A built in bookshelf wall filled with white porcelain vases

Somewhere around June 21, 2018 summer showed up.

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 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 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.

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 item 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 times 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 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.

A built-in white bookshelf filled with white vases of different shapes and sizes collected from yard sales


Oh, white ware 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.

A DIY christmas tree made with silver bowl lids and topped with a glass decorative star

PS I would be remiss in the silver projects department if I didn’t share this one.

Last Christmas my sister made this tree for me out of sugar bowl lids.

Silver never looked any sweeter.

The yard sale watch list - watch for these hot finds at yard sales this summer

The DIY Home Planner book by KariAnn Wood

Here’s the yard sale watch list if you want to pin it.

It came from the pages of my planner where there are a ZILLION decorating ideas just like this one.

Want your own copy?

You can order it here.


  1. Image for Renae Renae

    Every single piece of milk glass I own came from the local Salvation Army. I don't have that many, but when I see it, I buy it!!

  2. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Your sister is so crazy crafty!! I love this Christmas tree and perhaps one day will attempt to make one. What did she use for the star?

  3. Image for Dianne Dianne

    Thank you for the reminder!!! I gravitate to most of the above although I’ve been getting rid of so many baskets lately.....just the wrong shapes. My husband calls me a ‘stool whore’ cuz I’ll buy one every time whether I need it or not. Think I’ll go out looking this weekend!!!

  4. Image for Cora Cora

    I love this - thank you! I just finished upcycling an "architectural remnant" that I paid under $10 for - a huge very detailed, antique wood frame that's over 5' tall. I turned it into a giant leaning memo clip board with strong wire mesh.

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love your books but the DIY Planner is my all-time favorite go-to books for ideas and inspiration. I gifted a copy to a young mom who was frustrated about what to do and where to start with her home decorating and renovations...she loves it too and has found it invaluable! Her husband is now on board too. Their home decorating and reno, thanks to you, is coming along beautifully since receiving the book. You are the best, friend!!

  6. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Love Mason Jars and can not see a white plate without thinking of you and your farm. Yes still like to think you are in KY every now and then. But know heart is happy. Loving the spoons for handles and still need to do spooning project w last two pieces remaining from our bridal shower and bc.. before children. Yiu know I am basket lady! Since started Baskets of Books over 500 gently read books have founds new readers in Webster County at community events. Bless you for encouraging me yo go after passion for my hometown.

  7. Image for Cynthia Nessel Cynthia Nessel

    I love it when I drive by a house and see all this stuff sitting lonely on the corner. So, of course, I pull over and park then as I’m getting out to go through the stuff someone walks by with there dog and looks at me like im crazy. If they only knew. I was having a bad moment but your post had me rolling on the ground laughing. #divajunker my new nickname.

  8. Image for E.J E.J

    Hi! Just want to tell you how much I love your stories -always I smile. Also a note about your whiteware on the lowest shelf- the second pot will fit inside of the fourth one perfectly, sitting on the nubs.My Mom used to make beautiful arrangements in hers.

  9. Image for Carol Ann Carol Ann

    I, too, have a thing for yard sale signs. Especially the ones that look like a 3-year old made it. Recently, I saw one that said, "GROJ SALE TODAY!" I thought a pre-schooler had misspelled "garage" but when I looked closer, the fine print said, "Get Rid of Junk."

    1. Image for Susan B Susan B

      ❤️❤️❤️ love the acronym! My sister and I say we’re going “sailing” to which folks say they didn’t know we had a boat!

  10. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I was reading this thinking, "is this a repeat blog post, because I've seen this before..." VIOLA! The DIY Home Planner, page 113! My soon-to-be-daughter-in-love and I were using it just this last weekend to help plan out their new home.

  11. Image for Charley Charley

    I SO HEAR YOU..........................once you go all brass, it gets on your nerves, then you get in a frenzy & go all silver. THEN, you know what I'm going to say. Now I mix some, but I'm never hopped up on mixing too much. It's brass in the formal areas at the front of the house, mostly silver in the casual areas. This keeps us up to date until you redecorate all over again, mostly spurred by the current decor trends. Then there are those beloved pieces that you must incorporate because you love them so or maybe just once did. You can never throw out the baby with the dishwater.

  12. Image for Jenifer Scherlin Jenifer Scherlin

    My husband always teases me about garage sales! He says the reason to shop at garage sales is so that one day I can have my own garage sale!! I love vintage/antique fairs even more!!

  13. Image for Dana Dana

    Every item on your yard sale watch list has me swooning!! I do love a good yard sale and estate sales! I pinned your wishlist!

  14. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    Tomorrow is garage sale time again, can’t wait KariAnne! Until we moved two months ago to Flagstaff, AZ, my husband didn’t like to stop at a sale. But now he does and is he finding things, last week it was two sturdy wooden sawhorses for a total of $5.00! We had to leave his old ones behind couldn’t fit them in the moving truck. I love the hunt besides you never know what you’ll find, like the free antique wooden child’s sled!

  15. Image for Carrie Cheecham Carrie Cheecham

    I SO wish I could show you the vintage milk glass and wooden lamps I found at a yard sale this week! I think I gasped a little too loud 😳 He almost thought they were worth more then the 10 bucks I paid for them. They are!!!

  16. Image for Jan Jan

    Just popped over from Talk of the Town Party and wow!! I love your style and your stuff!! I will definitely be doing a Christmas tree this year!! Awesome idea!! Thanks so much for sharing!

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