This post brought to you by Goodwill of North Georgia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of My Mom Made That.

About two years ago, I met a wonderful woman who was a professional thrifter and junker.  Isn’t that a cool job?!  She’s a picker, like one of those guys from American Pickers.  She goes into barns, and sheds and all of the state of Georgia looking for rusty, junky treasures.  And she finds them, and is able to create gorgeous home decorations, tablescapes and mantels.  I am always amazed by her style and creativity.  About a year ago, I asked her to take me with her, and she agreed.  You know where we started– Goodwill of North Georgia.  Yup, our local Goodwill, and she showed me all of the wonderful treasures that I could find shopping there.  And since that trip, the Goodwill Stores of North Georgia have become some of my go-to locations for household supplies and home decor.  In fact, while many people were hitting the standard retail stores on Black Friday, my sister-in-law and I traveled to Goodwill to see what we might discover in the store’s aisles.

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

Every day at Goodwill is a wonderful opportunity for fabulous doorbusters, but I’ve learned that you have to be patient when shopping at Goodwill, and learn what you are looking for.  There are some awesome deals and home decor to find, but, the first time I went to Goodwill, I was a little overwhelmed.  However, on my Black Friday trip, I spent approximately $25 and came home with lots of goodies, some not even pictured in the shot below.  (By the way, while I usually buy home decor items at Goodwill, I have found that I can get good deals on baby separates at Goodwill).

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

My biggest tips for the thrifter who is interested in finding great home decor items at Goodwill is that you  take your time.  I rarely find exactly what I am looking for, but always have a working list of things that I would love to score.  I do know that when it comes to holiday decorating there are a few items that I am certain to find, and I would encourage you to keep your eyes open for:

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

Vases.  Sure, you can get a lot of different glass vases at your local craft store, but for a fraction of the cost, you will always be able to find a variety of vases at the Goodwill.  People tend to donate the vases that florists bring bouquets in.  Thus, if you need a vase for Teacher Appreciation Day, or to sit on your side table with Christmas greenery, you are sure to be able to find a vase for under $2 at the Goodwill.  For example, the vase below, I purchases at Goodwill for $0.97., and filled it with branches of Christmas tree, small pine cones, and leftover Christmas ornaments.

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

Mason Jars.  Usually they don’t have their tops, but there are lots of Mason Jars available for approximately $1 at Goodwill, and very often, you can turn them into vases or other home decor.  (Like I did with the burlap ribbon and artificial berries.)

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

Glassware.  Similarly, if you want to set up a wonderful tablescape, and want a variety of wine glasses, or other stemware, you will find it at Goodwill.  In fact, I found these Beer Steins at Goodwill for less than $2 a piece, and turned them into personalized Teacher Gifts that are perfect for the end of the year, or holiday gift giving.

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

Silver-plated Serving Pieces.  If you are planning on entertaining, and need a few silver-plated pieces for your table, you are likely to find them at Goodwill.  They often have silver-plated candlesticks, chafing dishes, and bowls.  On my last trip there, I bought a huge one that was mildly tarnished for $1.77.  I could have used silver polish to shine it up, but I actually really liked the tarnished look.  I filled it up with dozens of extra christmas balls, and a few snowflake ornaments, and set it up in my living room.

My Mom Made That: Goodwill Christmas Decor

Holiday Decorations.  Now if you don’t want to create your own from serving pieces, and glassware, you are likely to be able to find Christmas decorations that you can upcycle with a coat of paint or a few ribbons.  There are often porcelain figurines (I didn’t find any on my last trip) that you can buy and repaint, or holiday candles.  So many inexpensive options for the thrifty and creative upcycler.

Baskets and Tins.  Are you baking cookies for friends and neighbors?  Are you needing a basket to deliver canned goods to your church?  Baskets and tins are a few items that I can always find at Goodwill, and can always be quickly repurposed for holiday giving.  They are usually in pristine condition, and at a steal of a price.  I would encourage you to swing by Goodwill to grab a few before you go to the pricier craft store to buy them..

Holiday Sweaters.  My Sister In Law needed a holiday sweater for a party, and there was a good selection of holiday attire at the local Goodwill– in fact, she was able to buy three sweaters for under $15.  If you don’t need a holiday sweater to wear to a party– what about turning it into a pillow?  Check out this awesome tutorial at Everyday Home Blog on how to make your very own!

Do you shop at Goodwill?  Have you thought about the store as being a great source for Holiday decorations?

Oh, and before I forget, if you end up filling up your home with too many awesome bargains at Goodwill, remember that you can always donate your unwanted clothing and home items to this great cause.  Goodwill of North Georgia has just celebrated its 90th birthday, and has a goal of giving jobs to those people who are looking for work!  If you aren’t sure where to drop off your donations, here is a link for Donation Locations.

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