Spring Sprucing on a Dime

March 7, 2016

Guest Post | Laurie Marshall of Junque Rethunque
Junque Rethunque

Spring has sprung! At my local Salvation Army store in downtown Springdale, I recently found a great little selection of items to use to spruce up my house for the season. For a whopping $9.70 I filled a bag with a bamboo picnic basket, an assortment of plastic-handled knives, a roll of fabric, a Fiesta Ware butter dish, two silk floral stems, and a brand new paper flower kit.

I really thought I’d use that great fabric, but ended up putting it aside for another project. The paper flowers were also put aside, but I’ll be making them with my granddaughter next time she’s visiting. The butter dish replaced an ugly plastic one I use on my kitchen counter every day, and the rest were turned into some fun things for my home. Here are the simple projects I came up with!

salvation army finds

When I decided not to use the green fabric I pulled these pieces out instead. I actually found them at the same store, but on a different day. They are samples out of a vintage fabric book like an interior decorator would use. There are at least a dozen different pieces of various sizes, and the whole pile was $3.00. I LOVE the colors and graphics I find on vintage fabrics.

salvation army vintage fabric

My original idea was to make a hanging for the front door, but the pieces of fabric were too small, so I pulled out a few small embroidery hoops I had in my sewing room “just in case” (I have a lot of “just in case” supplies). I decided I would spruce up my window-less laundry room instead.

I might want to use these pieces of fabric later on for other projects, so I really didn’t want to cut them up. Of course, cutting them to fit would have made this step a little easier, but after some brainstorming I was able to fold the fabric in the back and tape it down with painter’s tape. Not beautiful, but effective. I used simple thumb tacks to hang them on the wall.


Next, I took the basket and knives outside to spruce them up. Who loves warm sunny days in February? This girl! The knives, which were $.25 cents each, were pretty grimy. I wanted to turn them into plant markers, so I could have left them as-is since they’ll be used outside, but I thought a quick coat of paint would dress them up a little and give them some texture that would be easier to write on than the slick plastic. I just taped off the metal before I painted, a step you could skip since the metal part will be mostly in the dirt. I used a satin-finish paint for this project.

salvation army repurposed knives

The basket was cute enough in its natural state, but I wasn’t in love with the color. I pulled out some acrylic paint and a sponge brush and quickly covered the main areas. I wasn’t worried about brush strokes showing, since I don’t mind a “casual” paint job. Some people may call this style “shabby”. Or “sloppy” if you’re my husband. If you prefer a solid color and cleaner finish, you can simply use spray paint. Be sure to move the handles as you go to get underneath.

salvation army basket paint job

When the paint was dry on the knives, I used a permanent marker to write the names of some of my favorite herbs. If you’re more patient than I am you could use a stencil to make your letters neater. Small vinyl stick-on letters would work too.

I loved the way they turned out so I ran right out to put them in the herb bed. You can’t tell in this photo, but the white really pops out amongst the green when the sun is shining on them. Disregard the brown leaves and old stems… I haven’t cleaned out the bed for spring yet!


Finally, I got the basket set up on our entry table. We have a 4-month old puppy we are training, so a flashlight and training treats need to stay available near the front door, but they aren’t the most attractive, right? The basket makes a perfect hiding place. It could also hold a leash and plastic bags for walks, pet toys for use outside, or take-out coupons for nights you order in.

salvation army basket interior

The ivy stems were added to a small jar that I filled with golden yellow pom-pom trim I found at The Salvation Army a few weeks ago. I like the pop of color they add, along with the daffodils from the backyard. Brass deer stand guard, and a quartz cluster we dug in Mt. Ida on a family road trip a few years ago rounds out the vignette.

salvation army spring freshen entryway

Isn’t this great? For less than $10 at my local store and a few things I had around my house, I was able to dress up my home for spring. You might be surprised what you can find at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store. With just a little imagination (or fifteen minutes on Pinterest), you can use your thrifty finds to dress up your home too. Happy thrifting!


Want more from Laurie?!
You can find more fabulous ideas at…
Junque Rethunque
Junque Rethunque

***Laurie Marshall is the maker behind Junque Rethunque. You may have seen her handmade goods featuring vintage paper ephemera at The Little Craft Show or Shindig Paperie. She’s also a writer, with regular features in AY Magazine, NWA Entertainment Magazine, and online at OnlyinArk.com. She is passionate about supporting other writers and makers in her community and creating a “vintage, repurposed life”.

1 Comment

  • Reply Talya Tate Boerner March 7, 2016 at 11:44 am

    You have such a great eye, Laurie! I love your creative, fun spirit.

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