I first read about reuse stores as an option for frugal decorating on From Shopping to Saving. I checked out what options we have in Pittsburgh, and I found two. They’re both in the same building: Construction Junction and Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR.) Construction Junction is the one that runs the free bike program that I wrote about, and their shop is mostly for old construction stuff, though I did see a couple walking out with a glass door. PCCR is for…everything random you could possibly imagine. Mostly crafty and artsy.
I had a couple of projects I wanted to start working on, so we headed to PCCR. I was floored. There’s bins and containers everywhere, most of which are pseudo-organized, overflowing with…stuff. Some of the things I saw: old trophies that could easily be repurposed, tons of slides and slide projectors, a whole section dedicated to sewing/knitting (including yarn, material, and sewing machines,) a mannequin, old school stationary, greeting cards, and postcards, small kids toys, rubber cartoon pig heads, cds, records, antiques, birthday stuff, nails, screws, etc., paint, nice $8 decorative vases (that easily could be used practically,) jewelry, beading supplies, ink for printers! (but they didn’t have the right size for mine..even though they were HP,) paint and painting supplies, flags and material scraps for the fourth of July, and a million other random little things.
My haul? Included: the ceramic mermaid head pictured above, red sand for sensory bottles, confetti sequins for sensory bottles, balloons, kiddo sunglasses and a gift bag. My sibling walked out with a roll of used film they intend to develop for curiosity’s sake. Our bill? $4.60-some cents. I’m glad I didn’t just go to Michael’s. Everything at PCCR was $8 or under the day I went (aside from the mannequin, who was $85.) Most of it fell in the $.50 to $1.00 range.
It was amazing, but it’s more of a place to browse when you’re not on a tight schedule and don’t have a specific item in mind. I was able to find things specific for what I wanted to do, but they sell whatever’s been donated; they don’t have a regular inventory. Crafty imaginative people will love it. And, like Erika suggested, home decorators who are starting with a clean slate both in their apartment and in their mind.
I’ve never heard of places like this but it sounds interesting (if you’re the right kind of person). My wife and I aren’t creative at all and I think I might get a headache walking in and seeing all of the stuff.
It’s really interesting. I’m not very crafty, either, but it was cool when they had so much stuff that I needed anyways.
I have also never heard of stores like this, but I’ll have to look for one around here. What do you plan on using the mermaid head for? Lol.
Haha it’s going to hang in the bedroom. Our walls in there are pretty much barren.
That sounds amazing. I know how expensive Michael’s is so I appreciate cheap stores like this where you can buy what you need and reuse/repurpose items! Thanks for linking me =)
No prob! Thanks for the tip!
That sounds like a hoarder’s paradise. I love that your sibling bought used film to develop. It would be quite interesting to see what’s on that film.
I guess it could be. I also noticed people shopping for stuff to sell on eBay. Someone suggested the true Kennedy assassin would be on the film…doubt it’ll be that interesting, but it’ll be fun to see nonetheless!
Good job at sourcing out the discounts. We never know about these places until we need them. I haven’t shopped at Michaels in a long time, but I agree the price of their items can add up.
I don’t even know if I NEED it…I could probably live my life without it, but if it can save me a buck or five here and there, I’m all about it! The whole complex has a very green vibe going on, too, which I appreciated.
That’s really neat, I have not heard of that kind of store before! I’ve always just gone to Home Depot to ask for scrap wood and stuff when I’ve needed it, but it’d be super handy to have a store dedicated to that kind of thing.
That’s an awesome idea. This place sounds like exactly what you are looking for, but it’s good to have Home Depot in your back pocket.
love it! isn’t that so fun?? I love the fact that your sibling got a used roll of film! that is so cool. I hope you’ll let us know what was on it because that totally makes me curious too- a glimpse into their life.
i love the bargain of resale stores but what i love more is just never knowing what you’re going to find and the DIY potential that exists!
whenever I visit PA, I always make my Aunt take me to the flea markets there. I LOVE them. they’re some of the best in the country I think.
Oh, I love the flea markets! Can’t say I’ve been to many outside of PA, so it’s good to know we have a good quality here!
I don’t think I’ve seen places like this around me, but my wife does something similar by going to garage sales. She usually cleans up with some cheap buys and then turns them into TJ Maxx look-alikes!
That’s so great! I love garage sales, too. I had never even heard of these, but a quick google search revealed that we have one locally after I read Erika’s article.
Great idea~ I’m always looking for ways to spruce things up around here but I don’t want to spend a lot of cash. This post makes me want to see what’s around the Birmingham area. Thanks!
You should 🙂 Let us know what you find!
One man’s recycables are another’s treasure right? Great counterbalance to the consumer culture that exists in society today.
Absolutely. I think people look down their noses a lot at places like this, at least in my area. But what a great service they’re offering to the environment and all the people who choose to shop there.
Sounds like a place I would love to troll around if I could score a kid-free afternoon. Also sounds like you scored some cool loot! Go you!
Just posted on facebook and tweeting this. Thanks, Femme!
Pingback: How to Recycle Old Candle Wax into New Candles | Femme Frugality
Wow, that’s an insane set of deals. I’ll have to look around our area for one. Sounds like more fun than thrift store shopping!
It totally is! And the deals are insane. You just have to go in with a completely open mind, but when you find something you need, it’s a crazy steal.
This a great idea we used ‘free cycle’ to get a lot of furniture for our flat when we moved in and even snagged a £200 elliptical for free.
In NYC, there’s a store full of theater bits all the local theaters donate and you can go shop there -like extra flooring a production didn’t use, lumber, chandelier, furniture, etc. It’s pretty cool and definitely the most eco-friendly way to make theater.