UPDATE: Hey, I'm Susie! Thriftables was just a little ol' blog I started in 2012 about thrifting and DIY. When t
he domain thriftables.com got bought up from under me, I decided that I'd let the blog die. It's just a well; I never really updated it anymore anyway.
I will keep the most popular posts up. If you still want to be my buddy, please find me on Pinterest, Instagram, or Etsy. I'll probably start another blog or vintagey project someday soon. When I do, you'll hear about it there.

On a side note, if you find a pin or link that leads you back to thriftables.com, would you mind updating the link to point it back to thriftables.blogspot.com? I would appreciate it, and I'm sure the lost thrifter who stumbles across it will appreciate it, too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Thrift Find: These Dumpsters are too Good to Me

The soulmate and I found another amazing, mid-century piece of furniture by the dumpsters of our apartment complex. We needed a side table, so clearly this was perfect timing.

Don't you love free mid-century furniture? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Thrift Finds: Leather!

I found some wonderful leather items at the thrifts! These awesome vintage booties look nearly unworn, and this vintage Coach purse was a steal! The leather is so thick and well-made. Why aren't Coach purses still this thick and luxurious? 

Whenever I find gorgeous vintage fashions like these, I wonder what people will find in thrift stores 20 years from now. Will people look at our fashion with the same nostalgia as we do with decades-old pieces? Will they even last that long? It's sad that in order to afford well-made clothing you also have to be well-off. I love the idea of a small, but incredibly well-made wardrobe.

Do you think modern fashion is too disposable? Comment below!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flying by the Seat of Your Pants

Today was a very scheduled day. Well, it was supposed to be, anyway. I had it planned for several weeks because, my work being as it is, getting off on a Saturday requires advanced notice. 

Plans, shmlans.

The soulmate and I instead decided to just get in the car and drive. That turned into finding random estate sale signs and following them. Which then turned into us bringing home this...for $5. I'm scared to plug it in, though. I've heard horror stories/rumors about old tvs starting fires, but maybe I'm just being paranoid.


Nevertheless, this is going to make an excellent side table! Don't you love estate sales?

Friday, September 21, 2012


I found this tea set at my favorite thrift store. Can you believe it? Each piece is made by the artist, Peter Saenger. It was featured on several episodes of TNG. The artist still makes them, but they are pretty expensive ($200 for the tea set, $120 for the creamer.) I obviously paid quite a bit less for them, as even my inner nerd could never justify such an expensive purchase. I wonder how many of these are actually floating around, considering the price and relative obscurity of the reference?

Have you ever found anything at the thrifts that really makes you geek out? Do you prefer your tea earl grey and hot? Comment below!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Painting Heywood Wakefield?

I found this set posted on Craigslist while searching for ways to restore my found chairs. I know many will cringe at painting such lovely, iconic furniture. I'm not a fan personally, but is it possible that this set was damaged somehow and the owners decided to try to revive it? I'm unconvinced, but to each their own I suppose. 

How do you feel about it? Is painting something as iconic as Hey-Wake akin to blasphemy? Comment below!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Woo-Hoo! My Tuesday Dumpster Find Just Got Sweeter!

Left: Heywood Wakefield chair on Worthpoint Right: Mine

Left: Heywood Wakefield chair on LiveAuctioneers Right: Mine

A date scrawled on the bottom of the chairs: 11/21/46

Yesterday the soulmate and I came home from a date and happened upon a few chairs next to a dumpster in our apartment complex. Never ones to shy away from free stuff, and in desperate need for dining chairs, we hopped out and inspected the loot. It didn't take me long to peg the chairs as vintage, and not only that, but Heywood-Wakefield. If you're not familiar, Hey-Wake is an iconic furniture brand known for their uniquely mid-century designs. They are still in operation today, and they charge a pretty penny for their wares. Even well-maintained vintage pieces hold their value, costing nearly as much as the new thing. 

Obviously the chairs are in need of a bit of cleanup and refurbishing, but otherwise they are in perfect shape. It just goes to show what a little dumpster diving will get you!

What do you think? Would you ever dumpster dive for furniture? Comment below!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Thrifting Survival Kit

Like so many things in life, being a great thrifter is equal parts luck, knowledge, and preparation.
Here is what I consider my "thrifter's survival kit." These items are my secret weapons in all of my thrifting adventures.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Original
This is the first thing I reach for when I return home with a thrift haul. You wet it, ring it out really well, and go to town on the grease pen marks, smudges, grime, and stains that riddle used stuff. I have a thrift store near me that is notorious for using Sharpies to price items! What the heck are they thinking using Sharpies?! No need to worry because Magic Eraser removes Sharpie in a snap.

Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner
Because I live in an apartment, refinishing old wood furniture it not an option for me. I rely on this stuff for cleaning and restoring color and moisture to dried out old wood. It's amazing what a little bottle of oils and wax can do to bring life back to distressed wood. Just apply liberally with a soft cloth, let it sit for twenty minutes, then remove and buff with a dry cloth. It's suggested you follow up with Restore-A-Finish, though I haven't tried it yet.

Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish
This stuff was a miracle discovery for me. It's absolutely essential for removing surface grime and "scratches" from Pyrex, old pots and pans, and vintage dinnerware. Check out what it did to my Pyrex casserole dish.  It's easy to use, cheap, and available at most grocery stores. Just wet your dish, apply this liberally, and using water and a sponge work it into a paste. Gently rub until clean, rinse well, then wash as usual. This stuff is abrasive, so be careful and wear gloves when using it.

Goo Gone Spray Remover Gel
What can I say about Goo Gone that the name doesn't imply? It's awesome for removing sticker residue, stuck-on labels, and other mysterious stickiness from vintage items. Just apply to the "goo," let sit for a few minutes, and wipe clean.

Oxiclean Stain Remover
Oh, Billy Mays (RIP,) you really knew what you were talking about with this stuff. I can't even imagine what I'd do without it. If it's vintage and machine/hand washable, Oxi Clean will most likely get it sparkling. I fill my sink with warm water, add a touch of dish soap, and a heaping scoop of OxiClean. I agitate really well, then let my items soak for as long as they need.  

My Smartphone
When thrifting, the time to buy is when you see it. There is no time to go home and research something when other hungry shoppers are on my tail. I use my phone to look up vintage labels, compare prices online, and find nearby thrift stores I may not be aware of. 

Pecard Original Leather Dressing Cleaner and Conditioner
One of my favorite things to bring home from the thrift store is vintage Coach purses. The older, US made ones are to die for in quality and patina. Pecard cleaner and conditioner cleans, restores, and protects leather in one easy step. 

Cotton Gloves
Thrifting can be really gross from time-to-time. I keep a pair in my purse to protect my hands from questionable items.

I'd love to hear what you consider your thrifting essentials. Anything I missed?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Restore Pyrex

The soulmate recently brought me a gift from the thrift store: an adorable, sunny little Pyrex casserole dish. There was, however, one glaring problem: the dish had obviously been in storage for years, and had accumulated a bit of tarnish that would not be removed with a hearty scrub. Disheartened, but refusing to give up, I reached for my handy Thrifting Survival Kit. This was not a job for Magic Eraser. I had to go straight to Bar Keeper's Friend, my most abrasive secret weapon. With a lot of gentle scrubbing, I was able to revive this happy little casserole dish. Did it come out looking brand-new? No, but it's perfect for everyday use!

Have you ever passed up on vintage Pyrex because you thought it was beyond saving? Comment below!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Collecting Vintage Mix-and-Match Dishes

No matter how many vintage dishes I bring home, I always want to buy more.  How can I say no to all the forgotten pieces on thrift store shelves, especially when they're selling for as little as $0.25 each? Well, being the financial panther that I am, I don't just go buying any and every cute ol' dish I come across. In fact, I settled on a few ground rules to prevent myself from becoming a complete hoarder and wasting money on dishes I just don't need. The result: a fun and unique dish collection. 

The rules: 

  • I'll only bring home pieces from the 1950/60s. This keeps the theme cohesive enough to look intentional.
  • They have to be predominately pink, black, turquoise, and grey. Again, cohesion is key. 
  • Priority is given to jaunty designs and atomic starbursts. Nobody needs more plain white dishes, but everybody needs more atomic starbursts in their life. 

My plan is paying off. My collection is not only unique and cheap, but it's also undeniably me. What could be better than that? How do you feel about piecemeal dish collections? Comment below!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Retro Couches You Can Buy New

Fillmore Sofa Thrive Home Furnishings
Luna Sofa True Modern
Bonnie and Clyde Sofa Blu Dot
Jane Sofa Gus Modern

A few weeks ago the soulmate and I threw out our couch. It had to happen; it was the single most uncomfortable thing I've ever owned in my life. When you bring in a free couch, you're just asking for a whole slew of problems. It's time to buy a new one, but with so many options out there, we're a little lost on the process. We need a quality sofa that will also blend well with our retro decor. These are my four favorites, but they are all quite the investment. That being said, there are some things you can't cheap out on, and a good sofa is one of them.  

Do you have any suggestions for purchasing a good couch? Comment below!