4th of July Upcycle

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I was asked to do this piece back in mid March.  I was excited to be asked again and to think about fun 4th of July projects. I usually decorate my house all of summer in patriotic/picnic decor.  These decorations cover all 3 patriotic summer holidays and it just makes the house feel fun and bright - like summer! 

Then, the whole world came to a screeching halt.  My family chose to hunker down.  We did everything from home and were cut off from the outside world.  Fear of the unknown settled into a daily feeling, and fun stuff like decorating some shelves in our house felt so foreign.  As my deadline approached, I was having a bit of anxiety thinking about walking into a store and meandering about. When I walked into Goodwill, I felt immediately at ease! It is mandatory to wear a mask inside the store.  Everything was spaced nicely with plenty of room to walk around, arrows were on the floor to let you know that aisles were one way now. They even had large stickers on the floor showing you how far 6 feet apart was.  Except for the mask on my face, it felt normal to be out in a store and shopping!

I always search Pinterest for some ideas beforehand but keep an open mind when shopping. You never know what treasures you will find at Goodwill. I looked for everyday items that can be used in other ways or crafted into a fun holiday decoration.  I was keeping my eyes open for patriotic colors or rectangle shapes.

After walking the aisles a few times, I picked up:

  • a wire dish rack
  • 5 paperback books
  • 3 large glossy red frames
  • a smaller gold frame
  • some blue and white beads on a wire
  • some red flower petals 

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My total was $28.22. I was not planning on buying any frames having done that on my last project, but I couldn’t resist the great frames I found for around $3 a piece!

 

Paperback books

I had previously seen books stacked together, painted with some words on their spines all over the place and thought that looked like a fun, easy and inexpensive project.  Each book was $1 - I tried to find books that were similar in size.  I chose paper back books because they were cheaper than the hardbacks, but you can use either. 

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I ripped off the covers and some of the glue on the spine.  I sanded the spine of the book a little to make it smooth, and painted 3 books with white paint, and 2 books red.  I stacked 2 of the white ones together, tied some string around them and added some of the beads I found.  I had a few flowers laying around in my office and decided to use them as well. I kept the first layout very simple. 

With the second one, I stacked the books red, white and red to mimic the American flag.  I tied some linen ribbon and string around this stack and also added a blue flower to the top.  I have previously seen these done so many different ways - some with stamped letters, vinyl letters, or free hand letters with names or sayings.  You could also use scrapbook paper, paint, flowers and greenery, or ribbon to decorate the top.  You can use almost anything, and these stacked books look adorable!

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Wire Rack

I chose to tackle the wire rack next. 

I was not sure what to do with it, but thought it had a great flag shape.  I have a small sewing business, so I already had a lot of different fabrics and ribbon laying around.  I started to pull ribbons hoping to have a variety of different red and white ribbons, and I was happy with what I found.  I cut pieces of ribbon about 2 inches longer than the rack.  I then just wrapped the ends around the back, pulled it tight and hot glued the ends to the back of the ribbon. 

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This was also a very fast project - it took me more time to pick out the ribbon then actually gluing them on!  If you don’t have a stash of ribbon at home, you could tie on scarfs, mens neck ties, or even yarn.  You could cut up some old clothes or a tee shirt and dye them the color you need. There are so many ways to make this inexpensively. 

Frames

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I searched the web for a fun fireworks image, printed that and put it in one of the red frames. For another holiday I would love to use the 3 frames in a row, but will just use the one for now.  I also pulled out the frames I made from my Goodwill finds for Valentines day and incorporated ideas that worked with Independence Day. 

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I found a coloring page of an eagle online and printed that out to put in the aqua frame. For the red frame, I used some fun glitter stars I had and it pulled everything all together! 

I really love how it all looks together!  All of these projects were really fast!.  The items I ended up using from my shopping trip came to a total of $15.28. I hope you head on out to your local Goodwill Store and upcylce something today as well! I hope this encourages you to try your hand at your own Goodwill upcycle project.

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Quarantine Clean Out

These last few months of quarantine have forced us to spend time inside. A lot of time inside. And while families were playing board games, cooking more, having Zoom meetings, and putting countless hours on the couch binge-watching more hours of Tiger King than any of us care to admit, another activity we know happened…cleaning.

We received messages from so many customers who had been cleaning out closets, basements, attics, well, basically any corner of the house because they had so much time on their hands.

“It’s liberating!”

“I forgot I even had some of this stuff.”

“I’ve wanted to clean out these spaces for such a long time!”

These were the types of messages we heard daily. You weren’t kidding! When the state’s mandate was lifted and we were able to open our “no-touch” donation drive-up sites, it was nothing short of an avalanche of treasure at each one. And, the donations are still coming in full force every day. No one in the company can remember a time when we’ve seen this many donations. But, please don’t stop!

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Why? These donations allow us to do something pretty special. They are sold in our retail stores (which are all open by the way.) Those sales fund the mission services we provide in the greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio regions. What kind of mission services? Compass is a rape crisis program that helps survivors of sexual assault. The Literacy Services program assists adults in overcoming reading and math obstacles. Our employment skills programs includes two key areas: Pre-employment Training and Job Placement Services and are available to any job seeker with a barrier to employment.

These are just a few of the 26 programs we offer. Each one designed to help people overcome different barriers in their lives to get good jobs, become self-sufficient and strengthen families and communities.

What next? Keep cleaning. Keep organizing. Keep donating. And now that our retail stores are open, come shop with us knowing your purchases are helping someone right here in your community.

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Easy Crop-Top Tutorial

Hello Everyone! It actually feels like a lifetime ago that I did the St. Patrick’s Day tutorial. I hope everyone has been in good spirits and good health through all of these tough times. I just want to start off by saying Goodwill has done a fabulous job in reopening their stores. I have been a very hardcore social distance-er (can that be a word now?) since the start of all this, so my anxiety was a little high getting back into my thrifting game.

I went to the North Olmstead location and the organization was top notch. Someone was greeting at the door to ensure everyone had a face mask on, as well as to wipe down the carts before handing them off. There were signs all over reminding us to remain 6ft apart, and everyone was extremely respectful of that. I’d say the only big difference that I noticed was that they weren’t offering a color of the week sale at the time that I went, but by the time you are reading this tutorial, even that will be back into effect!

Now back to the tutorial! Now that the weather has finally warmed up, I thought it would be a fun idea to create a trendy short sleeved top out of oversized T-Shirts! What inspired me? My love of being comfortable and fashionable all at the same time. I knew I wanted to tie-dye a shirt when I thought about sharing this project, so I went in looking for a men’s large or XL plain white t-shirt, but if tie-dye isn’t your thing, this project looks cute with any shirt you find!

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 Supplies:

  • ½ inch elastic
  • Oversized shirt
  • Tie-Dye kit if you are following along
  • Sewing machine + supplies

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Shirt is from Goodwill’s men’s section size L: 5$ new with tags
Tie-Dye Kit and elastic: 12$ total but get multiple project uses

               First thing you will want to do is open and set up your tie-dye kit and fetch out the rubber bands. There are many different patterns and designs to create while tie-dyeing, I just happened to remember the swirl pattern I favored as a teenage free spirit. All you do is pinch a section of the shirt and start twisting it in a circle. Once the shirt is all folded up, rubber band the heck out of it until it is secure. If this design doesn’t suit you, check online, there are countless tutorials on tie-dying.

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Once you have your T-Shirt ball created, I always spray some water one it (because the internet told me so) and then take it outside. There is no right or wrong way to dye your shirt, just keep adding color until you are satisfied. The only tip I would give is to be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies of the shirt for maximum color, and because you’ll be cropping the shift down, focus mainly on the inner circle.

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Once you are satisfied, wrap your T-Shift into a plastic bag of any kind and set it aside for a 4-6 hours. After the long wait, it’s time to unravel your shift and admire your work! If you have a wash basin in your laundry room, you’ll want to wring out your shirt of excess dye. You can also do this outside using a hose. Once the water is running mostly clear, throw it into the washer alone and set the cycle. Once it is dry, it’s time to start sewing!

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1. Try on your shirt and while looking in the mirror, mark where you want to cut the shirt. You should cut the shirt approximately 2 inches LONGER than your desired length. This leaves room for a hem

2. Cut your shirt

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3. Measure your natural waist (This is the slimmest part of your torso). Do not pull tight because you want the elastic to just sit on your waist, not squeeze it. If you do not have a measuring tape like I do, wrap a string around your waist and then measure the string.

4. Cut elastic to the size of your waist (add .3 inches or so)

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5. Turn your shirt inside out and flip up the edges to create a hem just large enough for the elastic to fit through plus a seam allowance. I just went with approximately 1.5 inch give or take to be on the safe side.

6. Iron your hem and then pin it into place.

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7. Take your shirt over to the sewing machine and sew along the raw edge.
IMPORTANT: leave a gap! Do not finish the complete hem, about 1.5 inches before you hit your starting point, stop and back stitch.

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8. Feed the elastic all the way through the hole you created in your hem. The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and push it through. It makes the feeding process a lot easier. Make sure the end of the elastic always sticks out of the hole.

9. Sew the two elastic ends together, make sure the elastic is not twisted anywhere in the shirt.

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10. Fluff the shift around the elastic band and stitch closed the gap you left in the hem.

11. Flip it right side again and enjoy your brand new crop top!

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Like I said before, this project works for any shirt. I also created one using an “Equality Wins” rainbow shirt I found in the same men’s large section, it came out just as cute and is perfect for pride month! If you aren’t a sewer, just use fabric glue in the same areas that I stitched. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial, happy thrifting!

Sham-Rocking Your Thrift Finds

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, so we are all in a little bit of a festive mood! While this holiday falls right in the middle of the week, you can still celebrate on the weekends and at night! (Even if this year, it's with a small group of friends or family.) Here are a few ways I styled pieces from Goodwill, along with some tips for shopping the racks for holiday gear.

From Day to Night

If you plan to celebrate holidays during the work week, it’s a great idea to find something you can easily transition from day to night to minimize time getting ready. A skirt is great for either class or work, especially this sweater skirt which is super on-trend. I paired it with a green plaid shirt to tuck in and a motorcycle jacket to throw on over top. For accessories, a pair of black block heels and sunglasses. The plaid shirt ($4.50) and sweater skirt ($4.00) were both found at the North Canton Goodwill location.

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Transitioning to after work, I swapped the skirt for a pair of jeans, and the jacket on top for a satin cowl tank underneath. The sunglasses were switched with a gold chain necklace, and the heels with a pair of white pointed-toe booties. The booties, jeans, and tank top were all previously thrifted.

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Fun and Festive

If the subdued look isn’t up your alley, get festive with a kitschy tee like this “Get Lucky” one I picked up from the North Canton Goodwill! For only $4.50, I don’t mind that I only get to wear it once a year because I didn’t break the bank on it. I paired this shirt with some ripped jeans and festive accessories. Just throw on your favorite pair of sneakers and the outfit is complete!

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What Was in My Cart but Didn’t Purchase

I found several t-shirts while shopping the racks, but only one made it home with me. It just reminded me that you don’t have to get something directly related to St. Patrick’s Day to be festive. This location had a few Guinness t-shirts, which could be a unique take on a holiday outfit! There were also plain green ones that you could wear as is, or make your own with appliques and other items. I also came across some green sweaters that could easily be transitioned from work to evening. 

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The left two sweaters could be worn like any other sweater, while the cropped sweater could be worn over a white button down for a fun twist on a layered outfit.

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Tips and Tricks

1. Find things you would normally gravitate to so you can get more wear out of it.

It is always so hard when shopping for festive clothing to justify spending money on something you will wear once a year. When you grab it at Goodwill (especially for half-price), it’s not as hard to justify! Not only that, but getting something you will wear throughout the year makes more sense in the long run. For me, I love flannels, so I know I will wear this more than just once. It’s better for the environment to make decisions this way, and it’s better for your wallet.

2. Look in areas other than clothing.

Belts and shoes are an easy way to add some festivity without it going overboard. Look around for things that may not be right in your face! These will also be easier to incorporate into your wardrobe after the holiday season.

All-in-all, a holiday doesn’t mean you have to break the bank for something festive to wear one day out of the year. Get creative and find items you like so you save some money and get more wear out of your purchases! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A Sewing Hack for Any Holiday

Top o’ the morning to ya! It feels like forever since I’ve done a crafty post for Goodwill, so let me start by saying I missed you and I hope you had a great holiday season! Ever since I’ve taken my decorations down, my house has felt a little empty and lifeless, so I thought it would be a fun idea to create a cheap and easy St. Patrick’s Day center piece for my dining room using mostly thrifted goodies. 

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For the first time in a while I went into Goodwill without any idea of how I wanted my project to look because I really wasn’t sure what was going to be available in greens and golds and oranges. Luckily for me, there were still so many Christmas decorations on the shelves that inspiration hit me quickly! I first found the gold plate/candle set and when I opened the box and saw that everything was in good condition I knew I had to have it and that a table runner would be a perfect addition. I wasn’t able to find a kelly green table runner but when I saw the beaded placemats, I knew I could make them into exactly what I was looking for in less than 20 minutes.

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The first thing I did with the green place mats was check their condition. A few of them had minor stains, but I really only needed 3 of the 5, so I just chose the best looking and set the other two aside for a future craft project (like a sewing bag to keep my seam ripper and such).

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Now that I have my selected pieces, I used my clips (you can use pins if that is what you have at home) and clipped right sides together on two of the place mats. I then took it over to my sewing machine and using a straight stitch sewed the mats together. For this project, you don’t even need matching thread colors since it will never be seen when sitting on the table. I used black because it was what I already had loaded into my machine.

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I then repeated the same steps to attach the third piece. Once all the mats are attached, you now have a very wavy and wrinkled table runner with some long thread tails that need to be snipped. Of course I wanted to make my runner as smooth as possible so I took special care to really iron out the corners as well as opening up the seams I had just made with my sewing machine. Always test a bit of the fabric with your iron before going full speed ahead. Satin can be an iffy fabric to iron on, but I just lowered the heat setting and had no issues. 

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While I was able to flatten out my table runner 90%, unfortunately only time will get out some of the deeper wrinkles in the satin fabric (or if you are fancy and own a steamer, it’ll flatten out in minutes). Now that my table runner is complete, I got out my newly beloved center piece and got all of the items out except the Christmas baubles.

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To make this project complete for the holiday, I stopped at the Dollar Tree on my way home from my Goodwill trip and picked up a few specific St. Patrick’s Day goodies to fill in the plate as well as decorate the table with.

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All in all this project only cost me 10$ and it will not only serve its purpose for St. Patrick’s Day but also for the Christmas season as well. The table runner is also a great beginner project for anyone looking to dust off the old sewing machine. I hope you all got some inspiration out of this post and I hope you get even more inspiration walking the isles of your favorite Goodwill! Cheers!

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Dr. Suess Day

I don’t remember any specific times that Cat in the Hat was read to me as a child. Growing up, I have zero recollection of what shelf Green Eggs and Ham was placed on in my house. I’m not even sure which Dr. Seuss book was my favorite back then.

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One thing I’m sure of, though, Dr. Seuss books were an impressionable and significant part of my childhood. Decades after Seuss books were first read to me, I can still recite most of the books, word for word. And, I cannot deny the sentimental feelings I get when I’m reading these children’s’ classics to my own children.

And I’m not alone. Dr. Seuss is an iconic part of most of our childhoods, which is why it should be no surprise that Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2), has become a national holiday of sorts.

Classrooms and schools across the nation and the world will gather children of all ages for Read Across America. They will recite ‘Wocket in my Pocket’ and dress up like ‘Fox in Socks’ and maybe even taste some green eggs and ham.

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Theodor Seuss "Ted" Geisel, would have been 116 years young this year. During his life, he was responsible for writing and illustrating more than 60 different children’s’ books, many of which became of the most popular books of all time.

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It would be short-sighted to think that this holiday ONLY celebrates Seuss, though. Read Across America is a celebration of the importance and significance of reading, especially at a young age.

Consider these facts:

  • Across the nation less than half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.
  • Daily reading to children can put them one year ahead of their peers who are not read to each day.
  • Books in the home are strongly linked to academic achievement.
  • Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get three more years of schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.
  • The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to books.

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These statistics are startling and should serve as a reminder on this literacy holiday and every day, how important reading is to children, nationwide and right here in our community.  

Goodwill has taken action and created a new program that works to address issues of literacy in our own community.

Book Works was a program first launched by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio in late 2019. The program provides gently used, age appropriate books to children and child care centers at no charge.

 Book Works
Thousands of books have already reached children throughout Stark County as a result of the Book Works program, and in 2020, thousands more will be served.

Children’s books that have been donated to Goodwill and not sold in stores are sorted and cleaned by local volunteers. Then, Goodwill partners with area schools, daycares and agencies to fulfill orders. Children that are part of the Books Works program are provided a minimum of five books, and centers are provided a minimum of 25 books. Books range from infant board books to first chapter books to teen novels. And, yes, Dr. Seuss books are oftentimes part of the Book Works order!

So, in honor of Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’ birthday and all the wonderful Seuss memories we all might share, here are a few things that you can do to support literacy in the local community:

  • Read to your children. Reading just 15 minutes a day can make a significant difference in the educational achievement of a child.
  • Donates children’s books to Goodwill. Your unused children’s books are a much-needed donation at local Goodwill stores. Find a donation center near you today.
  • Volunteer with the Book Works program. Volunteer groups are needed to sort and clean the books for the program. Email info@goodwillgoodskills.org for more information.
  • Enroll your school, daycare or church in the Book Works program by completing an order form. Book orders are typically filled within two or three weeks of the order. Supplies may affect fulfillment date. 

30 Day Declutter Challenge

It's that time of year again, everyone is talking about decluttering and spring cleaning. But why is this so important? Decluttering allows you to reclaim your home, gives you a sense of accomplishment and reduces stress in your life.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to get everything on your to-do list done. We're here to help with a 30 day declutter challenge! 

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Click here to download a printable .pdf

It's important to understand what you should keep, what to donate and what can be thrown away. While cleaning out cabinets and closets here are a few questions we recommend asking yourself.

  • Is this item something I regularly use?
    • If not, is this something that I love and sparks joy?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Could someone else use it more than me?
  • Am I keeping this out of obligation or expectation?
  • Am I holding onto this because I think I should love it?
  • Do I have multiples of the same thing?
  • Could something else I own do the same job?
  • If this stuff was gone, would this space be more beneficial?
  • If I get rid of this item, how difficult would it be to replace it?
  • Am I putting this in the junk drawer because it doesn’t have a place… or a real purpose?

Make sure to have a few boxes or trash bags on hand when going through this process. Label one donate and one trash. If you've decided to get rid of an item and it's still usable, add it to the donate box! Not sure if it should be donated? Check out our donation guide.

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Goodwill Valentine's Challenge

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Christmas is in our rearview window and our homes are looking a little dark and empty with all of the decorations put away. I love to get the Valentine’s Day decorations out immediately to help the house look less empty. Bonus, there a few Christmas items that I can leave out that work for Valentine's Day too! I don’t have too many decorations for Valentine's day, and I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, so I headed to my local Goodwill and looked around and bought a few things to see what I could come up with! I looked up a few ideas on Pinterest to have some kind of a plan but knew I needed to keep an open mind to what would be available. I also didn’t want to spend too much, so I tried to keep it under $20.

Walking around I saw a few everyday things that could easily be used as a Valentine decoration.  I found a red suede belt, then when you turned it over, it looked like the laces were hearts!  I found a bag that had fun heart-shaped hardware that would be fun to use in some way.

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I went to the frame department knowing that those would be inexpensive and painting them would be fast and easy and make a big difference. When looking for something to paint, make sure the finish is something that will accept paint. If it’s shiny or polished, the paint might scratch right off. I found quite a few frames I liked but narrowed them down to two. 

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I looked around some more and found a roll of glittery red ribbon (perfect for Valentine’s Day) some gold hoop earrings that had individual beads on them, some pencil pockets that were made out of gold glittery vinyl (and they were on clearance) and a hard backed copy of Twilight! I was hoping to be able to use book pages for something and thought this innocent romance novel would be perfect!

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I left Goodwill with 7 items total and spent $19.66!

Now to go home and figure out what to do! I really didn’t have a plan, but I wanted to use everything I bought and didn’t really want to have to purchase anything else. I did use some items I already had on hand, including multiple types of glue (glue stick, Elmers and my hot glue gun) some card stock and paint.

I started by painting the frames, I knew that my mind would wander and be creative while I was painting.  When you paint frames like this, I like to do light layers of paint and add a few layers, this allows the paint to stick better. My plan was to paint both frames and glitter one of the frames. I picked a red and aqua color because I love those colors together. When I started painting the red one, I realized that paint was a high glass and it looked great, so I decided not to glitter the frame, but a glittered frame is an easy project that gives a ton of impact!

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Once the smaller frame was painted aqua, I decided to start with that one first. I wanted a simple heart in it. I cut a piece of card stock to fit the 4x6 frame and glued a page from the book to it. I decided to create multiple layers for the heart, knowing I wanted the top layer to be red. I cut a large heart out of the card stock and painted that the same color as the frame. Then cut a heart out of the book that was a little smaller, then one out of the gold vinyl slightly smaller and lastly a smaller red card stock heart. I did all this by hand and was wishing I had a cricket at this point! I also cut a piece of the ribbon and put that down the back. Once I had that all together, I put it aside to figure out what to do with the red frame.

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I originally wanted to do a trio of hearts and use the frame horizontally.  That would have been beautiful, but because I put a heart in the other frame I wanted to do something different. Sometimes in projects, simple is the best way to go. I remembered an idea I had seen during Christmas to display cards and thought that might be a great idea for this! I used the back of the picture that came with the pink frame, it was heavy cardboard. I started the same and glued some of the book pages for the background. I then cut squares out of the book pages, 4” by 3 and 5/8”, the exact width of the frame. I glued the edges of the squares together to make a loop and glued each one in the frame. It made it very 3D and gave little areas to stick in a little valentine or cut out! My husband printed out a few Valentine Theme clip art things for me, and this little frame was done!

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I looked at both of them together and loved how they looked.  If I left them like this, they would have been adorable, but I had one item left that I hadn’t used, the hoop earrings! So what could I do with them!  I took them apart and had just enough to make the small heart in the aqua frame!  I am so pleased with how they turned out.  I had very little waste and still have some of the gold vinyl left and the red ribbon to use another time!  Don’t be afraid to try new things!

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Some quick tips

  1. Try to have a plan but be open to change.  I was hoping to find some buttons or jewelry. I did find the hoops but was hoping for a long necklace to take apart or a shirt with a lot of buttons.  There were purses and bags with some great fabric and hardware, they were just more money than I budgeted for this project.
  2. Don’t be afraid to change your idea if it isn’t working
  3. Use what you have, almost everyone has some glue, paint, construction paper, stamps, ribbon, and other odds and ends around the house. It's always a good idea to pick these types of items up when you see them at Goodwill.
  4. Have fun with it!

 

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Shendra De Oliveira is busy wife and mom of two young boys. She is the owner of Trendy Shendy’s, an embroidery and applique business, and is a creator of ChristmasGals.com, and Christmas craft and decorating blog. With a background in fashion and interior design, Shendra applies her creativity to DIY crafts and projects for the home and the holidays.

 

Goodwill Date Night Challenge

Trying to make Valentine’s Day special can be an overwhelming task. This year we’re proposing you make it fun. Here are a couple ideas that can help make this Valentine’s Day more exciting, Goodwill style!

Classy Date Night

You and your partner can make this Valentine’s more exciting by challenging each other to find a date night outfit for yourself at Goodwill for an agreed upon price. Split up and shop the store for clothes, shoes and accessories. Make it more fun and interesting by setting a time limit for your shopping trip. See what you can put together in under 30 minutes! Once your outfit is complete, you’re ready to go out for dinner. You won’t feel bad splurging on dessert because you saved so much on your ensemble.

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Take a cue from Oh So Lovely blog, check out how their outfits came together.

 

Make it a Group Activity

For this date night, you’ll need to gather your closest friends. Confirm that everyone is available for dinner at a specified date, time and place. Then tell them the date will consist of a shopping trip to Goodwill! Similar to the above challenge, each person has a $10 spending limit but this time you’re shopping for your significant other. Be sure to have fun with it, like the group in the photo below. Once everyone has their outfits, they’ll meet at the selected restaurant fully decked out in their Goodwill finds. This date night with all your besties is sure to be one of the most memorable date nights ever!

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Read the full Blog post from Living in Yellow about this Group Goodwill Date Night.

 

Scavenger Hunt Date Night

This is a great option to spice up the average date night.  Before stepping into the store decide the rules, time limit, and prize for the winner. Will the person with the most items checked in a specified time limit win or the first person to find all the items on the list? The prize could range from loser buys dinner, winner picks the movie, or whatever works for you both. 

Set the rules! Do you and your partner not want to run into each other while completing your scavenger hunt? If so, pick opposite sides of the store to start. Maybe it’s okay to bump into each other with just a little bit of boosting about your finds! Give bonus points for finds you want to purchase, add those items to your cart and require photographic evidence for anything else checked off the list. (We know how hard the Goodwill team works keep the store clean.) Have fun and happy Goodwill hunting!

 Goodwill Scavenger Hunt

Download the list and send to your partner.

We hope these date night ideas give you some inspiration for this Valentine’s Day. Let us know if you try any of these by tagging us of Facebook and Instagram @goodwillgoodskills.

10 Things You Should Finally Declutter and Donate This Year

I’m kicking off the new decade by finally facing those areas in the house that I tend to neglect all year long. Keep reading for 10 big and little areas I’ll be downsizing and donating to Goodwill of Greater Cleveland East Central Ohio this month:  

 Declutter  Declutter2

1. Coat Closet

I’ve neglected this area for too long and it quickly went from an everyday coat closet to long-term coat storage. It felt incredibly productive to get a head start on downsizing and donating our coats before spring so they can have a second life this winter!

2. Board Game Stash 

Have board games you haven’t played in a while? Time to tackle that collection. I got rid of broken games and donated the gently used and newer games to Goodwill. Donation tip: secure game pieces in small bags and don’t worry if you can’t find the instruction manual, most manuals can be located online with a simple google search. 

3. Halloween Costumes

I’m all about recycling and reusing Halloween costumes as long as possible but it can easily become an area that gets neglected for too long. I dusted off the old box of costumes and donated the ones our family has outgrown. Goodwill is an incredible resource for Halloween costumes, and your costume may be the exact thing someone is looking for this fall! 

4. Linen Closet

If your linen closet is starting to look like an aisle at a bedding and bath store (like mine), it might be time to downsize. Goodwill accepts most gently used blankets and sheets. Bag those items up and start the year off with a freshly organized space. 

5. Dishes & Mug Cabinet

I definitely like to keep enough dishes and mugs on hand for guests, but this is another area around the house that quickly gets cluttered- especially since I have the tendency to collect quirky mugs.  The beginning of the year is a great time to donate gently used dishware and mugs that haven’t been used in the last year and pass those mugs on to another quirky shopper! 

6. Suitcases, Duffle & Diaper Bags

If your family has accumulated suitcases and diaper bags like ours has, it might be time to free up some of that precious storage space!  We finally got rid of broken bags, kept a couple for travel and everyday use, and donated our new or gently used ones to Goodwill. 

7. Vases

Anyone else feel like they blinked and all of a sudden have a cabinet full of vases? I have no idea why I’ve held on to so many vases for so long. It’s nice to have a few on hand (they also make great hostess gifts) but I couldn’t believe how much precious storage space I was able to clear up in our dining room cabinets by donating an entire box of vases to Goodwill. 

8. Loungewear

This is definitely one of the most neglected areas in my house. We easily accumulate several sets over the year, especially around the holidays as gifts. I try to tackle this drawer every three months or so and donate the unworn or like new ones to Goodwill. 

9. Bulky appliances

2020 is going to be the year I finally take inventory of multiple or unused cooking appliances in our kitchen like panini makers, griddles, waffle makers, and slow cookers and donate the ones we rarely use anymore to make space for the ones we actually need! 

10. Costume Jewelry

I love a good statement necklace, but let’s face it, between gifts, holidays and those “add $5 necklace to cart so I can get free shipping” moments, inexpensive costume jewelry piles up quickly. I finally tackled the huge pile and realized I tend to wear only a handful of everyday, go-to accessories and a couple of special event pieces. The rest will now be enjoyed by a Goodwill shopper! 

Dina

Dina Younis a thrift blogger and host of the thrift podcast, Allow Us to Rethriftroduece Ourselves. You can follow her blog at dinasdays.com or on Instagram at @dinasdays