Upscale party look at thrift shop prices

July 23, 2010 8:39:05 PM PDT
Imagine creating the decor for a swinging luau, a fire-cracking Fourth of July or a delightful garden party, entirely from items found on the shelves of your local thrift shop.

Jo Greenawalt and her co-workers created beautiful tablescapes including a little girls' dress-up party and an outdoor "Under-the-Sea" party -- using items from the Impact Thrift Store in Montgomeryville, where they work.

For about what you might spend on throw-away decorations at a party goods store, you can give just about any party a unique look. All it takes is some creativity.

"One thing we realized is that you can't go out with a set idea of what you want," Greenawalt says. "You can't go out and say, 'I'm going to create a luau.' You have to walk the store and find something on the floor, whether it be a picture or a vase or a plate, or a placemat and say, 'Ooh! this has a great idea behind it.' "

Total expense for the under-the-sea party: $103. That included a $45 hand-blown glass pitcher.

For the dress-up party: $158. That includes tables, shelves and other items you might already have at home.

And with the dresses priced at $6.99 and $9.99 each, and the hats, shoes and dresses just $1.00 to $2.00, they can double as party favors for the little girls to bring home.

Greenawalt says, "They would be great party favors, whether it be the dress-up gowns or a hat, or some of the jewelry that you've purchased. "

And what you don't want to give away or keep can be donated back to the thrift shop for them to sell again.

"After you throw the party, if you don't want to store the items, just donate them back to where you purchased them and then there's a whole great recycling thing going on," Greenawalt says.

Impact Thrift stores donate more than $200,000 a year to 17 local charities.

Their three locations are:
14 E Moreland Avenue
Hatboro, Pa. 19040

979 Bethlehem Pike (Rt. 309)
Montgomeryville, Pa. 18936

1798 Markley Street
Studio Centre
Norristown, Pa. 19401