Thrift Store Transformation: A Christmas Deer & Sideboard


This season I’m enjoying mixing rustic and shiny with fresh greens on our burlap and silver mantel and our metallic tree with a burlap ribbon. I had a lot of fun creating this sideboard vignette to coordinate using these items plus apothecary jars, a cake stand, and a cute white deer that started out like this:


It was a super quick and easy thrift store transformation (I’ll show you what I did with the garland tomorrow: updatego here to see what I did). I found these two items the other day at a local Goodwill – a paper mache deer and a brand new tinsel garland. If you’re looking for Christmas items, don’t forget to look at the thrift stores – they often have the same things that are in the stores, but of course a lot cheaper. The deer above was .99 and the garland (with a $6.99 original price tag!) was only .49.

What cracked me up is that the paper mache deer had been decorated at one time around it’s neck – evidenced by some leftover glue and stray green garland pieces – and still carried a hand-penciled price tag of …drum roll…$15. Um, do you think someone thrifted it when no one bought it for that price, or after having paid that?

These little guys are popping up everywhere in holiday vignettes and they are usually white, so I broke out my trusty Rustoleum “heirloom white” spray paint on a day that was above 50 degrees and quickly sprayed about three light coats. After removing any glue/garland residue, that is.


Ta da! He’s so much more dignified now, don’t you think? And for .99 if I grow tired of him, well he might find his way back to the thrift store. Or I may paint him purple – you never know what will be in style in the future, do you?

Okay, I’m kidding about the purple. If that ever comes into style somewhere, I still wouldn’t do it. Gotta draw a line somewhere and I guess a purple deer is my line.


However, I do like the white version in my sideboard vignette. He blends nicely with the natural greens, pinecones, and other white elements. I added burlap here on the sideboard with the greenery to tie it in, but kept the shiny elements limited to a few vintage ornaments from my grandma. This is the first year I’ve used rosemary along with the traditional cypress, fir, and pine boughs. I saw Tricia use it in some of her decorations at Simplicity in The South and a light bulb went off – I have two good sized bushes in my herb garden. And they actually needed to be pruned. The smell is nice, too.

Have you found any thrift items you’re using to decorate for the holidays?




Tuesday Thrift Store TransformationPS – Wondering about the garland? I didn’t just use it as is – I copied an ornament from one of my favorite places for finding inspiration – Anthropologie!

I’m sharing this at the Holiday Vignette Party, Not Just a Housewife, and I’m Lovin’ It


  1. Sakura says

    We are keeping crafting to a minimum this Christmas. Every few years I try and take it easy,this is one of them. But I have been keeping my eye open for items to paint and use later. I have come across a couple of turkeys and my weak spot is rabbits. I don’t know why, but I like putting thrift store rabbits around in my garden. They are kind of a fun surprise. Besides putting up our small tree this year I’ve only broken out 5 other decorations. You have given me lots of inspiration, now I just need some of your awesome energy. I still have a mahogany bedside table I bought 2 years ago that I haven’t finished!!!

    • Jami says

      Oh, maybe we can agree not to talk about unfinished projects Sakura? I prefer not to think about things like chairs that have been awaiting a makeover for a year in the garage… :)

  2. Nancy says

    Wow! Talk about perfect timing! I was just thrift store shopping today and found some clear oraments with glitter designs on them. The package was missing two but there were still 10 in the package. I bought them for .99 While on the way home I was trying to think of a way to make them “prettier” Your idea is just perfect!
    Thank you so much for the inspiration that you always give to everyone. You always have such great ideas.
    Blessings to you and your family.

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