If you read this blog much, you know that I shop Goodwill quite a bit. For me, and I know how corny this sounds, it's a place to clear my head and flip the creative switch. I've told this to people before and many just don't understand. Or, I've had several people write in saying they just never "see" things at Goodwill or can't find anything good. With these comments as well as a few people asking what my thought process is while shopping Goodwill, I thought I'd start a series where I show things I find and the logic of how I'd use it. There are many times that a theme is seen and decor pieces are put together AT Goodwill.
Let's get started. These photos I'm showing today came from one store. During one trip.
First, I always find many many items that jump out as inspiration pieces. Here are a few:
Polka dot box. The famous disco dot pattern. Michael Miller revived the disco dot pattern and I'm so glad he did. It's everywhere! When I saw this, I thought it was perfect to design several occasions around. Baby shower, young girl's birthday, bachelorette party, summer girl's get together, to name a few. Uses for the box? It would be beautiful to sit a large carnation ball in as a centerpiece or line with tissue paper and use to hold favors, etc. Of course, just the box along is adorable and would make a great gift box. Throw in some Bath and Body Works products and a note for a friend who needs a pick me up?
Children's art. This was a poster size piece of children's art on canvas. Absolutely adorable! You know how I talk about backdrops a lot. This would be a great backdrop or focal point of a table for a baby shower. Especially if the theme of the shower or the baby's nursery is something included in this art. This is an amazing piece for party decor because it has so many common themes included: airplane, animals, firetrucks, robot, rocket, etc. A great piece to tie into!
Tea cup. Looking at it now, I should have put it against something to really get the scale of this thing. It was HUGE. First thing I thought when I saw it was spray paint it! Secondly, I thought 2 things: either using it for an Alice in Wonderland party or a fun tea party either for little girls or older. Uses for it may be holding a floral centerpiece or using as a punchbowl (seriously, it was THAT large). Of course, you'd have to line it with another bowl if you spray painted it to make it safe for food/beverage. Or, place a large round piece of wood on top and use it as a themed cupcake stand or serving piece. Lots of uses for this but it definitely needed to be painted first.
Then there are items that I see that already have a theme. Like these three things:
Firetruck boots. No transformation needed! Add them to a firetruck theme child's birthday. And do what with them? Create a floral arrangement or fill them with floral foam and stick in long all day suckers. Another idea is to stick something in the bottom of both of them to elevate a cup and fill the cup with fun striped straws like these from Garnish.
Chairs. Snow White and Cinderella. Very common children's themes. When I look at these, I see cupcake stands or a great place to hold a platter. In using them to serve food, you won't be covering up the characters and can use them to really add a larger decor piece to your party inexpensively. Plus, you can give them to the guest of honor afterwards! These needed just a bit of touch up paint on the edges and they would be perfect!
Dragons. I instantly think something like Harry Potter. This could easily be in the center of your table on a stand or an easel.
Now there are many times that the Goodwill stars align and you find several items that fit one theme. Like during this trip, I saw this. A massive margarita glass. I'm thinking margarita party featuring various flavors, or a gathering of friends before a Jimmy Buffett concert to create a margaritaville concept. Luau, pool party... tons of themes.
How would you use it? Floral arrangement? Or place 3 regular size margarita glasses inside this one to create a graduated stand to display margarita cupcakes? Or, if you're serving margaritas on the rocks, it's a great serving piece.
So, in the next aisle over, there was this sign. Perfect to use in the margarita theme. You can't tell it from the photo, but the actual margarita is 3D in that it is raised and has depth. Really cute! Place it on an easel to add additional theme and color.
Need dishes to continue the colorful occasion? Again, one aisle over.... The great thing about Goodwill is that, more times than not, you can find whole sets of dishes.
Then you're well on your way to a party! So there you have it! A small glimpse of how my mind works while shopping Goodwill. For those of you that wrote in, I hope it's useful. :) Email or leave a comment below! I'm happy to make this a regular feature!