My name is Denise Corcoran. I’m a digital nerd by day, crafter with ‘crap’ for fun, accidental author, passionate cheerleader, believer in being sparkly & sharing your awesomeness.

What I Do

  • For fun – I run Thrifty By Design (TDB) where I facilitate Crafternoons (upcycling workshops) throughout Vancouver. Through TBD, I was asked to author a crafty book called Raw Crafts. The book includes 40 easy peasy DIYs with many of the projects encorporating thrift store finds.
  • And just cause – I’ve recently launched Crafting with Crap where I hope to share easy DIYs, tips & tricks plus helpful resources.

My Style in 2 Words

“ Eclectic ”

My style is a mix of items I’ve found at the dump, thrift stores and garage sales. Pieces that were donated and a few things I’ve purchased new.

“ Creative ”

I love refashioning secondhand finds, mixing up frames / mirrors and using unusual pieces to make my place very me.

I ❤ Thrifting Because…

It’s Personal Style Friendly

I love combining new treasures with secondhand finds plus any items gifted to me from family & friends. Thrifting gives you the opportunity to express your own vibe on a budget.

It’s Earth Friendly

Buying secondhand = less stuff. Hopefully! I figure if you buy something from a thrift store it continues its life cycle and means you buy fewer new items aka less stuff in the world.

It’s Budget Friendly

Why pay full price when you find a designer item for a very reasonable price! Sometimes you can luck out by scoring a lightly used high end piece of clothing for a very low end cost.

Thrifting Tips & Advice

TIP #1

Pop in to get those awesome scores – they don’t last long so ya gotta scoop them up fast. There are items that you can always find (Mason jars, mugs, etc) but kewl furniture finds never last long. Or a fabulous designer dress or shoes.

TIP #2

Look for items with potential… A wool sweater may be perfect for repurposing. Or flamboyant costume jewelry may be a FAB score for refashioning into something else. Ya never know but look beyond the thrift store treasures original purpose. You’d be surprised at the amazing things you can make happen with a secondhand treasure.

My Thrifting Strategy


I usually start in one spot then do my loop. I start at the dresses, then check the shoes, next is all the other clothes and finally it’s furniture then home decor.


Visit the rack outside of the dressing rooms – maybe someone else found something super FAB but decided not to take it. Their loss is your gain.


I figure if you donate good stuff then you’ll find good stuff. It’s the circle of thrifting.

Great & Unexpected Thrift Store Items to Look for

Definitely go thrifting with a mission but also keep your eyes open for possibility.

Some of my FAV scores are the items I’ve seen potential for. Sometimes ya gotta think outside of the box or don’t get stuck looking at something and using it for it’s original purpose.
T-shirts with funky designs on the front make kewl pillow covers.
Teapots can be repurposed into planters.
Costume jewelry can be refashioned into drawer pulls.
Candle holders can be upcycled into photo holders.
All the above are known as repurposing, reusing, refashioning or upcycling.


Upcycling is all about the creative reuse of discarded items. Turning trash into treasure is an awesome way to divert waste from the landfill while creating something of greater value.

My Favourite Thrifted Finds

My most favourite find is this teak coffee table. I paid $15 for it then carried it up Lonsdale Avenue from 3rd Street to 13th Street. After an hour of sanding and oiling, it was stunning!
Some of my favourite chairs are refinished secondhand chairs. And this upholstery fabric! I scored the chairs and fabric from the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Lonsdale Avenue.
My living room walls are filled with awesome secondhand finds from the Salvation Army Thrift Store – frames, mirrors, plates and other nifty finds.
I’ve even found the most gorgeous jewelry. Both of these are thrift store scores. One was a brooch that I refashioned into a pendant.

My favourite Salvation Army Thrift Stores are…

1451 Fell Avenue
North Vancouver, BC

The Salvation Army Thrift Store on Fell Avenue is awesome for furniture & home decor finds.

241 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver, BC

The Salvation Army Thrift Store on Lonsdale Avenue is my go to place for clothing and accessories. I’ve scored a few MATT & NAT bags here!

Thanks to the Salvation Army Thrift Store!

Get in Touch

Say hello . . . 604.354.5811
Drop me a line . . .
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© 2023