Thrift Store Fall Decorating – 5 Things To Buy

Do you love to incorporate seasonal decor but work with a tight budget? Thrift store fall decorating may be your answer and in this post I’m sharing some things that I always look for…and find!

I shop everywhere…from high end retailers such as Nordstrom to Home Goods, Wayfair and yes…thrift stores. By shopping this way I can splurge on some of the pricier things that I want. I’m saving money on a few items that don’t need to be new. Plus I like to use vintage accessories to give my home more character and I find lots at thrifts. Are thrift stores the new antique store? I think so, as we have all evidenced the closing of antique shops over the last several years. Let’s talk fall decorating and what to seek out!

Thrift Store Fall Decorating – 5 Things To Buy

1. Faux Flowers

I have to be honest. There are literally NO thrift stores around where I live! That being said I shop thrift stores when I’m up at our beach home because they are GOOD up there. I usually find some good things and while the assortment in thrift stores changes daily, I know what to look for. Faux flowers are always around and for thrift store fall decorating look for as realistic as you can find. There are often premade arrangements in these stores, and those can be taken apart to use as individual stems.

thrift store fall faux flowers

While the color of these are pale, once placed in copper or gold you have instant fall looks! The blooms here are all fake flowers, but I’ve mixed in some fresh greenery for authenticity.

2. Brass and Copper

There is always power in multiples in decorating your home! One or two of these vintage brass candlesticks may not make a splash, but a gathering sure does. So many possibilities for thrift store fall decorating with these. Use your favorite fall shade of dinner candles and I’m linking a few that I like below. One of the things that I never buy at thrift shops are used candles…for potential safety and it’s just not worthwhile to boot.

vintage brass candlesticks thrift store fall

I have collected this look for years! Buy them when you see them and before you know it you’ll have a collection too.

vintage brass candlesticks fall decorating

In terms of brass, it was in favor with previous generations of homemakers and then out of favor. Now, it’s back en vogue and thrifting for copper is a sport not to be taken lightly! These are thrifted pieces and are perfectly imperfect, but now are clean thanks to THIS POLISH.

thrift store fall decorating copper

3. Bottles and Jars For Thrift Store Fall Decorating

Glass jars are one of the most common objects at thrift stores. Fun note * when I was selling lots online and going to antique shows to buy, there was SO MUCH GLASS! My husband often said that it would all end up in thrift stores some day and he was right. I enjoy purchasing clear glass and painting it to get the colors of the season, and in this post you can see more – COPPER & GOLD MASON JARS DIY.

paint jars for fall

Don’t diss the colored glass or even bottles because as I mentioned…multiples make for the best displays! For thrift store fall decorating you could fill these bottles with some of those silk flowers that you found.

4. Old Books

Old books are plentiful at thrift stores. While some may buy them to read, don’t overlook vintage or used books for the decorative quality. Go for a group in the same colorway, such as emerald green or burgundy for autumn decorating. The books that I have below are not particularly old, rather outdated. I have a tutorial for aging books in this post that you might enjoy- HOW TO MAKE NEW BOOKS LOOK OLD. Sometimes your local library will have used books sales too that are a great source.

Stack ’em and have fun displaying with the pages facing out. Use them to give your vignettes height.

thrift store fall decorating with vintage books

5. Wicker Baskets For Thrift Store Fall Decorating

Finally…baskets are perfect for every season, but they give such great texture for fall.

baskets fall decorating thrift store

For those of you who don’t have any thrift shops in your area, here are some thrifty finds for fall that you’ll find online below!


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  1. Odessa Graham says:

    We live in a city with several thrift stores, but finding treasures is difficult work because it is also a poor city. My husband and I do go out from time to time to search all day for the items we would like to use for seasonal decor. BTW: Janet, every time I see your refinished white buffet and the mirror you placed over it, my mouth waters! I think those are my favorite things in your house! Oh, and your flamingo pictures!

    1. It really depends I think on where you live, so true Odessa. As mentioned I don’t find much around my area, but I do elsewhere in smaller thrifts. That white repurposed dresser/buffet came from a thrift shop!! I think it’s a matter of keeping your eyes wide open and be willing to try new places. Enjoy your day!

  2. I have reservations about shopping at thrift stores, afraid that my purchasing some of these items for fun make them unavailable to people that really need to shop there. I frequent flea markets and second hand stores but leave places like a Goodwill and Salvation Army for the purpose they were intended.

    1. At one time that might have been true, but not today. There are a lot of giveaways in low income communities, but places like GoodWill are overrun with people buying things to resell on sites like eBay. I stopped going to the local GW because shoppers didn’t care what they broke to get to something they wanted to resell. If you see something you like, buy it and enjoy it.
      Note to all: smell silk flowers to check for a moldy or cigarette smell.

    2. I don’t shop at Goodwill or Salvation Army, but favor the smaller run thrift shops in my area that have a better selection. They are in the business to give back to organizations who run them and thus profit from the sales. I donate to them and look for other things that suit me to purchase. I think that is a win/win on both sides.

    1. Thank you and happy shopping!

  3. Carole Prisk says:

    Antique shops and antique malls will thrive if people frequent them. Plenty of bargains are in them because to keep afloat most of us have had to include home decor and newer items along with our antiques. I know everyone loves a bargain , but realize all the effort that goes into an antique shop. We spend a lot of time searching for antiques and when we find them, they are often in poor condition. Dirty and in need of TLC, they are often tucked up in an awkward corner in an old barn. We squeeze into small spaces, fend off spider webs and drag our finds out into the light. Owners then look up asking prices on EBay and Etsy and tell us their battered version is just like the one they saw there for several hundred dollars. Few owners realize that you have to look at sold prices to see what an item is going for not the asking price. If we finally agree on a price we haul it home and get to work restoring the item. Major cleaning is part and parcel of the task …scrubbing away years of grime, cleaning up rodent poop, and working on nasty odors. Then there are major and minor repairs. Drawers that stick are sanded, joints are reglued and repaired. Then polishing, refinishing or painting is next.Finally we load it up again to take to our booths where customers who never haggle at box stores, think antique shops are the place to use their mad bargaining skills. Rent is high in most antique malls anywhere from $1 To $2 a square foot in my area as well as 10% of the monthly total sales on top of rent.I pay $600 a month in my very small town plus 10%. So support your local antique shops and be willing to pay a fair price for antiques!

    1. I used to be in the antiques business both as an eBay power seller in the late 90s as well as in antique malls. I do understand the work that goes in to that business. Times change though as the years go on and it really depends upon where you live. Many of the antique stores and malls in South Florida became filled with what were essentially garage sale items. I could see that it was just a matter of time before most closed their doors and they mostly have now. The true antiques are now sold at the professionally run estate sales and that’s where locals here go for that sort of thing. Thrift stores are a great alternative and carry lots of things that are not antiques, gently used and perfect for revamping. They serve a great purpose to many…the point of this article that isn’t necessarily about fine antiques. Best of luck with your shop!

      1. Missy McMillan says:

        Very true. I am in the Largo/Clearwater area. We still have a few places that are fun to look in. I need to get to St Pete for a look see. I also like consignment shops. My husband I go to estate sales almost every weekend now that I am retired. We love the EstateSales.net app.! Even though they are mostly run by professionals, you can still find some great stuff. A lot of folks overlook the crystal and silver items. I love anything vintage.

  4. Missy McMillan says:

    Lots of churches have their own thrift shops to generate money for the church and the causes they support. I have found AMAZING things! I love silver and the silver I was getting before Christmas was so cheap…$2, $3, $10 tops…and that was for a champagne bucket! I put a mini tree in that bucket and it was perfect. I also like to support small businesses. Goodwill is a sometimes stop, but they overhead is not what I like to support. Salvation Army is a little different in that they don’t have a millionaire CEO. Anyway, check out local church thrift shops. You won’t be disappointed. I also just donated a bunch to one at a Jewish temple. It doesn’t matter what your faith is.