Thrift Store Throwdown – The Results

Two weeks ago I shared what I received from Courtney at All Things New Again for a Thrift Store Throwdown Challenge.  15 bloggers were assigned the task of shopping for another blogger at a local thrift shop for items that could be repurposed.  Today we are sharing the results.


When I pulled this purse out of the box, I think I laughed out loud.  After staring at this purse for a week or so, I got an inspiration.

thrift store purse


I removed the handles from the purse and turned them into a chalkboard sign.  This will look so cute on my desk at school and it will be fun to write messages to my students on it.  At the end of the year, I can use it to count down how many days of school remain.

Handles from a thrift store purse were used to make this framed chalkboard. Vintage clip earrings cover the holes where the straps once were.


After I removed the handles from the purse, I overlapped them with the holes aligned and glued them together with wood glue.  Clamps held the handles in place until the glue dried.  I used a band saw to cut out a piece of chalkboard to fit the frame.  (Hint:  It is much easier to buy pre-made pieces of chalkboard at Home Depot rather than to make your own.)  This was a scrap leftover from when I made these chalkboards.  Wood glue was used to affix the chalkboard to the purse handle frame.

Step-by step tutorial for making a framed chalkboard from purse handles.


I painted the back of the chalkboard black.  If I’d used a jig saw instead of a band saw to cut this out, the edges would have been smoother.Step-by step tutorial for making a framed chalkboard from purse handles.


To cover the two holes, I used two of my grandmother’s clip earrings.  They were glued into place with E600.

Step-by step tutorial for making a framed chalkboard from purse handles.


A black plate stand holds my chalkboard sign.  I love how this turned out!

Wooden handles from a thrift shop purse were used to make this framed chalkboard. Get the full tutorial at


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Thrift Store Makeover - Purse handles become a chalkboard frame. Get the details at


Next up we have a coaster set.

Goodwill coaster set


I decided that four coasters glued together would make a great trivet.  I painted coat after coat of chalk paint on these dang coasters and the brown bled through time after time.  I then put a coat of polyurethane over the paint.  Again, the brown bled through.  Finally after a second poly coat, the brown bleed through was gone.

Goodwill coasters are glued together to make a trivet for hot dishes.

The above trivet was my first.  I removed the coaster knobs from this set and later wished that I’d left them in place.  Wood filler was later used on the gaps that you see above.  This set was glued together with E600.


For the second trivet, I left the knobs in place and glued the four trivets together with wood glue before I painted them.

Goodwill coasters are glued together to make a trivet for hot dishes.


Here they are after the wood filler dried and they’d been sanded.  The knobs were removed when I painted this set, this time with spray paint only.  A thick coat of polyurethane was applied before I spray painted them.

Goodwill coasters are glued together to make a trivet for hot dishes.


Now it was time to add some personality to these coasters.  In my desk drawer was a set of dried pansies that my grandmother put into a book shortly before she had to move into a retirement home.  I was lucky enough to find them in the book and I saved them for sentimental reasons.

pressed pansies


I used Mod Podge to glue the flowers to the painted cork.  A second coat of Mod Podge was applied over the flowers after the first coat dried.  Spray sealer was applied over the entire trivet to protect both the paint and flowers.  I traced the trivet onto a piece of cork, cut it out with a utility knife, and used wood glue to glue it into place.  The knobs were added and this trivet was done.

Coasters from the thrift store were glued together to make a trivet. Full tutorial at


My grandmother won national awards for her pressed flower pictures and I had to pull one apart to get flowers for the second trivet.  Flowers fade with time and the color of these blooms is long gone.

Coasters from the thrift store were glued together to make a trivet. Full tutorial at


When they aren’t being used as trivets, I can use these as a table decoration.  I think my grandmother would be pleased if she knew that I was still enjoying her pressed flowers many years after she originally saved them.

Coasters from the thrift store were glued together to make a trivet. Full tutorial at



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Thrift Store Makeover - Coasters upcycled to a pressed flower embellished trivet.



Next up we have this lovely stack of hens.  What to do with them?

Goodwill Chicken decoration

I started by giving these ladies a coat of black spray paint.

Goodwill chickens painted black


I then brushed them with some Elmer’s school glue and waited for the glue to get tacky. Goodwill chickens painted with glue for a crackle paint effect.


The hens then got a coat of white spray paint. Goodwill chickens painted with white paint

I had read that glue will make paint crackle but I didn’t do something correctly because the crackle that I got was subtle.

I lightly sanded the hens to show some of the black paint and their makeover was complete.

A chicken decor piece from the thrift shop got a makeover.

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Thrift Store Makeover - A stack of hens gets an updated look.

Courtney sent one more item but it has yet to receive a makeover.


Now it’s time to see what my friends did with the items that they received.

Thrift Store Throwdown

Click on the links below to visit each blog.

My Life From Home

Farmhouse 40

Refurbish 360

All Things New Again

Dukes and Duchesses

Paint Yourself a Smile

Lovely Etc

Shepherds and Chardonnay

Shop Blu

3 Little Greenwoods

One Mile Home Style

One More Time Events

Holy Craft

Salvage Sister and Mister

Get inspired by 15 Trash to Treasure projects made with items found at the thrift store.


  1. Wow, pleasantly surprised by all your ideas! So creative. Love that a bit of Grandma is in two of the upcycles, so sweet! But the three hens are the dark horse winner!

  2. You are so creative! Love all of your ideas but that chalkboard sign is my favorite! I can’t believe you saw potential in that crazy purse!

  3. Paula I am amazed at the creativity in this group! Your ideas were so unique! I too laughed out loud at that purse! Way to breathe some life into it!

  4. Paula, your ideas for the “treasures” I sent you are AMAZING!!! Those little chickens look so elegant now … and the chalkboard from that crazy purse is awesome. I love that you used your grandmother’s earrings on them. Now a little part of her will be with you on your desk every day…and I’m sure she would just love seeing her pressed flowers on those lovely trivets you made. You did a wonderful job on this challenge. I enjoyed seeing your creations today so much! ~ Courtney

  5. Ok, so this was such a fun challenge! I am mighty impressed! I think my favorite is the purse (ahhh! That purse!) turned chalkboard sign. And I love those chickens. They are just so cute – and much improved now!

  6. I love all of these makeovers!! The pressed flower trivets are so pretty, and are such a great way to show off your grandmother’s pressed flowers!

  7. I am impressed ! I will admit when I saw what you got, I couldn’t think of a thing! The trivet with pressed flowers is the best. Congratulations on rising to the occasion with this challenge.

  8. I have tried this crackle finish on a few items. When you brush the second coat of paint on, you get bigger, better cracks then pray paint. I have also spray painted the item first, to get a nice over all base and then the top coat. Both work well but have two different results. Love your blog! I would love to try my hand at blogging too!

    1. Thanks for you tips on a crackle finish, Connie! And also thanks for reading my blog and for leaving a comment. Please let me know if you start a blog1

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