Thrift Store Transformations Recap {and Small Announcement}

31-days-thrift-store-transformations Whew! Here we are at the end of the 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations series I challenged myself to write all the way back in August. I thought a little recap would be appropriate, but first I gotta say:

What was I thinking?

Like, could I have picked a more time-consuming topic? Shop for the items, transform the items, photograph them, edit all the photos, and then write the post. Every. Single. Day.

Yowsa. I think some of the other 31 Dayers had the right idea with their topics of jokes, outfits, or sayings {note to self: if doing this again, pick something quick and dirty like these}. Thank goodness I had a few old posts I could point you to on the weekends, or I might not have actually completed the daily part of the challenge.

Anyway…it’s a great feeling to be done, to have a bunch of cool new things for our house, and to have heard from a lot of you about how much you liked this series. As you know, one of my goals was to inspire you (which is actually a major goal of all the things I write here – I sure hope the blog as a whole inspires you guys daily to DIY, live simply and to not be hindered by perfectionism!) and I’m super excited to learn that you are looking for cast-off items to transform for yourselves or for others – yeah!

As a way to look back at some of my favorite transformations, I’ve grouped them by theme:

Catalog Knock-Offs:

Burlap Message Board
Rustic White Ceramic Turkeys
Script Newsprint Pumpkin
Catalog Shelf Styling

Chalkboard Projects:

Chalkboard Cachepot
Outdoor Plaque

Decoupage Projects:

Sheet Music Joy Sign
Book Page Monogrammed Tray
Holiday Coasters

Faux Mercury Glass:

Mercury Glass Vases
Mercury Glass Pumpkin

Organizing with Thrift Finds:

Organizing with:

All that, plus a lot more – and you know what? I didn’t even get to do everything I had planned!

Which brings me to my little announcement: Thrift Store Transformations will continue on Tuesdays!

Though I should say that it may be only every other Tuesday, but I will definitely be able to keep up with some fun upcycling projects through the winter while the Tuesday Garden Party is on its seasonal break, so hang around and keep reading to see how I finish some of the other things I’ve got waiting in the wings. Things like frames, lamps, glass plates, paper mache items, framed prints, canvases…

Goodness, the list goes on. Oh, yes, I’m seeing this will become a familiar topic here at AOC.

And I’d love to hear what your favorite transformations were from the October series – and what you’re on the hunt for now in your area! {Click to comment}


I’m sharing this at TDC’s Before and After Party, and Chic and Crafty.


  1. Susan Finton says

    This was a very inspiring series. My small town has no thriftstores so can’t wait to visit the big city and go to Goodwill!

  2. Bonnie says

    I have enjoyed your series so much. Each year I pick about 3 31 Days blogs to follow, and this year yours was one. I will continue to follow you.

    I think my favorite would have to be the faux mercury glass. Even though I had seen tutorials before, I really liked the fact that you painted on the outside…I never thought I’d have the patience or skills for all that taping and spraying inside.

    I ordered the Looking Glass spray paint from Amazon but just last Saturday I found it in WalMart for approx. the same price I paid. I will definitely try it.

    Thanks for all the time you put in

  3. KathyJ says

    Yay! So glad you’re going to be continuing this series, Jami.
    I like the burlap message board and the tray ideas.
    Desperately need more organization ideas.
    Thanks bunches!!

  4. Tami says

    Wow has it been 31 days already?? I have so enjoyed your ideas and have been on the lookout for things to spray paint Thanks for all you share with us!

  5. Jean N. says

    I really enjoyed all your October posts, Jami, and have to commend you for such an ambitious project. While I’m not a thrift store shopper, DIY’er, gardener, or blogger, I DO love An Oregon Cottage and read every post. Just so you don’t think I’m a total loser, I love to cook, and some of your recipes are on a regular rotation in our house.

    • Jami says

      Not a loser, Jean! Glad to know you read even what is not your main reason for visiting AOC – that’s always interesting to me, as I hope to offer as much as I can for folks interested in doing things themselves – which includes cooking, so you really ARE a DIY-er…ha! :)

  6. Krista says

    Thanks for doing this. I enjoyed every single day. Two transformations that stood out to me were the script newsprint pumpkin and the sheet music Joy sign. Oh yes, I really liked those turkeys too.

  7. Anne says

    I can hardly pick just one favorite thing! I am a loooong-time thrifter and transformer but you definitely inspired me. Yesterday, I transformed a ceramic turkey (a salt from a S/P set in its former life) into a cool Thanksgiving decoration and I plan to do the faux mercury glass sundae glasses which were totally cool, the chalkboard cachepot, and the burlap message board soon. Great ideas and I am so glad you are going to continue posting more!! Thank you for your inspiration!

  8. Roz says

    I love the DIY faux Mercury Glass. I’ve already bought the Looking Glass spray paint at Walmart and have several glass vases I’m going to experiment with. I love thrift shopping and have gotten several great deals. Just today I was at Goodwill and bought a Waterford bud vase for $0.99. Gotta love it! And I loved your Thrift store series – thanks for all your hard work!

    • Jami says

      Ah, you’re lucky, Roz, the Walmart in our area doesn’t carry the looking glass – bummer. Then I’d be glassing everything in sight!

  9. Deb says

    Well….I love everything you showed us but I gotta say my favorite is the trays. I am so glad you are continuing this theme on Tuesdays…….something to look forward too yay!!! :-)

  10. says

    Found you via Chic and Crafty…wish I would’ve found this series sooner! I love them all but the newsprint pumpkin caught my eye. I will be checking in on Tuesdays for sure!

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