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The Mystery Thrift-Off RESULTS!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first ever Mystery Thrift-Off! I’m so sad it’s coming to a close. I’ve had so much fun. I can’t wait to share the results with you!

mystery thrift-off logo copy

First off, I must thank all of the participants one last time. Huge thanks and uncomfortably long hugs to every single one of you for your pure bravery in signing up for this thing when you had no idea what to expect (nor did I!). Thank you for sharing your time and talents with me and my readers. What would this contest have been without you? I’ll tell you: Me cradling Scabies Bear, sobbing. Not nearly as fun.  So thanks again for being so awesome everyone.

Ok, so the voting process yesterday was a little weird, I apologize for that. I think the categories weren’t different enough from each other, which made voting confusing.  I’m still just making this up as I go! Next time I’ll probably just have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, whattaya think?

Next time I will also not be out of town right in the middle of the contest! I was unexpectedly invited on a blogging trip this week in Indiana, which was super cool and I’ll be sharing some details later, but it left me with hardly any time and even less brainpower to devote to the contest. Hopefully it wasn’t too obvious.

Hmmm … anything else I can talk about to build up suspense before the results??? No? Then let’s have it.

(*prepare the t-shirt cannons and confetti*)

Winner of the Best Case of Using What Ya Got Award, carrying nearly 25% of the total vote was …


using what ya got award

… Janet with her genius reinterpretation of the now legendary Scabies Bear!!!  You may recall how she systematically dismantled (smashed with a hammer) the bears and used the chips to create stacked-stone-like artwork. I think she’s simply brilliant and you agreed!

Congrats Janet! You will be receiving a $50 gift-card of your choice and the prize packages from Wildfire Events and Retrofit Baby.


Next up, the Most Creative award, which was a race to the finish between several projects. When the dust cleared, the triumphant winner emerged with 22% of the total vote …


most creative award

Brittany and the Christmas village that could! Voters were impressed with her creativity in making not one, not two, but THREE entirely different projects out of that thing. She also shared all of the how-to’s on her blog this week, so be sure to check them out right here: chalkboard arrow sign, housewarming gift caddy, little toy playhouse.

Yay Brittany! You will be receiving a $50 gift-card of your choice and the prize packages from Graphic Design Market and The Reclaimed Life.


And finally, the winner of The Better After award, the project that wowed the crowd, your hands-down favorite with a 35% landslide victory …


The Better After Award

Naomi and Sage and their ultra hip plastic cactus side table!!! Seriously, be on the lookout for this in stores soon. I’d buy it. Read their hilarious thought-process as they worked out this project on their blog Plaster & Disaster.

Congratulations ladies! You will receive a $100 gift card of your choice and the prize packages from Trish Stitched and FabulashKrash.


Big thanks to the small businesses and etsy shops that offered prizes to our winners, it was a treat partnering with you.

And once again, this wouldn’t have been possible without Goodwill. Thank you, thank you.

Redesign By Goodwill - Peoria 7-26-12

And thank YOU dear reader, for reading and voting and playing along with me. What did you think? Did you have a good time? Any constructive feedback for next time? Would you like to see a next time? I’d love to hear from you!

Till next time!


(*credits roll, lights go up, Lindsey shuffles by sweeping up confetti*)

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Mystery Thrift-Off VOTE

Today is VOTING DAY! Are your button clicking fingers prepped and ready? Best do a couple warm-up stretches. We don’t want to pull anything.

If you need a quick review, you can find all the projects here in rounds ONE, TWO, and THREE.

Ok! So all twelve projects are in the running for three separate categories. This is the first time I’ve ever done this contest, so bear with me as I’m kind of making it up as I go. I hope these categories make sense!

Please vote for your choices only once. (Or in other words, please don’t vote for the same project across all three categories.) I am hiding the results, mainly because I would hate for anyone to feel sad if their project didn’t do well vote-wise. I think they are all 1000% awesome, and I hope you did too!

First up is “Most Creative.” Not the catchiest of names, but pretty self-explanatory. Vote for the project you feel went above and beyond creatively, and/or the person who really looked at their item in an entirely new way, perhaps a way that would have never occurred to you.

Next is “Best Case of Using What Ya Got.” Award your vote to the participant who you think made the most out of a difficult item. They were all pretty difficult items. Choose wisely!

Thirdly, “The Better After Award” is the grand numero uno. The crowd-pleaser, call you husband into the room, jaw-dropper, hands-down favorite. Ooooh, which will you choose?!


Round one Projects

round two projects



round three projects

So let’s get started! I feel like we need some fanfare here.  Please imagine a drum-roll and a t-shirt cannon.  Thanks.







(If you can’t see any of the polls, click their titles and that will take you directly to the poll page).

Most Creative

feedback surveys

Best Case of Using What Ya Got

picture polls

Better After Award

survey solutions

Check back tomorrow to see the big winners! Share your thoughts in the comments! They’re always so fun to read.


Special thanks to Goodwill for awesomely sponsoring the Mystery Thrift-Off.

Redesign By Goodwill - Peoria 7-26-12

And also these fabulous small business/etsy shops who are so kindly donating additional prizes to our winners. Check them out!

all prizes

The Reclaimed Life    Retrofit Baby    Trish Stitched

MGraphic Design Market    Wildfire Events    FabulashKrash 

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Mystery Thrift-Off, round three!

Get your excitedface on, it’s time for round three of the Mystery Thrift-Off! I’m having so much fun! Are you having fun too?

This is the last round of projects before we vote tomorrow.  Did you see round one or round two? Get your buns over there and check them out if you didn’t! Like Steven Tyler, you don’t want to miss a thing.


Today’s first mystery item was the most expensive item in the contest, costing a whole $18.  But when I saw that lovely face …

… I nearly peed myself. Creepy creeper creeping hard. It’s like a mummy, only the mummy’s face is somehow on the outside of the bandages, and the bandages are actually potato peels.

I couldn’t get it out of my house fast enough. I sent it onward to Kelley at Life & Art with Glamma Fabulous. I knew she could make some headway. Heh. Heh. Headway.


before head sculpture





What I didn’t think was that she’d create something out of this mummy bust that I’d actually want to put in my house!  I really would. It’s so darn funky and quirky. All it needed was a head of fabulous flowing flower hair. Kelley somehow managed to cut the top of the head off to fit the flowers in, and did you notice the necklace? She’s a classy gal.


Next up, this clock from Jenna at Jenna I wish you could touch it. It had this spongy cork layer that was certifiably disgusting and was missing a hand. Was a treasure lurking underneath?

before clock


clock tray makeover


clock makeover

Oh yeah. After a couple false starts, (one included a spitball dartboard game) she ended up with this an adorable weathered-wood tray.  I’m quickly learning that I’ll never need to buy a regular tray at a regular store again.


Eileen at Johnson 3 received one of the more ‘mundane’ items, this very babyish tissue holder.

before duckie tissue holder


snakeskin tissuebox closeup


snakeskin tissue box makeover

But it grew up fast when Elaine covered it in Chinese red SNAKESKIN! Check out that entire table underneath it too! Elaine is a custom furniture artisan and commonly works with exotic skins and textiles, and most likely never ever works with tissue boxes festooned with duckies. Fantastic.


And very last but not least, we have Erin at Purdue Avenue.  I was stunned to discover that Erin lives only a few miles away from me! That was lucky for me, not only so I can worm my way into her life and make her my friend and have her bake me up some of her delicious looking recipes, but also because I was so worried that her mystery item wouldn’t survive a trip trough the mail.

So, I hand-delivered her this gorgeous beast:

before german shepard


beyoutiful mirror makeover


beYOUtiful mirror

Even though her first light-hearted attempt included giving the German Shepard a fabulous mustache, we both knew that he wouldn’t be sticking around for long. She scraped him away and added some girly details and the inspiring ‘Be YOU tiful’ lettering that she made with her cutting machine.

She also included a tutorial and a printable on her blog so you can make one of your own!  You could make this on almost any surface, but bonus points for starting with a German Shepard mirror.


Remember to check out round one or round two if you haven’t already! Voting for your favorites begins tomorrow!!

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Mystery Thrift-Off, round two!

Day two of the Mystery Thrift-Off is upon us! Did you catch all the action in round one?  Remember, voting happens on Thursday after we’ve seen all the projects.

But first, I thought I’d rewind a little bit today, and tell you how I narrowed it down to 12 participants out of 250 applicants.

When I created the online form for people to apply, I asked a few basic questions like: where do you live, what’s your name, do you have a blog, etc. Then I just left a big blank space at the end and said “What else do I need to know?”

THAT’S where I really got to know people. Some people shared links to awesome projects they had done in the past. Some people didn’t have blogs or much DIY experience, but their enthusiasm more than made up for it. And some people …


Some people …


Some people used that space to send me all the lyrics to We Don’t Need Another Hero by Tina Turner, from the 1985 Max Max movie Beyond Thunderdome.


I obviously chose those people.

Husband and wife team Justin and Rachael aren’t bloggers, but probably should be. They sent me Thunderdome lyrics, I sent them this collection of fake brass sconces. Or planters. I’m not sure what they are, other than made out of plastic and illegally ugly.

Then, life hit, and they decided to up and MOVE right in the middle of the contest! Amidst all the crazy, they wound up with only one day to start and finish their project, photograph it, and submit it to me.

before brass sconces

a brass planter makeover

a planter makeover

They got down with some paint and paisley and created crazy craft storage! Also kitchen storage! And bathroom storage!

I’m shocked at how much those things can actually hold. Way to be creative under pressure, guys. I would have used them as an urn to hold my tears, because moving is the WORST.


Next up, Elaine at Elaine Wagg received one of the items from the what-the-heck-is-this category. Any guesses? I initially thought it was some kind of spice rack, but upon closer inspection I realized that it would actually make the world’s worst spice rack, so that can’t be it.  Elaine supposes it was some kind of cat toy.

What oh what could be done with this?

before circle box

circle box makeover 2

circle box makeover

A ’70s inspired light-fixture, that’s what. Groovy man! She had a piece of plastic cut to size, then stuffed a string of Christmas lights inside. Those psychedelic paint colors were found at an art supply store. If you love it, you might be in luck because she plans to eBay it.

Elaine’s blog caught my eye, because she is hilarious. Be sure to visit and say hi!


Next up, one of my more diabolical choices: this pair of olive platters sent to Denise from On the Verge of Snapping. Hahahahahaha! How impossible! I’m the meanest! Denise said she was expecting something hideous, but this pristine pair of oblong dishes really had her stumped. But not for long.


before olive dishes


olive art

olive art schnauzer

olive art pair

Bet you didn’t see that coming! Neither did I! When she sent these pictures back to me, I was like, “Wait, what exactly did I send her again?” Then it hit me that the dishes had been turned into stands for the cat and the schnauzer. SO great.

I love all the detail here, and the colors. These just make me happy! Animals are close to Denise’s heart, she actually runs an animal rescue that focuses on schnauzers, so triple awesome points for that.


And now, for our final project of the day …



Did you think you could escape?




Did you think I really wouldn’t go there?





Oh yeah.





I went there.





It’s time for ….







before scabies bear upclose




Oh man, I really am the worst. I don’t think anyone is going to sign up for this contest next year.  But Janet insisted, and I quote “If you see an item that you are wondering if it’s too horrid, if you should even include it, send that one to me!”

So I did. But wait.  There’s more.


Scabies bear had a brother.


before scabies bears

Ha! HaHA! But Janet didn’t even flinch.  She rose to the challenge like a champ. Now YOUR challenge is to spot Scabies Bear and brother in the next photo:

scabies bear makeover


See it?


Look closer …



scabies bear close up


Hot tamales! Scabies Bear is no more, but his ghost lives on. It lives on in STYLE.  She ‘deconstructed’ the bears into bits, then glued them one piece at a time on edge inside the design, like a mini stack stone wall. It’s fantastic!

She still had lots of crushed bear shards to work with, so she made two more pieces of art: these super hip geometric glittered diamonds for her daughter’s room.


scabies bear diamond graphic

Could crushed ceramic bears be the next big thing? I think probably maybe yes.



Be sure to check out round one if you haven’t already, and click here to see the third and final round! What did you think of round two? Do you have a favorite already??


Redesign By Goodwill - Peoria 7-26-12

Huge thank you to Goodwill for making The Mystery Thrift-Off possible.

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