Guess what shows up after spring?


Wonderful, glorious, amazing summer.

Bringing lazy days and sunshine and ocean breezes and good books and a Sonic lemon berry slush.

And all those things are great.


But the one joy of summer that makes my heart race and my eyelashes flutter and my hope spring eternal?

A multi-family yard sale sign.

(total aside:  a yard sale sign is amazing.  But when more than one family is putting their treasures on the curb?  I’m in.)

If you are like me and you brake for yard sales, I thought it might be fun to share what I’m on the hunt for all my projects when I shop.

Here are my go-to’s.

Here are the things that make my eyes light up and my toes dance.

Here is my summer (and spring) yard sale watch list.

A white painted rustic flor de lis propped up on a white bench

architectural remnants

That is just a super fancy way of saying parts of things that used to be something else.

You know.

Like the back of some sort of antique or random pieces of molding or the top of a chair or part of a hutch.

You can usually find them by the trash or free section.  When you see them sitting there DO NOT GET EXCITED.  Do not.  I repeat DO NOT under any circumstances tell your yard sale friends what you are going to do with their trash. If you are going to decorate your kitchen like this or decorate on a budget with your find like this.

DO NOT mention.

Because here is a yard sale truth:  ideas make trash MUCH MORE valuable.

Take the trash and run.

Yard sale finds make great home decor! These woven baskets are filled with books and decorated with metal letters. On the wall are vintage license plates and other yard sale finds.


One of the most underestimated and overlooked items at a yard sale is the basket with the wired ribbon hot glued to it with a dusty faux flower arrangement inside.

Most of the time you can get it for $1.00.

Take it home and go all Hollywood makeover on it.

Shed the ribbon.

Shed the flower arrangement.

Paint the basket an entirely different color or make a liner from dropcloth or spray paint numbers on it.

The world is your basket oyster.

A vintage metal rack holds three mason jars on metal pegs hung on a white brick wall

mason jars

These are a dime a dozen at yard sales.


Decorate your mantel with them.

Add them to your back porch.

Fill them with flowers at your next summer party.

Simple.  Inexpensive. Utilitarian.

I never met a mason jar I didn’t like.

Green, purple, red, yellow, and brown painted wooden shutters from old windows


If you are looking for a little inexpensive wall art—let me introduce you to my friend shutter.

Their superpower is that they visually fill up a space or empty wall and then you can hang ANYTHING on to the front of them.

Like a wreath.

Or a chalkboard.

Or plates.

Or a calendar.

And if that’s not enough, you can transform them into an architectural element by covering an entire wall with them.

This rustic wooden stool was found at a yard sale! In this photo is staged with vintage books, an old camera, and black metal framed bucket


If you see a stool at a yard sale.

Don’t think.

Don’t wonder.

Don’t pontificate.  Just buy it.

Stools don’t need your help.  They have a way of making themselves at home.  If you see a blank spot in a corner and you wonder what to put there, I guarantee you’ll have a stool tapping you on the shoulder.

Stack them up.  Place books or baskets on top of them.  Use them at the foot of beds.  Place them between chairs for extra seating/side tables.

Let your stools do the walking.


Oh, whiteware how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

I almost didn’t put this on the list because it’s so Captain Obvious.

If you’ve read my blog for more than 10 minutes you know how all about a white plate I am.

And yet?

I never seem to have enough.

Maybe I need an intervention.

Silver plated spoons sitting on a vintage tray found at a yard sale

vintage silverplate

I saved this list item for last because I go a little hot and cold on this one.

I buy a bunch of silverplate and make projects like door handles and napkin rings and cutting boards.  I hang vintage silver on my Christmas tree and hang platters on my wall and stack them in my hutches.

And then?

Sometimes all that silver gets on my nerves a little and I pack it all up and decide I’m in love with brass.

I’m an equal opportunity metal supporter.

Here are a few more of the things I’m going to be looking for:

  • vintage books
  • china
  • trunks
  • typewriter keys
  • vintage pennants
  • paint by numbers
  • maps
  • vintage mirrors (for the stairwell)
  • boxes
  • license plates

And so much more.

Can I tell you how happy typing this post has made me?

Summer and yard sale season are ALMOST here and I’ve waited so long. And when I finally see my first yard sale sign? You might want to cover your ears.

I’m going to honk the horn from here to home and back. 🙂

PS I’ve also pinned tons of fun yard sale projects here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Deb Wostmann Deb Wostmann

    All great ideas. By the way, you are looking so stunning. You're always beautiful, but you have an even bigger smile and sunny aura around you right now. What an inspiration you are.

  2. Image for patricia patricia

    Have you done or will do a post about all the ways to use vintage books? I'm sitting on a pile of them (ready to go to the Goodwill) but will ransom for some creative craft ideas... Help these printed hostages...

  3. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Thanks for all the great hints. It's almost time for yard sale season in the Northeast. The most important subject I need help with is the blouse you're wearing!!! I love it so please don't break my heart by saying you've had it for years. You look so wonderful but to me you've always been a beauty. Your smile lights up a room ( or a picture ).

  4. Image for Tammy Moore Tammy Moore

    This post makes me want to go thrifting and to yard sales! Annnd I swore off yard sales because I don't need more stuff. LOL! Makes my husband crazy. Yes to the white ware, silver plated silver ware & old books! Thanks for the inspo!

  5. Image for Debbie Debbie

    You are the best blog writer! This was the best post ever so glad I found you. I am in cold NJ but I know Spring is coming. Loved all if your post, I too love white plates and Hob nail (I think that's right) pieces. Cant wait to see your next post, and you look great!!!!!❤

  6. Image for Carol@BlueskyatHome Carol@BlueskyatHome

    Should there be a recovery group for yard sale addicted people like us? I have bought everything you mentioned at a yard sale (or estate sales as everyone likes to say now) except shutters. Just remembered I have 5 that I took down in our dining room just sitting in my garage. New project idea! Thanks so much for a fun post.

  7. Image for Meta Meta

    This is one of my favorite posts! I will be searching for: Plates for my plate rack! Bill wants me to do blue and white! White pitchers for top of my large black china cabinet! Vintage mirrors to go up my rear staircase! Did I tell you we left Franklin and moved to Lebanon? Carol moved to Maryland and those Californians are snatching up those Williamson County houses like hot cakes! Even offering above asking prices as soon as they hit the market. We bought a beautiful 5 bedroom, 4 bath house in a golf community in this charming little town! I’m driving to Waco next week with my best friend! We are driving instead of flying so we can bring back stuff!

  8. Image for Cristie Cristie

    1st and foremost, You look Fabulous ‼️👏 ... I know it had to be a lot of hard “talk yourself away from the potato chips” But give yourself a pat on the back And buy a New lipstick 💄! 2nd I love this Post! I’m a Antique Booth owner and your tips for Garage Sale shopping are right up my alley . Thank you for the smiles and inspiration!

  9. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    You are looking wonderful!!! I have been out the last two weekends it's been fairly pretty here and it was so fun! Thanks for the tips and how to's, I have the spoons now need to get the stamp.

  10. Image for Fuchsia_21 Fuchsia_21

    You are looking stunningly beautiful!!! Yeeessss! I can’t wait for garage sales too, I don’t NEED anything BUT, one can never have enough white dishes!!!! Happy Monday, hoping you and anyone else reading this, have a blessed week!! Spring break starts next week for us here in South Texas!!

  11. Image for Judy Judy

    That is such a cute the blouse! You look GREAT! As much as I'm looking forward to spring flowers here in Michigan, garage sale season is right behind. When our daughter bought her first home a few years ago, I knew my garage sale mission was to find things for her new home. Luckily we have similar taste...well...that year I hit the jack pot multiple times. It was like the universe knew I was on a mission . At one sale, the owners had just bought an almost new home, but totally remodeled before they moved in and sold EVERTHING that they had changed out for pennies on the dollar...great looking stuff. When the other shoppers saw the look in my eyes, they parted like the red sea. I scooped up, new lighting, mirrors, art work, brand new dishes, patio furniture...on and on. I had to make several trips to get everything to our daughters house. My SUV gave a sigh of relief after I was done. Hopefully this years sales will be some great adventures too.

  12. Image for Sharon Sharon

    For a hot minute I thought you were at my house!! Your list looks like my list and I have found the most wonderful things at garage sales, estate sales and of course, on the curb. Since I will be turning 80 in May and having some health problems, can't get up at 5:30 anymore to get to that fabulous sale!! However, I have favorite thrift stores and still sew and do crafts. Your site and your sunny disposition makes me happy so keep up the good work!!

  13. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love yard sales or tag sales in the northeast! Have found so many wonderful items there. Your list looks like mine. :)

  14. Image for Jayne Jayne

    Oh, KariAnne, I wish with all my heart that yard sales and flea markets will be allowed in my area again very soon! I'm going crazy during this lockdown! Total aside, you are looking more and more amazing every day!

  15. Image for Becky Becky

    Great list!!! And my GOODNESS, do you look like one of your own daughters now! I SO admire you for sticking with your weight loss journey and providing so much encouragement to me. I got a nice (out loud!) laugh too... You mentioned that you are an equal opportunity metal supporter, and then in practically the next picture the door in the background has like, 4-5 different metals between all the hardware. 😁😎 I LOVE it! You are so real! I'm still smiling! Let the summer sales begin!

  16. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Unfortunately, garage sales just aren't that popular here in the foothills of the Rockies and weren't in Phoenix either. They were much more popular back in the Midwest and I miss the really good ones. But we make do with thrift stores and do have some quite good ones here.

  17. Image for LORRI LORRI look terrific... I too had to look closely to see if it was one of your daughters.!! 😁I love garage sales as well... I have not been as lucky as you but I have scooped up some neat stuff!!!

  18. Image for Mary Caliendo Mary Caliendo

    Dear KariAnne, Thank you for sharing this cute post. First, I must say you look fabulous, and I love that outfit, it's adorable. Sadly, Covid and of course weather have cancelled all of last year's quest to dig for treasures at the local sales. But I am hopeful that we can soon go outdoors w/masks and vaccinations to continue to collect at thrift sales and vintage fairs! I can't wait Thanks!!!

  19. Image for Linda Linda

    I must say your enthusiasm for yard sales (and life) is infectious! And, you look GREAT!!! Although you always have!

  20. Image for kimberly kimberly

    love this! loved looking at your old home as well as your “new” one. beautifully updated. also you look gorgeous. kim xx


    KariAnne, you look fabulous! Your blouse looks so pretty on you! Hope you have lots of fun at your Garage Sales! With our covid restrictions, there won't be any garage sales again this year. With so many people just being home and going through stuff, our Thrift Stores are full and cannot take anything more. So, once they open up, it will sure be fun shopping for the "treasures"! Have a great week!

  22. Image for Heather Heather

    I just love your writing, it cracks me up every time! I had to look twice to make sure the picture was of you because you looked just like your daughters :-). Love the blouse, you look totally gorgeous. Thank you for your awesome blog. Cheers Heather

  23. Image for kim kurpita kim kurpita

    Karianne, once again a perfect blog. . I LOVE yard sales also. When I was working at a bank Im since retired my friend Susie and I would spend our 1 hr luch break at yard sales. We did this all summer long SUCH FUN. I refuse to believe there is anyone out there who doesent love yard saleing. Our office was located near the rich areas so we really found some awesome and expensive stuff. Did you have that top you are wearing on your favorite things to buy? If so could you reshare it I, think it is so prretty. I am going to print your list now and keep it in my purse so I will have it with me when the time comes

  24. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    First off: I am glad you are finally out from behind those chairs!!! You look wonderful and need to show it off!!! I live in Southern Indiana and the first sign of spring is yard sale signs! Lol A lady on one of the blogs had a t-shirt that describes the best of us: Thrift Store Findin' Roadside Collecting Yard Sale Braking Dusty Junk Lovin' Girl Now doesn't that just get it?!?!?!

  25. Image for Carrie Carrie

    You're so adorable! I love the butter dish. The best thing I have found at yard and garage sales? The smiles and conversations!!! Kindred spirits. Happy Spring and Summer 'saling :) PS. LOVED you on the podcast with The HOP!

  26. Image for Kelly Kelly

    When a friend was selling her house and having a yard sale, she had all these little stools that her husband had made everywhere! They were all painted dark green and kind of roughly made. She gave them away. I have one sitting beside a shoe cabinet by my door so there is a place to sit and put on shoes. Or just sit something down. They are perfect. Now I'm looking for a couple of ottomans or foot stools. I don't want anything big, they are to go in bedrooms. I've looked, and I will know it when I see it!

  27. Image for Joi Joi

    I just tried to sell my milk glass at an estate sale and no one even looked at it. The price was not the issue either. Too bad I’m a few hours south or you might would find a present on your doorstep!

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