Bargain Shopping Tips: Craft Items To Look For At Yard Sales

If you love crafting, here are some ideas for using bargain yard sale items to make crafts, home items and even gifts.

The next time you're out visiting yard sales, look a little more closely, with crafts in mind. There are many great crafting items just waiting to be attained for mere pennies that can be turned into beautiful gifts or items for your home. Found a baseball mitt? Drill a hole through the middle of the glove, slide a lamp stem through, screw the base back on the lamp and you've got a great new lamp for a boy's room. Odd, mismatched sheets? Sew two together, stuff, then fold and put in a zipper for a homemade sleeping bag.

Used jewelry at yard sales often has a kink in it, or the clasp missing, but that's okay. Make sure the chain length is even on both sides, and then sew the necklace or bracelet to the pockets on your purse or blue jeans. You can also sew the gems onto puppy collars or use them to make doll jewelry.

A lone China plate makes a nice centerpiece for your kitchen table when you lay pine branches on the bottom, then set apples and pine cones amongst the branches. Look for glass ivy bowls and styrene balls at yard sales to make a cute Christmas craft. Fill the bowl with candy, and then decorate the styrene ball as a snowman to use for the lid of the candy jar. If the bowl isn't clear, put a sticker or paint snowflakes on the bowl. Picture frames with the glass missing? Use them to frame a piece of cloth or wallpaper from your bedroom decor. Glue a piece of wood across the bottom, inside of the frame, to use for a shelf, with the fabric or wallpaper as a background, and place small nick-knacks on the shelf.

Old boots can almost always be found at a yard sale and they make great planters. Place a set of steps beside or in the garden, and then line the shoes up, going up the steps, with plants in them. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the boot for drainage. Or, set the boots in corners on the deck with plants in them.

Set wicks and pour candle wax in old bowls, vases and juice glasses, or turn the bowls upside down and decorate for a cute candle stand. Old plastic table cloths can be weighted around the edges then used to cover the barbecue grill, lawnmower and other yard items during bad weather. They can also be cut down to size and used to make ponchos for rainy weather.

Sew two baby blankets together, and then stuff to make a doggie bed. Make a doll quickly with used baby clothing. Just hot glue baby shoes to baby pants and fill with stuffing, then stuff a baby shirt and hot glue it to the waistline of the pants. Use knee-hi stockings to make the face and hands, or stuff gloves or mittens for the hands. Place a hat on the head. Old adult clothes can be assembled to make a nice scarecrow in the fall.

Used clothesline can be wrapped around and around until you have a circular or oval mat. Spread glue on one side until dry, then flip over and you have an outside door mat for wiping muddy shoes. Look at yard sales from a crafter's point of view the next time you visit one and you'll come up with dozens of other ways to reuse someone else's idea of junk.

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