Go for the Gold this Thanksgiving

img_3273To have a little fun before the house fills up for Thanksgiving, I decided to go for the “gold” this year.  I’ve got some great vintage gold rimmed plates (from thrift about 4 years ago), and my centerpiece is a hodgepodge of things I found in my decor bin, so in keeping with the thrift tradition, this tablescape cost me $4 for a can of spray paint.

Here are my quick tips for spray painting pinecones.  Be sure to dry out the pinecones before using them for your decor projects.  Line a cookie sheet with foil (the pinecones will ooze sap) so you don’t destroy your cookware.  Heat for about an hour at 225.  Then grab a little helper to shake up your paint, wait patiently (or not!) until nap time, and spray your pinecones outside. I used an open box this time and it was perfect.  The walls kept the spray from coating my deck.  be sure to roll the cones around and spray the bottom and into the center of the cones for the best results.  Fall is absolutely the best season to scavenge for natural materials for your decor!

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Glam that “Trash” – Bench stylin’

img_2116 There is nothing shameful about a good alley hunt, my friend Lindsay has taught me.  On a rare night out without kids, the two of us had nothing to do.  Stores were closed for the evening and what does my lovely friend decide to do?  Scroll through the Craigslist FREE ads of course!  Immediately she exclaims, img_2117“We have to go get this!”  The adrenaline was revving up.  What if we actually made it in time?  This was a $200 bench from World Market! What a score! I, of course, was talking myself out of it.  “It’s been posted for 25 min already, someone will have taken it…. besides, I don’t have my van with me, there’s no hope… (WHY OH WHY did I bring the car instead of the VAN to meet up with my friend tonight!?)  After about 3 minutes of deliberation, we decided to go see how lucky we could be… Continue reading

Starburst Mirror: DIY for $15 or less!


Guaranteed to WOW your friends, this DIY Starburst Mirror is super affordable and all it takes is a little bit of patience (and 2 days worth of your kids napping).  I found a lot of links, pictures and blogs online on how to make one of these, but none as delicate and expensive looking.  Finally, a starburst mirror project that does NOT look homemade, or cheap, and it will only cost you about $15!

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The chair that started it all…

I would be remiss if I left this quick tutorial out of my blog.  This is the chair that got me hooked on doing projects for a fraction of the cost of buying something new, and turning old outdated finds into beautiful pieces.  When we moved into our first home, most of the rooms were blank slates for me to fill with ideas, furniture, art and decor.  This chair has held it’s own in at least three of those rooms over the last three years. I don’t even remember why I HAD to have a little side chair in the first place, but I’ve never regretted this upcycle!   See that cute little ($15!) footstool?  You can check out the tutorial for it here.

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Succulents – Realistic (Dollar Store!) Decor

Hey all- I just have to share.  My friends love this creation I made from a few dollars and an old unused pot I had laying around.  I found the best looking 3-4 different kinds of succulents at the nearby Dollar Tree, and disassembled them.  The plants were in small one inch pots w
ith black painted sytrofoam (can you say “Cheap-o?!)  I pulled the plants out, stem and all and shoved them into some real dirt from my garden.  I think this is an old IKEA pot, but it has such a great mid-century modern shape that the whole arrangement just really pops!  Not bad for a new $4 centerpiece.


According to Me…

carol-teal-shirt1-1-of-1The inspiration for this blog is my life with kids.  When my life drastically changed from the responsibilities of a business owner and chronic pain therapist to picking up piles of toys,  washing dirty dishes, and changing diapers, I knew I had to find some “therapy” within our four walls.  Thus, thrift therapy was born…   For this Mom, thrifty DIY projects provide me with a mental challenge I desperately need, WITHOUT breaking the bank, while I scrub dishes and floors and chase after my destructive escape artists!  It’s a win-win for everyone.  I can stay at home with the kids and keep from going crazy (most days) with my self prescribed Thrift Therapy.  I love the adrenaline rush of finding something for free, having a new project to ponder, and coming up with ways to DIY on a dime.  I hope you find similar inspiration and “therapy” in the projects I post.   Sincerely, Carol Gamboa


 footstooL TUTORIAL… ONLY 30 min to assemble!

I had no idea how easy this little matching footstool would be to make. I probably took 30 minutes total, once all the supplies were cut to size and gathered together.  I couldn’t find a little stool to match my living room decor and my old cane chair needed a little buddy.  I wanted to recover something old, but couldn’t find anything under $40, so I researched the supplies needed and found out that I could make it cheaper on my own. Continue reading