fashion friday: for less than $5

happy friday everyone. i am going to pick back up with friday finds on next week, but i wanted to share this $5 thrifted dress from blogger tami of
tami is such an amazing person and this dress fits her attitude perfectly. thank you tami for proving that even a $5 dress can look luxurious (the shoes certainly put an icing on the cake!)
so what do you think of tami's look?
do you have a great thrifted look to share? send me an email at i will choose the best ones and feature them here with all the links and credits and thangs.

**all photos in this post are from

easy decorating/styling ideas from thrift store finds...

okay. i admit. i have been a semi awful blogger.

the honest truth is that there are a lot of things happening around me. some good. some bad. so i have been doing a lot to attend to those efforts. sad really, because i enjoy blogging. i enjoy inspiring all of you.

since i am on PINTEREST, i have been seeing a lot of great ideas that come from thrift store purchases. here are a few of my favorites that you can try out with just a few dollars. 
this silver tray painted with chalkboard paint from dear lillie is (one of my favorite weekly reads), is an amazing way to add elegance to a vignette. trays can be very inexpensive, like $1-$5. i would certainly look for a tray with an ornate border, so amazing.
you may not know this, but i picked up about 6 gymnastic trophies from the thrift store the other week. i shared it on facebook, but neglected to share them here. imagine taking some old trophies and spray painting it a hot color. like this hot pink color. whoa!
i vicariously live through miss mustard seeds daily blog posts. this vignette is a perfect example of pulling items from a thrift store, more specifically those cloches.i love the way she grouped hers.
i admit. i do not like a lot of the cheese tray tops on plates on candle sticks. however, if the candle sticks are like these its a win win for me. remember we don't want our projects to look cheap, but chic.
seriously. just dip the handles of spoons in food safe paint and BAM! silverware are at almost every thrift store. don't dare pay over $1 for it either, because that's how much they are in the dollar tree. lol. now i know some of you are saying, "ooooo i can just simply spray paint the handles" tsk tsk tsk. i don't think that is safe. if you are going to eat with them. fine. if you are going to do this make sure you have locate paint that is food safe. such a fun idea. image various ones in the same color all down the table. yea.
for my fellas! i appreciate all of my guy readers. i really do. this pin description said these bracelets were made from old ties. lie. look at the buttons. they are made by a designer. great idea.
luckily i kept on a searching and came across these. these look more like old ties and they even look like something you could do. i guess the catch 22, would be to have a stash of amazing old ties.
this one is my favorite. while i don't personally set a table for dinner (cuz its just me), i am a fine of a beautifully set table. plastic animals can be very cheap in thrift stores (not so much craft stores). whether they match or not they would be excellent to add depth to a table setting, atop books or even in a jewelry set-up.

shopping at thrift stores is more than just saving money. it is honestly a great way to explore creative ideas for yourself and your home. so i will try to blog about items that are commonly found in thrift stores, not so much the are rare finds.

did you like these ideas?
what ideas do you have to suggest from common items at thrift stores? do share.

big impact...small investment

  i was on ebay sunday evening just doing my thang and i came across this image.

ralph lauren. polo. yes.

i saw the auction in just enough time to do a little research and see the price comparison and the availability or non availability.
with only one bid in play, i chimed it and got this 26 X 26 fabric sample for a mere $8 and change. retail was $70 - $100 a yard. score.

i am going to be honest with you. great design cost. often times it costs a lot. interior designers use the term "investment piece," to justify spending a lot on a item. i get it. i have "investment shoes" where i justify the extra zeros. lol. anyway, one of the things you have got to be careful about when decorating on a budget is not to have that cheapo cheapy looking space. ive seen some of those in blogland.

i love to thrift, just like many of you, but there are moments when i invest in quality. knowing where to invest is key. a great fabric is one of those places. if you remember from THIS POST you will know, fabric can be very expensive. ridiculously expensive. believe it or not, people can tell if a fabric is cheap.

it is somewhat of a challenge to get access to what is known as "to the trade" fabrics, without a designer. fabrics that are "to the trade", are reserved for individuals who have certain credentials and qualifications in the interior design community.
thanks to the interwebs, you can get very expensive fabrics at a very reasonable price, just like i did.

if you search for key words like "fabric remnants" or "sample fabric" on ebay, etsy or any search engine, you can often come across some amazing fabrics that are just enough for a nice pillow or to cover the seat of a chair.

so lets go a little further and start adding a few statement pieces to the home, because you can get a big impact, with just a small investment.

how to make...

vintage cards, or something close to it.
remember when i found an old wall paper book at the thrift store for $3.13. if not or if you did you can read about it HERE.

as a new small business owner there are a number of things that can be done to show your customers tyou really appreciate them. i ordered a very expensive pair of pants from trina turk a few years and they included a really nice card in it. 

that kinda made me feel special. so i have been including thank you cards in all of my shipments.
now that i create my own lapel pins (which you can see HERE), i thought it would be great to include small cards with a note about each lapel pin.
when i first purchased my wall paper book, i was initially interested in the tartan samples. go figure. but yesterday i came across these hunting scenes and thought they would make inexpensive note cards. 
so i bought a pack of index cards,
and adhered it to the blank index card and cut it out using an exacto knife. using the index card is time saver because the dimensions are already in place for you all you have to do is cut in the same of the card. 
carefully, selecting a scene from the sample page i was able to make a very very inexpensive vintage note card. trust me these note cards are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less than you can buy in the stores. 

i really like how simple and effective these cards are. each one is different yet amazing all on their own. 

how's that for stretching the use of an old wallpaper book!

running in the tweeds

i talk about owning a shop a lot. i admit it. i also admit not updating the blog nearly enough with all of the amazing pieces that i have. between instant social media like my INSTAGRAM account and TWITTER, i try to save the blog for in depth posts.
however, since my blog was my first love, i thought i should definitely keep everyone updated on my shop. so make sure you click HERE to be the first to know when great pieces are added.

friday finds...

happy friday everyone.

i have been struggling all week long to get stuff done, so to happy its friday means to be happy that i get to work and do projects all weekend long. lol.

with that said this week's "friday finds" are a lil low, but hey...
 i admit it. i have a lot of goals tucked away in my head. some of them are a lot less realistic than other, but i still hold on to them. owning a men's retail shop is a goal of mine. think the aesthetics of a billy reid with the inventory of a sid mashburn. if i did this one would be part of my shop. it was $30 i think. i'd paint it a lacquered black or red, perhaps a grey white wash. id store all kinds of amazing shirts and sweaters in it. alas, i dont have that shop so it stay right where it was. 
honestly, i was surprised to see something like this in this particular store. its been a long time since i have come across a quality classic wooden piece of furniture that wasn't overpriced. i hope this store gets the hint and does better with their pricing. if i remember correctly it was $29.99.
imagine these painted white with a nice graphic print. uh huh. you see what I did there? i gave you inspiration. lol. grated the grey black isnt so bad either.
i was on the fence about this chair. while it does have that old school flair that could be painted a statement color going on, it just didnt hit home 100% for me. i think i snapped a picture because i enjoyed the ugly tartan textile that was on it. lol

well that is it for me this week. not much, but it is something.

you can tweet me with #FridayFinds on twitter (MrGWHunting) if you'd like to share anything. i will trying to share a few on facebook as well as twitter.

thrifty tuesday: your submissions

i know i am not the only one that comes across amazing finds at thrift stores. while i don't do linky parties (there's enough of them), i do feel inclined to share what you share with me. well the good ones anyway.

so here we go!

this was an estate sale haul. no price tag, but im sure she got an amazing deal on everything.
although it only had one well paying $75 for this grill was a lot better than forking out $250 for parts on the old grill.
i shared this one on facebook on saturday. so its a repeat if you are fan on facebook, but at $15 a chair, i dont mind repeating it. 
the full set of 4 was $50. so thats a really good deal right there.
i do love a good pair of chairs. so i was a bit taken back when i got this email saying they pair $20 for each of these chairs. luckily they like the pattern so no makeover, but if it were
 how about we end on a hallelujah note. no seriously, these were picked up at a church sale for $6 for the pair! now that's enough to sing about. 

so which was your favorite find?

if you have anything to share tweet it to me (MrGWHunting) using the hashtag #MrGWHThrifts. that will ensure i get it. emails get lost in the shuffle. i admit.

recap: thrifting 102

happy monday everyone. hope your weekend was great! over the weekend i hosted the thrifting 102 seminar. here is an email i received from one of the attendees.
we covered so much stuff and i gave so many inside tips that we even went over the time limit. alas it was a fun and learning experience for those who attended.

friday finds...

well its another edition of friday finds here on the blog.
i understand that not everyone sees the amazing potential stuff has. even as much as much so that people walk all over the good stuff. like this cabinet. it was $90. i thought it was a great buy if the dimensions were right for you. great storage, paint over that hideous brown, keep the marble top. yeah. no room in my house for it.
musical instruments can sometimes be a hit or miss while thrifting. but i've been pretty successful as i've found a hammond organ (the baby b-3) and even a saxophone. sometimes they are overpriced, but hey...
i thought this was a pottery barn desk at first, but nope, it was a old sewing machine table. it has the opening at the top. i think the price on this was pretty good. ican't remember. it was made of solid wood that i know for sure.
ive never met a good quality briefcase i didnt like. this one was much more than i wanted to pay, but after doing some research, i got a very good deal. very. ahem. good. ahem. deal. must take it for a test drive soon.
i am not real sure what this is. however, it has a very asian type feel to me. of course painted black, a nice red or a lime green would kick it up a notch.
my favorite find is a jacket very similar to this one. this image was found on pinterest and its a great example of the blazer i came across. side vented and all.

any of these grab your attention?

thrifty tuesday: $19.99 vs $999

if you are a fan on FACEBOOK follow, TWITTER or INSTAGRAM, then you already know i came across this drafting table over the weekend. i wasn't really sure if i needed it, but i knew it was an amazing find at an amazing price ($19.99). after walking around the store with the ticket in my hand, i jumped the gun and bought it.

the true test of faith came when i tried to get it in the car.  #fail.  right. i had to end of taking it apart. there was this sweet couple who saw this black guy struggling (because i was) and the wife said, "john wants to help you. let him help you." normally id throw my hands up with a southern smile and say, "i've got it, but thank you." not this time. i decided to let john and his wife help. and thank you jesus i did!

the sweetest couple and john's wife even gave me two hugs. yes two hugs! you cant put a price or a limit on hugs people.
one comment assumed it was this one at home goods for $274. nope
what i did come across this high end drafting table from restoration hardware for a whopping $999. i mean i do like it and i am all for high end pieces, but...

so i know many of you want to know, "oooo mr. goodwill! how is you gonna transform that and make it beautiful?" well i kinda like it the way it is. if anything i may paint it black. i think by now you know black i my go to color.

so here's the truth. the drafting table is extremely useful. i have supplies and thangs all laid out on it!

do you have a drafting table? would you like one?
let's talk about it in the comments!

i've got to say this...


thank you to everyone that took the time to vote for me as a fill in for the blog tour london, during the london design festival.

as soon as i get confirmation and the details, i will be sharing that with you.


thrifting 102

i think by now many of us have gotten the inside scoop on how to find deals, what stores are the best and what are the perfect times to shop thrift store for home decor. then again maybe not. however, we cant stay in first gear too long. so that means its time to go a little higher.

i get so many emails about what to do with pieces found at second hand stores, side-of-the-road hand me downs, whatev. so, i figured the best ting is to move to step number two, which is...

making those thrift store pieces beautiful.

this thrifting 102, seminar will give you tips, sources and product information on how to get that polished look youve seen in all of my projects.

so, where do you start  after pouring over thousands of images on PINTEREST? why does my piece look crappy? its peeling...HELP!

i will tell you but you'll have to join me in charlotte, nc for the "thrifting 102" seminar so we go a little deeper and a little further in turning the blah into the beautiful.

the seminar will take place on saturday august 11, 2012 at 10am and will last one solid hour. the registration is only $10 for a solid hour of good teaching and a ton information.

the space we will gather in has very limited seating so that means the seminar seating will be limited as well.

so click below or above to register.


i have a rare opportunity to get to london and i need your help to get me there.

click on the link below and vote for Rashon Carraway.

if i go of course there must be a way to celebrate!

every vote helps to get me ends tomorrow at 11am EST.