Fabulous Finds Friday

A Funny Thing Happened After Leaving the Thrift Store

As I’ve mentioned in the past John and I go out for breakfast or brunch, depending on when we get to the restaurant, almost every Saturday.

We go to the same restaurant in a town close by, and we look forward to it every week.

It’s our thing.

We enjoy a nice leisurely meal, and then we do whatever shopping we want to do… including stopping into the Salvation Army thrift store.

On a recent Saturday I found this.


large box of large hand painted wooden ornaments

You can’t see the price on it, but that red sticker reads $8.

A little dear for this thrifty girl, but I was totally smitten.

I’ve been collecting vintage hand painted wooden ornaments for a few years now, but I like to get them for great deals.

Or should I say steals?

John could see how much I loved them so he told me I should get them anyway.

So I did.


large box of large hand painted wooden ornaments without plastic cover on

Check out all the cool characters. I really can’t pick a favorite from this lot. I love them all!

These ornaments are quite large. The box itself is over two feet tall.

That one snowman was a little camera shy. lol.

When we went up to the cashier counter to pay we found out that it was a 50% off day.

Ok, so 4 dollars is right up my thrifty girl’s alley.

There were 3 other smaller boxes under this big one. They were stickered $4.50 each, but at 50% off that would only be $2.25 each.

I left them behind because I’d lost  my mind. lol

John said, “Are you sure you don’t want those other boxes?”

I said,” Yes, I’ve got enough. I don’t really need them.”

John said, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I said. (Uh-huh.)

We were in the parking lot leaving, and John again said… “Are you sure you don’t want to go back in and get them?”

Again, silly me, I said. “Yes, I’m sure.”

As were driving away he said, “Are you sure sure?”

And I said “I’m good.”

I was kinda proud of myself for resisting the temptation of buying all of them, but at the same time I was already regretting not getting the rest.

How often do I see these in the original boxes? Not often.


misc lots of thrifted vintage hand painted wooden ornaments

I usually find them like this, in plastic bag lots for a dollar or two.

These are what I’ve collected over the past few years. I hadn’t even opened these bags yet.


Lot of vintage wooden hand painted ornaments

This is the most recent bag lot that I shared a little while ago.

But now back to the story.

We drove around town doing our errands, and as we were driving to our last spot… just before leaving town I had to speak up.

With a laugh I said, “Um… you know, we’re really not that far from the thrift store.”

John looked at me, smiled knowingly, and said they might already be gone.

That does happen to me sometimes, but it was a chance I had to take.

If they were meant to be mine, they would still be there.

Right? Or so I told myself, as I’ve told myself before when I’ve left things behind.


3 boxes of vintage hand painted wooden ornaments

But, lo and behold, this time I was right!

The 3 boxes were still there just waiting for me!

I was never so excited to put my money down for something, a whole $6.75.

The variety of ornaments is pretty incredible.


vintage box of hand painted wood ornaments

In this box my faves are the Russian doll, the fireplace, the truck, and the stocking.

But they’re all so much fun.


box of vintage hand painted wood ornaments

In this box my faves are the rocking horses, and the Santas and Snowmen with real knit hats.

But again, I do love them all.

The thing I love about vintage hand painted wooden ornaments is that the faces are always pretty simple, but at the same time there are a lot of incredible details.


vintage hand painted wooden ornaments in box

There’s one missing in this box, but who cares. The rest of them are pretty great. 

Love the clock, and the mouse wreath.


2 boxes of vintage wooden hand painted ornaments

Here are a few smaller $1 sets that I thrifted a few years ago.


Christmas tree decorated with hand painted vintage wooden ornaments

For years I’ve been wanting to decorate a tree with only this kind of vintage wooden ornaments, and now I finally had enough to do just that,

They really do bring back some wonderful Christmas childhood memories.

John and I had so much fun putting them on the living room tree, taking the time to really look at them as we found each one a special spot.


Vintage hand painted wooden ornaments on Christmas tree

We likened them to the misfit toys from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Abandoned and unloved and left at the thrift stores where I found them, just waiting for someone to love them again.

And that someone is me.

These ornaments go so great with my two strands of vintage candy garland.


Christmas tree decorated with vintage hand painted wooden ornaments

And now they’re sooo happy… fulfilling their destiny of adorning a Christmas tree.

And I’m so happy too. It’s so much fun just to look at them.

Makes us feel like kids again.

Honestly, sometimes being a grown up is highly over-rated, lol, especially at Christmastime.

It’s not just about how the tree looks, but how it makes us feel is so much more important. 

It’s amazing how much joy and fun can come from these sweet little ornaments.

I can’t believe I didn’t grab them all right away, and I’m thankful to have the most awesome hubby ever!!!!

He knows me so well. Sometimes even better than I know myself.

TIP: If you want to put the ornaments that came in boxes back in them, take pictures like I did, and print them out large so you can refer to them. It’ll save you a lot of time and trouble.


Christmas tree decorated with collection of vintage hand painted wooden ornaments

We didn’t count them as we were putting them on, but there must be more than a hundred of these wonderful ornaments on the tree.

But, believe it or not, there’s room for more.

And there will be more.  Lots more! 

My new motto is to leave no vintage wooden hand painted ornaments behind ever again.

Even if it’s not 50% off day. lol.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Candace Geary says:

    We were stationed in Germany, for 4 years, when our children were very small. Seeing your ornaments brought me right back to Christmas in Pickenricht. We have such wonderful memories from our time there. We lived in a very tiny village and were the only Americans in our village. In Bavaria, where we were, the houses are built to be home to generations. The German family that we were housed with lived on the ground floor, we were on the middle floor and then the adult son and daughter lived on the top floor. Each floor is built identical. I just tell you this, so that you understand that we were taken in and were included as part of this family. We still have Christmas and Easter decorations from our time there, some thirty years ago. Besides the wooden ornaments, straw ornaments and wax ornaments were also part of the decorations. Thank you for a wonderful walk down memory lane.

    1. Wow, that sounds amazing Candace! Such wonderful memories for all of you. 🙂

  2. I could not stop reading this. I have passed up these wooden ornaments several times at thrift stores…you have given me a new appreciation for these little pieces of art. I love your tree and all the labor of love that it took to put it together. Merry Christmas to you and John!!

    1. Thanks Donna! You’re so right, they are little pieces of art. Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. I love those little wooden ornaments to Tuula! How great that you found so many that day at the thrift store! Taking a picture is a great idea!!


    1. Thanks so much Tania! There’s no way we could get the boxes ornaments back where they belong without pics, that’s for sure.

  4. It sounds to me like your hubby is worth his weight in gold!! So rare to have a relationship like that. And sharing in your happiness over the ornaments is really heart warming. Family drama has left me feeling pretty bah-humbug…..but your post has gotten right in and cheered me up! Love each and every one. I had a one armed pig but I think I got rid of it. If I still had it, I’d send it to you for all the joy you bring! Thanks!! Dona

    1. Thanks very much Dona! I’m definitely a lucky girl that’s for sure. John and I have shared a lot of awesome thrifting adventures. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. Merry Christmas!

  5. Love your Christmas tree, I got so excited when I noticed your candy garland. I have used them for years on my tree and around the house-had not seen or heard of anyone else using them, they are so fun.

    1. Wow Kay, that’s awesome. I’ve never known anyone else who has this vintage candy garland. I found it at a thrift store a few years ago and i totally love them. I only have two garlands and I’m hoping to find more. They are definitely fun!

  6. They were orphans and you gave them a loving home. Your heart warming story just came to life for me. Loved every sentence. Your tree is beautiful.

    1. Thanks very much Olivia! We are truly enjoying these ornaments, and I’m looking forward to adding more to my collection.

  7. There is no better feeling than to “rescue” things from a thrift store! ( at least that is the excuse I use lol)
    Your tree looks fabulous Tuula!

  8. Debra Hubbs says:

    Great story and finds! I, too, love the vintage Christmas look. I still use old ornaments from my Mom and Grandmother and vintage decor. I often still use tinsel because it reminds me so much of my childhood trees and all their sparkle and glimmer. These ornaments were a huge score, and apparently so was your husband. =) I think I have a few old wooden ornaments. If I find some, I am going to send them to you! Hope you and yours (kitty too) have a wonderful Christmas! I love your tree. That whole corner looks so nice.

    1. Thanks Debra! How wonderful that you have vintage ornaments from your mom and Grandmother. That is amazing! Such great memories for you I’m sure. If we didn’t have three cats I might use tinsel too. It looks so pretty! My hubby is definitely my greatest find.