Purchases With a Purpose

purchaseswithapurposelogoDo you have a favorite local charity that you would love to support more often, but just don’t have the finances to do so? Glad Rags Boutique’s Purchases With a Purpose is an easy way for you to donate to your favorite cause without spending a dime. Most of us have excess in our closets, often times in the form of good things that we no longer wear or use. You can put those items to better use by recycling them through consignment. When you clean out your closets, you can donate them to a current Charity Account at Glad Rags Boutique. If you have a particular group that you would like to see obtain donations from your sold items, talk to us about registering your favorite non-profit. This is a great way to give back and you can ask others to donate as well without anyone having to give actual cash.

How does this program work? Currently at Glad Rags Boutique I have accounts set up for many groups including: Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois, Stockton Heritage Museum, Riverview Center, and the Miss Jo Daviess County Fair Queen Contest. I also have a generic Charity Account where the proceeds are used to help pay consignors for clothing that we donate to those in need – due to fire, flood, tornado, etc. If you would like to donate items to be put in any of these accounts, please call the store at 815-947-3081 to make arrangements. All consignors with our store need to make appointments and if you are just donating items, we still have to make time and room for the items. All items donated for our Purchases With a Purpose program have specially marked tags and can be found throughout the store. That way, customers can see when their purchase benefits a local charity. hospicetagAt Glad Rags when you normally consign items, the percentage that the store received is 60% and the consignor received 40% unless it is used as store credit, then the split is 50/50. With our Charity Accounts the store only receives 25% to cover the costs of processing which includes tags, barbs, steaming items and credit card processing fees for purchases. The charity receives 75% of the sale.

Charity Accounts have been the main way to help non-profits raise funds here at Glad Rags. But having items in charity accounts only does so much for the charity – the items have to sell for the non-profit to receive a check. That is why Glad Rags will now add another feature to our Purchases With a Purpose program. I will now offer special shopping days or after hours events where 10% of all sales for the day will go to a designated charity. The first such event will be held on Monday, October 10th at Glad Rags Boutique in Stockton and the proceeds will benefit Volunteer Hospice of Northwest Illinois. This local Hospice has benefited from a charity account at our store since the fall of 2009. An account was opened at that time to help the Hospice offset the cost of moving to a new office space which would require more funds for rent, utilities, etc. Since the beginning of Glad Rags’ relationship with this worthy cause over 3000 items have been donated to sell and we have donated over $6000 to this organization. Can you please help me to boost our next check to them by shopping at our special Purchases With a Purpose Shopping Event? We will be using the 10.10 theme as we hold the event on October 10th! We will be open for 10 hours – 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. and 10% of all sales for the day will benefit Volunteer Hospice. I want this to be a fun shopping experience, so refreshments will be served and there will be a drawing for door prizes. The store will be full of quality Fall and Winter Merchandise for the entire family at a fraction of the cost of brand new. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about this local Volunteer Hospice and the work that they do.purchaseswithpurpose-1

Purchases With a Purpose is just one more way we are helping those that help others. We take pride in supporting local charities when our customers support our local business. Purchases With a Purpose has raised hundreds of dollars while recycling clothing and finding new homes for pre-loved items. Email us at glad.rags.boutique@hotmail.com to set up an account for your cause! And be sure to join us for our first Shopping Event that will give back!!signaturewithverse

September is National Sewing Month

September National Sewing MonthDid you know that September is National Sewing Month? The observance of National Sewing Month began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.” In this fast paced electronic and digital age, sewing sometimes doesn’t seem as important as it once was. How many of us learned to sew from our mothers or grandmothers? When you attended school, was there still a Home Economics class where the basics of sewing were taught? How about 4H or Girls Scouts? Is that when you learned the skill of sewing?

I have to say that most of the sewing ability that I have was taught to me by my mother. To this day, she is still a much better seamstress that I am. She owns multiple sewing machines, a serger and loves to quilt as well as sewing garments and more. When my children were growing up – I used to make matching Easter dresses for my three girls every year. I even attempted vests and ties for my boys. I am grateful to my mother for patiently teaching me the art of using a needle and thread as this knowledge has served me well over the years. I have to say that since I own a resale shop and usually have a huge inventory of clothing to choose from, I haven’t sewn a garment from start to finish in many years. But having the knowledge and skill to sew has made it possible for me to mend many items and make alterations to garments that may have otherwise been thrown away.

The newer trend of repurposing has brought out the skill of sewing in another light in recent years. I have started following many blogs of some highly skilled seamstresses who share their projects and give inspiration on remaking many of their thrift store finds. I recently started following one from England. Portia has some great ideas and is currently running a contest on repurposed denim. I had every intention of joining in the contest and currently have two projects that I have been working on, but time has gotten away from me and I will not be able to finish the projects by the September 30th deadline. discounted denimI will finish the projects and post about them soon. In reading the many posts and entries to this contest, I wish I could help out some of these seamstresses with their denim supply. Many have found it difficult to obtain denim jeans. Every month at Glad Rags we take in dozens of pairs of jeans to sell in our store. From men, to women, juniors and childrens jeans. Not all of them sell at our reduced prices and currently we have marked some pairs down to just ten cents. They are the perfect material for many projects. So if you ever have some ideas or projects that need denim, come see what we have. Do you need ideas? Be sure to check out Pinterest and more for ideas.

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

I did not want this sewing month to pass without giving tribute to this special skill. I want to encourage you to get out the needle and thread and patterns too. With less than three months until Christmas  now is the perfect time to think of sewing and crafting for the holidays. If you need some ideas, check out our Pinterest boards. And be sure to check out our Blue Denim Christmas Tree ideas. One of my projects I am working on currently will compliment the tree this year, so watch for it soon. Just keep in mind when you have sewing projects that thrift stores and consignment shops might just have the right material for your crafting project.


Thinking Outside the Bag – What to Look for to Fill Your Bag at a Resale Shop Bag Sale


thinkoutsidethebagBag Sales – Don’t you love them for finding bargains? Have you ever walked into a store that is advertising a Bag Sale and thought, “Where do I start?”  – “Can I really get any good bargains this way?” Are you a novice at this kind of a sale? or an old pro? I have loved Bag Sales for years, and have to admit that I watch our local shopping newspapers to find out when local thrift shops will hold their end of season bag sales. One thrift shop in my area has a bag sale every Saturday and I just discovered another store that has one every Friday. It is always interesting to see how different stores have different rules for their sales. Most of the time the items that can go in the bag are limited to certain tag colors or items. One of the end of season sales that I try to catch, allows you to choose from everything in the store – and the cost of the bag is $3. The weekly bag sale is limited to a certain color tag and is $1. I came across another bag sale last summer which I found interesting. They allowed you to choose from most anything in the store and the cost was $2 for the bag, but you could only put in up to six items. That means the best you can do is get the items down to 33 cents, which is still a good deal, but I am used to the art of fitting as much as possible in the bag. bagsalesignAt my store I use Bag Sales to clear out items at the end of the season, and to give my customers some bargains in the process. The sale only includes specially marked items, but you can “stuff the bag” with as much as will fit. I have even encouraged shoppers to Bring Their Own Bag, but they can’t be large garbage bags!! I even offer a discount if shoppers bring our local shopping bag.


Use this bag during our $2 Bag Sale and you will only pay $1 to fill it.

So what do you put in the bag when you shop at a bag sale?Do you ever walk through a store and you can’t even find one item to put in the bag? I have had some customers that have stated that they couldn’t find anything to put in their bag, so I got to thinking maybe they need to “Think Outside the Bag”. So here are some ideas of what to look for when you shop your next Bag Sale.

First – Find great buys on items you will actually wear – maybe next season, as the markdowns usually are on items that are going out of season. I usually purchase items that I would like to put into my wardrobe the next time that season comes. It can be a pleasant surprise when you find that you have something new when you get your clothes out for that season and you find the items that you got at the bag sale and didn’t have time to wear before the weather changed. End of summer is the best time to get tank tops for next to nothing – use them as the base for your layered looks in the fall & winter!! In the spring you can usually find good deals on winter items such as hat, gloves, coats, sweaters, etc.

Second – Look for items for other family members or friends – don’t limit yourself on a great buy that will fit in the bag. Have a running list of sizes and needs from others, or if all else fails, give them a call while you are shopping to check on specific clothing needs. Having the use of a cell phone to take photos of items and sending the photos to others can help to pick out something someone else could put to good use.

Third – Think of charities – causes or missions – do you know of a clothing drive for others who need clothes – fire/flood/tornado victims? Remember, even if the items are for charity, please only pick out items in good condition that you would be happy to put to use if you had a need. Some charities and organizations have drives for sneakers, undergarments, and other items, be aware and collect these items at a low cost to help others.


Wouldn’t this jacket make a great start for a costume?

Fourth – Look for funky, fun items for dress up – Homecoming days, Halloween, little girls parties, plays and more. Start a dress up suitcase for grandchildren/daycare etc. What about purchasing swimwear or formal dresses to make into costumes? Thrift stores and consignment shops can have a great variety of vintage to stylish clothes that you don’t see every day. Be creative!!

Fifth – Here comes the part of Thinking Outside the Bag – Look for things you can re-purpose for crafting. Clothing is made up of material – in so many different forms. Denim, Tshirts, leather, silk, wool, sweaters and more can be repurposed, check out our Pinterest Boards for ideas. One of my favorite things to look for are buttons and other embellishments – such as sequins, beads, etc. The cost of the bag is less than what you would pay for buttons and other items at the craft store – and many times you will find unique styles that you can’t find in other stores. ButtonJarsDon’t limit yourself to just clothing items. Be sure to check out the shoes, belts, jewelry, purses and so much more.

I have been “harvesting” these craft items from clothing that either did not sell or were not up to our standards and headed for donation. That is why we now have jars of buttons, beads and jewelry findings along with an entire rack of buttons, buckles, beads and many unique items for you to choose from for your crafting needs. Some of the items are from my own shopping trips to thrift stores as I search to see what bargains I can find.

So the next time you see a Bag Sale advertised at your local Resale Shop – give it a try and see what you can find. You may be surprised at what you can bring home when you “Think Outside the Bag”!!



What’s In a “Brand” Name? Finding them in Resale!

labelcollageBrand Names in clothing – are they important? Do you have favorite brand names or labels that are your style? Brand name labels can stand for quality of the designer or workmanship. Is that what the label means to you? Are you willing to pay more for the popular labels, or do you shop with your personal style in mind?

I have to admit, as a person who purchases most all of my clothing second hand that I do gravitate towards certain labels and styles because their designs suit me. The quality of some brands let me know that the item is quality made and the classic style will be one that last longer than one season. These type of styles and labels are great sellers in places like my consignment store. That is the beauty of consignment stores. Do you have any idea how many different brand name labels you can find when you shop in a store with pre-loved clothing?

As I was approaching the anniversary of the purchase of Glad Rags I wanted to find a fun way to celebrate our 13th Anniversary. I have always been facinated with the name brands that flow through the store on a daily basis. We have lower end brands that you find in Walmart and other discount stores, but we also have higher end quality brands that you would find in mall stores, only online or even QVC. You don’t have to go to dozens of stores to find a variety of labels, just shop your local consignment/resale shop!!

So, to make it fun during our 13th Anniversary Sale we are having a Brand Name Scavenger Hunt!!BrandNameScavengerHuntblank To earn one of 13 door prizes that we will be giving away, come in to the store an pick up your entry blank for the Scavenger Hunt. How does it work? The entry blank has a space for every letter of the alphabet and you need to find brand names that start with each letter of the alphabet to complete the task. In putting together a master list for this task I have come up with over 400 brand names that are currently in our store (probably more, but I ran out of time to look on every rack!!) You must complete the list to be entered to win prizes. And during this exercise, we know you will be impressed with the hundreds of name brands that are in our store – everything from A to Z!!

13anniversaryspecialsOf course we have specials going on as well. Red Tags are 50% off and specially marked discount tags are just 13 cents. All regular priced items are Buy One Get One for only 13 cents!! There will be New Arrivals to the inventory daily, and these will qualify for the Buy One Get One for 13 cent special, so be sure to shop often. The sale is for 13 days and will end on Wednesday, June 15th at 5 p.m.

So plan now to take some time to participate in our Anniversary Celebration, we will announce some other special events soon!!


I’m Back!

I must apologize for taking so long to get back into writing blog posts. When I started this blog I had many good intentions, but have found over time, that sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything that I would like to do. Time has marched on and I want to make more of an effort to blog and keep in touch with my followers, so I am trying this again. Thank you so much for your patience. Please stay tuned as I work to post on a more consistent basis and share information that I hope you find helpful. I am currently working on several series of blog posts that I hope to start soon. Please watch for details on some fun things coming for Glad Rags Boutique as we celebrate owning the business for 13 years as of June 1st.


Time to Vote – Help us Pick a Winner!!

pocketcontestIn our last post we told you about our Decorate a Denim Pocket Christmas Ornament Contest.

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

Blue Denim Christmas Decorations

We needed help to decorate our Blue Denim Christmas Tree for our local Christmas Walk and the Holiday Shopping Season. Take a look at our basic denim chain, denim icicles and denim candy canes that we put on our tree this year.To set off the tree even more, we wanted your help to make denim pocket ornaments. We did have a few entries, we would have loved to have more participation, but we know that it is a VERY BUSY time of the year. We are grateful to those who took the time to craft pockets for us. Now as promised we want your help in picking a winner.

We are judging the entries on the following criteria:
(1) Use of Denim Pocket; (2) Originality; (3) Technical Ability; (4) Overall Appearance and lastly – (5) Voting by the General Public (by ballot, Facebook likes and Pinterest likes). Votes will be counted at the end of the business day on Friday, December 19th and points for the other areas will be tallied to determine a winner. We will announce the winners on Saturday, December 20th. Everyone who wants to vote can do it in three different ways. You can come into the store and fill out your vote – one per person. You can visit our Pinterest Board with photos and descriptions of the entries where all you have to do to cast your vote is to mark your favorite entry. We have also created a photo album on our Facebook page where you can vote by liking the photo. Of course you can always try to help your favorite entry to win by sharing these photos.

Here are the entries:

Denim Pocket "A"

Denim Pocket “A”
Denim Pocket "B"

Denim Pocket “B”

Denim  Pocket "C"

Denim Pocket “C”

Denim Pocket "D"

Denim Pocket “D”

Denim Pocket "E"

Denim Pocket “E”

Thank You in advance for your votes!!


Planning a Blue Denim Christmas Ornament Contest

As we turned the calendar to November and changed our clocks this past weekend, I have to say that my thoughts turned to all of the preparations for the coming Christmas season. Let me first say, I love Autumn – the colors and the holidays that is represents. I especially love the Thanksgiving season and don’t like the way most holiday shopping takes away from the Thanksgiving holiday. With that being said, there is so much to prepare for the Christmas season that my mind has had to be on decorating and plans for decor especially for Glad Rags. Every year I decorate in our theme colors of blue and silver and use a lot of snowflakes so that the decorations can stay up through January.

Christmas Tree display

Christmas Tree display

This year I decided to change things up a bit as I have had my mind on finding new purpose for items that don’t necessarily sell at the store. In my last blog post I announced a Repurpose Redesign Refashion Contest and really looked forward to seeing the ideas crafters would come up with for this contest. I am sorry to report that we did not have enough entries to go forward with the contest, but I do plan to have the contest in the winter months. So if you thought about entering the contest, but did not have the time to dedicate to entering it, please stay tuned. We will be having the contest in the New Year. In the mean time, we really wanted to give away the prize that we had for the Christmas category for the contest. This prize would be great for a Christmas gift, so we decided to have a simpler Christmas ornament contest.

Every year our business community has a theme for their Christmas Walk that is held the first weekend in December. This year’s theme will be “O Christmas Tree”. In planning for decorations for our window displays, I have decided to have a contest to help decorate our tree for the season. The theme I decided on for the window is a “Blue Denim Christmas”. We always end up with so much denim that comes through our store and I want to craft with it for Christmas this year.

pocketcontestTo make it simple I decided to have a “Decorate a Denim Pocket Christmas Ornament Contest”. Those who wish to enter the contest will need to purchase either a pair of jeans or just jean pockets on sale at the store for the cost of $3.00. Then the fun begins. You can decorate your denim pocket any way that you wish to become an ornament for the Christmas Tree. Glad Rags also carries reclaimed beads and buttons that you can use to decorate your pocket. You can find the entry form here for more details, or pick one up at the store. All ornaments will need to be turned in to the store by Wednesday, December 3rd.

Just one of the kinds of reclaimed beads that you can use for your project.

Just one of the kinds of reclaimed beads that you can use for your project.

Denim pockets in all sizes and various washes.

Denim pockets in all sizes and various washes.

Contestant’s entries will be put on display for the Christmas Walk and the public will have an opportunity to help determine the winners.  Photos of the entries will also be posted on Facebook, Pinterest and here on this blog. Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Originality; Overall Appearance;  Technical Ability; Voting by the General Public (by ballot, Facebook likes and Pinterest likes)

This contest began on November 5th. All entries must be received by December 3rd. Contestant entries will be featured in a special window display at Glad Rags Boutique in Stockton. Voting by the general public will be open from December 5th-19th. Entries will also be posted on Facebook, Pinterest and here on my blog. Winners will be announced on December 20th.


Win this prize – this would make a great Christmas Gift!!

Prizes will be awarded for First-Third finishers.
First Prize Winner will receive a VTech Inno Tab 3 Learning App Tablet for Kids ages 3-9 (Retail value $49.99).
Second Prize Winner will receive at $35 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
Third Prize Winner will receive at $20 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
All those who enter will receive a 30% off discount coupon good for their next purchase at Glad Rags Boutique.

So, now is the time to put on your thinking caps and come up with some decorating ideas. If you need some inspiration, you can check out our Denim Repurposed Board on Pinterest. There is no age limit for this contest, so get your family together for a fun craft night and you can all enter to win!!


A Pinterest Inspired Crafting Contest!

Do you find yourself spending time looking on Pinterest for ideas to repurpose something that you have at home in your closet? teal_pinterestDo you ever go to craft shows and see something that someone else has made that inspires you to try a new craft? Every day here at my store I find myself inspired to create “new” things from “old” items and don’t want to see clothing that just doesn’t have a use or a new home. As a self-proclaimed Clothing Matchmaker, I am always looking for ways to use clothes in unconventional or creative ways. Some items that come to my consignment store don’t meet our strict standards and cannot be put out to sell. At that time I find my mind wandering to find what other use there might be for anything on the clothing item. Can I remove the shoulder pads to be used in another garment or craft? Are the buttons something that would come off easily? Does it have beads? Jars of Beads and ButtonsOver the past several months I have spent hours taking items apart so that some value can come from garments that had outlived their usefulness as a clothing item. Because of that we now have a new rack at the store of many items ready to be re-purposed in new ways. And with the availability of Pinterest and all of the craft ideas out on the Internet I have also tried to find ideas to repurpose the reclaimed buttons, beads, and many baubles into new pieces. That gave me an idea!! Why not have a contest??!!

Contest logoI am sure that I am not the only person who loves to make something “new” from something that has outlived it’s usefulness. I have decided to have a RePurpose ReDesign ReFashion Contest!! The idea is to come into Glad Rags and purchase something – it can be a clothing item or some pieces from a previous clothing item and make it into something new!! I decided to have three categories of entries. The categories are as follows: TShirt Refashion, Denim Refashion and Christmas. We end up with many TShirts at Glad Rags, especially during the summer months and we want to see how many different ways you can repurpose them. When I first started my blog, my daughter Sarah did a tutorial on making a shrug from a Tshirt.TShirt to Shrug I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to TShirt Repurposing – be sure to check it out. But don’t limit yourself to my ideas. Denim is another item that we get in great quantity year around. We have denim jeans, skirts, shorts and more. There once again we have a Pinterest Board that will get you started with ideas.

Glad Rags Repurposed TreeAnd last but not least, we want to see your Christmas ideas. Did you know that Christmas is less than 5 months away? It is never too early to start planning for  new ideas. Last year we decorated a tree for the Warren Festival of Trees and used repurposed clothing items as decor. It was great fun – but now we want to see your ideas. Check out what we did last year on our previous blog post and also our Pinterest Christmas Board.

Are you ready to get started? Here is what you need to do. Make a trip to our store and check out the clothing and crafting items that we have available. You must purchase an item from our store to get started. Pick up an entry form and get to work. Be sure to take a photo of your initial piece before you begin crafting. Once the item is finished take some more photos of the completed project. Be sure to send in your entry form along with the photos The contest begins now and all entries must be received by September 10th. All entries will then be put on display at Glad Rags during the voting process. The items will be judged, but voting by the general public will be a large factor in picking the winners. Voting will take place from September 13th-October 4th. Winners will be announced on October 6th. Photos of the entries will also be posted here on our blog as well as on Pinterest and Facebook. Click here for the Contest Guidelines and Entry Form.

Speaking of winners – do you want to know what you can win? There will be a First Prize and Honorable Mention in each category.

Enter for your chance to Win!!

Enter for your chance to Win!!

  • First Prize winners in the TShirt & Denim ReFashion Categories will receive a Organizational Craft Caddy containing sewing notions and gadgets. (Retail value approx. $50)
  • First Prize winner in the Christmas category will receive a VTech Inno Tab 3 Learning App Tablet for Kids ages 3-9 (Retail value $49.99).
  • The Honorable Mention winners will each receive at $25 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
  • All those who enter will receive a 30% off discount coupon good for their next purchase at Glad Rags Boutique.

So let’s get crafting!! I can hardly wait to see all of the creative ideas out there. Be sure to check back here for updates. All entries will be posted on our blog, Facebook and Pinterest.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.