This article was originally published on WallStoriez
If you're anything like us, you have no luck when second-hand shopping. All we ever seem to find when we go to a thrift store or a yard sale is junk and nicer-looking junk. But these fortunate people found weird and wonderful items that make the old saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," a reality. From odd and funny finds to priceless treasures, keep scrolling to see why scouring through all of that old stuff might just be worth it.
A Miniature Tent Perfect for Furry Friends
This miniature tent was used as window decor in an outdoor store. However, this cat owner quickly thought of a new purpose for it while out thrifting, and it now serves as a bed for their cat. This is actually a pretty ingenious use for something that was likely headed for the trash bin. While this is certainly a smart way to house a cat, one can't help but wonder what might become of it should the cat decide to stretch its claws while inside.
Will it end up ruined like the human furniture cats get their claws on? Then again, we guess it's none of our business what the cat does with its own tent!
While not exactly a single find, these suitcases would definitely make a cool addition to just about any interior space. The owner said that she had been collecting them just about all of her life and now has enough to fill up an entire wall. Two of the larger steamer trunks on the bottom were even brought to the U.S. by her family from Germany. She managed to build a frame to house them, and now they store various things from photographs to patio furniture.
While these kinds of trunks and cases are commonly found as just decor around houses, this is a nice way to incorporate them into a home as functional pieces of history.
What a Steal
Antique cookware is always a great find when you can find something in good condition. They are often very high quality and, if you are lucky, found for a fraction of the price of modern cookware. These pans were picked up for $10.00 for both. They are made by a company called Le Creuset and can go for anywhere from $100.00 to $210.00 online. Not a bad day out thrifting for whoever found these beauties.
These things are also a great color. Who wouldn't want a pair of green enamel pans hanging up in the kitchen? Even if you do not want to use them because they are heavy, they make great decorations.
A Washstand With A Story
Sometimes the greatest part about an antique is the story it can tell. This washstand was found at an estate sale. However, the person who posted this photo said that they were not able to afford it at the time. The next morning, the person awoke to find it sitting on their porch with a letter next to it. The previous owner had delivered it and told them to keep it free of charge since they knew it would be taken care of.
This just goes to show it's not always about the money. Sometimes, someone just wants to make sure the items they or their loved ones love will go to a good home and be enjoyed.
When the Thrift Store Makes a Kid's Dream Reality
Ask any child what their favorite toys are, and some of those items are sure to be dinosaur-related. So, this mask must have been a treasured find for this little kid. She even wore it right after picking it out at the thrift store. This find really represents what thrifting is all about: one person's trash is another person's treasure. All in all, this is definitely one of the funnier finds on our list.
We're even left wondering where these kinds of toys were when we were younger. A dinosaur mask certainly would have come in handy when bringing in items for show and tell.
A Light Like No Other
Sometimes you just look at something truly unique and have to wonder where and why it was made. This wall sconce, or lamp, fits in that category. The main lamp at the top has a floral pattern, while the lower lights branch off into colorful birds. It might be a bit hard getting it to fit in with the rest of the home's interior design, but this piece is definitely unique, with many pointing out how beautiful it was when the photo was posted.
Some people also pointed out how it looked similar to Tiffany floral lamps or how it was at least designed in the same vein. These types of lamps are extremely sought after and valuable today.
It seems our fascination with dinosaurs doesn't always end with childhood. This guy was found on eBay in Indiana. Sinclair dinosaurs are actually associated with the American company, Sinclair Oil. They were first used in advertising around the 1930s but quickly grew into an icon. Green dinosaurs like the one in this photo sat outside gas stations beginning in the 1960s. There were even larger figures, some measuring 70ft long, made for special occasions like parades and fairs.
Some of the people in the original post were quick to note how it looked as if the two men were kidnapping the dinosaur. Others noted how it would likely be kidnapped again if left outside unattended.
A Thrifted Wedding Dress for the Coolest Bride
Wedding dresses can oftentimes be extraordinarily expensive. While they are (usually) only worn for one day, they need to be perfect because, for many, the occasion will never again come. So, finding this wedding dress for only $40 at Goodwill is definitely a steal for the bride to be who posted this photo. She probably just saved herself hundreds if not thousands of dollars and still found the perfect dress for herself.
Many in the comments also replied and pointed out how amazing the dress looked on her, which just goes to show that you do not always have to spend a fortune on your wedding day.
The Perfect Couch For A Cat
This cat-sized couch might just be the perfect resting place for any feline friend. Apart from the (admittedly creepy) cat faces all over the couch, it is just the right size. One has to wonder, though, what the original purpose of the couch was, as it seems the perfect fit in its new role. And the best part? According to the owner, it was picked up for $4.99 at Goodwill.
This tiny couch does leave us wondering, though, will this couch share the same fate as most human-sized couches and end up with claw marks up and down the armrests?
A Jewelry Box Fit for Hollywood
This is definitely a weird find. The owner posted this photo after recognizing a similar-looking jewelry box in Marvel's Shang Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings. The two boxes appear the same. However, the owner said that she got her's from a storage locker years earlier. The two boxes are even similar down to the red detailing inside each of them. We wonder what the story behind each one is.
Even more strange, others commented and said they had similar boxes, some of which were brought from northern china by relatives decades earlier. This would mean that if they are reproductions, they were likely modeled off of boxes that were made for a different purpose.
This Gives Us Haunted Mansion Vibes
This collector started collecting uranium glass from antique and thrift stores and put together this glowing display using LED backlights. Uranium glass actually has a pretty interesting history. Most glassmakers used uranium as a coloring agent in glassmaking made pre-World War II. Today, collectors search for the glass using blacklights and Geiger counters. While the radioactivity emitted from these dishes is minuscule, agencies still recommend people do not eat out of them, according to Atlas Obscura.
This photo reminded some in the comments of another substance that used to be found in everyday items: paint containing Radium. People used to use Radium to paint watch faces that glowed in the dark. There was even a pretty big scandal after women working in one factory were told to lick the brushes to sharpen them. Many eventually got cancer and ended up dying, according to NPR.
Lamp Turned Spooky Art Project
This clever collector found a Disney lamp at Goodwill. She said that the cashier even asked to make sure she knew one of the princesses was missing her head. The person ended up painting the original to give it a more dark and sinister look. The final project actually turned out rather impressive, if not exactly fitting with the original theme. It's giving very spooky, horror Disney film vibes.
Some commenters also pointed out that if you look closely, it appears as if Aurora even looks a bit suspicious. Either way, the final lamp is definitely a work of art in its own right.
Frames are a great addition to just about any interior. They are versatile, pleasing to look at, and even therapeutic to put up, according to the woman who posted this photo. Despite all of the different designs of the frames in this photo, they all looked perfect when thrown together and arranged on the wall. They even match according to color. This set would make for some great inspiration for anyone looking to do something with one of their bare walls.
If you look closely, you can even see where this person ended up framing the light switches. It's a small detail but an interesting one to bring the whole thing together and eliminate blank space.
Yes, That's Queen's Freddie Mercury
Sometimes, the coolest things you come across when thrifting are the most bizarre or unique. This piece of artwork was found at a thrift store in Nashville, Tennessee. Apart from the colors really drawing the eye, the subject matter is really cool as well. It pictures what appears to be Freddie Mercury in the style of painter Gustav Klimt. While it is not from a (currently) well-known painter, it is a really cool piece to put in a home and tie a room together.
It even kind of resembles Freddie from one of their music videos, "I Want To Break Free." This was probably on the artist's mind when they painted the original piece.
The World's Tiniest Violin
This tiny violin "for people who complain too much" (as the seller explained) is one of our favorite finds on this list. Imagine actually owning and being able to carry around a small violin. You could essentially break it out anytime someone is complaining about something insignificant. The owner posted a photo with a price tag of $17, which is really not bad for this level of comedic potential. While it might only be a matter of time before the joke ran its course, it would definitely still be worth it.
The photo does leave us wondering if this violin was made specifically to break out anytime someone is complaining or if it had another use in mind when it was first made.
When Nike Headquarters Has Opposite Day
Another bizarre but hilarious find on our list, this "I just can't" T-shirt, is poking fun at Nike's "just do it" catchphrase. It's the perfect find for that pessimistic friend or leg-day at the gym. Alternatively, you could just wear it to your next gathering with the family. It's a little informal, but who really cares, right? We don't know the brand, but Nike should definitely consider hiring whoever put this shirt together.
The user did not post a price with the shirt, but this is definitely worth picking up if they could get it for the usual thrift-store price. We'd even pay a premium.
If You Think These Are Just Shoes, Look Again
The person who posted the photo noted that the loafers looked like characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. And, after taking a look, we'd have to agree. Look closely, and we bet you'll see it, too. Sometimes thrift store clothing finds are gold. Other times, they are in the discount bin for a reason. We don't see why anyone who isn't obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would want these.
Then again, these might be great for anyone who is really into turtles. If that is not your thing, the olive color will go nicely with a pair of khakis as well.
The Tag Is The Real Find Here
We have to wonder how many times people have tried to blow this horn in order for an employee to write "Don't" on its tag. Also, telling someone not to do something is the easiest way of getting somebody to do something. While we're not sure exactly what kind of brass trumpet this is, it would definitely be a cool toy for a kid or somebody interested in music. Buying it would even allow you to do what the note tells you not to do.
However, after the photo was posted, some people responded that it probably would not be a good idea to blow into something as old and crackly looking as this horn.
Hulk Arms For Chickens
Yes, you read that right. It's the item you never knew you needed. These 3D-printed Hulk arms are made for chickens. Don't have a chicken? No problem, now you have a reason to get one. All jokes aside, this is actually ingenious. Make a product so ridiculous that you force people to order one. The comparison photo is actually pretty smart marketing as well. We do not know who made these, but someone should find them and offer them a job.
Someone in the comments actually replied after the photo was posted and said that they had ordered some for their mother and daughter. Needless to say, they were a hit.
Toys Were Just Made Different Back In The Day
Batman wasn't always the brooding, dark character we know him as today. This toy from the 1960s proves it. The squirt gun has a rather interesting design. We won't get into that here, but it does leave you wondering what the designers were thinking when sketching out the gun. However, according to some in the comments, this old toy is actually worth a bit of money and can go for as much as $50.
Apart from its obviously questionable design, this old water gun does make one nostalgic for when times were simpler, as well as quirky toys and cartoon characters.
Who Doesn't Want a Teddy Bear Napping on Their Plate?
When you think of odd or unique, plates are not usually the first things that come to mind. But, someone found this little guy hiding in a thrift store somewhere. The glass wraps around the small bear figurine as if it is about to go to sleep. It's hard to make a plain, white plate unique, but whoever thought up this design definitely did a good job of making it stand out.
This is even more impressive if you've ever had a chance to take a glass blowing course. It is extremely difficult to make even small designs, much less recreate the wrinkles in a blanket.
High-End Coffee Maker
This is probably one of the best finds value-wise on this list. The device is called a La Pavoni Europiccola Espresso Maker, and if that name sounds expensive, that's because it is. These are sold for around $1200.00, according to the person who posted the photo. However, they picked this one up for only $6.50 at Goodwill. That is an absolute steal. We aren't coffee experts, so we do not know why these small expresso makers go for so much, but after seeing this, we now need one in our lives.
The person who posted the photo hinted that they intended to use it to make coffee instead of reselling it for a higher price, which is honestly a great thing.
Another Steal Of A Find
Here is another photo someone posted showing off a cheaply priced item they found. This walnut bookcase was picked up for $40, but prices at auctions for around $1,800. It's midcentury and made by a company called Drexler, which is known for making high-end furniture from that time period. Once again, there is nothing like finding something at 99% off retail when you are thrifting. It can make your day; or year.
While this can sell for the price listed above, it should be noted that auctions can be fickle. Either way, though, this is certainly a great find at a very cheap price.
If you've ever been to a thrift or antique shop, you've likely come across a miniature chair or two. While enticing, it can be hard to know what to exactly do with them if you buy one. However, this owner found a pretty clever way to display their chairs by hanging them on the wall. It's a similar idea to the photo of the frames higher up on this list.
Apart from the chairs, the cat in the photo really stands out. And the different paint on the chairs really adds a pop of fresh, spring-like colors to the room.
This KitchenAid mixer was picked up for a steal. These things can cost well over $500 brand new and last for literally decades. When this photo was posted, some people replied to the post and said that they were still using theirs that were purchased in the early 1990s. A lucky customer picked this purple one up for around $10.00 while they were out shopping around a local thrift store.
While it didn't come with the original bowl, that should be pretty cheap to replace. Someone also noted that KitchenAid has always used the same front-end design, meaning attachments from just about any era will fit on even the newer machines.
Long Lost Relative?
This woman managed to find what appears to be a suspiciously similar-looking photo of someone else. The two look nearly identical right down to the glasses and nose. Unfortunately, we may never know who is pictured in the original photograph, but this is definitely a cool find to hang around the house. Like the photo posted before this one, it brings up questions and leaves us wondering who the original owner was and what happened to the woman in the photo.
While old photos might be common finds in thrift stores, it's not every day you come across your doppelganger. Many of the replies in the comments were also wondering if this woman had just discovered a lost relative.
Another Employee With A Sense Of Humor
While it's impossible to tell what the original joke on the mug was, this thrift store employee probably improved upon it. Someone posted this photo after finding the mug along an aisle in a local store. Would the mug have sold before the sticker? Maybe. Will it sell faster with the sticker? Probably. Sometime's, the best employees are the ones that manage to brighten other people's days through humor.
But what happened once the buyer took it home, and the sticker washed off? Who knows if it's just as great when it no longer reads, "The future is reduced for quick sale $2."
Cheap Furniture Set
While this didn't exactly come from a thrift or antique shop, it is a really great find nonetheless. Someone was selling a home and said that furniture wasn't their style, so they sold it to the seller for a bargain price. The real estate owner only paid $100 for the set, which could easily net around $1000 if they manage to find the right buyer. Alternatively, they could just keep it for themselves.
While they might not be everyone's style, we think these pieces are certainly distinctive, and while big, they would look great mixed in with some white decor in just about any room.
The Perfect Suit
Finding men's suits can often be a difficult task. They have to fit perfectly while still expressing someone's style. This person managed to pick up this retro-looking set of threads for only around $15.00. They might not be right for a business setting, but they fit perfectly while still being modern and stylish. They even match the son's head, which must be pretty hard to do when looking around at normal retailers.
Many men in the replies noted how ubiquitous boring suits and ties are, which makes this find all the more special. Others have also seen similar sets for much higher prices.
A Love Story
Sometimes the value of something is determined by the story it tells. These letters were found by someone, and they basically document a relationship from its very beginning. They are from a sailor his girlfriend in 1918, around World War I. According to the poster, they follow the two's story right up till marriage. They even detail when the sailor caught the mumps. It's basically a collection of someone's early life story all contained inside those little envelopes.
While these are a great find, the person never said if they were able to track down descendants of the family. This is one of those items that leave you guessing as to what happened to the previous owners.
There are no background details about this find, and after looking at the photo, we're now wondering why. This spooky purse was found by someone at a thrift store. This is definitely one of the weirder posts on this list. And while it might not be suited to carry around every day, it would certainly be a great purse for Halloween. Then again, if you really want to stand out, we suppose you could turn a few heads with this thing.
In fact, now that we think about it, we know a few spooky-loving people who would love this item.
Pepto Bismol T-Shirt Because Why Not
This funny T-shirt is riffing off a classic catchphrase from medication brand Pepto Bismol. However, it's pretty original nonetheless. The fonts are the same ones used by classic heavy metal bands like Metallica. We don't know if this was made as part of an advertising campaign by Pepto Bismol themselves, but it is definitely a cool shirt that, in a way, documents two vintage brands: both heavy metal and advertisements from the 1990s.
The different fonts got some commenters to try and guess which bands were which in the replies. If you're interested, the bands are as follows: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Def Leppard.
Another Odd T-Shirt
There have been a few bizarre thrift store T-shirts on this list, but this is probably the weirdest one. We're not sure what this ancient meme actually means, but it's definitely a bit creepy if a little funny. This shirt just raises so many questions: Why is someone's grandmother licking a popsicle like that? What does it all mean? And why do we suddenly really want this shirt? None of it makes any sense.
There were plenty of people in the comments replying that the shirt creeps them out after the photo was posted. There were just as many saying that they now wanted it, but nobody was able to explain its meaning.
Keanu Reaves Photographs for Your Shrine
This post is a bit odd for a different reason than the last. Someone either bought all of these frames with Keanu Reaves already pictured in them or went through the effort of finding Keanu photos after purchasing the frames. Either way, we can't say we blame them. Reaves is one of the best human beings out there. Plus, he never ages; just look at the photographs in the shrine.
Many of the replies in the comment section were in agreeance with this photo. At this point, it might be weirder if you didn't have a shrine dedicated to Keanu in your house somewhere.
Custom Casserole Dish
More so than the dish, this photo makes us want to meet whoever Kathy was. Someone managed to spot this treasure sitting in a thrift store aisle out there somewhere. And while it doesn't have a price tag listed, it would probably be worth every penny. While the image is blurred, you can probably figure out what the original text says. Extra points if whoever found this was named Kathy.
This also makes us wonder how this person was able to create a custom casserole dish. Is there a company out there that will actually write whatever you want on the side of kitchenware?
Bizarre Relationship Advice
Some of the best finds in thrift stores are the weirder things you can come across. This book offering relationship advice for anyone who thinks they might be dating the antichrist certainly fits that bill. And the best part is that it was only $0.99. There is even a funny little addition on the title cover saying that the book explains if it's worth breaking up over. Even if you weren't going to read it, the book would make a great display piece.
The title even makes us a bit curious as to its contents. The book is probably a good laugh to read, or maybe it's really serious in tone. Either way, our interest is peaked.
The Cheeseburger Phone of Our Dreams
Speaking of nostalgia, this cheeseburger phone screams the 1980s. Believe it or not, there was a time when all phones had cords. There was also a time when novelty phones were popular. There were phones that were clear, there were phones that were shaped like bananas, and then there were phones shaped like this hamburger. Though we largely use smartphones today, some of these novelty phones can still be found floating around thrift stores and Goodwills.
The novelty phone trend is unlikely to hit smartphones anytime soon, but this person managed to do the next best thing and find a corded phone for the house. Now, they just need to go about getting a landline number.
Not A Kid's Shirt
The weirdest thing on this list by a long shot, this Winnie the Pooh T-Shirt is not exactly kid-friendly. To be honest, we do not know what is going on here, but it's definitely intriguing. Whoever designed this thing has an imagination. It kind of even reminds us of something we've seen before but can't quite put our fingers on it. However, it's definitely worth picking up, if only for the pure absurdity of it.
Many of the people who replied on the comment thread had similar opinions. Despite what you might think of the design, one thing is certain: once you see Pooh bear like this, there is no unseeing it.
This vintage transistor cat radio has it all: color, character, and function. Someone picked it up for only $6.99 while out thrifting, and we think it's a steal at that price. The radio was apparently made in Hong Kong in the 1970s, and after a little cleaning, it turned out great. It's a shame they no longer make quirky household items like this anymore, but that's why thrifting can be such a joy.
While we could not find pricing for it, we did find a number of similar radios online. It seems these little things were all the craze back in the 1970s, and we can see why.
Sometimes It's Not Just About The Finds
Sometimes it's not about the items you find while out thrifting but the way they make you feel. This user posted photos of himself wearing three dresses he found while out thrifting. He said that he'd always been hesitant to explore that particular side of himself until very recently. He decided to finally express the way he felt and posted the photos on a forum, which just goes to show that thrifting can often be therapeutic for people.
Heartwarmingly, the replies were mostly positive, with women and men giving positive feedback. As many on the post said: if it ain't hurting anyone, do whatever you feel like doing.