Shiny bits from Hobby Lobby will not cut it for me. I like the look and feel of aged beauty from the past.
Of course, fleas and garage sales are good places to look for blingy bits, but I've found that to keep myself (and my online Boutique) pleasantly plumped up with glitz, I have to keep my eyes peeled for the best of bargains.
It was a bit of a gamble, not knowing if the jewelry would fall apart when I tried to pry it loose, or if the glue would even come off of the pieces.
Luckily 90% came off perfectly fine. (by the way, DO NOT use an exacto blade to ever pry anything, no matter what, ouch)
Getting the glue off was a little harder.
These jewels were heavily coated in dust, so I soaked them in cleaner, thinking that would help the glue come off too.
But like I said, it was a gamble. You never know what kind of glue was used and how hard it will be to remove. If this had been epoxied, I'd have been in trouble.
Here are a few places I've found good supplies CHEAP by harvesting them off of ugly things no one wants:
- A hideously ugly table top Christmas tree at an estate sale, had some lovely little birdies on it, and was only $12. I got 27 birds from that ugly tree, as well as a few decent ribbons.
- A $35 vintage wedding gown, not exactly ugly, but not in the best shape. Perfect for me to harvest tons of lace from.
- A $3 red dress, great to cut up, but not good to wear or display.
- Sometimes even the most savvy estate sale planners don't closely inspect things and let ugly cloud their vision. I bought a beautiful, large, matt white McCoy pot for $1 because it was holding one of the most excruciatingly ugly plastic flower arrangements ever. If the pot had been empty it would have sold for a LOT more.
- A string of mercury glass beads was used to hold a couple of beat up, (badly) hand made aluminum foil covered styrofoam bells. The beads were ignored by shoppers because the bells were just too awful. I got $10 worth of beads for 50 cents because no one stopped to look beyond the ugly parts to the nice beads.
- Vintage rosebud wallpaper was used as a shelf liner for a cabinet in a basement at an estate sale. I asked if I could buy the paper, without the rusty cabinet and got it for $1.
- Sometimes a grab bag of cheapo, 1980s, gaudy jewelry has a couple of hidden beauties in it. I usually buy the inexpensive bag, pick out what I want, and give the rest back to the flea mkt vendor to resale to someone else who might want it instead of taking them all home to throw away.
- Last spring, I found a boxful of plastic Easter eggs that were not kind to the eyes. But- they had sweet bundles of millinery flowers glued to some of them.
My advice in finding good supplies for bargains, is to look at things more carefully. Many of the things I like to harvest are from craft projects of long ago, that were not well done. But the items used in them were right up my alley!
Although, it does make me wonder.... will someone be ripping up my projects in the future, saying, "ugh, what a waste of beautiful things in this hideous display!!"?????
I will be away for a few days, but have fresh posts for you while I am gone. If you'd like to order anything from my online shops, I'll pack up your goodies on Tuesday the 20th. Here is some stuff in Etsy that I added before I left.