My Favorite Thrift Shop Find That I Almost Didn’t Buy

Thrift shopping is so much fun, you never know what you might find each time you go. I love the thrill of the hunt and get so excited when I walk in and start looking around in search of treasures. I often leave empty handed, but usually have pretty good luck finding a thing or two while spending just a few dollars.  On a good day I have found enough where I should have grabbed a shopping cart on the way in, but even on one of these days I  have never spent much more than $20. I will admit I used to go a little crazy, buying things I didn’t really need with plans to turn my finds into something new or makeover with some paint, but all of these “finds” started taking over my garage. I am learning to be more thoughtful about what I buy, making sure I have room for it in the house or a well intended repurposing project I know I will actually do.

On a recent visit to one of my favorite local thrift shops, Dorcas Ministries, I saw a few things that had potential, but with my new shopping philosophy I had to admit that I didn’t really need them. Then, just as I was about to leave I spotted this.

The Endearing Home

I adore illustrations and am slightly obsessed with birds of all kinds,  so I snatched this pretty picture up right away! I didn’t head straight to the check out line though, I stood there looking it over and hesitating.

The Endearing Home

I loved this picture, but all I could focus on was the discoloration on the print and the brown and black spots that covered the frame. It was $12.00 after all, a little pricey for what I thought could be a moldy framed poster. I’m sure I looked a little strange, but I was so unsure about it that I causally walked over to corner and gave the picture a sniff. I’m allergic to mold and mildew so this probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but better be sure than be out $12. I am happy to report no musty smell what so ever.

The Endearing Home

There was still a lingering question, did I really need it? Before seriously thinking about putting the picture back on the rack, I looked it over one last time and saw a framing shop label on the back.  So, now my mind is thinking that if this was special enough to someone that they paid to have it framed, then this could be a real treasure. So, up to the cash register I went.

The Endearing Home

When I got home I decided to do a quick search to see if I could find out any information about the framing company. This is when I started to do a happy dance while kicking myself for all of the doubts I had about my purchase. This is what I discovered about the California Picture Framing Company on their website.

” We are a family owned and operated shop located in Arcadia, California. Our first location was opened in 1969 in Pasadena, California and quickly out grew the small garage that it operated out of. Moving to Arcadia in 1970. It has been operated by 3 generations of family members and still continues to be a staple frame shop for the local community”.

Seeing the original location on the label made me realize that this framed print was actually “vintage”, how cool it that! Now knowing the age of the print, I was really impressed with what great shape it was in both front and back, it was very well framed. I was also so surprised how clean it was, when I wiped the glass and frame down, not a speck of dust! This picture had truly been cared for all these years. Now I just need to find the perfect place to hang it in it’s new home!

This is definitely my favorite thrift shop find so far, but it’s finds like this that keeping keep me going back!

Happy Thrifting!



  1. Nice find! Yes, probably just age spots that you are seeing. I have a couple of very old prints that are spotty and discolored.

  2. Oh the things we find… and the things we pass up. Yup, my rear has been sore a few times for kicking myself, and there were times when I should have kicked myself for the purchase.
    Glad tour found a real treasure. It is rather cute isn’t it?

  3. That is a treasure!!! I love when that happens. Makes you smile every time you look at it!

  4. I really love the print and I know you are going to find the perfect spot for it. I am so much like you when I thrift shop. In the past i have brought home things only to donate them somewhere else not long after. Now I am super fussy!

    Keep up the hunt!


  5. I LOVE stuff with a history! (That’s why I keep all the dead people’s stuff.) What an awesome fin!

  6. I LOVE IT!!

  7. Nancy Huebner says:

    By far the best thrift store is Bargains Unlimited in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. If you ever visit the Door County area, stop in. You will not believe the treasures!

  8. What a great find! I’m sure you will find the perfect place for it.

  9. Love, love the print…will have to visit your favorite thrift store!!!

  10. Such a great find! I remember you telling me a bit about it… but it’s even better than you described it! Can’t wait to see what you do with it…

  11. From a fellow thrifter and occasional trash picker – nice find!!!!

  12. Lauren…what a find! I grew up in the Temple City/Arcadia area of So. Cal and still frequent Arcadia. It’s nice to see a family business still exists! Can’t wait to see where you place your treasure!

  13. What a find!! I adore the vintage bird prints- anything coastal is lovely :) Well done!!

  14. Looking forward to seeing this newest treasure in your home. The colors are great. I always go for the bird/nature prints, paintings, dishes, textiles…whatever is in good condition and in the colors in my home.

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