Treasures I Never Pass Up at the Thrift Store

Remember when you were a kid playing pirate treasure hunt?  It was always such fun to find our treasures even if it was the treasure we buried.  Thrifting is my grown-up treasure hunt even though I don’t normally hide it myself; however, I occasionally run across a treasure that I donated.

I always have a plan when I enter a thrift store.  If it is a new to me store the first thing I do is to get the lay of the land.  My focus is usually on items found in the housewares section.  In my regular thrift stores, I know exactly where to go to start the hunt.

Pyrex is one of the first things I look for at the thrift store.   I never pass up vintage Pyrex.  If it is in good condition and the price is reasonable it always goes home with me.  This was a nice set I found together

but I am not shy about buying a single bowl.

Yellow anyone.  All of the above Pyrex sold in my booth.  I don’t collect Pyrex as such but I have a few single bowls that I like and use seasonally.

Metals are always on my radar too.  Copper is a favorite of mine.  I rarely pass up copper molds.  Now that I no longer have a booth I’m going to collect a few copper molds to display in my kitchen.

Silver is another favorite of mine and tarnish doesn’t bother me a bit.  I love silver pieces with a nice patina.

Most of my silver is in use in my house.

I love to find decorative metal pieces at the thrift store at a fraction of the price you would pay at regular retail.

Ironstone is becoming harder and harder to find at a thrift store but you get lucky every once in a while.

I took me a while but I collected enough white ironstone creamers to fill up my World Market glass drying rack.

Of course, I don’t restrict myself to white ironstone.

Vintage Blue Willow (as you might guess) is always on my list.  I do usually pass on newer Blue Willow pieces.

Kitchen tools like star colanders make fun farmhouse decor.

Pastry cutters are a popular collectible.  I have a few myself.

This vintage ice cream scoop was still in its original box.

It was love at first sight when I spotted this fruit strainer.

Vintage tools and tool boxes are irresistible to me

and folding rulers too.

This little rusty green box is one of my favorite finds.

Thermos and Picnic Jugs are exciting finds to me.

I was so happy to add this Standard jug to my Thermos collection.

Later I found this Coleman jug with a spout.

My Picnic Basket collection grew from my thrifting addiction.

This picnic basket even came with the original plastic plates, cups, and flatware.

I found this vintage metal picnic basket pushed down under the bottom shelf of one of my favorite thrift stores.

These are some of the things I always look for when thrifting but I am always open to other items.  Breadboards or cutting boards and wooden bowls are scarce in my area but I still keep an eye out for them.   I always look at baskets, linens, and furniture but buy it sparingly.  Since I no longer have an antique mall booth and I don’t plan to get another one at this time my buying patterns must change.

 My friend Kathleen from Our Hopeful Home has a series she calls Thrill of the Hunt and thrifting really is a thrill for us vintage loving folks.

Thanks for visiting today.

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  1. All lovely finds Sharon! I’d love to know what are the common Pyrex patterns to stay away from, & what is more rare. You always have such nice ones, like you’re showing here. I have a large green one that has a chip, so I figured I would garage sale it now. You mention silver. I like it too, if not made in China. And I could kick myself for passing on a metal toolbox I saw about a year ago. Yes, I still remember it. I see stuff in the thrift store & I remember more what I didn’t get…LOL.

    • For a while, I was collecting too much silver so I set some rules for myself. I only buy if it is trademarked and like you, none from China. Diana has a Pyrex guide (I think) on her blog and I have found some guidance online. When I had a booth I knew most any Pyrex would sell. The only Pyrex I brought home when I emptied my booth was a set that I overpriced because I really didn’t want to sell it. Like you I remember the ones left behind. I passed on a small tackle box a couple of years ago that I still think of and want to kick myself.

  2. It’s definitely addicting to go thrifting! You never know what you’ll find. I used to have the set of Pyrex bowls that went with the white one you found. Now I only have the big blue one. I use it all the time! Love your treasures.

  3. We are collecting a lot of the same things. Good thing we don’t live near each other and compete for them.

  4. I’d never pass on any of these treasures either!

    • Thanks, Melissa. You always find so much great stuff I don’t know how you prevent yourself from keeping too much for yourself.

  5. Penney Helms says:

    So glad there are other tarnished silver lovers out there. Thinking of making some kind of jewelry out of some of my pieces. This reminded me that I have the multicolored stacking set of Pyrex that was my mother’s. Need to get that out!

    • My Mother would be astonished that there are folks that don’t think you have to polish silver to a high luster. She didn’t have much silver but she kept it shiny and bright or stored in special wrappers to maintain the polished look.

  6. The thrill of the hunt! Like you, I generally go directly to the homewares section. I’m very selective these days because I’m purging things here. Seems odd to bring more in at this point, but I do if something speaks to me. Just last week, I came home with a sweet Beatrix Potter figurine for under $10. It was a bargain, and made the fourth one I’ve found since I started this project of putting together a group of these for my two little grand nieces. l plan to give them to the girls once they are old enough to appreciate them.

  7. Well, if we went shopping together we would be rolling around on the ground, trying to wrestle every find from each other. Not a particularly lovely image, lol. I agree with all your pics, honestly I can’t pass up seasonal jello molds, the small individual kind—then there are bags of cookie cutters—-LOL. and on, and on, and on. Thanks for the fun post, Sandi

  8. Naomi S. says:

    The “Thrill of the Hunt” says it all ! All great finds! I cannot wait for my next thrifting excursion!

  9. Fonda Rush says:

    Speaking of Vintage Blue Willow Ware…My grandma had separation plates, and when we visited her {infrequently at the time, because the trip was so long until they blasted a tunnel through the mountain} we would eat off of separation plates with this design on them. There were only two, so I can imagine my 2 sisters and I fought over them, so there is a third one of the same design, but it is newer. When I visited Ohio to see my family last week, my brother gave me the 3 plates that he had kept for me after my sister died a few years ago. She had received them from my grandma’s estate many years ago. I will certainly take photos for a blog (when I get it started). The two older plates are at least 50 years old, and probably older. Wonderful memory you evoked.

    I saw the blue on white Pyrex bowl for the first time this week at Flea Marketeers in Asheboro, NC. (The name is a hoot!) I didn’t buy it, and I am considering it my loss. It’s a very pretty pattern, and I will try to justify buying it if I ever see it again {for a reasonable price, of course}. It’s funny that I am seeing your post so close to noticing it.

  10. I can’t pass up vintage tools or kitchen housewares either. I’d love to start collecting solid coloured Pyrex, but I rarely see it around here. Those yellow bowls are fabulous!

  11. All I can say is your sure did score some great and diverse treasures…I love pyrex bowls myself since I hate anything plastic…I haven’t found many vintage tools but will keep on the lookout for them…perhaps I need to get there before you do!

  12. We are certainly vintage lovers for sure, Sharon! It was fun reading about what you look for. I have many of the same things on my list — silver and ironstone being my most purchased items, I think. I never see Pyrex here, you would be disappointed about that! I have been lax in my thrifting lately. You have given me the itch:) Thanks for the shout out! xo Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home

  13. kaye steeper says:

    In the UK ironstone is for pennies , blue willow the same , pyrex is starting to get scarce and going up in price , though its usually bought to use . kitchenalia can be horrific in price and ive yet to see a picnic basket in the wild

  14. I love the perfume bottles on the tray!!

  15. What wonderful collections you have! I wouldn’t pass on any of these items either!

  16. Sharon I always love seeing your finds. These are wonderful and I especially love the little pitchers. Gorgeous. Mimi xxx

  17. Always fun to see your buys, Sharon, and of course, our “shopping lists” are quite similar 🙂

  18. I’ve been making handcrafted pin cushions out of small tarnished silver pieces. Like you I love thrift stores! For a time, I couldn’t pass up any Fire King pyrex, but that is under control for now.

  19. Thank you for the inspiration. I I collect or like many of the same things!

  20. Jann Olson says:

    Sharon, we love so many of the same things! I have that same picnic basket and Coleman jug. : ) I never pass up vintage kitchen and have quite a few pastry blenders and ice cream scoops. Thermoses, now that’s one of my favorite collections. Love treasure hunting also! Thanks for sharing with SYC. You will be featured tomorrow.

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