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5 "Thrift Store Find" DIY Craft Projects They Keep Showing, for Things You Haven't Been Able to Find at Thriftstores Since 1987.

Me love Pinterest.
I know it's all a big, fantastic lie, but like every other pretty magazine catering to our fantasies before it, it makes us feel like we can achieve the same, heavily worked-over, fantastically styled, filtered, and photo-shopped perfection in our own lives. And sometimes that's enough.

But as a professional builder of ridiculous, up-cycled things, and a veteran thrifter (I can show you the scars!), some of these Pinterest DIY are just a parade of despair, false promises and dashed hopes. There's no call for that.


1. Vintage Suitcase Crafts:

 Not only is this type of vintage suitcase VERY rare at your garden variety thrift store, follow this link to see how much rather highly involved work went into it.


Or this link to the more likely outcome



2. Stuff made with old "thrift store" silverware.



Here's what you'd hope to find:













Here's what you're most likely to find:
Oh, this stainless steel crap will bend alright--most of it already has the scars of the church community center garbage disposal and some cock-toothed nursing home fight--but it ain't pretty. Never will be. Move on.

3. Shit made out of old books. 
These old books--with their worn book-cloth covers and awesome typeset pages and illustrated plates are very, very rare at your garden variety thrift stores.
Of course, you're hoping to find a charming used bookshop like this: 
But more likely this is what you will find: 

And not that there's anything wrong with some good YA novels, cheesy romance novels, or embossed-cover thrillers, but you're just not going to be making those vintage-y bookmarks with old, timeworn spines, or cute, craftsy things like that. Trust me on this one.
Unless you find a box of silverfish-infested, moldy books in someone's leaking shed, you probably won't want to tear "curious and rare" books apart for your crappy attempts at "crafty-ness".

4) Stuff made with wooden thread spools.          Seriously--what year do you think it is? When was the last time you bought a spool of thread? They haven't used wooden spools since the 1960's! These pictured here are as rare (and as expensive) as unicorn shit.  (I have a few DIY projects using Unicorn Shit...)                                  Honestly, when did any of these craft-DIY-ers go to an actual thrift store?? ( I just found a box of 15 wooden spools for $50 at a fancy schmancy antique store. The thread is so old, it's dry-rotted and absolutely useless--so those are some expensive Christmas crafts).        No wonder people would rather scroll through Pinterest than actually make the things on Pinterest.

5) Crap made from old furniture: 
First of all, it's very hard to just pop into a thrift store and find good, solid wood stuff like this:

That someone like you hasn't already mucked up trying to paint and turned into an incredibly uncomfortable bench. (I have one that I made!)

Most of what you'll find is that greasy-surfaced laminate/particle board crap that is just badly proportioned, cheaply made and if it's not already delaminating, it's just so friggin' tricky to paint. And, if you do manage to get paint to stick to it, it will look like that greasy-surfaced, cheap laminate/particle board crap that you tried to paint in some vomitous color of "Fleckstone" or other novelty type of spray paint.

Trust me on this: you will end up spending $50 dollars on the greasy-surfaced laminate crap, $50 on spray paint and a priceless amount of time and aggravation and it will end up on the curb for one of your neighbors to pick up thinking, "hey...with just a coat of paint I could make something gorgeous..." (6 weeks later you will see it five blocks away in a new vomitous shade of spray paint. That may be your form of entertainment. In which case...I have this old bed frame you can buy...)

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