Leave Your Mark: Ideas for Updating Thrifted Items with a Sharpie

Time, energy, and money are three things that, if you’re anything like us, are always lacking. So we’re constantly looking for quick and easy ways to update thrifty items into one of-a-kind treasures. When our belongings and surroundings look good, we feel better about them and are able to live a more inspired life. That’s why I’m so excited today to share a few ideas for updating almost anything with one inexpensive tool that you probably already own: the sharpie.

Image via knockoffdecor.com

I’ve seen a few tutorials before that walk the reader through baking a permanent marker’s pattern into dishware, (like the plates pictured above!) but until I stumbled upon this Sharpie Obsessed pinboard from Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin (Madison), I had no idea how many possibilities for sharpies there really were. Why had I never thought to use them to decorate fabric, baskets, or wallpaper before? Make sure you check out all of the options shared on that board if you love easy updates like these. I, for one, am totally Pin-spired!

Image via DeliaCreates.com

The next project really struck a chord with me because I am the mother of a swiftly sprouting almost one-year-old. It seems like as soon as we get him a new outfit he has already outgrown it and I don’t tend to like a lot of the styles being sold new in stores these days anyway. Buying basic onesies and embellishing them with your own sharpie patterns, like the crafty mama behind the blog Delia Creates, is the perfect solution! These simple dots and dashes are foolproof, but still unique, and the constellations are out of this world! I’ll be heading to Goodwill this weekend in search of some baby basics since that will allow me to get several months’ worth of clothes second-hand for the same amount that just a few pieces would get me elsewhere. I can add my own customization when I get home and if I make a mistake and ruin one, it won’t be such a big deal.

Image via MERSGoodwill.org

Now for a new take on a classic project: creating your own party favors from sharpie-doodled glassware! This is so much fun because you can thrift lots of interesting glasses and mugs from Goodwill and customize each one with a quote or an illustration that your individual guests will appreciate. As your guests find their glass, giggles will ensue and, seeing as each one is unique, there will be no problem remembering where they’ve placed their drinks! (“Has anyone seen my Wingardium Leviosa cup?”) After your party’s over, don’t let anyone leave empty handed! Having only spent a dollar or two on each favor, it won’t be difficult for you to see them go. Thanks to MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries for sharing this great idea!

Goodwill isn’t just a money saving place to shop, though. Each individual store leaves a permanent mark on its neighborhood by building strong families and vibrant communities through job training, placement and family support services for people who have disabilities, those who lack education or job experience those with limited financial means, people with criminal backgrounds, veterans, youth and other vulnerable populations. By shopping at Goodwill, you’re not just saving time, money, and energy, but you’re helping others, too.