Thrifty Thursday – Trash to Treasure

You guys. I love a good thrift store find and yard sale hunt.  Hand-me-downs?  Yes, please!   I absolutely love the thrill of the hunt, DIY projects, and turning someone else’s trash into my treasure.

In theory.

I really do have good intentions when I buy things to “re-do.”  In reality,  I have a lot of half-finished projects sitting around the house and some I haven’t even started on at all.

Like this table. I think I scored it for like 5 or 10 bucks off of craigslist last fall.  I have lots of amazing “pins” of what I want my end product to look like but for now, it’s just sitting “as is” in the guest room/future nursery. I really should break out the sandpaper and paint soon though.  Who knows when we might get “the call” and then it will for sure never get done with a newborn and a 3 year old running around the house. I can’t believe I have an almost 3 year old.


Or this chair (actually there are four of them).  I bought a dining room table and four chairs at a yard sale last fall. I really have no use for the table and my intentions are to sell it and use that money to buy fabric to re-upholster the chair seats.  I absolutely LOVE the chairs and had been looking on Craigslist for some just like them. Yard sale prices are just so much better!  I guess I should just clear off the table that is currently being used as a junk table (you know what I’m talking about), take a picture, and post it on craigslist.  It would take me all of 5 minutes. Then I could buy the fabric. Genius.


But at least I have actually started this project! I finally decided to chalk paint them and I’m about halfway through the project.  I’m hoping to have them finished soon so I can share the full post on how they turn out and so we can actually start using them in our dining room. Until then, here’s a look at my progress so far.  I just love the crisp, white finish of this chalk paint.  I have NO CLUE what kind of upholstery fabric I want though. And again, to distress or not distress?  That is the question.


And then sometimes I actually finish a project, like this green little table I scored at Goodwill for $5. Of course, I was in such a hurry to finish this baby that I didn’t take a before picture. Go figure.  It had been spray painted a hideous gold color. I knew I wanted to give it a pop of color since I tend to paint everything either gray or white.  I have no clue why I chose green, but the original color of green I bought was almost a lime color and I hated it. So, I just dumped in some black chalkboard paint that I already had on hand and, voila! I actually really love the color. So, I guess I lied a little bit because, surprise, surprise, it’s not really finished.  I still need to decide if I want to distress it or not and then add a couple of coats of wax.  I also want to change out the little knobs with something cute from Hobby Lobby or World Market.  Eventually.  Does anyone actually know what kind of table this is?  The little door on the right pulls out and has a triangular shaped shelf on the other side.  I would love to know its original purpose.


In the meantime, those tables and chairs have been put are staying on the back-burner because I’m having fun with my latest little project.  Clip-on earrings!  If you frequent yard sales, estate sales, or thrift stores, I bet you’ve passed some of these up because your ears are pierced and you have no need for clip-ons, right?  Me too!  Until I saw some fun DIY ideas on Pinterest! There are so many ideas for clip-on earrings.  You can turn them into post earrings, dangle earrings, clip them onto your flats or high heels for pretty embellishments, glue them onto bobby pins for fun hair clips, or turn them into pretty magnets for your fridge. I am turning most of mine into post and dangle earrings that I can wear but there are a couple of singletons that don’t have matches so I am contemplating turning those into pretty bobby pins or even may try to make a ring out of one of them. Who knows!

So, if you’ve inherited clips-ons or notice some the next time you’re thrifting and want to turn them into earrings you can wear, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clip on earrings (duh)
  • Super strong, industrial strength glue. I’m using E6000 which you can purchase at just about any craft store (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby)
  • Flat post earrings, fish hook earring posts, earring backs (I purchased all of mine at Michael’s)
  • Pliers (preferably jewelry pliers from a craft store but I raided the hub’s garage)


You will be able to tell which earrings would make better dangle vs. post earrings.  Take your pliers and pry the clip-on mechanism off of the back of the earrings.  The pliers I confiscated from Zach’s tools (see pic above) didn’t actually have a fine enough point and were getting my hands all greasy.  Naturally, I complained about it when he walked through the room and then five minutes later he returned with very fine pointed needle nose pliers.  My hero. 🙂  In all honesty, some of the clip-on mechanisms came off so easily without even needing the pliers and some are proving to be difficult even with them.  Once you’ve removed the clip-on parts, if you are making post earrings, you simply (BUT VERY CAREFULLY) put a dab of glue on the back of the earring and then set the post in the glue and hold it there for a few seconds to make sure it’s nice and secure.  This particular glue I’m using is very strong and toxic so be sure to have good ventilation and don’t get it on your skin.  It also takes a good 24-48 hours for the glue to completely cure so I’ve just been doing this project out in the garage and leaving them out there until they are dry. No need for toxic fumes in the house. Oh, and I wore a respirator. No need for toxic fumes in my lungs.

If you find some clips-ons that are dangles, like some of the ones in my pic above, you simply remove the earring from the clip-on dangles and add fish hook dangles. So simple!

These adorable, round, floral, post earrings were the first pair I made and they are my absolute favorite!  I think the turquoise ones next to them are going to be a close second!



A couple of tips and things I’m learning along the way:

  • Michael’s seems to have the best selection of earrings/jewelry making parts (at least around here).  They have everything from 14K Gold Plated to Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel, Nickel-Free, and Hypo-Allergenic.
  • Depending on the shape and size of the earrings, you might not want to glue the posts in the very center of the earring but more towards the top.  That way, the earrings aren’t taking up your whole ear lobe but look like they should.
  • Be creative.  What may seem to not make good earrings may make awesome charms, rings, etc.

So thrift on, my friends.  I’d love to hear what DIY projects ya’ll are working on or if you’ve ever converted clips-on earrings into something with a new purpose.





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