Make Something: Thrift Shop

The make something project sent me to a thrift shop today. The instruction: buy something to work with … and maybe even give the result back to the shop after documenting the work.

The daughters went with me. I set myself a $5 limit and gave each of them $3. In the end, we spent just over $10, because I stayed under budget. Not bad for an hour’s entertainment in real time … plus all the fun we’ll have with what we purchased.

Emma made out like a bandit, scoring a collapsible plastic basket, an organizer full of buttons, a package of blank buttons to cover with fabric, and a VHS tape featuring the Olsen twins. (Please know that the tape was only 20 cents. I told her I will not watch this movie. Personally, I think the store clerks should have given Emma a dollar to remove the video from their premises.)

Hannah bought a funky red photo frame shaped like a TV. When we got home, she wrote “Today I feel …” near the top of a piece of paper, then trimmed the page to fit behind the glass. She will use a dry erase marker to write updates on the glass, helping the rest of us stay abreast of her swinging moods. If you live with a tween  girl, you might share my view that this could be a ridiculously helpful little message board.


And me? I invested $2 in beaded necklaces to disassemble and use another day. The other $2 got me a 3″x9″ framed, stand-up “art” piece. With a little measuring, the right words, and creative font selection, I imagined I could reinvent this item. The refashioned work may not have broad enough appeal to resell at the thrift shop. But it looks quite nice in my office.

"Before" on the left, "after" on the right.

Before on the left, after on the right. The quote is one of my favorites from Pablo Picasso: “Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” A great reminder to edit.

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