Clothing Resale Shops – A Treasure Trove for Unique Craft Supplies

Are you a crafter? Or one of the new terms out there today is a re-purposer? With the advent of Pinterest and the hundreds of ideas for crafts on the internet, do you find yourself spending too much money on trying to accumulate your craft supplies? As the owner of a Clothing Resale Shop, and a self proclaimed Clothing Matchmaker, I want to introduce you to thinking of your local resale shops, whether they be consignment or thrift stores as a place to purchase your craft supplies. And many times this can be done at a very reasonable cost.

With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, there are a ton of crafty ideas to be found in resale stores, and by getting your supplies there instead of at chain craft stores, not only are you saving yourself a bundle of cash, you’re also helping to rescue items that may otherwise just end up in a landfill if they don’t get sold quickly enough.

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Button Hearts – Buttons salvaged from items headed for the dumpster.

Giving new life to old items is one of the great joys of resale store crafting. Turning something old into something new and beautiful, seeing where it started and where it ends up, is a kind of thrill I never get tired of experiencing

You can think of your resale shop as your craft supply warehouse!

Now I know that you can’t find everything that you need at your local resale shop, but it is worth checking them out on a regular basis and also talking to the owners or workers and asking them to let you know when they may get in items that you are looking for to complete a certain project.

Here are just some ideas of items that can be repurposed in a crafty way.

1. Sweaters - Search for sweaters with interesting colors and textures. Then, take them home, and transform them into colorful tote bags, mittens, throw pillows and other accessories; or unravel them for their yarn, and knit something new.

2. Shirts - Sift through all those racks of second-hand clothes for shirts that you can deconstruct for their fabric, buttons and other finer points; or that you can refashion into something more you.

3. Jeans - Denim can be used to make so many things – skirts, quilts, purses – you name it. Dig through the piles of discarded jeans for a pair (or a bunch of pairs) to get you started on a project.

4. Beaded Jewelry & Clothing - Look for necklaces and bracelets with interesting beads that you can take apart and use in your own jewelry creations or take the time to de-bling sweaters, tops, etc. that may have sequins, beads & more.

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Necklace crafted from a chain belt and silver belt buckle embellished with buttons and beads salvaged from other clothing items and jewelry.

5. Belts - Look for belts with interesting details such as fancy buckles or designs in the leather that can be made into unique bracelets or handles for bags.

 6. Wool Coat, Blazers and Sweaters - Felting wool has become very popular and there are many ways to put this fiber to another use.

Are you looking for ideas of crafts that can be made from clothing items. Be sure to check out the many boards that Glad Rags Boutique has on Pinterest. We have boards for repurposing denim, sweaters, buttons, silk, wool, leather, belts, beads, jewelry, and so much more.

Are you crafty and have projects lined up but don’t have the time to invest in looking for the items? We are starting a craft corner here at Glad Rags Boutique with bags of clothing items to be used for crafts.

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These items include BAGS O’ TEES, BAGS O’ SILK, BAGS O’ SWEATERS and more. And of course we have DENIM GALORE!! Those bags are bigger and we are in the process of making up bags of denim pockets and other items. Be sure to check out our other crafting finds with include jars of beads, buttons, jewelry findings and more.

102_0652We also have a spinner rack of buttons, beads and other unique findings that have be salvaged from clothing items destined for the dumpster.

102_0653Thousands of clothing items come through our store every year and for the most part the items find a new home because someone falls in love with them and they are put to good use in the form that they are intended for – clothing. But we have many items that cannot meet our strict guidelines for resale and when the owner does not want the items back, we try to find another use for the item whether it would be to donate the items to another thrift store, or ones in need. But now we also try to repurpose these items to be used for crafting and sewing projects. Here in rural Jo Daviess County it is quite a drive to get to a Joann Fabrics or a Hobby Lobby or Michael Craft supply store, so we want to make our store a place for you to shop for craft supplies as well. This store space was at one time a fabric store, and today it still is!! The fabric that we carry comes in the form of clothing – but sometimes that clothing can be repurposed to be a whole new clothing item with a creative mind and some sewing skills.

Over the next few months, we plan to work on blogging about some of these craft ideas, sharing tutorials and ideas for you so that you can make these easy crafts for everyday use or to make as gifts for others. We are looking into forming some craft classes locally and putting together other ways to network and craft using these ideas and items available locally. Be sure to stay tuned.

In the meantime, my kids gave me a great gift for Christmas. They bought me a plane ticket to Florida!! I will be leaving next week to spend 5 days in warmer temperatures visiting with my snowbird parents and other family that lives year round in Florida. And what do I plan to do when I am not visiting? My mom and I are going “treasure hunting” in the many thrift stores in the area that they live in. With all of these craft ideas from Pinterest I am going to see what I can find to bring back for crafts and more. I will have to be careful with how much I buy, or I will have to mail it back as I don’t want to have to pay for additional luggage on the way home. So when the store re-opens on Saturday, February 1st be sure to stop and in see what craft items we have in stock!! With the cold weather upon us, and more time indoors, it is the best time to craft, and put new purpose to “old” things.

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Repurposing – A New Way to Decorate for Christmas

Christmas is well known to be a wonderful time of the year to decorate your home, business and more. Every year stores put out their selection of Christmas decorations in the hopes that people will purchase new and different ornaments each year. Since I started this blog and put my mind to finding more ways to find a new purpose for clothes that come through my store. I decided to come up with a Christmas tree with repurposed clothing items as Christmas tree decor. In the past I have helped to decorate a themed tree for a local Festival of Trees, so this year when the applications were sent out I decided to do one for Glad Rags that would feature some of the Christmas Repurposed Decoration Ideas that I had found. Of course one of my first stops was to go out to Pinterest and do a search for ideas. What a great resource to find tutorials, photos and more! As a matter of fact, to keep me organized I started a board entitled Christmas Decor Repurposed and you can find it here. I, of course found more ideas than I put to use this year, but I am sure that the ideas will only grow from here. I also started out with just a small tree this year, as it takes time to make your Christmas ornaments. But if you find a an idea and have all of the supplies, what a great time to get together with your family or friends and have an ornament making party!!

First off, the tree topper is actually a craft from several years ago when I actually used to participate in a Christmas Craft Show. I made several angels such as this one, from – of all things – a shoulder pad. Many shoulder pads that you find in items are covered with just a simple lining material, and need to be covered with other material to make this craft. The one that I used for this angel was actually covered in the tapestry material that was found in the blazer that it was removed from.

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As I said, I made this angel several years ago and the flyer that I found the instructions on has since disappeared. I think it was a free pattern found in a subscription to some crafting magazine. If I locate it, I will try to post it later for those that might be interested. When I did a search on the internet for a shoulder pad angel, the ones that I found do not look like this one.

The next item that I worked on was the garland for the tree. I found a link on Pinterest  for a garland made from buttons and ornament hooks, you can see it here The ornament hooks that I used were longer than the ones pictured in the tutorial, but I liked the look. Because the hooks were longer, I decided to add some ties made from a repurposed houndstooth blazer. I just cut strips with my pinking shears and tied these to the garland. You will see more of this patterned material on other ornaments. Here is what mine turned out to be.

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I could have just used any wire, but using the ornament hooks made for not having to cut the wire, and they are very easy to bend into the shape that you want. Christmas ornament hooks are also very inexpensive and come in different colors as well..

rag and buttonsSo remember the houndstooth blazer material – I wish that I had taken a photo of the blazer before it was de-structed for this project, but I didn’t. I used more of the pinked strips to make rag ball ornaments. And of course I wanted to use more buttons, so when I saw a photo for icicle ornaments made from buttons, I had to try that too!

 

When someone sent me a pin that featured star ornaments made from sweaters, I knew that I had to give that a try. I had a wonderfully patterned sweater that needed a new purpose, so I used just one sleeve to make these stars.I think I made 5 from the one sleeve and I have plenty left to make more in this shape or maybe stockings, mittens, etc.

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One tip – I found that it was best to do some of the stuffing of the points of the star as I was handsewing the edges.

So, thus far I have incorporated shoulder pads, buttons, sweaters, and wool material from a blazer. But a re-purposed tree would not be complete without a material that anyone must have tons of (I know I do at the store and at home) – DENIM!! .Since I liked the star theme, I decided to cut out some denim stars, but these I did not stuff, and I used my sewing machine for the edging, that went a lot faster.denim stars

That was a good thing as I was running out of time to finish the decorations and get the tree up just after Thanksgiving. Here is how they turned out. I was able to weave an ornament hook into the top points  where they were stitched to hang them from  the tree.

As I was looking for just one more way to put some denim on the tree I remembered a tutorial that I had seen on making bracelets out of the seam of jeans. I decided to try something with the denim seam and came up with icicles!!denim icicles

These were the fastest of the ornaments that I made. I just put a piece of floral wire down through the seam, put a bead or bell on the end, cut the wire to make a hook on the top and then curled the resulting piece around a large knitting needle to get the right shape.

These were fun to make and I want to try some more and maybe add some bling? I was planning to do some demonstrations of repurposed Christmas ornaments at the Stockton Christmas Walk this weekend, and these may be the easiest to do.

So here is a photo of the finished tree which is in one of the windows at the Warren Community Building in Warren, Illinois at their Annual Festival of Trees.

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I was glad I started out with a small tree as all of the items took some time to make, but now that I have started, I may just work on items all year to make it better for next year.

What do you think? I did use more of the houndstooth material – I actually had two different blazers for this – to make the star-shaped tree skirt. Once again, I have bigger plans for next year.

I hope you enjoyed this and get some ideas of your own for your tree. Be sure to check out more ideas for re purposing clothing items on my Pinterest boards.

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Bling, Baubles and More – A New Look for Jewelry Cabinet

Glad Rags Boutique has been in existence in the same building in Historic Downtown Stockton since October of 1986. The historic building at 117 South Main Street was built in 1893 as can be seen by the date on the front of the building.101_0091

In it’s history the building has housed a hat shop, a boarding house and a department store, before it was used as Lyon’s Fabric Den beginning in August of 1981. Glad Rags Resale Boutique was added to the fabric store in 1986 at the encouragement of a friend from the Chicago area who said that resale shops were all the rage and this area needed one too!!

In the storied history of the building, one feature of the store space has been a historic, antique display case along the north wall of the building. This built in case I am sure has served many purposes over the years and currently is the main display area for the Jewelry in the store’s inventory. Over the time that I have owned the business what once housed some material, sewing notions and many other items has finally been dedicated to display the many pieces of Vintage, Costume and New Jewelry that Glad Rags Boutique now carries.

Recently, I was tired of the many different colors going on and the cluttered look of the jewelry cabinet, so I decided it was time for a makeover. The lighting for the cabinet used to be light strips with spotlights, A couple of years ago one of those strips decided not to work any longer so the landlord replaced one side with new puck lights. Recently the second side was installed, so now it was time to give the entire cabinet a new look. Here is what the cabinet looked like with everything out. A clean slate!!

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It took a lot of work, material replaced in blue to better match the store decor and ideas from Pinterest for displaying jewels and here is the end result!!102_0558

One of the ideas from Pinterest was to use shutters to display earring cards. Wow, that was a great idea as we have hundreds of pairs of earrings from Vintage to Costume. Now they are neatly arranged so that you can see each pair clearly. We have two shutters full and more are displayed on repurposed CD racks.102_0555102_0573

This rack is full of vintage clip or screw on earrings. We have them priced to sell for crafting!! Have you seen all the ideas out there on Pinterest for making such things as statements necklaces from these vintage items??  Be sure to check out our Pinterest Page for crafting ideas with jewelry. http://www.pinterest.com/gladrboutique/jewelry-ideas/102_0574We have more vintage jewelry displayed in these vintage jewelry boxes.

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So if you want to add some bling, or baubles to your life, be sure to stop in at Glad Rags Boutique to see what we have. There is a large selection of vintage jewelry from auctions and estates as well as costume jewelry from consignors. And if you love Annaleece Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals, we also are closing out these pieces for another consignor. You never know what you will find. If you have items of jewelry that you would like to consign, give us a call.

In closing, I wanted to post a photo of the brooch bouquet that my daughter made out of costume jewels for her wedding last October. It is just another idea of what you can do with jewelry. You don’t always have to wear it!!

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As a Clothing Matchmaker, I can also add jewelry to the description – helping them to find a new purpose as well.

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Feeling Crafty??

As I walk around the store today marking down more items to put in my Friday the 13th Sale it gets my creative juices flowing!! I find it so hard to send the items that haven’t sold out the back door to be donated if someone could truly use them. That is when I start thinking of other ways to use clothing. Today for Friday the 13th we are putting everything in the store on sale. Any Tag marked with a Star is only 13 cents!! Now is a great time to stock up on items for next season as most of the items on sale at this low price are summer items. Tank Tops, Capris, Shorts, etc. But if you don’t need items for that, have you ever repurposed items in another way? Be sure to check out our Pinterest Boards to find ideas. http://www.pinterest.com/gladrboutique/repurposed-clothing/

We have several boards for repurposing clothing items. Repurposed leather, denim and so much more. And what about buttons?? At the low price of 13 cent, if you don’t like anything other than the buttons on a shirt, it is a good deal. Now not all items in the store are 13 cents, but anything that is not already 50% off (Blue Tags) is 13% Today Only!!

So be sure to check out our Pinterest Boards for inspiration and come see what goodies you can get. Pinterest has me so inspired lately that I know I will be posting more ideas and tutorials soon. It’s great to have the boards for ideas, now the next step is to use the ideas, right?? Maybe I will have to come up with a contest to get us all crafting, especially with Christmas coming. What do you think? Let’s get crafty!!

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Homecoming Season – From Funky to Formal

HomecomingSeasonheaderNow that it is September and school is back in session, it is time to think about Homecoming already!! What does your school do for this occasion? If it is like most schools here in our area there is a whole week of fun dress up days leading up to the Homecoming Football Game and Dance. This time of year it is the best time to come treasure hunting to Glad Rags Boutique!! We have everything here from Funky to Formal!! You never know what we may have that would work for your dress up days at school. PJ Day?? Did you know that we have a selection of Nightwear?? From Children’s sizes to Adult, we have many items to choose from.102_0541

Also be sure to check out the many different styles and sizes of classic clothing and some that would be dated – 60′s, 70′s and 80′s apparel. What about a tropical theme? We still have shorts and capris in the inventory along with sandals, flip-flops and many tops, blouses and shirts with at tropical flair. Whatever the theme, be sure to check out our selection to see if something works for your outfit!! Be sure to look for your school colors and items from your school – you never know what you will find.

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We also carry formalwear dresses all year long. We have several long dresses, but also some short dresses that would be perfect for the Homecoming Dance.

102_0542And we don’t want to leave out the gentlemen. Did you know that we also carry men’s apparel? We have an entire rack of man’s shirts, pants and jeans. There is also a selection of belts and socks for men as well as shoes. Do you need a suit to wear for homecoming or any special occasion? With growing young men it is hard to invest in a suit that they will outgrow throughout their high school years. Did you know that you can rent a suit or even shoes for a formal occasion through our services. StephenGeoffreyComfortFormal

If you think a suit is too formal, just rent a colored vest and tie combination to go with your dress pants for a very polished look. Both formalwear companies that we deal with now offer full back vest collections that have the color on the back of the vest as well as the front for a great accent for your occasion.

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No matter where you live – as you plan for Homecoming Week, be sure to shop locally and support your local businesses so that they can support your local schools!!

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Repurpose a T-Shirt Into a Shrug

My daughter Sarah helps me out at the store and will also be taking on the job of helping me with tutorials as we show you how to re-purpose clothes in your closet or ones that you might find at our consignment store!! She put together this tutorial on how to repurpose a plain Tshirt into a very versatile shrug. We hope to help you with simple materials and just a little sewing skill to make projects such as this one.DSCF1600

You will need:  A T-Shirt

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Two yards of ribbon

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Safety pin, Straight pins and a Sewing machine

Start off by removing the collar of the Tshirt.

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Measure the width at the bottom of your shirt (if the shirt is made of a stretchy material, be careful not to stretch it while measuring) Take that number (mine was 18″) and divide in two.

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Cut at the center, starting at the bottom and go all the way up.

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Turn shirt inside out and fold at least one inch (or more, depending on the width of your ribbon) on the cuts that you just made to form a casing. The casing should go from the bottom, and continue all the way around the neckline and back down to the other side at the bottom.

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Pinning as you go. DSCF1707

Sew a straight line all the way around to form the casing, and turn right side out again.

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Pull the ribbon through the casing using your safety pin.

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Pull tight and tie.

DSCF1710And you are done!! What a perfect top to wear with tank tops and so much more. It would also make another great layer for long sleeved T’s when the winter months come.

Thanks Sarah for taking the time to work on this project I look forward to your next project.

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Welcome to My World!

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Hello and welcome to Glad Rags Boutique website and blog! I hope you will enjoy visiting with me, and I look forward to welcoming new friends. My name is Gloria, I am the owner of Glad Rags Boutique. I spend my days at the store as the chief Clothing Matchmaker!!
I pride myself on helping pre-loved clothes find a new purpose. Whether that is in a customer’s home, donated to a needy family or re-purposed to a new use – I am thrilled when the clothing in our store meets the needs of others.

 Growing up in a family of six children and being a mother of five children, finding bargains in clothes shopping has always been a passion. And thanks to the teaching of my seamstress mother, I find that sewing skills are great to have when a garment might need alterations to become the exact fit. Being the second oldest girl with an older sister started me off in the world of hand-me-downs and I can honestly say that I have had very few outfits growing up or in adult life that were purchased brand new!!  – and if they were brand new, they were purchased on clearance or at a great discount.

My plan for this blog is to help others who may have the same passion about clothes and the purpose they have in our lives. Each week there will be updates on new arrivals at the store, helpful articles dealing with clothing and tutorials on re-purposing clothing for your wardrobe or in crafting. Please join me in my journey of repurposing, upcycling or just enjoying pre-loved clothes!! Be sure to sign up for our updates and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest (the inspiration for many of the tutorials to come!!)