Tag Archives: thrifting

Quick Project

Today our church hosted a community garage sale. We all went out this morning to hit it first thing. We spent less than $20 and came home with some comic books, kids books, a movie, cute tins, and these awesome wooden boxes.


I originally wanted to use the boxes for storing a few small toys and books in the boys’ room, but the wood was too rough. In fact, I got a sliver while I was working with them! My second idea was to use one to store my magazines, then figured I could put the second one in the same spot to hold other stuff!

This is the place I am talking about:


And here it is, after prying the ends of the boxes:


All sides of the boxes were closed, and I kept the end pieces, just in case I change their use and want to open the top or side.

While I was prying the pieces off, Calvin got jealous of my tools, so I pulled out his wooden hammer. It isn’t an any time toy. He doesn’t quite understand what can and cannot be hammered.


And as for the other purchases, some became drums!


Calvin Goes Thrifting

While my mom was here, we did a little shopping. One stop was the thrift store. Since Calvin was confined to the stroller earlier, we let him roam around.

He found a big chair for big people…Thrifting (1)

…a little chair for little people…

Thrifting (3)

…and a big elephant for little people.

Thrifting (2)

In the end, he paid for his bowling set and we went on our way.

Thrifting (4)

The Boys’ Room

I finally painted a second room in our yellow house! The first was the bathroom. And now I am done the boys’ room! I found a can of grey-blue on Kijiji for $20 (seriously, if you aren’t picky about the specific colour, this is a super great way to go; or also the ReStore), and I love the colour a lot!

The room itself used to be the guest room. It is the larger of the two bedrooms (other than the master), so when it came time for the boys to share, it made sense that they would get the larger room and the smaller room that Calvin used to occupy would be the new guest room.

Here is what it used to look like:



And here it is now:

That's better!

That’s better!

I still have to finish painting the trim. It would have been done, except the white paint that was left behind by the previous owner had gone bad since I painted the bathroom. Maybe I didn’t close it properly. Oh well.

I realize it may look a little girly with all the white furniture, but I’m sure they don’t mind. And look…a dinosaur on the wall!

I love the room, and it has worked out well so far. You can read about how the adjustment has gone for the boys so far here, if you are interested.

Calvin’s Birthday Present

Tim and I are not huge gift givers. We didn’t get Calvin a Christmas present, and were thinking that we wouldn’t get him a birthday present either because really, how does a one year old know what a gift is and miss it if he doesn’t get one? Money saved!

But I was at our local Goodwill thrift store and came across a bunch of bags and boxes of Mega Blocks and thought that would be a great toy for Calvin. So for $11, a grabbed a large box and a medium sized bag and took them home.

Of course I had to clean them, and originally thought I would just throw them in the dishwasher, but I didn’t have any mesh bags to keep them contained. So after a quick Google search, I discovered that the washing machine works just as well! So I divided up the pieces into four pillow cases, and then into the washer they went, on a hot cycle.



When it was completed, I just laid the pieces all out on some towels to air dry.


I didn’t have a basket big enough to fit all of the roughly 160 pieces, so I picked out the best ones, and now they are ready for play!


And that is how gifts work in the Sevenhuysen house. What might be a random, everyday toy purchase by one family is a gift in ours.

Oh, and his birthday isn’t for another two weeks, but I’m sure he doesn’t care that he is getting it now and not later. I don’t want to have to keep them somewhere else just to “surprise” him on his actual birthday. I’ll save the surprising for when he actually knows what a birthday is.




Thrifting – Challenge

I read Young House Love (a DIY design blog that is fun and teaches me things that maybe I will one day put into action). The other day they put out a thrifting challenge because of this new song out there about the activity. I have not listened to the song, and don’t care to, but I do like to shop second hand!

The challenge had three rules:

1. Go to a thrift shop with – just as the chorus of the song says – “$20 in your pocket”and take a picture.
I did not take a picture of me with $20. What can I say…I am a rule breaker.

2. Spend that $20 any way you’d like and photograph your spoils.

3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic.
Yet another rule I broke because I didn’t listen to the song and also Calvin does not a great photographer make.

So earlier this week I went out with my $20 (and instructions from Tim to only buy something if it was useful – which is no problem for me because I don’t like owning something if it is not used for antying) to our MCC which I prefer to Value Village because they are non profit and they have cheaper prices. Here is what I got:



  • 3 blue couch cushions. Tim would say we have too many as it is, but a couple of them are hand me downs from family friends when I first moved out 5 years ago and are looking a little worse for wear. A few others we got for our wedding are getting really lumpy. The only one I have that is in good shape is a $5 one from London Drugs. But these new ones are in good shape and got the stamp of approval from Tim.
    $1 each
  • a blue wicker basket. I have put this in Calvin’s room on top of his dresser to hold all his socks and little things that tend to get scattered around.
  • Pyjamas. Calvin had a little growth spurt recently and grew out of a chunk of his clothes. Cheap baby clothes are always a good thing!
  • A cute little lamp. I am going to use this as my bedside lamp I think. The one I have currently is a little big and more suited to a living space. Maybe one day I will change out the shade for something different, but it’s not bad. I like the glass knobby thing in the middle.
  • 2 winter hats. These fit Calvin and might still next year. I thought they were super cute, and I like the beavers on the black one.
    $1 each
  • Rummy-O. Who doesn’t like this game? Tim and I enjoy playing a good game together and also with people we have over. I couldn’t pass this up.
  • A bag of wooden toys. Most of the toys there were kind of junky or just bits and pieces of larger sets. But I saw this ziplock of wooden cars and I knew I had to have it! My favourite one is the tiny helicopter.

My calculator now is telling me that the total is $20.50, but I came away with two quarters, so maybe I got a free pillow? Anyhow, I thought my haul was pretty good.

Have you found anything at the thrift store lately?


So this afternoon I went out to get a handful of items crossed off my Christmas lists. Naturally I went to the thrift store first. No, I didn’t find any gifts there, but I did find some clothes for Calvin!

GAP jeans
H&M trousers
warm socks for myself

Grand Total : $1.50

Tim and I have a fairly strict budget. We allow ourselves $50 a month for things for myself, Calvin and Tim, as well as anything for our home. If I can find clothes for us adults like I can for Calvin, maybe we will need more than 2 feet of our closet rod!

The thrift store I went to was MCC. Much cheaper than Value Village, and the “proceeds are used locally and globally to meet basic human needs and work for peace and justice through Mennonite Central Committee”. Although Victoria is not lacking in second hand stores, it does not have an MCC. The one here in Edmonton is quite small, but it has good stuff. I stopped myself from buying $1 pieces of Tupperware. Maybe next time.