which is fantastic because they make excellent thrift store decor. These look great if you group them using various sizes; they make great vases and even drinking glasses! My thrifting tip is to not pay more than twenty-five cents for this type of item, and what to look for at the thrift store are jars and containers that would look good together. As I mentioned before, look for various sizes and shapes. I gravitate towards clear glass or white containers, but this thrift store decor is a great way to add a pop of color to your home. For more on how I use jars and containers, check out my post on kitchen floating shelves, where I showcase lots of ways to use these in a kitchen!

Thrift Store Decor Idea #2: Books

Thrift store decor // What to look for when thrifting // Tantrums and Tools

The next item I’m always looking for at the thrift store are books, but not just any; I’m on the lookout for old ones! Books make excellent thrift store decor because they are so versatile. For example, I place them under plants, accents lamps, and to decorate bookshelves. My thrifting tip is to look for books in various sizes- tall ones, short ones, thin and wide ones. This way, you’ll be able to layer them from larger to smaller, which is one of my favorite ways to style them. You can also turn the books around, exposing the pages, which adds warmth to your room.

Another thrifting tip is to look for hardcover books and not pay too much for this thrift store decor. I’ve picked up boxes of free books on the side of the road many times, but if I’ve had to pay for them, it’s around a quarter to a dollar each.

If you can’t find old books at the thrift store, I guarantee you can at least find newer ones, so in this case, then you can paint them. I did this when I was too impatient to locate all white books for my formal living room.

Thrift Store Decor Idea #3: Blankets

Best thrift store decor finds // Tantrums and Tools

Yes, blankets from a thrift store! I use blankets throughout my house to add texture, layering of decor, to decorate my blanket ladder, and to (literally) keep me warm. Blankets are also a great way to change your decor by adding a pop of color. My thrifting tip is to look over the blanket for stains or damage thoroughly. Also, make sure it doesn’t have any offensive odors. And you’re going to want to wash the blanket as soon as you get home.

Thrift Store Decor Idea #4: Frames

Thrift store decor // Tantrums and Tools

My next favorite item to get from a thrift store are frames. And I’m not talking little picture frames. I’m talking about big ones that probably have a really outdated picture inside. When looking for thrift store decor, you have to get past the ugly, outdated photo and see the potential in the item! My thrifting tip is to focus on the frame itself because you can easily change what’s inside. I’ve found gorgeous and huge frames for incredibly low prices (single-digit numbers), which is unheard of if you were shopping for frames anywhere other than the thrift store.

Thrift Store Decor Idea #5: Baskets

Thrift store decor baskets // Tantrums and Tools

I should be banned from bringing home another thrift store basket, but I can’t help myself! I seem to find at least one every time I go thrifting. The good news is that baskets are an excellent thrift store because they are functional, visually pleasing, and inexpensive. I love how the neutral tones and texture warm up a space.

Baskets have so many functions; you can use them throughout your home in so many different ways. I have plants in baskets, use them for storage in your closest, a place to store hats and mittens, a basket in the kitchen to store fruit, baskets with books in them, baskets filled with blankets… I think you get the picture! My thrifting tip is to check the basket over to make sure it’s in decent condition and look for baskets in various shapes and sizes. For how inexpensive thrift store baskets are, I generally just bring them home and find a use for them.

Thrift Store Decor Idea #6: Furniture

Thrift store furniture flips // Tantrums and Tools

Thrift stores are a gold mine for furniture that is just begging for a new life. I’ve purchased many items in my home at a thrift store. I’ve refinished them, turning my thrift store finds into one-of-a-kind pieces. Keep in mind the thing that you find at the thrift store will need a bit (ok, a lot) of love and your DIY touch, but the time you invest will be well worth the reward. If your thrift store decor includes furniture, then you’ll want to check out my guide to refinishing furniture before you make your next thrift store trip.

I have a lot of thrifting tips for furniture, but my best advice is to have a general understanding of what an item should cost. That way, you know when you’ve stumbled upon a good deal or when you should pass because something is overpriced. You’ll have to check out my refinishing furniture essentials for the rest of my tips.

So, what are you waiting for, go get yourself some thrift store decor!

I hope you’re feeling more confident about decorating your home using thrift store decor now that I’ve covered all the essentials. I’m no expert, just a girl building a life I love, with a passion for sharing what has worked for me. 


PS- if you’ve enjoyed this post, make sure you share the love and Pin it for later!

Stay Awhile