Tuesday, July 24, 2018

*Disclaimer- Many of the photos shown in the article do not belong to me. To find the source and check out more of their awesome material, click on the picture.

My home is covered with books. I mean, really. If my hubby didn't have a floor to ceiling bookshelf at work, we would have to start dedicating entire rooms to books! Sure, we collect books on topics that interest us, but sometimes you just buy it because it's cheap and pretty! Being that we have so many, I have had to come up with a few unique ways to use them! Here are some of my favorites...

1. Before you do anything, you must understand how to style a shelf correctly. Book shelves with just books are boring! This is the perfect place for all your knick-knacks, too! Jane lays out the step-by-steps of having the perfectly styled bookshelf here- https://www.organisedprettyhome.com/styling-a-bookshelf/

2. Use books to create the illusion of height and depth on a flat surface. If all of your items are on one level, it begins to look more like clutter than decor, and books are the perfect solution.

DECORATING WITH BOOKS-budget friendly ideas-books in uniform color-stonegableblog.com        How to make fabric covered books!
3. Cover books to make them uniform or funky! Don't let ugly covers stop you from digging through 25 cent bin at the next garage sale. Any hardback will do!

4. Make them into something else! You can think of books like Legos. They can be made into anything if you have enough of them. A Christmas tree? A table? The possibilities are endless! I made this lamp recently for less than $10!

Click on the picture to find out how I made this lamp on a very small budget!

There's something to this. I think I might do it in frames....perhaps a single frame? I like the idea, though.Great foundation here.     DIY Floating Bookshelves...impressive and inexpensive! More interesting than ordinary bookshelves, they take up very little space and cost less than $50.
5. Hang them on the wall! You heard me right! You can hang them directly on the wall for some homey flair or make literal floating book shelves!

I love to decorate with thrift store books. See how easy it was to make these simple book page rolls!        Looking for an easy DIY holiday wreath idea? Decorate your home for the holidays this year with this eye-catching easy to make Christmas book page wreath.
6. Use the pages. There are hundreds of ways to use book pages to create something beautiful! From lampshades to wreaths and rolled pages to decoupaging on furniture, you can use any old, sad book with damage for these kind of projects.

{Anthropologie Knock-Off} De DIY weekend editie: gave boekletters | Roomed (in Dutch)

7. Make some letters! There are tons of ways to use books to make letters and these are two of my favorites. The top letters I made from water damaged Dr. Seuss book pages and cardboard for my classroom. I've attempted to make letters like the bottom set and failed (so far). Another way to turn books into letters will be coming soon in a new tutorial! Stay tuned!

What are some ways you decorate with books? 
Are they cluttered chaos or delicate decor in your home?
Drop a link if you have written about a book DIY project so we can follow and get to know you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I'm a weirdo when it comes to garage sales. Give me your tired, your poor, your broken furniture and huddled antiques. When I see a garage sale piled to the top with unwanted junk, I get excited! But I am in the minority. Most people want a garage sale to feel very similar to what they are used to in a store. Your buyers want to feel like you've spent time catering to them and making their shopping experience enjoyable! There are a few things that I, as a buyer, HATE when I see garage sales, and much of it isn't what you would expect! So I have a list of things NOT to do at your next garage sale.

1. Don't let your kids sell lemonade. Sure, it's cute to you, but your buyers don't want to be guilt tripped into buying an overpriced shot of lukewarm lemonade from your ten year old. There are times I DON'T STOP because I don't want to be hustled by your kid. (Tip for shoppers who have to deal with lemonade stands: Carry a cup of coffee/water/tea with you to the sale. Then you already have a drink and the kid will hopefully leave you alone.)

Instead, give out free water or coffee depending upon the weather. Yes, this sounds like more work for you, but not if you have your kids man it! People will stop JUST FOR THE FREE STUFF, and hopefully find something they want to buy in the process. There are times I've had to leave a garage sale prematurely because I was thirsty or freezing. Studies have also proven that people are more likely to buy your stuff if you make their experience more pleasurable. Ever walked through a Sam's? Bingo.

2. Don't sell every piece of clothing that you don't want anymore. If there are piles of clothing, I am not going to spend my time rooting through them (even if I can fill a bag for $2). I have enough trouble finding things that fit in a store! Like I'm going to dig through your piles...please. No one wants your thrift store sweatpants.

Instead, sort through the clothes and find the 10-15 best pieces of clothing from each person in your family and send the rest to Goodwill. I'm far more likely to approach clothes when I can tell you are selling quality pieces. And, goodness, hang them up! Shoot, I will drive right past a garage sale that has nothing but clothes! Don't chase away buyers with your mounds of clothes.

3. Don't let your shoppers get lost! Yes, you may have a sign on the main road with your address and times, but I can't read that mess at 40 MPH! If your sign is small, dull colored, or hard to see, people are going to keep driving. Also, don't buy the tiny pre-made signs from Dollar Tree. They are garbage.

Instead, buy brightly colored poster board and make your signs fun! I'm always excited when I see good signage. Most importantly: put signs at EVERY turn they need to make. There is nothing more depressing than getting to a fork in the road and not knowing which way to turn. The trail stops there for a buyer. They aren't going to go BACK to the sign, get the address, plug it in their GPS, and try again. They will give up.

4. Don't leave all of your items in the garage or, even worse, your backyard!

Instead, man/woman up and lug it out where people can see it from the road. It feels sketchy to walk into a stranger's garage or backyard and your main buyer (women) don't want to feel like they may get jumped while trying to buy a bookshelf. Spread it out in your front yard so it is easily visible. And for Heaven's sake, put your best stuff in the front.

5. Don't price like Macy's. Your stuff has no tags. It's been used in your home. When the tags come off (no matter if it was used only once), the price drops by a third. It's not even worth retail WITH tags. If your shoppers wanted to pay full price, would they be at your garage sale? No.

Instead, think of a garage sale as getting rid of things instead of making money. If you don't sell it, it's going to Goodwill anyway, right? Better to make a $1 than nothing. Take what you paid for the item, divide that by 3 and then deduct based on condition/age. Ex. You paid $30 for your lamp. If it is in perfect condition, price it at $10 and expect to be bartered down. Always expect to be bartered down. If the lamp has a mark where your 4 year old experimented with a Sharpie, mark it down further. The ultimate goal is to have someone pay to take your crap.

6. Don't smoke or have your pets outside with you. I don't want your secondhand cancer while I'm shopping. Also, people see smoking and pets as a sign that your items will be dirty. They don't want to buy things that smell like smoke or are covered in cat hair.

Instead, clean up your items so there is no trace of pets or smoke. Only crazy people (guilty) will buy a cat fur covered rug and work to get it cleaned.

7. Don't have a garage sale if you don't have enough items to sell. It's sad to drive by a garage sale with 3 end tables and a stack of Reader's Digest books. People will keep driving because it's not worth the time to get out!

Instead, get some friends or family to join in with you. The more stuff, the more likely people are to stop. Not only that, having family there makes it more fun. If you only have a few items, sell them (or have your grandson help you sell them) on Facebook marketplace.

There you have it! A few non-traditional thoughts on what not to do at a garage sale. Yes, there are a bunch of traditional ideas as well (sort things, price things, etc.) For those, I'll send you to Now That's Thrifty and her article How to Have a Successful Garage Sale. We've repeated some of the most important ideas, but these two articles will have you on your way to a great garage sale! What drives you nuts about garage sales? Comment below with some suggestions for our friends who may be having garage sales this weekend!

Want an exclusive, all inclusive guide to garage sales? Sign up below for your FREE guide to scoring the best deals!

* indicates required