Leave Your Mark (Part 2): Ideas for Updating Thrifted Items with a Sharpie

Last winter we had tons of fun exploring the different delights you can doodle on with Sharpies, everything from dishware to baby onesies, but – to my surprise – the more I browse the internet, the more brilliant permanent marker DIY ideas I find! So I thought it was about time that we revisit this remarkable tool and all of the customization possibilities it offers to thrifty Goodwill® shoppers!

Image via settingforfour.com

When you think “Sharpie” you may not think “chic”, but I’m here to tell you that these writing utensils are as versatile as the 164 independent, community-based Goodwill agencies in the U.S. and Canada which provide employment training, job placement services, and the many other community-based services that each particular region has need for! Heather from the blog Setting of Four thought outside of the box when she saw the promise in a boring tray and knew it could become a beautiful French-inspired piece. In an afternoon you, too, could transform a thrifted cast-off into something just as lovely with the help of our good old friend, the permanent marker, and Heather’s helpful directions.

Image via crownhilldaybyday.blogspot.com

Tie-dying has long been a favorite way to update old threads, but unless you’re a seasoned expert, it can be really hard to get exactly the pattern you want while trying out this classic craft. Enter the Sharpie! I recently learned from Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee) that you can actually draw your own pattern on white fabric with permanent markers then use rubbing alcohol to create a similar effect! This sounds like such a fun way to spend an afternoon (and I bet it would be a super handy technique for many Halloween costumes!). Get the full tutorial with lots of tips here.

Image via thebluebasket.blogspot.com

I know that Goodwill has something to offer everyone so as I thought about the versatility of Sharpies and thrift shopping, I was wracking my brain trying to think of a project that my husband would really enjoy. He would appreciate the unique touch of the tray tutorial and might find tie-dying with Sharpies fun for a little while, but when I spotted this road map tee-shirt idea on a Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (Muskegon) pinboard I just knew I had to share it! A quick trip to your local Goodwill could give you everything you need – a blank tee, some matchbox cars – to make this shirt a reality. I bet you could even combine this project with the last to make some realistic-looking grass!

Now that you’ve got a few more ideas for updating your thrift store finds, it’s time to head out there and draw inspiration from the goodies awaiting you in Goodwill aisles. They’re all eager to be reinvented. How will you leave your mark?