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14 Best Fall Decor Items to Buy in Thrift Stores

A round-up of 14 commonly found thrift store items that work perfectly in fall decor or year-round along with tutorials for creating cozy decor on your own.

I think I can blame thrift store withdrawal on this post. Because honestly… with only 1 thrift store trip under my belt since March, my thrill-of-the-hunt lovin’ self can hardly STAND IT!

14 Best Fall Decor Items to Buy in Thrift Stores | A round-up of 14 commonly found thrift store items that work perfectly in fall decor or year-round + tutorials for creating cozy decor.

Over the years, I’ve found so many items at the thrift store (common thrift staples I see pretty regularly) that would work perfectly as fall decor. I’ve mentioned before I’m not super into the in-your-face type of fall decor that has pumpkins everywhere and screams “It’s fall y’all”.

I’m more like a throw in some warmer colors, pull out the sweater knits, light a few candles, and snip stems from my yard kind of fall decorator.

Which lends itself perfectly to thrift store finds! So I thought it’d be fun to round up a bunch of favorites you can be on the lookout for in thrift stores now for fall or any time of year.

14 Best Fall Decor Items to Buy in Thrift Stores

1. Amber Glass

If you keep a lookout in grocery stores or your recycling bin, you can even save amber glass jars and bottles you might already be buying anyway. Use them as vases or collect as a shelf display or you can make these DIY candles out of glass dishes.

upcycled amber glass DIY candles

2. Copper Mugs

I often see a stray copper cup or two in the dinnerware section of the thrift store. You don’t need a whole set, and picking up random ones here or there can create a quirky collection for a pretty fall tablescape (with fresh apple cider, of course).

copper mugs on a fall tablescape

3. Wreath

I saw a GORGEOUS fall wreath in the thrift store the other day for $9! (But I was nice and left it for another lady who was really eyeing it. Darn.) Even if you don’t get lucky finding an already put together fall wreath, you can “Frankenstein” one using a thrifted wreath and attach any other artificial stems or berries you find. See my DIY wreath tutorial here that works for all seasons.

fall wreath with traditional colors in gold and rust

4. Buckets and Planters

Even though I have the blackest thumb on the planet, I still love putting mums on our front porch for fall inside of secondhand planters and containers. If you don’t love the color of a planter but like the shape, hit it with some spray paint, maybe throw in a little distressing effect, and you’re good!

fall outdoor decor

5. Picture Frames

Thrift stores have the BEST funky picture frames! Or if anything, super cheap ones that you can paint. If you find one you love, put a fall printable in it! (This one and lots of my other printables are free.)

fall printable art on kitchen shelves

6. Wooden Bowls

I can’t begin to tell you how many random wooden salad bowls I see at thrift stores. Scoop up a couple of them and fill them with mini pumpkins, figs, pears, artichokes, moss, whatever says “fall” to you.

wooden bowl of gourds and artichokes on a living room coffee table

7. Blankets/Fabrics

I’ve found so many great blankets that just needed a good wash. Or if you find a remnant of thick fabric, you can make a cozy blanket yourself. Create throw pillows out of rugs, placemats, or napkins too.

plaid throw blanket and pillow on outdoor bench

8. Trays

I love having a big spread for Thanksgiving, so having a big collection of trays (tiered or single) is helpful for entertaining lots of family buffet-style.

tiered copper tray with fruit

9. Candle Holders

I found this rusty, creepy looking candelabra secondhand last year that I decorated for Halloween and it is the freaking coolest!!! There are so many fun ones to lookout for at thrift shops. (And of course, I had to pair it with a copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories.)

Halloween candelabra vignette

10. Wire Baskets and Bundt Pans

This one is out there, but I made these little pumpkins out of vintage wire bread baskets and mini Jello molds a couple of years ago. I’m not usually a quirky fall decorator, but these were too fun not to make!

DIY wire basket pumpkin and jello mold pumpkins

11. Old Books

I love using secondhand books on trays and tabletops for some texture. This thrifted book on this tray is my favorite for fall because it’s the perfect rusty peachy hue. If you’re ever looking through old books on thrift store shelves, take a peek under any book jackets to find pretty covers.

fall decor on a tray with vase of leaves, candle, and pumpkin

12. Foam Pumpkins

Every now and then (often in the non-fall months) I find a random foam pumpkin in the thrift store, and it’s usually pretty beaten up. But it’s nothing these paint techniques can’t fix to make them look modern and new.

painted pumpkin with dried hydrangeas

13. Metal Accents

Whatever metal pieces you find: figurines, votive holders, trays, etc. Give them a couple of coats of copper or brass spray paint, and they’ll look instantly more expensive and extra festive for fall.

fall tablescape

14. Tablecloths

It’s rare I ever use tablecloths for dining, but we’re big on them for Thanksgiving to make the table feel extra special. Even if you don’t find a table cloth, a couple yards of fabric or even a scarf will work as a runner.

fall table with plaid tablecloth and wall planter

Do you have any others you’d add to the thrifted fall decor list? I’m keeping my eyes peeled.

If you want more thrift store decorating ideas, you can see tons here.

And if you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

14 Best Fall Decor Items to Buy in Thrift Stores | A round-up of 14 commonly found thrift store items that work perfectly in fall decor or year-round + tutorials for creating cozy decor.

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13 Comments

  1. I have a tip for the fake pumpkins, which usually come with icky fake stems.
    I save the stems from real pumpkins to replace the mass produced ones that come with fake pumpkins. Makes them look more real.

  2. Timing is everything! Wish I had seen this post earlier! I passed up a stack of the mini metal molds at a thrift store recently! Their cuteness caught my eye…..Won’t pass them up next time! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  3. I’m with you, would much rather decorate with pretty vintage things than mass produced commercial decor! I’m currently loving aged copper and brass pieces, and earthy pottery, and I love old books year around! I would also add baskets to the list for added texture😊🍂🍁🧡! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I love those things lately too! Especially the earthy pottery. It’s definitely having a moment right now. Yes! Baskets for sure! I should go back and add that one.

  4. Don’t forget about the ultimate “Thrift Store”….your parents, grandparents, aunts, etc! I am “older” and would be thrilled for some of my things to find new homes with loved ones!

    1. Absolutely!! My mom is constantly finding goodies and I love/hate it only because it’s so much good stuff I’m overwhelmed. Haha!

  5. I am in thrift store withdrawal in a big way and even had to stop volunteering at our church thrift store due to pandemic. My whole house garden and closet are filled with thrift store finds and all receive complements. As you said the thrill of the hunt is much of the fun. This fall I shopped my house and actually was pleased with the result and all the money I saved. Even worked for my garden too. Enjoy this beautiful time of year. We will get to the other side of this together.

    1. That’s wonderful! Shopping the house is the best. Definitely the most economical. Love your attitude and you’re absolutely right. This year, while it has been challenging, has made me realize all of the things that matter the most and I will never take “normal” life for granted again.

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