Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thrift store hidden gems

I am in the process of playing around with a few new bag designs (did I ever mention I love this part of the process?) and I wanted to add some hardware to the feature list. Only to my dismay, I was in sticker shock at the retail price tag of snaps, clasps, D rings, and the like. A snap was $2.50. Rings 2 for $1.60. Add zippers, interfacing, expensive 'bought new from the store' fabric, and you are looking at some hefty material costs. Then their is labor. I actually figured out my hourly wage from my real job and then used that as the cost of my time to make bags. Heh. I can hear people complain now. "I can get a bag cheaper at Target!" Well you can. It's hard for some people to value handmade goods sometimes when they are in the Wal-mart state of mind.

But I digress. Back to my thrift store finds. I made my way to the 50% off sale at Salvation Army and started rummaging through the purse/bag piles. I had a whole arm full of purses and was getting weird looks from the other shoppers. I mean some bags are just plain ugly. But if you look past the stains and dirt and bad design you will find a whole treasure of hardware to harvest. Before I made my way up to the register I looked in my wallet and only found 2 dollar bills plus change, so I had to put back most of my selection. So two purses costing me a whopping $2.12 got me all of these.... Sorry. It's a nighttime photo.

But you know what's really bad? When you pull out your wallet, lay it on the counter to pay for your thrift store purchase and the sales associate tries to ring it up. I guess the 4 plus years I have been using this wallet is really showing. Is it time to get over the fact it's still functional but fug ugly and get a new one?


  1. You need to join a fabric coop-cheaper fabric (but still designer), cheaper notions...much better way to make a decent profit on stuff to sell (well, hopefully anyway! LOL!)

  2. You're exactly right about the costs of it all and you're smart to use thrifted purses in this way. I've bought clothing at the thrift store recently just to get the gorgeous buttons.

  3. Great thrifted findings. I love the wallet bit. Perhaps you'll whip a wallet up as you work on your new designs!

  4. Sounds like you should design your self a new wallat! Mine is sad, too, LOL.

    I am a "hardware" harvester, too. Mostly looking for handles to use on knit bags! I love repurposing!

  5. So smart! I've cannibalized one of my own bags for a rectangle ring, but I never thought to go check out the thrift store. You're a genius!


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