5 Gifts You Can Always Find at Goodwill

Years ago I would aimlessly walk around retail stores and malls trying to find gifts for all the people on my list.

The aimless walking continues, but now I do it at Goodwill, where I save a TON of money, and walk away with some great one-of-a-kind gifts.

If you’ve never thrifted gifts before, here are five ideas to get you started!  

1. T-SHIRTS
There is never a lack of t-shirts at Goodwill! There are hundreds of them that are thankfully separated by size and color. Consider finding a t-shirt for your recipient that features:
  • Their Alma Mater (high school or college)
  • Their Favorite sports team
  • A funny saying
  • Their favorite band

2. MUGS
Like t-shirts, there is an endless supply of interesting mugs at Goodwill. Even if your recipient isn’t a coffee or tea drinker, that’s ok, fill the mug with some soil and a succulent for them to display on a shelf. Consider finding a mug for your recipient that features:
  • Their favorite city
  • Their name
  • Their favorite sport’s team
  • A funny saying



3. BOOKS
So. Many. Books. Children’s, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, cookbooks, how-to’s, best sellers, travel, art, series, religious, mystery, romance, science, poetry…  And they’re only 50 cents to $1.50.



4. TOYS
Big or small, you can find all sorts of toys at Goodwill including board games, puzzles, cars and trucks, blocks, sporting equipment, and bikes. Goodwill of Akron has supplemental NEW goods too so you can pick up brand new/never been used merchandise at reduced prices.



5. FRAMES

Framed photos and artwork are popular gifts for the holidays. Pick up a frame at Goodwill and either use as is or paint it a color to give it a new look .  



December Reader DONATION Challenge



A few months ago I wrote about our family's attempts to live simply and our interest in the concept of minimalism, which is to rid your life of excess and clutter so that you can lead a less stressful, more meaningful life.

At that time I had challenged myself to clean out several areas of our home that were disorganized and full of stuff we didn't need, like our out of control tupperware cabinet and my mess of a jewelry collection. I'm proud to report that both are still in great shape and I don't miss any of the stuff I got rid of.

There are still plenty more rooms, closets, cabinets, and drawers that I'd like to tackle. And with it being the season of giving, Dina and I agreed this was the perfect time to clean, organize, and purge all of our excess stuff so we created the Donate Challege! Join us in donating your unwanted and excess items to a non-profit, a charity, or a thrift store like Goodwill, and be entered to win a $25 VISA GIFT CARD!

DONATION CHALLENGE DETAILS:
  • Donate your stuff
  • Post pictures on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. If your account is public, be sure to tag Something to be Found and Dina's Days and use the hashtag #dkDonateChallenge 
  • If your account is private or you don't use social media, simply email one of us your picture(s). 
  • Gain additional entries by tagging your friends and encouraging them to participate and donate.
  • The winner will be drawn and announced on Wednesday December 31st.
Let the donating begin!

November Thrift Challenge Reveal: Thrift List



Dina and I challenged ourselves this month to find items from our thrift lists. It was a little more difficult than either of us expected, but in the end five of the items on my thrift list were found, and 4 were purchased.

A few weeks ago while Dan and I were in New York City (he ran the marathon!), I stopped in at two Manhattan thrift stores: Valley Thrift and Goodwill. All three of my purchased items were picked up at these two stores!

I've been on the hunt for a cozy sweatshirt for well over a year. I've come across many, but they were either too tight, too short, or too wide in the neck.The "perfect" sweatshirt was seeming impossible to find at a thrift store. When I stopped in at Goodwill Manhattan I only had about 15 minutes to shop so I headed straight for the women's sweatshirt section, and there it was. The perfect grey sweatshirt!


It's by American Apparel and was $7.99. Not only is it nice and looooong, but it's not too tight, it has a small neck, PLUS it has a hood and a pocket. This has now become my go-to outfit for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.... EVERY day of the week!

The other New York thrift store, Valley Thrift, had BOTH the kid's snow boots and snow pants, amazingly in the sizes that I needed!



The boots are LL Bean and were $7 and the Snow Pants are Columbia and were only $5! It was good thing I bought these when I did because they quickly went into use!


Kids chairs were on my list and I found FOUR of them at the Wadsworth Goodwill, but they were in need of some serious cleaning, which I just don't have the energy for right now. 


And this is when it pays off to know an elementary school teacher! My friend Erin offered to give me two of these!! 


Duck boots were also on my list. I found a pair by Sperry at the Manhattan Goodwill but they were the ankle version, not the calf-height boot. My friend Christine also spotted a pair of red Khumba boots at the Goodwill in North Olmsted, but sadly they weren't my size. 


And last but not least was a plaid mug. I have been looking for one at the thrift stores since LAST YEAR and have yet to come across one. Who knew that plaid mugs were such a rarity? Someone, anyone, please find me a flippin' plaid mug!

So, four out of six. Not bad! The boots and mug will remain on my list until I find them... even if they go out of style. Can't stop won't stop. Once the search is on, it never ends. 

Time to go check out what Dina was able to find from her Thrift List

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Click here to catch up on previous Thrift Challenges.

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The Cleveland Flea Holiday Kickoff Market


Chestnuts will be roasting, bells will be jingling, mistletoe will be hanging, and Something to be Found will be selling (along with 75 other vendors) at The Cleveland Flea Holiday Kickoff Market this weekend -- Nov. 21-23 at 6555 Carnegie Avenue.

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

The market opens Friday night with a sneak peek party from 5-9 that will include appetizers, drinks, and people in festive party attire. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased here.

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

General admission shopping will be open from 10-7 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday.

Something to be Found will be located on the 4th floor next to the Fitting Room and Lounge.

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

In addition to shopping the incredible collections of vintage holiday decorations, attire, and kitchenwares, you can grab a bite to eat at the Pop-Up cafe...

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Wrap your presents at the handmade wrapping station...

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Decorate a Gingerbread house...

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Take a class with the Agrarian Collective...

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Or kickback in the lounge with a warm (or cold!) drink!

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Photo: Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea

Hope to see you there!

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For more information on the Holiday Kickoff Market, visit www.theclevelandflea.com or check out these articles from The Plain Dealer and Freshwater Cleveland.

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All Photos by Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photogarpahy for The Cleveland Flea.

November Thrift Challenge: Thrift Lists

Happy Halloween!! Before getting to the November Challenge I want to thank Emily and Tina for submitting their kid's costumes to the October {Reader} Thrift Challenge. The winner of the custom, hand painted sign is... Emily! Congratulations!

Sources: 1. Mug (source unknown), 2. Kids Boots, 3. Snowpants, 4. Sweatshirt, 5. Kids Chair, 6. Duck boot

One of the tips that Dina and I share at our thrift classes is to be prepared with a list. I wrote about this here a few months ago. Having a list keeps you focused, saving you time and money! For the November Challenge Dina and I will be tackling our own thrift lists. We each picked a few items and will be on the hunt to find them within the next 30 days. 

1. The plaid mug has been on my list FOREVER and I have yet to find one. Thrift stores will be putting out a lot of Christmas stuff starting next week so hopefully the odds are in my favor.

2 & 3. I've found one set of snow pants and snow boots at the thrift store but I still need another set. I've come across a lot of boots lately, but they've all looked pretty worn out. I'm feeling confident that I'll be able to find these.

4. A stylish, cozy, long sweatshirt is another item that's been on my list for a long time. I've come across several that are close to what I'm looking for but the either end up being too tight, too short, or too wide in the neck.

5. I've had a lot of luck re-selling kids chairs at the Cleveland Flea so I am always keeping an eye out for these.

6. For a long time I've wanted moccasin boots that I can wear in the winter when these are no longer weather-appropriate. I found a short pair like these at Plato's Closet last week and they looked kinda stupid on me. So, I've moved on to duck boots. I have a feeling of all the things on my list these will be the hardest to find. 

Wish me luck!! Let's go see what Dina has on her list. 

Easy Polka Dot Pumpkin | Goodwill Project #24


I broke my own rule.

I went to Goodwill Northfield, two kids in tow, without a specific list or a plan.
Normally this wouldn’t be too much of a problem because I love browsing, digging and spending entirely way too much time at the thrift store. But those two kids – nope -- not on their watch.

I was hoping to find something I could DIY into Fall decor but after 45 minutes of aimlessly browsing the housewares section, I had nothing…except a crying baby and a 3 year old repeatedly asking “when we go to Chick-Fil-A?”

One last quick look and I spotted – GASP! – a white milk glass pedestal cake plate hiding underneath a stack of metal pans!



But hold the ovens. No cake would be pedestaled upon this here plate. It was fit for pedestaling a pumpkin. A polka dot pumpkin!

I picked up this striped shirt from the kid’s section to use for my colorful polka dots.



I traced a quarter and then cut out the dots using fabric scissors.


I then glued the dots to the pumpkin using fabric mod podge.



And there it is! An EASY, pedestaled polka dot pumpkin!


October {Reader} Thrift Challenge Reveal: Kid's Halloween Costumes

When it comes to Halloween costumes, I love the challenge of being resourceful. It's fun figuring out how to replicate the character and props by using things you already own, borrwing items from friends, and of course buying stuff from the thrift store. These three sets of costumes did just that. Check out all the thrifty details below on how to make Luigi & Mario, a Fireman with his truck and Dalmatian, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 


ENTRY #1: Tina | DIY Luigi & Mario Costumes 


What a perfect costume for two brothers. And so simple to make! The green and red shirts came from village outlet thrift store. The hats were handmade with foam and felt, the suspenders were made from ribbon and felt, and the moustaches are from the dollar store. Princess Peach will be one lucky lady when these two show up to save her! 

ENTRY #2: Emily | DIY Fireman & Dalmatian Costume


If cuteness plays a factor in how much candy you get on Halloween, these two will need to bring extra bags! Their mom, Emily, only spent $12.22 total to make these costumes. More impressive than that though -- she deconstructed a men's black button-up shirt and re-sewed it to a size 2T! She deserves extra candy for that! 

The Thrifty Details:

Hooded Fleece Romper | $5 | Ebay
Floppy Ears made from Fleece | $0 | Already Owned

Black Shirt | $.99 | Salvation Army
Black Pants | $1 | The Snooty Fox
Yellow & Silver Duct Tape | $5.23 | Michaels
Boots | $0 | Borrowed
Fireman Hat | $0 | Borrowed
Felt Letters | $0 | Already Owned
Ladder | $0 | Scrap Wood
TOTAL: $12.22




#3: My Crew of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


This challenge was the toughest yet of the 10 we've done! I wanted to throw in the towel several times and just go buy brand new costumes at Target for $30 each. But in the spirit of the Thrift Challenge I challenged myself to keep going. It only took a mere FIVE trips to different thrift stores because I kept forgetting things, but seeing my 4 guys dressed in wonky, homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made it worth every second!

The Thrifty Details:

2 Green Sweatshirts & a Green Thermal Shirt | $5.67 | Value World Thrift
3 Yellow T-Shirts | $2.07 | Value World Thrift
4 Colored T-Shirts (for masks and arm bands) | $4.36 | Value World Thrift
N's Green pants | $1.99 | Salvation Army
C's Green Pants | $0 | Already Owned
D's Green Pants | $4.09 | Value World Thrift
3 Seat Cushions | $2.40 | Goodwill Kent
Yellow Onesie | $1.12 | Unique Thrift Store
Green Onesie and Green Baby Pants | $0 | Already Owned
3 Swords | $4.50 | Unique Thrift Store
1 Stick | $0 | Found in the Yard
TOTAL: $22.70

I racked my brain on what to use for their turtle shells. I spotted these seat cushions at Goodwill Kent and had my solution!! I forgot to take a "before" picture so this was taken after 1 side had already been spray painted.


Each Ninja Turtle costume included a green shirt and green pants for the body. The yellow shirt was turned inside out and muscles were added using a sharpie marker. A colored t-shirt was used to make the mask and arm bands. A seat cushion completed the costume as the turtle shell.




N kept referring to his costume as a "Teenager." 

I know that each turtle carries a specific weapon, but I didn't think the kids would care so I just bought three random swords and called it a day. Well C was QUICK to let me know (between tears) that Leonardo has TWO swords, Michelangelo has nunchucks, Raphael has "a sword with 2 pointy things like the Ohio State field goal," and Donatello has a stick! Thankfully we got it all worked out (minus the nunchucks for Baby B.)


Cranky little turtle is mad that he doesn't have his nunchucks.


C told me he liked his costume, but if I had any doubt, finding this made it official:


Dina challenged her reader's to make adult Halloween costumes. She took on Carmen Miranda for herself, and based on this sneak peek I think she nailed it! Let's head over to Dina's Days to see the results from her and her readers! 

Winners will be drawn at random and announced on Friday! 

____________________

Click here to catch up on previous Thrift Challenges.

Follow Along, Like & Share:
Dina's Days: BlogFacebookInstagramTwitter
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#DKThriftChallenge