Category Archives: garage sale finds

Gourdy Birds

Gordy Birds

A few years ago I had the pleasure of finding a large bag of dried gourds. I have kept these gourds and stored and restored them. Keep in mind that these are not easy items to store. They take up a lot of room and are very unwieldy. After a few years of storing them I decided that I was going to give them away, since they were laying around doing nothing. I put the bag in my car.

The gourds traveled with me for a few months and I still couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them. Why wouldn’t inspiration hit me?

It finally did!

The gourds reminded me of birds. Not beautiful birds necessarily, but goofy, rather klutzy birds. Birds that might have been related to the Coo Coo Bird.

I started by washing the gourds, just enough to get the crud off, I used sculpey to make the beaks and eyes, cooked them for the time necessary and glued them with E-6000 to the gourds.

The eyes and beaks were a jumping off point. I painted them with bright colors and bent wire to make legs. I used a small knife to make a hole in the gourds and glued the legs in.

The birds turned out to be so much fun, and I am thanking my lucky stars that I kept them. I hope you enjoy them, and I will post photos from time to time as I make new ones.

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Day two “Ornament Advent Countdown”.

Cheri-December 12, 2012. Day two of “The Crafty Sisters Advent Ornaments“.
Snowflake ornament made with Tinker Toys

This is a super simple ornament to make and it really is pretty neat. It may not make the best ornament as it is a little large but it would be a great tree topper or a wall hanging.

All you need to do is get some Tinker Toys and pegs. I found some orphaned ones at a garage sale last summer and decided to give them a new life.

The design fell in to place pretty easily and then, I just hot glued the pieces together.

The hard part for me was the painting. Spray paint seemed to be the best way to go, but the paint soaked right in to the Tinker Toys. After several coats (and a patchy finish), eventually I finished painting it with acrylic paint and glittered it.

This was a fun project and the possibilities are endless.

Merry Christmas-Cheri

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Chair Challenge

Cheri- It doesn’t seem to matter how much time we have for a challenge, I seem to always wait until the last minute to complete it.

Over the years, I’ve collected several chairs that need to be painted/redone.  I started with 3 chairs that I’ve had for a while and decided to try a different technique on each one. If I didn’t like how my chair was coming along, I’d move on to a different one.

The camp chair was my third try. It was a garage sale find and was a lot more unique than my other attempts. The bad part of the project, was that the canvas needed to be replaced. For a folding chair, this is a pretty major fix as the chairs stability depends on the canvas seat and the back.

After pulling off the canvas, I was amazed by the wonderful wooden skeleton the chair had. of course now I was faced with the daunting task of showing off the chair without covering it up too much.

After mulling it over in my head for a bit, I decided that something transparent would be best for the back. It just happened that I  picked up some unused medical tubing at another garage sale that would be perfect for the back of the chair. I dremelled about 12 holes on each side of the back. Then I took the tubing and wrapped it around the chair, tacking it in each place that had previously been drilled.

The back of the chair looked great, next came the seat. I first tried to use the tubing again, but the tubing needs to be held tight and this chair folds. I had some leather in my material stash and dug it out. It was a perfect fit to replace the canvas seat of the chair.

It needs a few more tweaks, but the finished product came out pretty cool.



Photo of a garage stuffed to the rafters.

Crafty Challenge 9: Chair Repair

Photo of a garage stuffed to the rafters.

Every single one of the Crafty Sisters has at least one chair in their house or in storage that is in desperate need of a repair/makeover. This challenge is all about getting one chair checked off our projects to complete list.

This time, part of the challenge is to document the whole process for you, our readers. You will get to see the befores and afters, as well as the steps we took (and possible failures we had to overcome) to complete the challenge.

Because this is a bit more time consuming than some of our other challenges, we are giving ourselves three weeks to finish this Crafty Challenge. We have until June 23rd to complete our Chair Repair Challenge!

All the Crafty Sisters have a storage space that looks like the photo above. Finding only one chair that needs to be repaired and made over is the hard part, so wish us luck!


Happy Crafting,


Chinese Fortune Cookie Tree

Chinese Fortune Tree
My tree with the fortune cookie leaves and bread twist-tie branches.

Cheri: At garage sales I am usually on the lookout for items that I can use in a collage. I have mentioned before that I like to purchase multiples of small items. My reasoning is; if you have a lot of one item you get the luxury of messing it up and having more to fill in if you really want to try it again. So, I have multiples of various items.

That being said, when you are at a garage sale, do not overlook the free box. This is a great place for multiples. Often, people will collect silly things, like, bread closures, bottle caps, nuts, old nails and the like. I really do not know what makes someone decide to keep these items, but I am always very glad they have.

It was one of those happy instances, when I looked in a free box and there in a bag was about 200 bread wires. They were crinkled up and they looked like a bunch of branches. I had been working on a tree design that I liked and I thought the wires would look great as the branches.

This is how I put together this tree collage. After I placed the branches, I decided the branches needed leaves.  I remembered the fortunes that I had been saving from our weekly trips to China Lane (a local Chinese food restaurant). They were perfect for the leaves after I gave them a little curl. The birds were made from Fimo clay and were left over from another project I had been working on. All of the pieces came together and it worked. I really like that when that happens.

Chinese Fortune Tree
Close-up of the Fimo clay birds and Chinese fortunes.

Cheap Trick: Dyed Jeans

I love dark blue jeans. However, they can be hard to find and most often are not in my size or in a style that I prefer. And when you do find some that fit, am I supposed to buy two or three pairs of the same exact jeans?

Also, with the cost of jeans now, I have not been buying any lately. So, Mom and Cheri’s garage saleing to the rescue! Mom picked up 4 pairs of jeans for me on one of their rounds and I ended up taking 3 of them home. The only problem is that they are all in the standard denim blue color. This is not to say that I won’t wear them, just probably not to work.

The other night I was dyeing some pants of my husbands black (he had a bleach accident) and I decided on a whim to throw a pair of the new-to-me jeans in the dye bath too. When they came out, they were the most wonderful shade of dark blue! I am so happy! Now I just have to buy some more black dye and I will have several pairs of wear-to-work jeans.

Photo of me in my newly dyed jeans.
Wow! A sunny day at last!

WooHoo! I never would have figured that black dye would do this to jeans. The other great thing that came out of this dye job is that my jeans don’t have any of the “fashionable” pre-worn spots. Those really irritate me when done on the darker blue jeans. I think they stand out too much, so this takes care of that little peeve of mine.

King Koin

King Koin Bank

I know a lot of people are just wild over King Kong. I have never been a fan, didn’t like the first one, the second, the third and I believe there is another one in the works. That being said, I was delighted when I found a King Koin bank last week at a garage sale.

King Koin Bank

From my brief research, I was able to find that it was made by Jasco around 1977. I was drawn to the plastic and colors. I don’t usually collect banks but this one was too good to pass up and on top of everything else it worked.

King Koin

All you do is put a coin in front of the tent flap and King Kong comes out and snatches it. It doesn’t take batteries to work and all you do is wind it by the clever little clown on the side of the tent.

King Koin

When I look at this amazingly intricate plastic toy, I am again pleased that someone decided to keep this bank from 1977 and pleased that they decided to sell it in 2011 and that I was the one who happened to run across it. This bank is not really rare and it is not particularly valuable but it is a very interesting piece of kitsch and deserves an honored place right next to my Fisher Price lunch box.

The Coach-A-Thon

One of my best garage sale finds happened just this season. It was during one of those rare times when all four of us get to run around together and boy, we had a successful day. Unfortunately, we hadn’t started the blog yet, so there are no pictures of the bountiful booty we picked up that day, but you have seen and will see some of the items we picked up in other posts here. My new to me Subaru Forester was absolutely packed to the brim and we had to repack everything at least once.

My particular favorite purchase was a black Coach messenger bag. Now, to understand the gravity and wonder of this find, you first have to know that we love Coach purses. The family hunters have had great success over the years at finding them, but this sale was like a gold mine. They were selling 5 of them. They originally were asking $5 for each, but as the day was waning, they would sell them for $2 a piece. With absolutely no haggling, I picked them all up and we instantly sounded like a flock of clucking chickens deciding who got which ones. I was pretty adamant that I get the black messenger bag as I had been specifically looking for one, which made it the perfect day!

Black Coach messenger bag.

I love the hardware. I’m not normally a fan of brass hardware, but here it is perfect.

Brass hardware.

I have been carrying it for a few weeks now and I find that I like it more all the time. I had just bought a new purse a few weeks before (a really new one from an actual department store), but it now sits by the wayside. I will get back to it it eventually, but for now it is Coach at my side.

Bizarre Finds — Garter Hooks

Cheri: Sometimes it can be very difficult for me to pick out the most bizarre item that I picked up at a garage sale. I don’t automatically pick up an item thinking, “this is bizarre”. I am actually thinking about what I can do with what I picked up. It may be what I may feel that I can make from the item, or maybe even what I think someone else can make from it. And then again, I pick up some items because I just think they are really cool and I want to have that item. I like to think that it adds to the cohesiveness of what I collect. That being said, my bizarre item for this week is a bunch of garter hooks. When I first saw the bundle of hooks, I was shocked. For one thing they looked brand new, and for another there were so many of them. I have a tendency to buy items that I can find a lot of. This way I have several to work with if I should choose to and I can make a few different items. When I picked them up an idea flashed in my brain, these would make awesome curtain hooks for a bedroom. I could not get the image out of my head, so, I bought them. Will I use them in my bedroom as curtain hooks for some slinky fabric curtains? Maybe, maybe not. You just never know.


*Please note: Unable to locate the hooks as I have placed them in a place “I will remember”, unfortunately, I have not “remembered“ yet. Trust me, they really are cool.

Adventures in Garage Saleing

Bob's harrow
This looks like hard work to me.

Lynne: Loryn and Kristin have already written about the great Saturday we had garage saleing together, so I thought I would add some comments to theirs. It is unusual that we are all together and still have enough time to spend on a morning of garage sales. It’s really an immense amount of fun, although we have to account for the space two more people occupy and buy accordingly.

I have been looking for the past two years for a harrow for my brother. I have sent him endless photos on my cell phone of seeders and harrows and other things with interesting parts but no specific name. All of which were busts.

Cheri and I were talking Saturday morning about some of the finds we had made and I mentioned that Bob’s harrow was being extremely elusive. I told her that I may have to give up that find. One garage sale later, I stared in disbelief at a harrow. I know that it is probably coincidence, but it is not hard to believe that some spirit of garage sales has aligned my wants with the items in a sale.

If you look at Loryn’s and Kristin’s post, you will see that the Subaru was full to the brim and the harrow was not something Cheri and I wanted to put on our laps in the back seat. Kristin is ever prepared and had bungee cords to strap the harrow to the roof carrier. It did make a weird whining sound on the way home, but it was safe and sound and is tucked in the garage. (Bob, if you’re reading this it’s still in the garage.)

That was my find of the week and is another notch in our tally book of garage sales. Good hunting out there and may all your notches be as satisfying.