Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrift Tossing

Ever attended a thrift tossing?  Maybe you have and did not know it.  It is when the thrift stores toss unwanted merchandise into the dumpster.  Most will not let patrons plunder due to liability for injuries.  I have a few that let me claw through items destined for the landfill.  Here are some of the things I saved. 
 You have seen this trunk before.  It has been tossed from a thrift shop, out of Chucks' truck, and into my truck several times.  It has aired and I have finally found all the acorns that were hidden in it.  Today it was the big polishing because as you will see I located a luggage rack for it.

You will notice that today was a very busy one.  I remembered to take before photos, but neglected most of the afters.

As always with my blog posts, you will have to use your imagination!  This trunk turned out beautiful!

 I drove up just in time to save these.  If I had gone the next day these old wooden windows would have been trashed.  

I loved the three-pane look.  And the crusty white paint!

I cleaned these and scrubbed off the mildew.

 I tried to get a photograph of the glass in these windows.  Just about all of the panes are the original wavy, bubbly glass.

Please feel free to use your imagination again!

This was close to being tossed.  It was marked down and it was the perfect size for the above trunk.  Even the color matches the trunk.

 I thought the gold embossing on the leather straps was classy enough to be used with the leather trunk from England!

These had already been tossed beside the dumpster.  I got them for a ridiculous price because one side of each one was covered in silver duct tape.

They do not match except in color.  The smaller one is the oldest.

I removed all the tape and scuff marks.  Used Armorall to shine the leather.

Wish I had an after photo.

You know - imagination here!


While rescuing the suitcases, a lady drove up in a huge pick-up piled high with all kinds of interesting junk.  Now this thrift shop does allow me to peek in and around the dumpster, BUT they do not want me getting first dibs on new items.  So I had to stand back while they unloaded.  The last things out were a wood frame with fence wire stapled to it and the dirtiest chair I have ever seen in my entire life.  This would include the several crack houses and drug dens I have been in when there is a clean-out going on.

 If I had scratch-and-sniff blog ability you would be losing your lunch right this very minute.  She said it was her dog's chair.  Well, I have two dogs and have had dogs all my life and my furniture looks nothing like this.  Has she ever trained the dog to use a blanket?  Does she know that dogs are washable?

 Between the back and the seat was hunks of dog fur.  Does she know you can brush a dog?  Does she know there is something called a vacuum cleaner that will suck that fur right out of there?

 She told the clerk there was ONE LITTLE FLAW - the handle had come unscrewed from the back.  The clerk looked at me as if to ask, "What do I do?"  The clerk told her she could not accept it in its present condition.  The lady asked if she could put it in the dumpster.  The clerk looked appalled that the chair would go in their dumpster.  She told the lady with the dirtiest chair in the world that it wasn't clean enough for their dumpster!  So I came to her rescue because under all that grunge there were beautiful bones - this was a genuine antique. 

I also took home the fence wire - I wasn't going to turn down that!

 You know I am only afraid of toilet brushes and not much else.  I pulled that chair over to my truck and threw her in.  When I got home I put on disposable gloves and went to war.  I was not able to save any of the straw and cotton batting under the upholstery, but the springs had been retied and the frame was in great shape.  Once I screwed the arm back on there was not a single wiggle or jiggle in the chair.  I washed with Fabuloso, white vinegar, and plenty of Febreeze.  She basked in the sun for hours until all the smells were gone - gone with the wind!

I think she has an elegant shape and her distressing is divine.  Just look at that arm - the wood, the Tiffany blue, and the crusty white.  I love her just the way she is.  She is now residing in the booth where I know someone will fall in love with her.  They will never know at one time she was THE DIRTIEST CHAIR IN THRIFT WORLD!

See y'all!

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  1. I just can't believe all the good stuff you find! I actually think I STOLE something up here this summer...long story, but I planted zinnias in it. Anyway...I love your dumpster-diving finds. Hoping to get to the ReStore place up here very soon!

  2. those are REJECTS? What, are people crazy?
    I mean, good for you that they are all off their tree, but still, someone ought to slap some sense into them. YOU. Do. Not. Throw. Away. Things. With. A. Soul. Now, say it with me, charity shop clerks of the world. ARGH!!!

  3. Good for you for seeing past the dog smell (and poop from the looks of it) because this chair is awesome!! Please don't forget to take an "after" of this project!!!

  4. soooooo glad you are enjoying our party -- we are enjoying you too and your fabulous finds!!!!! come on -- those windows and all the goodies above are AWESOME!!!!!! LOVE seeing you and so happy you are joining us : ) YAY!!!! : ) sending hugs and wishes for an AWESOME weekend!!!!

  5. What a great haul! That chair is fabulous! Good luck getting everything all fixed up!

  6. You are a woman after my own heart!

    Can't wait to see what you do with the the suitcases too.


  7. Once again you've gone and done it! You are a window magnet! Really cool ones too. The suitcases and the stand and the great stinky chair story have kept me up enthralled by your intriguing tales way past my bedtime. Gotta get outta here early for a town wide garage sale in the morning. As if I need to bring home anything else. Hope you have a great Saturday!

  8. They won't know unless they read your blog :) Love that chair! Great picks! Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend! :)

  9. OMG, you found so many awesome "diamonds in the rough"! I can't wait to see what all you do with each of them! :D Found you on Making it Pretty and am following you on GFC so I don't miss any of your goodness! I'd love for you to stop by and visit (I just celebrated my Blogivesary and there are still 3 giveaways going on). Have a wonderful day!


  10. do you know what you are going to do with the windows?

  11. Fantastic finds. I need to ask my neighbor about their dumpster behind the local thrift shop, she manages the store so I can get the scoop from her. Never thought to check on their discards!

  12. Whenever I drive anywhere I am always aware of the side of the road and what people might have thrown out. The worst thing is that whoever I'm with knows me and says, "There's nothing in that pile but junk". ha ha I know better. Great finds. Linda

  13. I totally never saw this post before! did I miss it girl? But...I saw it get featured at A Creative Princess today! Way to go! Scratch n Sniff blogs!! too funny!!

  14. No I've never been to one. None of the thrifts near me let you near their dumpsters...drat! I too would have grabbed that chair stinky hunky chunks of dog crud and all *winks* It does have great lines! Vanna

  15. Love your style and humor! You are uber talented! Just clicked over from Inspiration Cafe's feature!

    I recently transformed a step stool similar to those you blogged about on IC...would love for you visit and take a look.


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  19. Never thought of 'diving' behind a thrift store...but, now I will! thanks for sharing!

  20. Hi, I have never heard of thrift tossing, makes me want to hop in my car and find a thrift store to see what I could find. How do you know when the stores do their "tossing"? Thanks for visiting my blog, it is so much fun meeting new people. I am your new follower,

    Happy Valentine's Day
    Pearl 13.1

  21. Hi again, I did not realize it, but I was already following you,


  22. Las maletas geniales :)
    y la silla tapizada me la pido
    para mi habitación

  23. Ooh! I am green with envy. That chair is a gem! Although, if I found something like that at my favorite thrift, I'd have them hold it for me until I knew my husband wasn't home, then sneak it in... He'd look at me like I was nuts! (but when does he not?)

    I have to say I adore your writing. You are very witty and fun. You just won over a follower! ;)

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Jessica G from

  24. Hi Donna ... you are one brave girl to take on that stinky chair. It is a great chair and I know you will have it looking great in no time. You finds some real treasures.
    Audrey z. @ Timeless Treasuers

  25. Rotfl, I read it aloud to my hubby and he did too! So fun!


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