Hello, $3.99 Glass Light Shade. Wanna Come Home With Me?

by Katy on January 2, 2013 · 15 comments

I love to tinker with my 1914 house. Rearranging furniture, the occasional DIY project and of course, finding decor items at my local Goodwill thrift shops.

I have switched out the light above my kitchen sink a few times since buying the house in 1996, and recently had even tried to paint thin strips around the latest thrifted globe to mimic the look of Schoolhouse Electric lighting.

It looked awful. Luckily it was just paint and I had plans to scrape it off at some point.

But then I came across a new glass shade at, you guessed it, Goodwill (I really am predictable) that was everything my heart has ever yearned for. (Okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating teeny bit, but c’mon it was only $3.99!)

Yes, it was dusty and even included a few air dried incects, and I would rather spend ten minutes cleaning something up rather than hours at work earning the $55 required to buy a similar shade at Rejuvenation.

Plus mine is gen-oo-ine vintage.

Very hip.

 And since I still had my $20 Goodwill gift card from Christmas, no money left my wallet anyway!

I really like how the light looks coming through the unpainted stripes, almost metallic. I’m not sure of the age of my new shade, but it gives me a mid-century feel from the era when the future was all about rocket ships and flying cars. (And if it’s from the decidedly shag-carpet-y 1970’s, then I can live with that as well.)

And the old shade? I’ll take it to Hippo Hardware for credit, and hopefully can make a trade for the soap dish tile to replace the one that fell from the shower wall.

Update: Hippo Hardware give me $10 credit for the old glass shade, which paid for half of the new-to-me soap dish tile. Yay!

After I scrape off that dreadful red stripe, of course.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kierkalee January 2, 2013 at 8:11 am

I’d like to try out the compact for myself and younger daughter. There’s no way my husband would go along with it and my two oldest are in college living with us only on break so there’s no way to really control their spending. My question is what to do with all the gift cards I got for Christmas? I think it’s okay to spend the ones from restaurants and movie theater. I asked my family for experience gifts and most listened. My mom honored my request for no clutter, but instead got me $60 gift card to bath and body works, $100 to the gap and $40 to Barnes and noble. All those places require me spend and bring home stuff. What would you do with them?


Katy January 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

Go ahead and spend the gift cards. Trying to be absolutely literal about The Compact is a setup for failure. However, you might want to hold onto the cards until there’s something you actually need from these stores.



cathy January 2, 2013 at 9:26 am

After Christmas, bath and body works usually has some pretty good sales on their Twisted Peppermint pump soap. Last year I bought 30 for about $1.60 each. It was something practical that I knew we’d need in the future, so I stocked up while the price was good. (I just checked and right now it’s only down to 50% off making it about $2.75 each…not such a good price, so I’d wait) And we’ve had minty-fresh smelling hands all year!


Sara January 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm

If you don’t want the gift cards for yourself, maybe you could give them as gifts or donate them, like to a raffle for a fundraiser for a good cause. You might be able to use the Barns and Noble one for school books for your boys!


Jen January 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I’d save the gift cards so if in a few months you are having a moment of weakness you can go buy some body lotion or a book and get it out of your system!


Renee CA January 2, 2013 at 8:36 am

$3.99 for a perfectly usable shade and $4.99 for a jar of assorted doll body parts. It would be interesting to delve into the thought process of Goodwill price-setting employees. I do love reading about you Goodwill experiences though!


Katy January 2, 2013 at 8:44 am

It’s that random pricing that makes it all so fun! With the overpricing comes the underpricing!



marie January 2, 2013 at 9:06 am

I had those shades in my previous home. It was built in 1947. I loved them. Having a newly built house has it’s advantages, but no charm!


Katy January 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

My house is charming, yet uninsulated and freezing cold.

Wish I had both.



Practical Parsimony January 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Uninsulated and charming is my 1902 house. Next time, I think I will go for insulation. I freeze most of the time from Dec to March. I think charm is cheaper than insulation. I would like to build a house with 1′ thick walls. There is one in this town.

The shade is very pretty and charming.


One Day At A Time January 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm

What a groovy shade!


Janice January 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm

If you have a Habitat Re-Store near you, I highly recommend it. They have tons of old fixtures and even some bulbs.Check them out for any of your building/remodeling.


Joanna January 3, 2013 at 4:50 am

I’m curious – how do you scan the selection at Goodwill? I went to my local one recently, and found the jumble on the shelves exciting at first, then quickly exhausting. Do you scan side to side or up and down? Do you move things around? Or are you so familiar with the selection that you can spot new products straight away?


Katy January 3, 2013 at 8:16 am

I don’t have such a specific method, although I do hit the furniture section first, then hit up lamps, marbles, dolls and then household items. And the Goodwills have enough turnover that I rarely see the same item twice.




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