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9 Garden Treasures You Should Buy at the Thrift Store

Looking for inexpensive and unique ways to display plants and flowers? You can find the best garden treasures for a song at the thrift store. Wait until you see the cool things you need to buy on your next bargain shopping adventure.

I love a good deal, don’t you?

Whether you are shopping at the local thrift store, flea market, garage, or estate sale, there are certain things you just can’t pass up for the garden.

Brand new quality garden containers can be very costly.

If you can find them while you are out thrifting, grab them when you can.

But did you know there are other cool and unique container vessels you should look out for that you may not have considered for the garden?


Here’s what you need to buy then next time you are out thrifting for the garden.

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9 Garden Treasures You Should Never Leave Behind at the Thrift Store

For me, thrifting is the thrill of the hunt to find something really cool for a bargain.

From garden decor to container vessels, there is much to be found at the flea market or thrift store.

Here’s what you should never leave behind.

Thrift Store Baskets

It doesn’t matter if they are large, small, or something in between.

Grab whatever baskets you can.

For decorating purposes, they make great planters if you add a plant dish underneath a container inside.

But did you know that you can also use those baskets outside in the garden?


I used them a lot last year while deadheading flowers and it was so convenient to have them right there!

roses in my jersey garden

I picked this tip up from Linda Vater and have not looked back.

But you can hang these baskets around your yard in the gardens and use them to collect weeds.

Isn’t that brilliant?

Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas

I found this picnic basket while thrifting in Vermont.

Doesn’t it look so pretty as a container vessel for my fresh cut hydrangeas?

Oh and if you ever have a problem with fresh cut hydrangeas wilting, HERE is a great trick!

Centerpiece idea for a picnic date with friends

I also like to use additional baskets for storing things, whether it’s for my home or garden.

At any rate, don’t pass up a good basket.

And if you don’t like the color?

You can bleach them to mute the color and wash it out a bit.

Seriously, you can’t go wrong with extra baskets.

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Can you spot the basket hanging on my picket fence?

Even the basket on a vintage stroller would make a great planter.

I found this one while thrifting in Vermont.

My husband wasn’t into it, but seriously, couldn’t you see this one all potted up?

thrifting at the vintage market

Since I was so inspired from this find, I found another one that was much smaller and likely used as a doll carriage.

I flipped my thrift store find to make the prettiest planter on the porch.

Wait until you see how much character it adds to the front porch.

1850 farmhouse with front porch and spring flowers including ajuga, ranunculas, with hostas and buckeye tree.
The Prettiest Thrift Flip Idea for the Front Porch

Vintage Crocks Make Great Garden Treasures

Crocks are another great buy when you are thrifting around.

I buy all different sizes too.

You can use them for decor.

And you can use them as a vessel for plants and flowers.

rustic farmhouse fall hone tour 2021

Sometimes I’ll drop a houseplant in them.

Or faux Christmas trees.

But I’ve also used them as a vase for my cut flowers.

Seriously the possibilities are endless.

thrifting for the garden at the vintage market

Dough Bowls Are Great Thrift Store Finds!

Never pass up a good dough bowl.

There’s so much you can do with them.

From displaying them with faux greens and flowers to potpourri or maybe some candles, vintage wood dough bowls are a great find.

Don’t walk out of the thrift store without one.

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My Favorite Garden Treasure – the Vintage Tool Box

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love my vintage toolbox that I found in Vermont for like $15.

I’ve styled it ten different ways to Sunday throughout the seasons.

And it’s sat on my dining room table for the last two years.

rustic farmhouse dining room fall home tour 2021

Now that we moved, it does not fit under my chandelier on my dining room table.

So I’ve got to figure out a new place for it.

But toolboxes make great planting vessels or just display things in.

I never met a toolbox I didn’t like, so make sure you snag it whenever you find one!

first christmas in our home tour with vintage toolbox centerpiece

Metal Pails, Bins and Buckets

Old rusty or painted metal pails, bins and buckets make GREAT planter vessels.

I found this super cool maple sap bucket in Vermont and used it for my faux Christmas tree this year.

thrifty store finds in vermont

That red on the bucket was the perfect subtle complement for the holidays.

In the fall, I found this copper tub and it’s PERFECT for plantings!

I can’t wait to pot it up this spring and add it to my front porch.

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In addition to those, egg crates also make great containers for plants.

But I’ve also used them to store blankets, pillows, and other decor from around the home.

Whether you plant live or faux, old metal pails, bins, and buckets are a great thrift store find.

So don’t pass those up!

Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas

Vintage Tins

I love pretty vintage cans.

They look so pretty displayed on their own.

And even better with some plants or flowers in them!

Sometimes I display them in my kitchen to hide things I want accessible but don’t want on the counter too.

Fall Decorating Ideas

Vintage Watering Cans, Jugs and Milk Bottles

Those old metal watering cans are the best, aren’t they?

I love how they look among plants and flowers.

7 garden treasures you shouldn't pass up

Or even by themselves as part of my decor.

And the fact that you can use them to water plants is a huge plus for me too!

So be sure to add these garden treasures to the list too!

thrfting at the vintage market

Old Wood Crates and Trunks

From large to small, vintage wood crates are the best, aren’t they?

I love to use them for faux greens and florals.

But if you find the larger crates and trunks, they can even be used as a plant stand, side or coffee table.

thrifting at the vintage market

Vintage Dishes and Tea Sets

There are so many different ways you can use dishes and tea sets.

The possibilities are endless.

For the garden, I’ve potted up teapots and teacups.

They make cute gifts!

But think outside the box and use them as garden decor.

I’ve seen some cute container gardens with pretty blue transferware.

So don’t walk out of the thrift store or antique mall without picking some up first!

9 garden treasures

Wait Until You See How My Friends Are Using Their Thrifted Finds!

My good friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells lives in the pacific northwest and found some unique items while thrifting for vintage on the west coast.

Wait until you see what she found and how she’s using them with her flowers!

And my good friend Jennifer from Cottage on Bunker Hill thrifts in New England and found some great finds for her kitchen!

Wait until you see how she’s using them!

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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  1. These are great ideas! I love thrifting for unique containers, and am also fortunate to have some things I rescued from my grandparents house and farm, like crocks, a watering can, and milk/cream cans! I’m also a big fan of old galvanized buckets and wash tubs as planters. I have my husband drill holes in the bottom for drainage and like to incorporate them in my landscaping. You have the most beautiful gardens! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Vicki! Isnt’ that the best? I love galvanized buckets too – they look so pretty with flowers!

  2. I can’t wait for the nice weather to get out and go to the flea markets…I’ll keep dreaming about that while I’m under 2 throws!!

  3. It’s always so fun to see all the thrifted finds you have for the garden. I love your flea markets in Vermont. Wish we had some like that here.

  4. I never find these cool things when I am out and about! I find old tupperware containers like the ones I got rid of. =)
    Seriously, these are great things!

  5. Pingback: Saturday Shares | Vol. 35 - Cottage On Bunker Hill
  6. Love these ideas, Stacy! Especially like the tip to use baskets for dead heading and holding weeds. Guess I need to go get some more baskets… 😆😆