Wow, where did February go? I feel like a blinked an entire month just swept by. But no worries, because March is a good month. It's National Craft Month – and it's also a special month here at Orange Bettie.
Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows I love me some Goodwill. Most of my clothes – and many of my craft supplies – come from Goodwill. It's like a sport for me. So I'm super excited that I'll be partnering with Goodwill of Arkansas to feature Goodwill craft posts all month long.
To kick things off, let me tell you the kinds of sewing & craft supplies I often find at Goodwill.
Lots of crafts start with recycled jeans, but rarely do I have a pair of jeans in my closet that I actually want to part with. I mean, after you try on umpteen million jeans to find the right fit, you're not going to just cut them up for a craft! At Goodwill you can choose from racks of jeans. Look at all the colors and styles you can choose from! The price is always right – and if you find a pair that has a "happy tag" (that's what I call the 50% off color tag of the week), it's even better.
Can we stop for a moment and just acknowledge that this photo is a J. Crew sweater in the most perfect shade of green? If only it had fit me, it would have been the newest member of my Goodwill wardrobe. But sweaters don't have to fit in order to be made into something cute. Use them to make pillows, hats, stuffed pumpkins (in the fall), and more. Wool sweaters can be felted, so be on the lookout for those in particular.
Leather & Faux leather
Leather and faux leather (that's fancy for vinyl) skirts and pants are a great source of inexpensive scraps you might need for sewing or jewelry making. I like skirts and pants better than jackets because the pieces will be larger. If you're wondering why I say that and then share a photo of a leather jacket, that's because that's what was available at my Goodwill the day I was there. And that leather... it was butter soft! Leather and faux leather clothes will be more expensive than regular clothes, but they're still generally much cheaper than buying leather at the craft store.
Have you seen how expensive baskets are at the craft store? It's nuts. Even with a 40% coupon, a craft store basket will jack up the overall cost of a good gift basket every time. There's no sense in that! Whenever I'm in Goodwill, I take a stroll down the baskets aisle to see what kind of goodness might be there. Pay attention to the shape rather than the color of the basket. An ugly color basket can always be fixed with a coat of spray paint.
The belts are always worth a check at the Goodwill. Mixed in with the plain jane and the outdated belts, you might be able to score an awesome leather belt you can use for a tote bag strap, or maybe a set of handles for a wooden crate or basket. Sometimes you can even score some designer pieces. A few weeks ago I actually found what I thought was a Gucci belt at a bargain price! I could not believe my luck. However, after reading this fake Gucci belt review by Mau-fashion I discovered that it was a replica. That would not stop me from wearing it or using it as part of one of my fashion projects though! Also, looking at this photo, I am totally kicking myself for not grabbing up that glitter belt. How did I miss that??? That would have made an awesome set of handles!!
Speaking of straps, I always check out the purse section. I' m not looking at the actual purse but at the hardware. If you've ever sewn a bag, you know how expensive the hardware can be. Old purses, even ones that are stained or ripped, can be a great source of inexpensive hardware. Look for hardware that isn't riveted down or that can be removed easily. I look for purses with hardware that isn't scuffed or damaged. If you're buying the purse at Goodwill Outlet, pay attention to how much the purse weighs. The lighter the purse, the less expensive the hardware!
Sheets and Curtains
Always, always, always check out the linens department at the Goodwill! That is some inexpensive yardage just waiting to come home with you! Don't think of them as curtains or bed sheets – think of them as large pre-hemmed fabric rectangles. They're usually $5 or less. You can't beat that! And if you're super lucky, you can score a vintage sheet. Pure gold. Even the smaller linens – pillowcases, napkins, placemats, etc. – can often be made into something cool.
This right here is a full length burnout velvet curtain panel. You could make a couple of gorgeous scarves from that. It would also be a beautiful table runner, with some scrap left over for a few more projects, too.
Like baskets, picture frames are stupid expensive at the craft store! A can of spray paint will cover up any 1990s oak frame and make it crisp and modern. Obviously, you can use them to frame your awesome family photos, but you can also repurpose them to make memo boards, jewelry displays, and more. If you're looking for a unique and stylish way of displaying your favorite photos in your home, you may want to consider looking into the acrylic prints that you can buy from Bumblejax.com that allow people to bring gallery-quality wall art into their interior design.
If you like to set a pretty party table, you need to spend some time in the glassware section of Goodwill. Don't just look at the glassware as individual pieces. Look at what they can become together. A candlestick and a bowl can become a footed dish. A glass and a tray can become a chip and dip. I especially like the clear glassware, as it's easier to mix and match odd pieces.
Wooden Bric a Brac
The wooden bric a brac section is always worth a look. The thing about wood is that you can transform it in so many ways. Sand it, paint it, decoupage it, add handles or knobs to it, or glue or nail it to something else. A dated wall plaque with a country bunny painted on it can become a fresh modern chalkboard. A plain napkin holder can become vintage cute with a coat of paint and some decoupaged scrapbook paper.
Actual Craft Supplies
Even though the whole Goodwill is like one big repurposed craft supply store, they do actually have craft supplies, too. It's one of my favorite spots in Goodwill because you never know what you'll find. Usually it' a group of semi-related small supplies or toys packed into a clear plastic bag. You might find a bag of cookie cutters next to a bag of Stryofoam balls or small plastic toys. You just never know. The day I took these photos I found this bag of yarn scraps perfect for making pom poms or other small yarn crafts. I also found a bag of wooden napkin rings just waiting to be made into something cute for your table.