I don’t usually shop at garage sales, not because I’m not interested, but usually because my timing is off or I simply don’t have time. But today I took advantage of the last day of a three-day garage sale held at one of my local scrapbook stores, Memory Bound Scrapbook Store in Ankeny, Iowa. The way the garage sale works is that customers dig into their stash for unwanted items, package them up, price them and bring them to Memory Bound for the garage sale. They pay $5 to participate, and when the items sell, the store takes a cut of 15% and the remainder goes to the seller in the form of in-store credit. The sale officially began on Friday evening for early bird shoppers, who paid a $5 fee that was then donated to a food pantry. No fee was charged on Saturday or Sunday, however. On Sunday, everything that hadn’t sold was marked down to half-price.

Honestly, I think the better deal is not so much for the seller as it is for the store and the buyers, but that didn’t prevent me from taking advantage of the sale—as a buyer, that is. The sales tables were picked over on this last day of the garage sale, but there were still packages of rubber stamps, scrapbook paper assortments, stencils, ribbons, bundled stacks of scrapbooking magazines, scrapbooking tools, and much more to be found. I even spotted a blue version of a Bind-it-All, one of the gadgets I use for binding my handmade books. Obviously, I didn’t need a second Bind-it-All, but hopefully someone will realize there’s a treasure to be found on the sales table, and scoop it up! As for me, I spent a total of $5.50, and felt I more than got my money’s worth.

My first bargain was a spool of navy ribbon and a set of four beaded ribbon packages. The retail cost was about $21.95, but I spent $2.00. Works for me!


What pleased me more than anything else, however, was the purchase of a woven craft organizer. A couple of years ago, I bought one just like it for around $40. My cost at the garage sale was only $3.50. What makes this heavy-duty, basket-style organizer so special is that it is one of several styles woven by Amish families in the Midwest. My first one came from Lamoni, Iowa and was woven by a member of the Troyers family. I store my craft adhesives in that particular organizer. The organizer I bought today was woven by a 14-year-old from Eagleville, Missouri, and is signed on the underside.

Craft organizer collage

Did you know that there are about three dozen Amish communities in Missouri, and that these comprise the 7th largest group of Amish residents in North America? In Iowa, where the Amish have lived for more than 160 years, about 20 small communities are settled by the Amish, mainly around Kalona, Bloomfield, and in Buchanan County. If you are interested in learning more about the Amish, you can watch an excellent documentary about these folks on PBS, which aired The Amish in February 2012. The one hour and 51-minute film is well worth your time.

Every year I purchase a basket made by the Amish, and you’ll see all of them in use in either my kitchen or paper crafting studio. I admire the baskets’ beauty and practical sturdiness. Although you can certainly display them, these baskets are intended to be used and will last forever.

Have you run across a great garage or thrift store bargain lately?

© 2013 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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5 thoughts on “I didn’t miss this garage sale!”

  1. Sarah ~ Magnolia Surprise

    Interesting way to do a garage sale! Love that basket — how fortunate to find one at such a great price, and that is signed so that you know a bit about its maker. I am fascinated by the Amish and enjoy watching documentaries and reading books about them. I’ve seen the PBS documentary that you linked to, but I’m going to watch it again! Thanks for posting it, and enjoy your basket and new supplies!

  2. What great bargains. I Love the baskets!! Although we do have the typical garage sales, I wish we had something like that around here.

  3. Paige @ Little Nostalgia

    What a cool idea for a sale! You’re right that it’s not really in the buyer’s best interest, but if you have stuff just hanging around that you’re not using, store credit is better than nothing! 🙂

    I love garage sales, thrift shops, etc. My latest purchase was a stash of old Country Living magazines. It was heaven.

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