Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas on a Budget, Part 9

Did you ever wonder if thrift store employees intentionally destroy toys when they're packaging them to be sold? (Just kidding, but I have wondered on occasion ... )

Our Goodwill marks everything with black permanent marker. Usually they have the grace to put it somewhere a bit harder to see. But several times I've turned down toys because they scrawled the price right on a vital part of the toy. Grrr ...

Did you know that hand sanitizer will take black permanent marker off most surfaces? Most, but not all. Rubber and porous stone are two that it will NOT come off.

Here's another example of thrift store mutilation:

This Easy Bake oven had packing tape wrapped around it three times to secure the power cord to it. Did they really think someone was going to rip the power cord out of the back?? It would be useless on anything but another Easy Bake oven. And at $1 for the whole thing, why would anyone do that?

Oh well, at least it didn't matter this time. I don't like Bratz dolls and would have ripped the picture off myself, so they did me a favor this time. :) Now I had to design a cover-up that was convincing. (Another niece is getting this for Christmas.)

Here's what I came up with, and her mom was thrilled:

It's not exact, but you probably wouldn't know if I hadn't shown you the original, right?

Well, sometimes we have to get creative, even with patterned paper. What am I talking about? Well, look at what this paper started out looking like, compared to how it ended up:

I used the colors from the flowers that were already on the Easy Bake to outline the flowers and add small background dots.

And since this is a toy that will be used in the kitchen around messy ingredients, I had to seal the paper. I used clear Con-Tact paper to seal it before I attached it with very strong adhesive to the front of the Easy Bake.

So there you have it - another easy makeover to make thrift store toys look new again. I think my niece will be pleased!


Esther said...

WOW!!! You did a fabulous job on that oven! I LOVE what you did with the paper (outlining and adding dots!), and you're oven looks 100% cuter than the original!!!

angie said...

I would be amazed (and disappointed) if you are giving any full price retail gifts this year. You do such a fabulous job of making thrift store gifts personalized for the recipient!

Sophia said...


I think you're right. I can't think of any full-price gifts for this year. :) (Not that there's anything wrong with that ... )

However, I'm not personally giving all of these gifts. I help my parents scout for the grandkids' wish lists every year, and this year I also found some things for my sister's family.

I enjoy the treasure hunting and then the challenge of remaking and restoring, so it's a win-win situation for us all.