The BEST Thrift Store Books for Crafting, Upcycling, or Entertainment!

The BEST Thrift Store Books for Crafting, Upcycling, or Entertainment!

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I am a huge fan of having my at-home library be filled with thrift store books.  Not only are they cheaper, but you can also find some very interesting and usually fun books just by looking around a bit at thrift stores.  I’ll share some samples below!

I try to always buy used books if my girls are requesting one, especially if it’s from a series (like Magic Tree House) because they will want to collect the series, but won’t necessarily read them more than a couple of times.  Who wants to pay full price for that?

I also love thrift store books and used books to either get ideas about a craft or upcycle project, or I actually use the books themselves as a material needed for a project.  

Best thrift store books

Do thrift stores have books?  

The answer to this is YES!  I have a local thrift store that always has a deal where you can fill a bag with books and they only charge you $1 for all the books you can fit in the bag!  Most of my kids book library is from deals like this!

Does Goodwill carry books?  

Yes!  In fact I was in Goodwill last week on the hunt for Christmas books for some Christmas ornaments that I’m going to show you the tutorials for.  Goodwill has all genres of used books – and prices start at $0.99.  They are not as cheap as maybe a local thrift store, but they for sure have a larger selection.

What is the cheapest place to buy books?

I would start with your local thrift store first, then check places like Goodwill or Salvation Army for the cheapest thrift store books.  Or you can shop online for used books.  

What is the best used book website?

My personal favorite is just to buy used on Amazon. They have the widest selection and you can choose different sellers based on their rating score. The only downside to this is that often times shipping costs the same or more than the book itself. – is another great option because they have a huge variety to choose from. You also may save some money on shipping if you are purchasing more than one book. If you spend $10 you get free shipping!

Now, I’m going to show you a list of used thrift store books worth getting to:

  • Inspire you to make a project
  • Use the books themselves for a project
  • To show you some quirky and entertaining books I’ve collected over the years that you might enjoy.

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Building with Second hand stuff

Building with Second Hand Stuff – If you love to find something ugly at a thrift store and flip it into something awesome, then this book may give you the ideas you are looking for! This book is filled with ideas for bigger projects like installing vintage wood floors, or building furniture like a table.

Upcycling Outdoors

Upcycling Outdoors – this book will show you all kinds of projects that you can create for an outdoor space, such as fire pits, plant displays and potting sheds from materials that would normally end up in a landfill!

I’m actually in the middle of a project where I’m going to turn an old ceiling fan into an outdoor garden decoration of a huge dragon fly!

Flea Market Flip

Flea market flip – do you love the show Flea Market Flip? Here is a book filled with projects and ideas that Lara Spencer has to show you how to decorate your house using cheap items from the flea market!

Fabulous Ideas For Flea Market Finds

Fabulous Ideas for Flea Market Finds – this is another inspirational book of how to use thrift store or flea market finds and turn them into something new. There is an adorable serving tray lined with vintage Christmas cards that I’d love to make!

The Repurposed Library

The Repurposed Library – This book I love because it gives you ideas on what to use old books for if you are going to repurpose them! I’m having a blast right now making Christmas ornaments using the pages from thrift store books!

Books I’ve Used To Create Christmas Ornaments:

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Mickey’s Christmas Carol – this is a family classic and I chose to use some pages from a copy I got for 10 cents at a thrift store. Check out the Christmas Ornament I made with it!

Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book – I grabbed this gem at Goodwill last week and am now using it read the stories out of, but also to make more Christmas ornaments!

I have three Christmas ornaments that I have made using this book!

Wood Slab Christmas Music Decoupage Ornament

Christmas Carol Lyrics to Fill A Clear Bulb Ornament

Origami Wreath Christmas Ornament using Pages From Thrift Store Books

Other fun or entertaining books I recommend getting used or at a thrift store:

How To Talk To Your Cat About Gun Safety

How To Teach Your Cat About Fun Safety

I purchased this as a gag gift for my husband last year for Christmas. But I’m the only one that read it. 🙂 If you have crazy cat lady friends who want a good laugh, then I recommend it. Getting a used copy is just fine for this kind of white elephant gift.

The World's Worst:  A Guide To The Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places and Things on Earth

The World’s Worst: A Guide to the Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places, and Things on Earth – this book is filled with crazy true stories that are fun to share around a campfire!

When I was still teaching, I would read some of these stories if I had like 5 minutes left in class before the bell rang. The one about a chicken who lives for 2 weeks after his head got cut off is one of my favorites!

101 Secrets a Cool Mom Knows

A friend of mine found 101 Secrets A Cool Mom Knows at a yard sale, and decided I needed it. It’s filled with fun stuff and gave me the idea to make this 5 Ingredient Easy Shortbread Cookie Recipe.

The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

A collection of instructions for creating concoctions like Gooey Gunk, Funny Putty, Sidewalk Chalk, Creepie Crawlers, Treasure Stones, Lip Gloss, Grass Head Guys, Shake & Make Ice Cream, Squeeze Rockets and many more.

All of the projects are created in minutes using kitchen cupboard items. Kid Concoctions projects promote science, art, math, recycling and basic life skills.  We used this book many times last spring during the quarantine!

Joey Green's Magic Brands

Joey Green’s Magic Brands – 1,185 Brand-new Uses For Brand Name Products – this book I picked up for 25 cents at a yard sale and it’s filled with fun facts on how to use brand name products in different ways than they are inteded for! One of them I have already written a post for – How to Remove Pen Ink From Clothes – Using One Unusual Product!

The Book Of Questions

Book of questions – I remember picking this one up as entertainment for a long road trip. This one is fun for a group of friends, a date night with your spouse, or even as an icebreaker activity for a book club or moms group. It helps reveal a lot about people’s personalities! One of my favorite questions is: If you were given 1 million dollars to donate anonymously to charity or to a stranger. Who would you give it to?

If you want to be sure all of the questions are family friendly though, I recommend getting The Kids’ Book of Questions

I’d love to hear what thrift store books that are on your bookshelves that you just love (for whatever reason!) Be sure to give us the titles in the comments below!

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