This month’s blog posts are some of my favorites! They combine some of the best things: DIY, thrifting, tablescapes, helping others, and God’s word! We are going to take you on a journey with us as we thrift for a Valentine’s tablescape for two. We know many couples will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at home. We are not one to miss out on a celebration, so we are giving you a little inspiration and a little direction for making the best possible celebration right where you are!
Those who know me know I’m a little extra when it comes to celebrating. I LOVE going all-out and really honing in on all the details! My secret weapon for well-styled tablescapes at affordable prices is thrifting! It’s no secret I am in thrift stores almost every week. Whether I am prop shopping, sourcing decor for events, or picking out new pieces for my home, I seem to spend a lot of time in them. I am well-versed in the very best places to thrift around the Twin Cities, and people always ask me where to go. So today I am letting you in on a few secrets as we partner with one of my all-time favorite thrift stores in Minnesota…
27980 Koeper Ave, New Prague, MN 56071
Hands of Friendship is a thrift store located in New Prague, MN. Their mission is to impact those in Haiti by changing lives through God's Word. Matthew 25: 35 & 36a illustrates this beautifully - “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me.”
Hands of Friendship completely supports a Haitian orphanage of 38 children with food, clothes, hygiene, school, and more when people donate their gently used items to the thrift store. The owner, Tracy Stepka, travels to Haiti often to see the children they serve. She shares her journey and all of the support Hands of Friendship gives to the children on their Facebook page. Shopping at Hands of Friendship helps teach the children they support and furthers the organization’s mission. The store is PACKED full of great deals and incredible finds! It’s a sure thing to walk out of there with at least a box or two full of goodies. With that said, we couldn’t wait to dig in and start the search of finding the perfect tablescape items!
First things first, take inventory of what you already have. For this table, I gathered from my home a cake plate, cake server, 2 dessert plates, salt & pepper shakers, and brass candlesticks. Next, make a list! Even before going into the store I always write down in my “Notes” app what I am looking for. Thrifting can be overwhelming and creatively exhausting because of everything to look at, so staying focused is a must! I also make a list because the tablescape items should be determined based on the meal you are severing! Are you serving salad? Dessert? Champagne? Wine? All of these items are going to require different serving ware pieces. Here is my list I went with:
2 Dinner Plates
2 Sets of Silverware
2 Wine Glass
2 Water Glass
Once we chose the menu and had our list set, we were off to New Prague! One of my favorite things about thrifting is the thrill of the hunt. I think the two most common mistakes when thrifting are: not setting aside enough time to thrift and having the mindset that all your items are going to be found at eye level. When I am thrifting I leave ample amounts of time to thrift. If you are rushed you will find a fraction of the items you are looking for! I think of thrifting as a live game of “I SPY.” You are trying to sort through all the clutter and select the items that best fit your need. That’s tough to do in a time crunch!
I also know that my best finds are above my head or below my knees. Thrift stores are known for packed shelves, full bins, and piles of stuff. So if digging is not your thing, thrifting might not be the best shopping option for you. It takes time, consistency, and being curious about what’s underneath, above, below, or next to what you see. Sometimes thrifting can be a contact sport and draw blood (hahah!)… I may have had a mishap with a cardboard box … pack your bandaids, friends!
The first pieces I want to find are my “hero” items. These items can be any item on the table but they embody the full aesthetic, style, and color palette you are trying to convey throughout the entire table. They are your jumping-off point. When I was thrifting I came across these two beautiful placemats that had traditional Valentine’s colors, plus a few accent colors to round out the palette.
I also found this sweet ceramic heart plate that I knew would be great for a few plated desserts. From there I looked for items that fell into our color palette and our set aesthetic. I was going for bold, modern, feminine, and fresh vibes for this tablescape. I found two coordinating pink glass trivets that I would use as “chargers” and then scored fantastic painted gold wine glasses. Bold red glass vessels became my centerpiece decor along with votive candles, candlesticks & tapers.
When thrifting for tablescapes, don’t forget the functional pieces as well. I grabbed a water carafe and heart-shaped ice cube tray. Tablescapes are won and lost in the details! Functional items that coordinate with your aesthetic win over guests and pull the table together. My favorite table settings are assembled in layers. Buying those last detail items will take your tablescape to the next level!
Once we finished our haul, we headed home for some dishwashing & style out!
I washed the dishes, wiped down the decor, and then began layering our items and styling out the tablescape. Styling a table is my playground. I try things, change things, break rules, follow rules, and settle on maybe my 3rd or 4th option. This is your chance to be a kid in a candy store! Don’t take things too literally, and be sure to try new things. As long as you cover your bases of functionality, go bananas and just be creative! One last thing … I always like to add fresh elements to the table to mix in textures and materials. For this tablescape, I added a bottle of sparkling Rosé, pink tulips, a layered gluten free cake, and a few sweet goodies. I think they add that cherry on top!
A huge thank you to our friends at Hands of Friendship for partnering with us on this post. We hope y’all are inspired and will make the trip down to New Prague to shop the store. When you do, let us know what you find! We’re ALWAYS up for a good thrifting story!