Today, I get to tell the story of my favorite thrift store find… EVER!
When it comes to technology… when it comes to social media, I am the first to admit that I am a clueless fool! I’ve only owed an iphone for less than 2 months. My brain literally feels like it’s going to explode when I think of all the platforms I’m supposed to keep up with online… Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter… it goes on and on and on! That cluelessness (or shall we call it purposeful ignorance??) definitely extends to things like You Tube and viral sensations. Prior to a Facebook post last Friday night from my friend Danielle, of 2 Little Superheroes, I had never heard of Macklemore… had you asked me who Macklemore was, I would have guessed that it was a village on the coast of Rhode Island. Obviously, I’d never heard the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Little did I know that the video to the song “Thrift Shop” was a viral sensation and gaining in popularity by the day.
But thanks to Danielle being cooler than I am, I got to participate in our own version of the 100% Totally Unofficial Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge this past Saturday along with my other blogging buddy, Lauren, from The Endearing Home. You can get the full details of the challenge at Young House Love… but I’ll outline them here. We hit the thrift shop (we went to the biggest thrift store in Raleigh) with $20 in cash. Check. Our mission was to find $20 worth of stuff at the Thrift Store photgraph our finds. Check. We were also supposed to find one of the items listed in the song and take pictures of it as well. Oops. What can I say? My ADD-tendencies extend to thrift stores and I forgot that last item. I get easily distracted in thrift stores; especially the Durham Rescue Mission… it’s the Costco of Raleigh’s thrift stores.
Most of my trips into thrift stores are spur of the moment and I’m usually on a mission searching for a particular item…. and rarely do I ever find it. This trip gave me the chance to browse and really look around and I had one of the best days I’ve ever had out thrifting! It was so fun to be there with 2 kindred spirits and I loved getting to spend time with 2 blogging buddies.
Those who have been reading my blog know that I’m trying to cut down on the clutter in my home… so I wanted to be careful about what I brought home and not go crazy with the challenge. I went into the challenge looking for items for Mike’s office space and knew I needed some frames for the wall, possibly a storage item and in a dream world… I wanted to come home with a 4 drawer card catalog. I’d seen one the day before at an antique store and decided it was the perfect piece for his little room. It would add interest and be unique and would be perfect for storing his fly fishing gear as well as pens, pencils and other office supplies. I love an old card catalog, but with their recent popularity, they are tough to find for a reasonable price! The one I saw in the antique store was priced at $80… no thank you!
We walked through the rows and rows of stuff in the store. There were some great dishes, baskets, old silver and brass pieces, but nothing jumped out at me. I hit the frame aisle (yes, I was in heaven… Durham Rescue Mission has a frame aisle!) and of course, found several that would work on his office walls. I snagged a brass candlestick because it was cute and that day it was an additional 50% off. We left the inside area to push around outside… past the rows of furniture, bins of fabric and blankets and through the Christmas area. I was pushing back from the Christmas area when I saw it… tucked under one of the blanket bins… can you believe I found this at the thrift store??
My 4 drawer card catalog. It was in rough shape but it was there… without a price. Depending on who is pricing items, that can be a very good or bad thing. I went up to the person in charge of pricing with butterflies in my stomach. Let’s just say that day, no price was a very good thing. I got a fantastic deal on my card catalog and practically ran to the checkout after that! For all of my items, I spent a total of $17.03!
Once home, I knew I wanted to spruce the card catalog up… but that I wanted to do it quickly and without much effort. I would have loved to refinish it (and still may one day) but doing so would have required time and effort I didn’t have at the moment. Instead I cleaned each drawer and the shell of the piece with Krud Kutter. To say that the paper towels were nasty would be a major understatement! Once they were cleaned, I wiped each down with mineral spirits and let them dry. I measured the inside of the drawers… they didn’t have solid bottoms due to being used for library cards in years past. I cut a thin piece of MDF for each drawer using the table saw and simply laid them in the bottom of each drawer. Again, I’d love to paper the MDF boards or paint them, but that’s a project for another day. The goal here was to get my card catalog ready to go as quickly as possible!
Although refinishing was out for the moment, I knew that I didn’t want to paint the whole card catalog. The wood was too warm and had that natural patina that you just can’t replicate. The drawers were in decent condition, but the finish was peeling horribly from the base. I decided to keep the drawers stained and go for a 2-toned look by painting only the base. Honestly, while I adore a painted base and a stained and refinished top, I struggle with the 2-toned furniture finishes. I’ve realized that I don’t like a lot of contrast between colors on a piece. I tend to be drawn to 2-toned finishes that combine stained wood and a dark paint like charcoal gray, dark red, brown and black. So my tiny card catalog’s base got a quick coat of my favorite black paint… General Finishes Lamp Black. I didn’t want it to be heavy because I wanted to really distress the paint. I felt that would allow me to truly blend the old and stained drawers with a newly painted base.
A coat of clear wax on the base and drawers finished the piece and I was ready to display it within a couple of hours of bringing it home.
I’ll be honest… almost a week later and I still walk past my little thrift store find and catch myself stopping to stare. I still can’t believe what I found at the thrift shop!
Last Saturday’s experience was so fun that it motivated me to get my act together and plan the first Storywood Thrift Store and Flea Market Outing! I am aiming for early March and am trying to pin down dates. As soon as I do, I’ll post on Facebook…. so make sure to follow me there if you’re interested in joining us!
PS: Google or You Tube Macklemore’s Thrift Store song at your own risk. While I find the elements of the song funny, it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea!