Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Garage Sale!

If we could do this every week, we probably would.  Garage saling is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning -- you get out of the house, you're outside (which is a big plus if the weather is beautiful, as it was last weekend), you only have to spend a little money (or none at all if you have more restraint than we have... but part of the fun is going with a little cash in your pocket), and you might score big and come home with all kinds of really cool stuff.  Dave and I both love it, and I hope we always do :)

Much of my home is decorated with garage sale and thrift store finds.

So we went on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun.  Dave and I are kind of hard core about it.  We go on Craigslist and find the ones we're interested in, map everything out, and figure out a plan of attack.  We bring the GPS with us so there's no wasted time trying to find an address.  We're strategic. 

When we came home, Dave had a new, large tool box, the kids had a new wooden castle playhouse with lots of odds and ends, including some cool wooden people and horses, and I had a couple of things.  The first was this little yellow bucket: 

Right now, it's just sitting on my front porch and being used as a planter box, but that may change.  I haven't totally figured out where it's going yet.

But the more exciting find were these babies:

I found them carelessly thrown on a bedsheet at the garage sale of a house in a wealthier neighborhood.  The woman manning the sale was a little distracted as there were several people that wanted to speak with her.  This can be kind of good -- that means that she might be so distracted that she's not thinking properly about prices.  Such was the case.  When I asked her how much she wanted for the shells, she glanced at them and said, "I don't know, maybe 10 cents a piece?"

Score.  That's what I'm talking about people.  This is why we go garage saling.

I picked up all of them, which ended up being 12 shells.  This was also good.  Just more than an even 10 meant that she might be willing to let me have them all for just a $1.00.

I didn't even have to negotiate.  She offered $1.00 first and she had herself a deal.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do with my new shells.  They are beautiful and they have these perfect little holes in them -- just right for hanging on a string.  I also have one lonely little hook left on my front porch.  It's been waiting for a wind chime, but I don't do anything quickly.  I like to let things evolve.

The first step was to figure out what kind of structure I wanted to use to hang my shells.  I decided that some weathered wood might be nice.  It just so happens that we have a lot of dead trees/branches in our yard and more weathered wood than we know what to do with.  So I found three small sticks that I liked.  Then I washed them off.

At first, I was just going to tie fishing line around the sticks, but then I decided I wanted something a little more permanent and sturdy.  So I asked Dave to drill a tiny hole in each one:

Then, I arranged them in an order that pleased me and strung a piece of fishing line through all three:

After that, I tied off the fishing line around the bottom stick and hung them up to see how they would hang.  In this pic, I'm holding them so that you get a clear picture, but they ended up hanging a little wonky.  That didn't bother me, though, because it's an easy problem to fix once you start adding the weights.

Then I laid out my shells in three rows and arranged them until I was satisfied.  I tried to put the smaller shells near the top and larger ones near the bottom.

I cut long pieces of fishing line and began to tie the shells on.  Starting with the bottom shell, I just put it on the line, tied a loop and knotted it three times, moved up the line a little, and strung another shell.  I estimated everything.

Finally, I was able to hang all threes lines on the top structure.  My plan was to hang each line on its own stick, but I realized quickly that I would need counter weights to get the sticks to hang properly, so I decided to hang all three lines on the very bottom stick.

And the result?

I really like it!  It's kind of beachy.  It wouldn't be my style to decorate my entire home with this look, but a little of it thrown in here and there is quite pleasing.

I might go back and add some sort of glue around the lines where they're tied onto the sticks...or maybe I'll get Dave to drill a few more holes in the bottom stick.  I don't want them to wiggle around while they're being blown by the wind.  We'll see.  If I start to notice an issue, I'll go back and modify.

Here's the view of the wind chime looking out into the yard.  The shells show up well, but it's a little harder to make out the sticks at the top:

Total cost for this project?

$1.00.  Love it.

Total time?

About an hour, including washing out the sticks and drilling the holes.  I made it on my front porch while my kids played in the yard.

Do any of you like to go garage saling?  What's one of the coolest things you've ever found?

Thanks for reading!


  1. So cool! For a buck! I love me some beach-inspired thrifting goodness. Thanks for sharing, I'll be sticking my face into shells from now on (when I see them)looking for holes in them :)

    1. I know! It's so awesome when you find cool stuff -- so cheaply. Let me know if you find those shells and make something with them. I'd love to see what you come up with :)

  2. Very creative! It looks fantastic.


  3. Gosh, I love a good garage sale! I can't tell you how many fun finds I've found. I'm your newest follower from over on Little House in the Big D.

    1. It's so much fun! Thanks for following -- I'm off to check out your blog!

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