Browse through the racks of clothing. Not only can you happen across outdated articles of clothing that can be refashioned to modern pieces, but you may find items that can be disassembled to be used in other projects. For example, old jeans are great to use for purses, quilts, or a variety of other crafts. Sweaters can be used to make tote bags, mittens, or caps. If you find a shirt or dress and fall in love with the fabric it is made out of, take it home, rip out the seams, and you have a piece of fabric you can make something else out of. Plus, you can save buttons, zippers, and any embellishment items to use in other projects. Some of the unique buttons that might be found on more vintage garments might be well worth the few dollars the item costs.
Jewelry is something else I always look at. Beaded jewelry can be taken apart and the beads used in other projects. The jewelry findings can also be recycled. You might also get lucky and come across a piece you can use in craft projects as-is.
You might also find treasures in with the books and magazines. Many people buy a craft book, make the projects once, and then get rid of them. It is the same with craft magazines. You do not have to limit yourself to only craft books or magazines. You can purchase old hardcover books to use to make altered books and other projects. You can use pages from old magazines to make collages and several other crafts.
There are a few other things you might want to go out of your way to look for. Used tablecloths and shower curtains are handy to use for protecting your work surface and even the floor under your work surface when little fingers are working on messy projects. I have been thinking of starting a collection of curtains, sheets, and other bedding mainly because some of the fabric used is either classic or has a cool, retro look. Finally, check out the old games and puzzles. Don’t worry if pieces might be missing, you can use them to create unique craft projects and altered art pieces.