My all time favorite thrifted finds

Browsing the local Goodwill and other thrift stores is one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy weekend. I’m always on the lookout for small housewares, and occasionally larger furniture pieces. I try to learn about each piece I pick up and each item ends up being a small history lesson for me. Between word of mouth and vintage ads, I’ve managed to weave little stories for most of the pieces I own. I don’t like to have things that we don’t use around the house, and my favorite thrifted items have proven to be pretty, useful, and built to last.

 Our carafe with a depression glass creamer.

Our carafe with a depression glass creamer.

 An ad for the Pyrex coffee carafe line of products.

An ad for the Pyrex coffee carafe line of products.

Pyrex Coffee Carafe

Michael and I found this on a trip to Goodwill in Champaign, Illinois for $1. We’ve used it nearly every day since. Like most of my thrifted finds, I only know a little bit about this piece. What I do know is that this was made with Corning glass for Pyrex. This particular carafe dates back to the 60’s or 70’s and was a promotional item with Maxwell House instant coffee. They were made in a bunch of different sizes and patterns, mostly all in gold atomic designs, and a few floral ones as well. My guess is that the Space Race may have inspired the patterns, but I’m just speculating about that.

To take care of this item, we rinse it out after each use and I unscrew the handle and gold band at the top about two or three times a month to run it through the dishwasher. This carafe has aged pretty well for being 50 or 60 years old!

 Our sideboard in it’s current home, our bedroom.

Our sideboard in it’s current home, our bedroom.

 Our sideboard as the center of attention in a previous living room.

Our sideboard as the center of attention in a previous living room.

Sideboard

This is a piece that I looked high and low for and is my favorite piece of furniture in our house. I had been wanting a sideboard for a long time before I finally found this affordable thrifted option. At under $300, our credenza packs the same style as one from West Elm for a fraction of the price, but also has the charm of being a little bit less than perfect. It has some scratches on the top, and some other signs of wear, but it’s nothing bad enough for us to want to refinish it. Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about this other than it is from the 60’s. Since we got it, it has been used as a buffet, a dresser, and most recently, a media console in our bedroom. I’m sure it will serve many other purposes in years to come!

 My growing collection of Depression glass goblets and wine glasses.

My growing collection of Depression glass goblets and wine glasses.

 Packaging for oatmeal with free glassware inside from the 1930’s.

Packaging for oatmeal with free glassware inside from the 1930’s.

Depression Glass

I didn’t know much about depression glass until I stumbled upon some at a thrift store a few years ago. Depression glass is unique to North America and was originally produced during the Great Depression and distributed for free or super cheap. Over twenty manufacturers (mostly in the midwest) made over 100 patterns in a whole rainbow of colors, so that’s a whole lot of glassware out there. After World War Two, the glassware production slowed down a bit (but some reproductions are still being made) and people started considering Depression glass a highly collectable item after the 60’s, which has made them a little more difficult to find.

That being said, if you’re not looking for anything too specific, Depression glass can still be an easily attainable and affordable collection to start if you keep your eye out for it. I started my collection with a full set of plates, and then moved onto a rainbow of goblets. Now I’m on the lookout for more serveware because I can never seem to have enough.

We are headed to Round Top next weekend and I’m hoping we find some more secondhand treasures. What do you look for at thrift stores?