Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tip #6 Bleach Be Gone.

I don’t usually mind stains in clothing. Which is good because most of my clothes are secondhand. With a stain, I can wash something, cover it with a patch, or add a design to the fabric to hide it. But a bleach spot can be a lil’ stinker. I never usually know what to do and if I spot one (pun intended) while shopping, I usually just put the item back…but not this time!

I love this oversized comfy sweater and bought it in spite of a bleach spot front and center. I ended up doing a reverse appliqué without even knowing what “reverse appliqué” was. 

I took an old black t-shirt and ironed it to some interfacing. I pinned this behind the sweatshirt and put an eagle design on the front. I then tediously sewed around the entire eagle design. First, by hand so I would have lines and then by machine so it would hold up well. Next, I tediously cut out the eagle shape from the original sweatshirt, taking the bleach spot with it! Bleach be gone!

The intention of this post was “how to defeat a silly bleach spot” but after seeing how much of my time I spent it should be “how a bleach spot defeated a silly girl.” If I’m perfectly honest, I only wear this top to lounge around my home in the winter.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tip #5 Sometimes a Cheap and Dirty Hobby Can Make You Some Quick and Easy Money.

A huge incentive for me finally getting around to trying the chalk art you saw in Tip #4 was the fact that I had already agreed to do some actual chalk art for a local Bread Company. A friend of mine who works there knows I love doing just this sort of thing.

Before I got started on this 10ft by 6ft board...

 And after I finished it...

You should seriously check out Great Harvest Bread Co. in Evanston. Their hot sandwiches, scones, and apple scrapple bread are amazing!

Tip #4 Ummm...Don’t Forget About Housewares!

Because housewares make my heart all the happy feels. Literally, I can’t speak English I’m so stinkin’ excited. I'd been wanting to try chalkboard art for awhile but didn't feel like actually buying a chalk board

So, I took these two uglies over here...

...With the help of a few good friends. 

Yes, I'm referring to the paint, chalk markers, and a stencil as my "friends". They were so instrumental in me making the chalkboard shown above. I really like chalk markers opposed to traditional chalk because they produce a clean and vibrant finished product.

...I also made this shadow box! 

Most of the keys came off of wedding gifts my husband and I received when we got hitched. So this was sort of a sweet way to keep these things AND decorate our home. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tip #3 Rise to the Challenge

Sometimes, despite what you’ve already learned. You get an item home and it just does not work. This outfit is one of my favorites because it was such a challenge.

The Necklace- I love neon pink and really wanted a neon necklace but was only finding ones I liked for around $200. No Way am I paying that. Challenge accepted. I bought this necklace on clearance and used neon nail polish to get the look I was going for. I did warn you, I’m cheap.

The Shirt- This top is an extra-large maternity shirt I bought for the length. I took the sides in to fit my non-prego self. I flipped it backwards to give myself a higher neckline. I might like cheap and dirty, but I’m pretty modest.

The Jacket- A major thrift store find. It’s missing a button but I just don’t care.

The Pants- Oh these pants. They retail at $136. I know I paid less than $10. BUT and this is a big BUTT, they didn’t fit. (See what I did there.)They were too small. So I sliced them up the sides and added black stretch denim. I had no idea what I was doing. I’m just happy I didn’t ruin these. I’ve never been taught how to sew. I bought a sewing machine in college. I YouTubed “how to thread the needle” and have been playing around ever since.

Tip #2 Bring A Friend

Star Wars helm $1.50,
a true diamond in the rough
My friend Jacqui and I, we kill it! We stinking rock at thrifting. We come fully prepared with all of our knowledge of Tip #1 and can bring cheap and dirty shopping to a whole new level.

Have Each Others Back- Jacqui goes in saying she wants flannel and colorful cardigans. I am now searching for those. I say I want skirts, hangers, and vintage picture frames. She will not pass those by. But I also know if I see something with a cat or an owl I’m grabbing it for her. If she sees anything neon pink or Star Wars, it’s in the cart, with my name on it before I blink.

Jacqui once nabbed me a un-opened bottle
 of Philosophy lotion and body wash for $3,
 it still had the $26 price tag on it
We Share a Cart- There is barely enough room for one cart in any isle let alone two. Cart in the middle, Jacqui and I on each side of the cart. We pull EVERY “maybe” item for ourselves and each other because you may never find it again.

Have our Phones Ready- Not only do thrift stores not have dressing rooms, sometimes they don’t have mirrors either. So you pull something over clothes, have a friend snap a quick pic, and that may give you all the answers you need.

Check Items Over- There is a reason someone got rid of everything in that store. your goal is to find that reason before you get home. So look for stains, holes, and fit issues. Sometimes you need to put it back on the rack, sometimes you rise to the challenge. See Tip #3

Give Honest Opinions- Don’t be afraid to say it’s not your color, it’s too small, you can’t fix that, or YOU NEED TO GET THAT! 

I would have left the store without this cozy mint sweater had my girls not told me to buy it. There was a snow storm the day after I got this and it was the ONLY thing I wanted to wear. And yes I made a headband to match!!!!

Tip #1 Be Prepared

I think thrifting and up-cycling is a blast. I don’t just think it’s fun, I make an olympic sport out of it! But if it is your first time you may be a little overwhelmed. I’m not talking about designer retail shops. I’m talking about cheap and dirty shopping.

Smells- There will be smells and they will be unpleasant. Sort of like moth balls and Mexican food soaked in a vat of chicken noodle soup. I took my cousin Britt thrifting for her first time and as we left the store she said, “I’m really happy you warned me about the smells.” Come to think of it Britt didn’t end up buying anything.

Clothes-Yes I know you are there to buy clothes but I’m talking about what you wear to the thrift store. My go to ensemble is leggings with a t-shirt dress because cheap and dirty thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms and you’ll need to try on clothes OVER your clothes.

More time on the Meter-It always takes longer then you think, no matter what you think. Always put an extra 30 minutes on your parking meter.

Bring Cash- A lot of my cheap and dirty stores only take cash, only have 1 of 5 checkouts for debit/credit, or the debit/credit machine is broken.

Snacks and Water-I keep granola bars and a bottle of water in the car. Because thrifting always takes more time then you think and is kind of tiring.