Today is the day! The first ever Mystery Thrift-Off is underway! I’m so excited! I’m so excited!! I’m so … SCARED!
I’m not really scared. Just EXCITED!
In case you are new here, here’s a quick rundown:
I’ve always thought it would be hilariously fun to find the most random and hopeless items from the thrift-store and send them to people, and then have those people give them makeovers, while I giggled maniacally in the background. Goodwill thought this idea sounded fun too, so they agreed to partner up with me and The Mystery Thrift-Off was born!
To begin, I needed to find out if anyone actually wanted in on this party, so I created a little online application looking for participants and was stunned to have over 250 people apply! It was super tough to narrow it down, but I eventually did, to twelve participants.
Then, the fun part: shopping! And it was fun! And also waaaaaaay harder than I expected. I needed to find 12 makeover-worthy items, small enough to ship, tragically awesome but not too tragic. I didn’t want to like, send someone a bag of hair or something. That actually almost happened. Pickin’s started getting slim, and that bag of wigs in the corner started to seem like maybe a good idea?
After several days of hunting, and hundreds of laps around my local Goodwill stores, and carefully assessing the potential of every single oddball item I came across, I was very much losing my mind and starting to scare the other shoppers. No one wanted to upset the crazy lady fiercely staring down the clown figurines and muttering to herself.
But I think I ended up with a good mix. The items in the contest range from quirky to mundane to what-the-heck-is-this? I lovingly packaged them up and sent them off to meet their fates.
The rules for each participant were simple.
1. Take your mystery item.
2. Give it a makeover.
That’s it. I didn’t care if they completely dismantled their item and created something entirely unrecognizable. No rules! Just makeover magic.
Today I am showing you four projects, then four more tomorrow, then the last four on Wednesday, then we’ll have a big vote on Thursday and announce the winner on Friday!
So let’s not wait any longer!!! Without further ado, here is our first Mystery Thrift-Off project from Brittany, aka Pretty Handy Girl. I knew she could handle anything I threw her way, so I threw this:
I think it’s a Christmas decoration. Honestly, if it had been left to me, I would have created maybe a slightly nicer looking Christmas decoration. Not Brittany.
She made THREE projects! First, she took the center piece of the decoration and created this adorable arrow sign for a lemonade stand. (Funny story, she actually posted the arrow sign picture to Instagram immediately after posting a picture of the before decoration, and no one spotted it!)
The second item is a housewarming gift caddy made from the right piece, brilliant. Then she let her son paint the left piece, which he made into a little house for his stuffed octopus, and oh my gosh my heart wants to explode from the cuteness and happiness that it brings me.
Moving on to the next Mystery Item, two very exciting bags of craft sticks. These were the very last items I purchased, when I was starting to get desperate and crazy and truly deciding between this and the bag-o-hair.
I knew Mary at Sweetwater Style would have a vision however, even if I didn’t.
It’s a growth chart! It took me a minute to spot the sticks! They turned out to be the perfect size for making increments on a growth chart, which Mary was planning to create for her cutie-pie grandson anyway. Good thing a couple bags of craft sticks just happened to drop into her life!
This next items needs no explanation. Only because I don’t know what it is. Some kind of decorative relic. It’s similar to a dream-catcher, only covered in stiffened twine, pinecone pieces, and a thick layer of dust. So, not really a dream-catcher at all. More of a sneeze-causer.
Let’s find out what Tracy at General Splendour did with it …
How cute is that? Not only is it an adorable little tray with adorable little feet, she made the inner layer interchangeable, so she can use it to decorate for the seasons. She’s a smart one, that Tracy.
Tracy also sent me some pretty hilarious outtake photos of this project on its journey to completion. Check out her link above to see for yourself!
Finally, Sage and Naomi, the gals from Plaster and Disaster received one of my favorite items in the contest: this plastic cactus. You should have seen the terrified look on my husband’s face when I came bounding down the aisle at Goodwill, triumphantly waving it overhead.
It was so funky up-close. Not in a good way.
As you can see, they painstakingly scraped off that layer of glued-on sawdust and turned this thing into a side table! I mean. Look at that. It’s simply genius. I’m so proud of that funky little cactus and how far it has come.
Just watch, now we are going to start seeing cactus end tables showing up in all the decor magazines before you know it. Mark my words. Better trademark this thing Naomi and Sage!
What did you think? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. And be sure to check out the next group of projects in round two! (Remember, voting won’t happen until Thursday, after we’ve seen them all).
Huge thanks to Goodwill for making The Mystery Thrift-Off possible!