{swap it like it's hot} Thrift Store Finds Turned Gift Giving Pretties

I have something super fun for you guys today in place of my normal Five Minute Friday post. The uber talented and stylish Charlotte, from Ciburbanity {aka City Suburb Sanity}, invited me to participate in the fall round of Swap It Like It's Hot, and after having followed this awesome series on other blogs in the past, I jumped at the change to be a part of the fun! 

Here's how it works... bloggers sign up on a list, and then each goes shopping at local thrift stores to purchase one or several items {with a max budget of $10-15} to mail to the person below them on the list {that's the SWAP part}. Each blogger is then challenged to come up with creative ways to repurpose whatever treasures she receives in the mail {that's the HOT part}. 

If you have just hopped over from Polished Habitat, WELCOME! Isn't that basket that Melissa made over so gorgeous?! Melissa is the one who went shopping for me, and I knew she'd have some good finds! As soon as the box was delivered to my doorstep, I ripped it open to see what I had to work with. Here's what she sent me:

Legal Size Clipboard
42"x18" Scrap of Blue Coral Fabric
Very old, thick wood framed with an image of a woman peeling apples

I stared at these items for a while, looked at them sideways, and scratched my head. I could immediately think of numerous ways to repurpose each of these items, but I wasn't sure what I would do with my creations. It was important to me to create items that I could really use, rather than making something just to make it. 

I thought about wrapping the fabric around a piece of cork, placing it in the frame, and adding some hooks for jewelry storage. But my jewelry already hangs from hooks on the wall of my closet...so I didn't really need another jewelry organizer. 

More head scratching...some finger tapping...and then BINGO! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with each item.

Once I had my plan in place, I realized that two of the items - the clipboard and the fabric - were going to coordinate really well, but the frame - well, not so much... so I decided to tackle the clipboard and fabric "makeovers" for today, and then I'll bring you the frame upcycle in a separate post. UPDATE: Click here to see what I did with that frame!

So, without further ado, here's how I turned a thrift store clipboard and a scrap of fabric into gift giving pretties...

Gift Tracking Clipboard & DIY Twine

Let's start with the clipboard. Throughout the year, I am always picking up cute little items that would make good gifts for friends for birthdays, housewarmings, and the like. I also frequently purchase items for my boys to put away for birthdays and Christmas. I have a closet where I keep all these future gifts, but keeping track of them is a challenge. 

For a while now, I've planned to make myself a chart for tracking what I have purchased, and the clipboard was the perfect excuse to finally make it a reality. Of course, I didn't want to clip my chart to just the plain old clipboard...I had to make it pretty!

I started by painting the clip gold (I primed it first, and then used gold acrylic paint).

While the paint was drying, I flipped through all my scrapbook paper and picked out a super cute piece with bright colored hexagons all over it. I clipped the 12x12 paper to the clipboard, then flipped it over and traced along the edges of the clipboard so that I could easily trim the paper to perfectly fit. 

After cutting the paper to fit, I used my spray adhesive to spray the back of the paper and adhered it to the clipboard.

To cover the top portion of the clipboard up and around the gold clip, I used my favorite striped washi tape. I put two rows of tape across the top of the clip board, using my finger nail to cut the washi tape to fit perfectly around the clip {although an exacto knife would probably be the smarter and easier choice}.

Since this clipboard is as long as a piece of legal paper, I came up with a creative way to use that extra length. Not only do I have a hard time keeping track of the presents I buy in advance, I'm also not the best about keeping track of receipts and gift receipts. To solve this problem, I created a nifty little pocket across the bottom of the clipboard using two gold striped cards that I pulled out of my stash of greeting cards and note cards.

I turned the cards upside down and used the spray adhesive to affix them to the bottom portion of the clipboard side by side.

Then I used more washi tape to hold the cards together.

Now that I had created a flap along the bottom of the clipboard, I needed to add sides in order to turn it into a pocket that could hold receipts without them falling out. I cut the flap off of the note card envelopes, then cut the front off of each envelope.

I then accordion folded the two envelope fronts. 

I used double sided tape to affix the accordion folded paper in place to create the sides of the pocket.

And here's what the note cards turned clipboard pocket looks like:

Super quick and easy, and the transformation of the thrift store clipboard was complete!

Beautiful Clipboard Upcycle!

I created a cute little chart for keeping track of purchased presents, filled it out, and clipped it in place.

Beautiful and Useful Clipboard Upcycle

Next up for repurposing was that scrap of fabric, which I used to make reusable gift wrap twine. I could have made the twine with only the fabric, but in order to create more, and to give it a unique look - I actually combined the fabric with strips of plastic bags. Yep, like the ones you get from Target and the grocery store. What?! I know, right! 

I'll be sharing the tutorial for this DIY gift wrap twine very soon!

Gift Tracking Clipboard & DIY Twine

And that's how you turn a thrifted clipboard and a scrap of fabric into some useful gift giving pretties!

Thrift Store Finds Become Gift Giving Pretties

Now I'm headed over to see what Katie, from Addicted 2 DIY did with the crazy thrift store finds that I sent her way. Here's a sneak peek at what she had to work with:

Today is actually the last day of Swap it Like It's Hot, which means there is an entire week of mind blowing thrifted makeovers for you to check out! Use the links below to see the crazy items these talented bloggers started with, and what they've created! Also search the hashtag #SwapItLikeItsHot on social media to follow along with all the fun or check out our Pinterest Board.


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  1. Wow! You are so creative!!! I love the fabric-turned-twine and you actually MADE a DIY accordion folder - amazing!

  2. So awesome! I just love this. :)

  3. That DIY receipt pocket is seriously brilliant!

  4. You are so creative Angela. Love this series.

  5. I LOVE the pockets! Such a good idea. And the gift wrap twine is so cool! Can't wait to see that one!

  6. That is seriously stepping it up a notch!!!! Awesome job.

  7. That fabric twine is so awesome (can't wait to see the tutorial for that!) as is your clipboard - what a smart way to organize gift-giving!

  8. That accordion folder is an organizational goldmine! Love the scrapbook paper you picked!

  9. Super cute! Love that clipboard. I could use one myself for some organization around these parts.

    And your fabric "ribbon", how creative! I have tons of fabric. I should do that myself :-) I'm going to look for your tutorial.

    1. I haven't posted the twin tutorial just yet. I decided to hold off until slightly closer to the Christmas season… So look for it soon after Halloween

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  11. Love what you did with the clipboard! And the fabric ribbon--I would have never thought of that--such a good idea! I love this whole thrift swap challenge!!