Fabulous Finds Friday

The surprising things that you can find at thrift stores never ceases to amaze me.

Especially in my neck of the thrifting woods, which is a handful of small towns… each about 20 minutes away from home.

John and I were housebound by winter weather two weekends in a row. So I actually hadn’t been at my fave Salvation Army store since before Christmas.

We usually go there on Saturdays after we go out for breakfast, and last weekend was beautiful so we were happily out and about.

Lot of folding hands fans found at thrift store

John actually saw this before I did. 

He’s my spotter, doing a quick tour of the store to see if there’s anything he thinks I might be interested in.

I’m more of a wanderer. Making my way slowly up one aisle and down the next. Pondering as I go. Thinking about the different things that I see until I’ve done the whole store.

And then I usually do it all again just to make sure I didn’t miss something the first time around. which has been known to happen occasionally.

This time all I came out with was this fabulous collection of 22 hand folding fans.

But that was more than enough!

white floral and green fabric hand folding fans

I was so excited when John showed them to me.

Finding things in bulk is always fabulous for getting the creative juices flowing.

And, honestly, I’ve only seen one other folding fan in the last twenty years in thrift stores here.

It was Spanish, and I sold it on etsy a few years ago.

red floral and yellow fabric hand folding fans

Some of the fans are glitter-fied… like the set of four above, and the green set of four in the previous picture. 

pink and purple fabric hand folding gans

And these three are decorated with sequins and lace.

All of the above fans are made with fabric and gold decorated plastic.

hand folding fans inside fabric cases

Then there were these three fans in cases, and I couldn’t wait to see what was inside.

paper hand folding fans

They’re paper and carved sandalwood fans. 

Not quite as eye-catching as the fabric fans, but still fun and interesting.

carved sandalwood hand folding fans

And last but not least, these 8 fans are completely made of sandalwood with patterns carved into them.

They remind me of delicate latticework.

At first I thought they were paper, but then I picked one up and was surprised to discover that they weren’t.

I did some research and found that they’re made of sandalwood, which is very light.

close up of carved sandalwood hand folding fans

Things that are this plain color-wise are not usually my thing, but the latticework looks so much more amazing in person than it does in the pics.

I think I can really do something with these. My brain is swimming with repurposing ideas for all of these fans.

So, I made the decision to buy them when they were a loonie a piece. But when we went to the counter to pay we were given 50% off. Woohoo!

Love it when that happens!

I was already in at a dollar, so that was such a gift.

So are you a fan of fans?

I certainly am.

Maybe not for their original purpose, but for their re-purpose. Absolutely!

keep on keepin’ on!



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  1. So many! In one place! They’re all pretty but those carved sandalwood ones are so delicate looking. Love the filigree look! Excited to see what you end up doing with all of them. Great scouter you got there πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Deb! I’m looking forward to creating with some of these fans. So much fun!

  2. What a wonderful husband you have!!The fans are beautiful. As you said I haven’t seen fans in a long while. Will be looking forward to you creative -ness. (Probably not a real word) lol

    1. Thanks Charleen! I’m definitely a lucky gal, and that word works for me. πŸ™‚

  3. Love the fans Tuula, they are so colorful and pretty! I have some of the latticework ones. I am planning a project for my dollhouse with one :o)


    1. Thanks Tania! I look forward to seeing your dollhouse project. I think the latticework fans have so many creative possibilities.

  4. Love them!! Living in the south and being hot natured I keep several of these in my car! I usually buy mine at the flea markets in the little Chinese booths, which I love, for a $1 each. What a great find at the thrift store (my addiction= thrift stores and yard sales!). Also super in love with your stamp decoupage projects!!!!! Love your blog – just haven’t commented much! Sorry! But love it!!

    1. Thank you so much Nicki! I might keep one or two fans for my own use for those occasional hot and humid summer days. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my stamp decoupage projects because there will be more. πŸ™‚

  5. Debra Hubbs says:

    Great find. Love them all but am partial to the sandalwood ones. Wonder if they would still work if painted with a light coat. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for them. Enjoy your weekend. Also love how your husband scours the store first for you and obviously knows what may interest you.

    1. Thanks Debra! He does know me well. Not sure if the fans would still work if painted. Might have to try sometime and find out.

  6. Uh, for us foreigners down here in the USA, what’s a loonie? My family thinks I’m looney, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the same thing! Oh, my word! These fans are fabulous! I’m sure your clever mind will blow us away with your creativity! BUT…….Those 2 pink ones with the black and pink one…..surely you won’t change them! I mean, c’mon! Their PINK! And gorgeous! They would be perfect in a grouping just like they are! At least that’s what I’d do if they were purple. Let’s see what you come up with, my friend!

    1. Thanks Dona! haha. My family thinks I’m pretty looney too. lol. A loonie here in Canada is a dollar coin. We call it the ‘loonie’ because it has a loon on one side. I do have some repurposing ideas for these fans. Not sure about the pink ones yet, whether they’ll stay as they are or not. We’ll see.

  7. Jean E Miller says:

    Okay, Tuula – If I am not out of line – how much were all of these fans?? You are so amazing with your shopping – good thing Hubby was with you that day. LOL

    1. Laura Crumm says:

      WOW! What a fabulous find. I love them all even the sandalwood ones. Sometimes beautiful carved items don’t need color.

    2. Hi Jean, yes my hubby is a great spotter that’s for sure. All 22 fans were $11. A great deal!

  8. Phoenix Nest says:

    Nice find! I love those fabric fans…I have quite a collection and I use them! I get them at the Dollar Tree. πŸ˜€ I’m sure those others are more expensive, but getting 22 for $.50? Awesome! I look forward to seeing what you do with them.