Yard Sale Finds: Turning Trash Into Treasure

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By Abigail Beal

The weather gets warmer and many of us know this means one thing: yard sales. If you are a crafter, yard sales can be great places to find someone else's castaways and turn them into your treasures.

As a person that loves to do decoupage, I am forever on the lookout for wooden boxes to decoupage. But remember that yard sale bargains can also inspire you to try a craft you haven't done before. A baby quilt I found made a great pillow, when I had little practice with sewing projects.

When looking for “a find”, what should you look for? If you can already imagine the object taking on a new life as something else, that's great. But there are plenty of things people have overlooked that with some time and imagination can be objects of beauty in your home.

If it is broken, do you know how to fix it? A dresser without knobs only needs new knobs but a dresser without a drawer is going to take some more work. Could you replace the dresser with a wicker basket you pull in and out? Could that drawer be replaced with a flat surface you could keep items like a handbag or shoes there? Start using your imagination and the solutions will come. Most objects can be recanted, repainted, repolished and reupolstured.

Sometimes with a trash to treasure project you may think it will become one thing and you change your mind halfway through the project. Be open to inspiration. Something may catch your eye and you choose to change the color scheme or the function of the craft.

Trash to treasure crafts can be very chic. “Shabby chic” as it is called is found in many decorating magazines. You are also doing something good for the environment, by reusing materials.

It is also important to know that not every trash to treasure project works - and this doesn't mean it isn't successful. You may succeed in learning a new painting technique or something about quilting. Or you may learn something about what kind of project you do want to put in your living room, or what you really want to create right now. Every project is part of your learning experience as a crafter and an artist.

Some great trash to treasure items include chairs, tables, dressers, vintage cocktail dresses, baby quilts, spools, jewelry boxes, suitcases, costume jewelry, dolls, picture frames, magazines, books and mirrors. You probably can find many more items that begin to inspire you to create something special.

The only challenge about becoming a trash to treasure crafter is then it becomes very hard to actually allow others in your home to throw things out! Happy crafting!

About The Author

Abigail Beal a.k.a. “the Gift-wrap Goddess” teaches gift wrap in suburban New York. She is the author of 2 ezines: GiftWrapGoddessWraps and CreativeCraftsTeachers.