French Country Urn Makeover

Raise a paw if you like dogs.  Me too!  Well, my little French Country urn makeover might have fed a dog.  How?  Well, today some of my friends and I are focusing on a project we’ve made-over from a humane society thrift store.

I’m always on the hunt for beautiful French Country accents and I pop into my local humane society thrift store several times a week.  Whenever I find something awesome it always makes me feel good that my money is going to be put to good use.  My local humane society is directly linked to my local shelter so the money taken in at the shop goes directly to help in the local shelter.  Win and win.

I want to encourage you to search for your local humane society thrift store and ask them about their policies concerning the money taken in.  The information will help you decide where to shop and where to donate.  For today’s post, I didn’t want to give you a quick makeover.  I wanted to share how I have success shopping at my local humane society thrift store and how I find great pieces like this French Country urn.  Ready?  Here’s my best tips just for you…because we can share the secrets right?

Tip 1:  Find The Right Thrift Store

Not all thrift stores are created equal.  So how do you go about finding the best ones?  Well, I have a few different schools of thought on this.  My first strategy is to find thrift stores in the more affluent end of town.  It makes sense right?  People with more money buy new furniture more often and donate their old stuff rather than try to sell it on Craigslist.  It’s true you will see a lot of great stuff come in the store; but the high end thrift stores often know their customer and items, sometimes driving the price for an item up.

My second strategy is to find thrift stores with high turnovers.  It means they have a lot of stuff coming in their stores and a lot going out.  If you can’t go often you might miss out on some great items, but it also means each time you go in there will be something new.  I like the more affluent area if I’m looking for a really nice piece of furniture, but I hit the high turnover thrift stores to find great accessories.

Tip 2:  Get To Know The Employees

If you are able to go often, get to know the employees that work at the store.  Make small talk when you go in.  Snap photos of the projects you have done with items you bought at the thrift store.  If you really want to get the good stuff, donate your time to work at your local humane society thrift store.  The employees working see the good stuff as it comes in.  Let them know what you are on the hunt for.  Leave your contact information with them so they can get in touch with you if something you’ve been dreaming of is donated.

Tip 3:  Know What You Love

This might be the most difficult aspect of shopping at thrift stores.  It’s so hard to stay in your lane when you are presented with tons of stuff at great prices.  I know.  It wasn’t too long ago that I held a garage sale and dumped a bunch of stuff I had purchased over time at the thrift store only to realize it really wasn’t “my thing”.  A hundred dollars of inexpensive items is still $100 wasted if it isn’t items you love.

So, how do you know what you love?  Well, you are reading this blog so you might like French Country, traditional, or even coastal style.  That’s a start.  Study your Pinterest feed and categorize what you pin.  Do you pin a lot of farmhouse, mid-century modern, traditional etc….?  Once you figure out what you gravitate toward, read-up on the style.  Don’t go on the internet.  Go to your library or local book store and find books on that style.  The kinds of books interior design students might study.  Books that show you the architecture of that style, the furniture characteristics, the fabrics often used, the accessories.  Learn the terminology…like a French bergere chair, jardiniere, Bombay chest etc….  If you know what it is, you will be able to spot it among all the other items.  When I found this French Country urn it looked like this.



Tip 4:  Count Your Irons In The Fire

If you buy too much too often, you run the risk of having too many irons in the fire.  Your garage might just end up looking like a bad scene from one of those hoarding shows.  I try to only keep 3 projects in the works at a time.  Like I said…I try.  Sometimes walking through the thrift feels like walking through the dessert when there just isn’t a single thing I’m interested in.  Then, I might walk in one day and someone donated a house full of stuff and it’s all French Country…eeeek!  That’s a more than 3 day and that’s okay sometimes too.

Tip 5:  Trade-Up

This might be my favorite tip.  There are items I find I know I will never part with like my cherub lamp and pretty much everything I put in my dining room.  However, there are other items I buy at the thrift and enjoy for years while I search for something even more spectacular.  Like right now, I have lovely chairs in my breakfast nook I bought for $38 total.  But…if I walked in one day and found some beautiful French Country vintage chairs with tufted backs and carved details on the top, I would grab them and the old ones would disappear.

So…there’s my favorite tips for thrift store shopping and a pretty darn pretty French Country urn makeover to boot.  I hope you all have a fantastic day.  Now, go google the location of your local humane society thrift store and go out and find the good stuff my thrift store warriors!

Don’t forget to look at some other great humane society thrift store projects below.  🙂

  1. katerina stepovikov

    October 26, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Living by same set of rules hun….However living in Sydney , Australia, we are bereft of such finery…French and Coastal are NOT easy to do on budgets here. Plenty to be had in “boutique interior stores” BUT extremely cost prohibitive !! I envy you living in a country of over 300 million people…..We are only about 26 million. Slim pickings !! LOL .. I live in hope. Love your style.

    1. Nancy

      October 26, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you Katerina! I’m unusually lucky because I live on a coastal island and people usually move here with all of their traditional furniture, buy a beach house, and then decide they need all new beachy furniture and accessories so my thrift store usually has great stuff. I hope you find some good stuff!


  2. Melissa

    October 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    It’s so pretty! You did a great job transforming it and all for such a good cause! Love it!

    1. Nancy

      October 26, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Thank you so much Melissa! It was a fun little project.


  3. Deborah

    October 26, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Oh, that’s such a great find. Love the paint job and décor. So fun!!!

    1. Nancy

      October 26, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks Deborah! It was great hopping with you. 🙂

  4. Tasha

    October 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I love the detail on the urn, it’s really unique. I love your thrift tips as well. Trying to limit the # of DIY projects & home improvements we’ve got “in the works” is a constant struggle. Ha! But I think we’re s l o w l y getting better at it with time.

    1. Nancy

      October 26, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      I hear ya. I have to watch the garage because if it gets too full we can’t fit the garage stuff in. It is so hard to walk away from good stuff.


  5. Jeanette

    October 26, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Love the transformation and the display! The mice seem just as thrilled by the new french country look. 🙂 And I love your website!!! Thank you for joining us.

  6. Christina

    October 27, 2017 at 9:16 am

    This is lovely! Love the chic Halloween touches!
    This is such a fun and worthy benefit 🙂

  7. Shirley @Housepitality Designs

    October 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    You find the greatest things at your Thrift Store….Great transformation!!! …

  8. Sadie Seasongoods

    October 29, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Holy bananas, what an amazing makeover- you really brought it to life! SO glad you were a part of our Thrift Benefit!!

  9. Rachel

    November 10, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I LOVE that your project helped out humane thrift! And the little cheetah print pumpkin is adorable!! xx rachel

  10. Rebekah@Diytoolskit

    November 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Amazing makeover Nancy! I lovely husband has appreciated your makeover. We have a plane to work on frence makeover. Thanks for an idea, Have a blessed day.

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