Go on a thrift store safari for a quirky, budget-friendly workspace makeover

If your office or cubicle has all the personality of an off-brand stapler or a free paperweight, don’t fret. Any workspace can go from boring to fun and chat-worthy with just a little money and a lot of imagination.

There are many destinations in the metropolitan area for budget-conscious buyers to peruse secondhand goods. But where to start?

It’s a jungle out there, and shopping destinations are certainly plentiful. Thrift stores are a great place for those looking to build up their wardrobe or find some simple accoutrements to turn their house into a home.

But can one achieve office chic while shopping pre-owned?

Yes, you can.

With an air-tight budget of just $25 and a couple hours, these four area thrift stores happily helped fulfill a mission to fill a hypothetical work space with as many animal-themed wares and decorations as they could.

Hippo cardholder and Taco Bell dog at Bargain Thrift (Garett Fisbeck)

Hippo cardholder and Taco Bell dog at Bargain Thrift (Garett Fisbeck)

Bargain Thrift Store

4545 NW 16th St.

Hippo cardholder ($1.99)
Taco Bell Chihuahua doll ($1.49)

The first stop on the local thrift tour led to a pair of dirt-cheap finds.

Many visit Bargain Thrift Store for its racks of secondhand clothing, but shoppers should not overlook the shelves of knickknacks, books and toys that line its outer walls.

This hippo cardholder at under $2 might be the best utilitarian find of the bunch. Office visitors and coworkers will always seize the opportunity to grab a business card from between its mighty jaws.

And for a price equivalent to the cost of a Doritos Locos Taco, the Taco Bell Chihuahua figurine provides stressed workers with intermittent bursts of comforting nostalgia.

Monkey fram at Heart and Hand Thrift Store (Garett Fisbeck)

Monkey fram at Heart and Hand Thrift Store (Garett Fisbeck)

Heart & Hand Thrift Center

7901 NW 23rd St.

Poseable monkey frame (78 cents)
“Bow Wow Wow” twerking dog doll ($1.58)

All money raised by Heart & Hand Thrift Center, an extension of Olivet Baptist Church ministries, directly supports homeless women and children in the community.

That charity, combined with nearly unbeatable prices, turns many patrons into repeat customers.

The furry, brown monkey frame with arms stretchable in a variety of directions is the perfect display vessel for a picture of a precious child or a childish friend.

But no personal office space is complete without a conversation starter.

Bow Wow Wow twerking dog at Heart and Hand Thrift Store (Garett Fisbeck)

Bow Wow Wow twerking dog at Heart and Hand Thrift Store (Garett Fisbeck)

The electronic twerking dog doll, including its “Bow Wow Wow” shirt, could serve as a centerpiece.

For less than $2, watch time and time again as coworkers press down on the doll’s foot and see the canine jiggle its pronounced derriere.

Vintage piggy bank at New E Nuff (Garett Fisbeck)

Vintage piggy bank at New E Nuff (Garett Fisbeck)

New E Nuff

3901 N. College Ave., Bethany

Vintage piggy bank ($10)

Bethany’s New E Nuff was a step up in quality wares, but that also included a small step up in price.

Nevertheless, a sign on the door advertising sales from 10 to 50 percent off gives all who enter hope for a score. Several attractive items in the store would have fit well with the animal theme, but a restricted budget made the shopping experience highly selective.

At last, a cute vintage piggy bank proved itself worthy of our office decor. Not only is the bank adorable, but it gives workers someplace to save all the change from their once-daily (or twice-daily — who’s counting?) trip to the vending machine.

Ceramic frog at Decades Revisited (Garett Fisbeck)

Ceramic frog at Decades Revisited (Garett Fisbeck)

Decades Revisited: A Vintage Mall

3639 NW 39th St.

Ceramic frog ($6)

Looking to kill some time on a day off? Get lost in the cavernous trove of treasures that is Decades Revisited. Odds and ends from past eras are packed into the large space, which includes extra inventory in the back room.

There’s no way someone could see everything in one trip.

Thankfully, a single voyage was all that was necessary to locate a ceramic frog for the desk. The forest-green frog is a jack-of-all-trades for the workspace. Paperclips, thumbtacks, breath mints and paper footballs could all be stored inside its enormous mouth.

Our amphibious friend helps pass along a princely impression at a tadpole price.

print headline: Bargain hunt, Go on a thrift store safari for a budget-friendly workspace makeover.

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