Simple Winter Elegance | Holiday Thrift Store Challenge

2014 holiday thrift store challenge by cloth and patina

I don’t know about you all but I just love a challenge! Especially a “HOLIDAY” challenge, that involves THRIFTING! So you can imagine how excited I was when Alice, from “Thoughts from Alice” reached out to me and 30 other bloggers to join in on her first ever “Holiday Thrift Store Challenge”! Thank you Alice!

Our challenge was to create a HOLIDAY item or items using things you would find in a thrift store for $25 or less. Depending on your local thrift stores, $25 can be lot to go on. There are so many things that you see sitting on the shelves, time and time again they catch our eye, but we pass them up just because we aren’t sure what we can do with them (i’m sure many of you can relate?). Hoping you find a little inspiration from one of these challenge pieces to think a little outside the box next time you’re out shopping.

I was able to create three different things for my challenge, $25 went a long way for me!

2014 holiday thrift store challenge

First up…simple elegant candy dishes (please excuse my not so great before pics)

I am a sucker for old metal pieces from old lighting fixtures, door hardware, or just about anything I can pry them off of and leftover glass light globes. I am always coming across broken light fixtures, either table lamps or ceiling lights that I just have to have, knowing that at some point I will use them or just their bits and pieces. If you have an old lamp or come across one in the store that has pretty parts…get it, usually you can take it apart and repurpose it later.


Glass light globes (it’s ok if they don’t sit flush)

Metal ceiling light plates, lamp base or any flat piece that you can layer or use as the lid

Lamp finials, or small door knob

Glue (Epoxy or E6000)

Paint colors of your choice (I used, grey, white, gold)

First step, glue your metal pieces together to form the lids for your candy dish using the glue of your preference. I’ve always had luck with a 2 part epoxy or E6000.

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After the glue has set, paint your metal pieces in the color(s) of your choice. For those who know me, know I like to keep things in a simple neutral palette. I wanted my dishes to have a little bit of elegance so went with a couple shades of grey, a white wash with a light dusting of gold. I used regular craft paints from Michaels, Americana and the Folkart metallics. You could definitely paint these in any color combination or all of one color. A pretty silver or gold would look wonderful for the HOLIDAYS.

2014 holiday thrift store challenge candy dishes

For the light globes that do not sit flush you can sit the glass on a base that has an indent, like the one you see in the back center.

And that’s it! How simple is this? Using only a few items from some broken light fixtures and for less than $10 you can create pretty little candy dishes for the HOLIDAYS or to use year round!

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Truly embarassed by this awful before pic, but you get the idea. These carraige clocks make a wonderful shadow box for family photos or little “Wintery Scenes”. I came across this clock for $2 and with a few little additions this little guy will become a lovely display piece for your HOLIDAY decor.

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Wood or plastic carraige clock

Tiny silver snowflakes

Tiny watch face parts

Rhinestone bits

Silver embroidery floss

Small bottle brush Christmas trees

Artificial snow and mica flakes (optional, can be found online)

Craft paint

Image printed on paper & word “Believe” to go on front of Christmas tree

Usually we all have a few bits and pieces from the HOLIDAYS left over that you can use. These old watch faces I had found some time back on Ebay, but you could use them from old watches that you find at the thrift store. I nipped off a couple of rhinestones that I had from some old broken jewelry pieces that I also found at the thrift store. There are many graphic images around on the internet, but the Graphics Fairy always has a large selection of free images that she shares. I chose a simple french script for the background of my carriage clock shadow box.

I first printed out my image to the size of the clock back (this easily was removed from the back of the clock) and glued the paper using Mod Podge. Set this aside to dry. I hot glued the watch faces and rhinestones to the fronts of the snowflakes, but you could always use a stronger glue. I tied a single strand of embroidery floss to the snow flakes that will get hung in the clock. I printed out the word “Believe” that I cut and glued to the front of one of the trees, but again, you can use any word that appeals to you.


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I painted the case of the clock in a craft paint in Warm White, set aside to dry, then hot glued in the two trees. I added a tiny glue dot to the top inside that held each of the snowflakes. If you lean the clock forward you can then add a bit of the fake snow and/or mica flakes, then place your clock back on and secure.

2014 holiday thrift store challenge carriage clock shadow box

With a few bits and pieces you have around or can find at a thrift store along with an old clock case you can create a charming “Wintery Scene” all for under $5!

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This was the inspiration for my next and last project. I love, love linen and white together especially at Christmas time. It pays to find out what days-equal-what specials at your local thrift store. I have a few favorites that I visit here on certain days of the week just for their specials. Whenever I plan on creating something from a piece of clothing I always try to buy the largest size I can find (more fabric, more crafting). I found each of these pieces for 99 cents. I found one linen men’s sport coat, one white ladies sweater and a lace tablecloth.

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These rhinestones are from a pair of ladies strappy sandals that I found for $1.


Scrap fabric from an article of clothing, tablecloth, blanket, etc.

Rhinestones (from old jewelry, shoes, handbags)

Styrofoam cone or you can make your own from posterboard

Hot glue gun

Silver candlesticks (optional)

2014 holiday thrift store challenge fabric christmas trees

Here is what I did. There are a lot of paper cone templates (visit this link) out there that you can use or you can grab a styrofoam cone from your local Dollar Store. Cut your fabric and your paper using the above template. I hot glued on the fabric over the cone and embellished with the rhinestones I found from the thrift store shoes. I made a little pocket on the front of one tree, added a bit of the lace from the tablecloth, hot glued that on and added one of the rhinestones (tree on the left). for the center tree I again glued on the linen fabric to the cone, added one of the cuffs from the sleeve of the coat, added one of the rhinestones and finished by glueing on some of the lace to the underside of the linen. For the third tree to the right, I cut out the fabric using the template, but used the bottom of the sweater so I could have the cute little edge, glued this to the cone and topped with another rhinestone. That’s it! Three pretty little trees for $3 plus a bunch of extra fabric left over for more crafting. This is where you can get really creative and add your won personal touch! Personalize these to match your HOLIDAY decor. These are so easy and inexpensive to make that you can create these each year in a different theme.

You don’t have to, but to add a bit more charm you can place the trees on top candlesticks, glass stemware, wooden spools or whatever little piece you have to give them a little height. If you can find three things in varying heights to make them more appealing as a group.

2014 holiday thrift store challenge by cloth and patina

Well I am hoping that one of these projects has inspired you to see some of those things you normally find sitting on those thrift store shelves a little differently and create something for your HOLIDAY decor! Take advantage of those specials at your local thrift store, use up those little bits and pieces we all know we have and get a little creative. For less than $25 and a few finishing touches you can have a little “Wintery Scene” this holiday season.



Glam Christmas Throw Pillows by Thoughts from Alice




A Deerly Beloved Thrift Store Vignette by Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson






Christmas Cloche by Craftberry Bush


A Vintage Mantel for Winter by Finding Silver Pennies




DIY Holiday Walling Hanging by House of Hipsters



Christmas Decor from Thrifty Find by Town and Country Living


The Trellis Tree by Cozy Little House



DIY Centerpiece Tray by Cherished Bliss






Rustic Christmas Tree by Delineate Your Dwelling






DIY Crocks by So Much Better With Age



Thank you so much for stopping in, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! Don’t forget there are 29 other bloggers that participated in this fun challenge! That means many many wonderful ideas for you. Be sure to visit as many as you can for a whole lot of inspiration!

Thank you again Alice for this wonderful idea and all of your hard work in putting this together! You are amazing! If your not already following her wonderful blog “Thoughts From Alice”, you have to stop in. Her home, photography and the beautiful things she creates are always beautiful and always inspiring. I have been a fan of Alice’s work since the first time I came across her Etsy shop and know you all will fall in love

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have! Until next time…Happy Creating!



40 thoughts on “Simple Winter Elegance | Holiday Thrift Store Challenge

    1. clothandpatina Post author

      Thank you so much Alice for everything! This was just what I needed right now and truly had so much fun! And I am swooning as always over your beautiful work and photography!


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  2. Nicki Hawes (@TandJeansNicki)

    *Wow* I am amazed at your think-outside-the-box creativity. I never would have thought to save old light fixture parts, and they are so pretty! I’ve also been thinking of using shadowboxes in my home, and the clock idea is just perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. nikimeiners

    Wow they are really awesome. I wish I would have used up my $25 and gone all out. Your entire set up is lovely and well done.

    1. clothandpatina Post author

      Oh my gosh, Ingrid thank you so much! And you are so welcome! I truly had so much fun and so hoping it has inspired you to create something new for the holidays. Thanks so much for stopping in!

  4. suz

    Tammy, I have been following quietly for quite some time now. I love your charm and sweetness. Your blog is my top go-to for inspiration. You did not let me down in this challenge (not that you EVAH let me down) ;) . I am going to make the trees and the candy dishes. LOVE!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. clothandpatina Post author


      Oh my gosh you seriously just made me cry {happy tears}! That is the nicest thing to say and makes me feel so good that I can inspire you in some way. And for me, people like you are who and what inspire me. Thank you so much for stopping in and please please share pics with me if you get a chance to create these.


  5. Jan

    What clever ideas! I especially love the candy dishes and the clock “cloche.” I’ve greatly enjoyed seeing your blog for the first time via the Holiday Thrift Store Challenge.

    1. clothandpatina Post author


      Hello and welcome then! So glad to have you here and thank you so much for your kind words! It was such a fun challenge. Hoping you get to stop in and visit the other blogs that participated.


    1. clothandpatina Post author


      Thank you so much! It really was so much fun to do and is one of those projects that you can add so many different things inside. Thanks so much for stopping in!


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