DIY: Denim DIY Vest w/ @thefabjunkie

What’s a better way to upcycle an old denim jacket you ask? Oh, I will tell you! Turn that bad boy into a denim vest you can rock all year round!  I feel like everyone owns a denim jacket and if I’m wrong… lucky for YOU Goodwill has you covered. I picked up this 90’s Anne Klein jacket a couple of years ago from Goodwill. As you can see, I’ve already shredded it and put my touch on it. It has been sitting in the back of my closet (because this year I thrifted another denim jacket. I know, I have a denim problem) so I decided I would revamp it a bit. What I like about this jacket is that it has a boxy shape. Check out this easy peasy Denim DIY!


Step 1: Find a denim jacket that is a bit oversized on you.


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Step 2: You’re going to use the seam line as your guide to cut. AND don’t forget your scissors.


DenimVestDIY3 (2)


GoodwillDenimDIYVestCollage (2)

Step 3: START CUTTING! I started RIGHT where the seam meets which can be a little hard to cut through. You can start anywhere on the sleeve using the seam to guide you.


Step 4: Once you get your initial cut through, you’re going to want to separate the fabric and continue to cut. When you hold the fabric together you tend to get an uneven cut. It’s fixable BUT why waste time?


Step 5: You can flip the jacket over on its front side to do the back part of the sleeve. Once again, I do this because I want the cleanest cut possible in one shot.


Step 6: Repeat on the opposite side!



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Don’t forget to tag Goodwill in your finds + DIY’s

xo Suma


Boowill 2017: Easy DIY Amulet for Halloween


By Goodwill NYNJ





“…By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes!” It’s almost October which means that ghouls and goblins are stirring about, plotting their approach. How will you protect yourself? If you’re ready to jump into the Halloween spirit, an amulet can summon sanctuary to protect you against ill will. Whether the costume you’re planning needs a little extra protection or you just love that witchy look, we’re here today to inspire a little creativity in the form of an alluring charm.




Because an amulet is simply an ornament that will protect its wearer, its style can really look however you’d like. Wear it on a bracelet, a brooch, or even tuck it into your pocket. For a truly bewitching vibe, I chose to make mine a long, draping necklace. I sought rose quartz in my thrift store search because many people believe it has beneficial powers which create a sense of calm and promote love. I also knew I wanted my amulet to incorporate circles because they are a symbol of unity and protection.


But why bother with thrift stores? Why not just buy all of the elements at the craft store if you have to go there anyway? Well, I love anything with a little history. Pieces that have been well-loved before I take them home always pique my curiosity and add a little meaning for me. I also feel great about supporting Goodwill because their programs that move people to employment can reduce reliance on over-stretched public assistance programs. That helps my local community and our nation as a whole. In that way, it feels like my amulet would not just be protecting me, but the futures of those Goodwill helps, too!


So, here’s how I made it: first, I scouted my local Goodwill for some foundation pieces (a long chain and a shorter necklace with a rose quartz stone) then grabbed some copper wire and a circle charm from the craft store to round the piece out. Depending on what you find under your thrift store’s display case, you could add more layers or embellishment and maybe skip the craft store altogether! My instructions will be a bit vague because the materials you find will vary from mine and your taste may, too, but hopefully it will give you a little guidance.






  • Long necklace chain
  • Thrifted jewelry with a large stone
  • Wire (I used copper-colored 22-gauge) that’s thin enough to thread through your stone, chain, and charms
  • Any additional charms (optional)
  • Wire cutters
  • Jewelry pliers




Step 1: Find the center link of the chain (the one that falls the lowest in front when the clasp rests centrally at the back of your neck) and lay it out. Use the pliers to open up the jump ring (the little connecting circle) on your first charm then hook that through the center link and use the pliers to close it again.




Step 2: Remove the stone from its original necklace chain (if you have to switch chains) and cut a length of wire to fit through it.




Step 3: Bend the wire up the sides of the stone until they meet in the top center of the stone. Twist the two sides together at least once. The more you twist, the further the stone will rest from the chain link.




Step 4: Position the stone wherever you think it looks good behind the charm and twist the wire again, but this time around the jump ring. Trim the excess wire and use the pliers to squeeze the ends in toward the center of the circle and away from the wearer. If these ends are resting on the side of the necklace that will hit your body, you risk getting scratched or pulling the fabric of your clothing, so again, make sure they’re tucked inside the ring.




Step 5: Cut another length of wire that is quite a bit bigger than the stone. Put the wire through the jump ring with the stone and charm. Bend it into a circle (it may already be circular if it’s stored that way in the package), and overlap both ends. Tighten the size of the circle until the wire is doubled all the way around. Twist both pieces gently together to create a loosely interwoven circle. Wrap and bend the ends a little tighter than the rest of the circle so they’ll stay in place. Squeeze the top of the hoop gently into a slight tear-drop shape with the top being where the ends meet so that part stays within the jump ring during wear.




And that’s it! Enjoy your new amulet necklace and the feeling of protection it, hopefully, brings your way. Before you start you could do a little research on different crystal types and charm shapes then scout your stores with your favorites in mind. Wishing you all the best as you head out into the night on All Hallows’ Eve!



When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

Boowill 2017: Tips for Building a Halloween Potion Station


By Goodwill NYNJ



I love this time of year! It’s so fun to create a haunting mood in my home with eerie decor, spooky tunes, and so. many. candles. Goodwill has the best stuff for decorating during this season because there’s so much variety that, with a few little updates, can feel completely magical. The potion station I’m building today could serve as the perfect spot to put out candy for trick-or-treaters or to set a mood in the entry way of your home during a Halloween party. You could also look for larger jars and bowls that you use to serve real food. Here are some tips for making an authentic looking apothecary!


First, check Goodwill for some materials. I like to look through the glassware, kitchen, and book sections because I find items there that look like actual props from the set of Hocus Pocus (and that’s basically my gauge for good Halloween decor). Jars and bottles, especially if they have cork stoppers, are really great finds. They’re ideal for Halloween haunting, but can transition well during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.  Even if they don’t have a cork in the store, you can save one from a bottle of wine and use that to complete the look.




Silver, copper, and pewter dishware are perfect for this theme, too. When they’re thrifted, you don’t have to choose between real metal or a manageable price tag—you can have both! Plus, when you find what you need at Goodwill you’re helping their organizations provide support services — including child care, financial education, transportation, youth mentoring and other services — that enable people from all backgrounds to obtain and maintain economic independence and an increased quality of life.




Do you feel like you’ve seen that candlestick holder before? You probably have. I bought it from a Goodwill store in Maine about five years ago and we still use it for everything from Halloween decor to Christmas mood lighting and when the power goes out in snowstorms! The mug and tiny tray are nice additions, too, because they balance out the metallic look of the candlestick holder and corral the smaller jars. Don’t forget to look for old books (or age some not-so-old thrifted books) when you’re there. Stacking tomes brings height to your display and with carefully chosen titles they can mimic spell books. I also added a little burlap under my tray to match the jar labels, cork, and book pages. This could be any cloth that looks like it might have a little history, though.




To take my display to the next level, I decided to add a couple of labels. I wanted a bit of a mismatched look so I didn’t label everything, but you certainly could if you were using these containers to serve food and drinks at a party. The labels were so easy, too! Here’s what I needed:




  • Cardstock paper
  • 2 tea bags (Not herbal tea. I used Earl Grey.)
  • Cooling rack
  • Drip pan
  • Glue (Elmer’s or ModPodge would be perfect.)
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Fountain or rolling ball pen




Step 1: Cut the cardstock to the size you’ll need for labels. Don’t worry about the cuts being perfectly level. You want them to look worn so you can even snip some little Vs out of the edges.


Step 2: Boil ½ a cup of water then let the two tea bags steep in it for at least five minutes.




Step 3: Place the cooling rack over the drip pan and put the labels on top. Brush on a generous amount of tea on the whole piece of paper. Let it pool a little in places to create a darker splotch that brings a lot of character.




Step 4: Put that set-up (drip tray, rack, and paper) into the oven and turn it on its lowest setting. Leave it in for only a few minutes, keeping a close eye on its drying progress. Take it out the moment it appears dry. Do not let it burn.


Step 5: Remove the paper from the oven and draw on your label.


Step 6: Brush a thin coat of glue on the back of the label then stick it to the jar. You’re done!




Now that you’ve got some props to work with, it’s time to add potion ingredients! I channeled my inner herbalist when I put together my display because witches would also need to do a lot of foraging before they could begin their work. Don’t worry about filling every container to the brim. If it’s a frequently used apothecary some ingredients will be running low.





The two places I looked for ingredients were in my kitchen and my yard. Inside I found spices, iced tea, and a candle (the white corked jar) that passed as ingredients ready to be added to a concoction. Outside, I picked goldenrod (the yellow flowers and “witch hazel boughs”) then separated it into the two different jars. Don’t forget about dried flowers–the lavender and “night shade petals” were dried from the garden earlier in the summer and they’re perfect. Don’t you always imagine a lot of dried flowers hanging from the ceiling of a witch’s lair?




If I needed anything else to round out my display I’d love to try grape juice or wine in a decanter, ginger root in a dish, or a jar of toadstools. Don’t forget to illuminate the area with candlelight for a magical glow! Have so much fun putting together your apothecary and mix up a little Felix Felicis for me, would ya?

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

DIY Halloween Costume: Office Cat

vintage fashion blogger.jpg
Leigh Ray, Pink Vintage Heart

A Good Look Contributor


I don’t know about you, but I live for wearing my Halloween costume on the actual holiday. Did you know that Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year? I think there’s nothing more fun than wearing a Halloween costume to work. Here’s a cute and super easy cat costume that can be worn to the office or any party where you might not have too much time to put together an over the top Halloween costume. Here’s how I achieved it:


Cat Ears

I attempted to make cat ears, but they didn’t quite turn out so great. Sigh. But my plan B was to wear two little mini hair buns where my cat ears would have been. I simply twisted two sections of my hair and twisted them to make these buns. I think it would be so cute to add a little glitter or hair paint to these as well.


Eye Make Up

I rarely leave the house without cat eye eyeliner. I will admit that it took me a while to learn how to apply. The good thing is that you can draw a cat eye in several different styles. Pick the one that’s easiest for you. You can also skip the eye liner and achieve the cat eye look with eye shadow.


Nose & Whiskers

These really make the costume. I used a black eye liner pencil to draw in the dot on my nose and the fun whiskers. It took just a few minutes and I felt totally transformed into a kitty cat!


Leigh Ray is an NYC-based fashion blogger obsessed with all things vintage and thrifting at She’s a true shopaholic that loves the thrill of discovering the perfect thrifted and vintage finds while sharing them with the world.

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

How to Transition Your Summer Wardrobe

vintage fashion blogger.jpg
Leigh Ray, Pink Vintage Heart

A Good Look Contributor 


Can you believe that summer is coming to an end? I’m a summer lover, but the idea of fall has me a bit excited. I adore everything about fall; the leaves changing, pumpkin spice, the crisp, cooler weather and most of all, fall fashion! But I’m a firm believer that there’s no need to rush into fall fashion. I’m all for wearing summer pieces for as long as possible and slowly introducing fall pieces into the mix. Here’s how I transition my summer style into fall:

Layer Up


Layer sweaters, jackets, vests or over-sized shirts over summer dresses. It’s such a fun look to have your summer floral dress peeking underneath your fall leather jacket or over-sized, boyfriend jean jacket like I did with my newly thrifted red floral dress.


The Right Colors


I just brought out my fall pieces to start working them into my transitioning wardrobe. I love the idea of pastels and light colors worn with dark colors. But, I personally love my summer clothes in darker prints and colors mixed in with my fall colors. It just feels more fall especially since I have some pretty bright and obvious summer dresses. I just can’t wait to wear all my summer dresses in darker hues this fall!



Leigh Ray is an NYC-based fashion blogger obsessed with all things vintage and thrifting at She’s a true shopaholic that loves the thrill of discovering the perfect thrifted and vintage finds while sharing them with the world.

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

DIY Off The Shoulder Button Down w/ @thefabjunkie



Suma KaulThe Fab Junkie

A Good Look Contributor




Off The Shoulder (or better known as OTS) has been taking over the fashion world for a few seasons now. We saw it last summer and now it’s back… to stay! With celebs like RiRi rocking the look, you know we all have to try it. My favorite is the OTS Button Down. It takes the classic button down (which never goes out of style) and makes it sexy.

  Continue reading “DIY Off The Shoulder Button Down w/ @thefabjunkie”

Don’t Throw Out the Old; Rehab It!

4 Fantastic Ways to Rehab an Old Dresser

Old dressers seem to be a staple of the thrifting world, probably because of how many shapes and sizes there are available. If you’re all set with your clothes storage, though, don’t discount that dresser you’ve found at Goodwill, as there may be a way to repurpose it into something totally new! Check out these four fabulous ways to makeover an old dresser:


1. Turn it into a bookcase.



TV consoles and bookcases are incredibly easy ways to repurpose old dressers, especially if you’re trying to save money, as those pieces can be incredibly expensive! The Domestic Heart shows us how it’s done with a dresser she thrifted for only $10


2. Turn it into a dollhouse.



I actually stumbled on this idea while researching this article, and I was blown away at how clever this is! Using a few methods borrowed from the DIY bookcase, you too can create a dollhouse for your child (or yourself, no judgement!).


3. Repaint it and replace the knobs.



If you’re not willing to part with the original function of your dresser, give it a quick and easy revamp using paint and new knobs. Or if you want to get really fancy, dress it up with spray paint and lace like Uniquely Chic Furniture did.


4. Use the drawers as shelves.



Don’t throw those old drawers out after your makeover! I’ve seen the drawers used for wall shelves, craft show displays, and even this jaw-dropping cubby organizer (which, yes, I am definitely doing soon!)
Rehabbing a piece as large as a dresser doesn’t have to be difficult — there are a ton of different ways to reuse this one piece. Give one of these four ideas a shot and if you do, leave a comment below to share your results!


When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!


megan face 2016Megan Brame is an award-winning entrepreneur, writer, and DIY nerd. Follow her on Twitter @meganpluscoffee or check out her different DIY adventures at The Beige House.

What’s Your Clothing Personality?

Have you ever been called a shopaholic?

Do you consider yourself a fashionista?

Do you refuse to get rid of a scarf because it happened to be in your purse that one time when you thought you saw someone who perhaps looked exactly like Aaron Paul?

Do you have such extreme team pride that you have a separate Jersey to rep them every day of the week?

If you are reading these questions and thinking: “Man, all of these sound like me!”

Well, if you answered yes, it sounds like it is time for you to take the “What’s Your Clothing Personality” quiz!

Each season, we fill our closets with new clothing rather than taking the time to really think about what we should keep and what we should donate. Take this quiz to assess your clothing personality and learn how best to declutter your closet this spring and make a difference in your community!

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
How Donating to Goodwill Benefits the Environment

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Spring Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide

Time for Spring Cleaning
You’ve finally decided to take the leap. You are nervous, hesitant and keep second-guessing yourself. It’s not as easy as they make it look on T.V. you think to yourself.

Never fear we are here to help.

More than 70 percent of Americans engage in the annual tradition of spring cleaning, according to a 2013 survey by the American Cleaning Institute. To get this year’s spring cleaning season off to a fresh start, we’ve compiled the Seven Days of Spring Cleaning Guide, making it easier than ever to clean out your home and make a difference in your community by donating used goods. The beauty of this guide is that you can customize it to your needs. Don’t have the time to do these seven days in a row? Spread it out across seven weekends!

Day 1: The biggest spot that tends to need cleaning is the closets. Here’s a good rule: if you haven’t worn it in the last 365 days, you probably don’t need it!

Day 2: As you’re cooking dinner, take 15 minutes to go through your kitchen cabinets and find things you don’t use. Goodwill accepts used kitchenware items and household goods.

Day 3: Go through your seasonal holiday décor and donate what you no longer use. That Halloween ghost statue you haven’t displayed since the late 90’s? It’s time to let it go. While you’re going through seasonal items, don’t forget to look through your family’s old Halloween costumes too.

Day 4: Technology changes fast and many people have tech toys, used computers and computer accessories lying around the house. Goodwill accepts working e-readers, tablets and other electronic items as donations, and our Reconnect partnership with Dell gives you a way to recycle of non-working computers.

Day 5: If you have a home office, see if you have any office supplies that you don’t need. Clear your desk of unneeded backpacks, notebooks or binders.

Day 6: Take a deep breath; the seven days are almost done! But before you congratulate your decluttering efforts, take a minute to investigate the rest and relaxation or entertainment area in your home. How many DVDs do you own that you’ll probably never watch again? There are many CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and video games probably just sitting there collecting dust.

Day 7: Finally, take one last look at your bookshelf. If your paperbacks have gone the way of the printing press time to say bye bye.

See…that wasn’t so bad, was it? When we take the right approach, spring cleaning can actually be fun. But one of the most common dilemmas for spring cleaners is what to do with all that stuff. At Goodwill NY-NJ, we collect used or new items and put the revenues from their sales toward job training programs and community-based services that can lead to fresh starts for people who are unemployed or underemployed. But more importantly, know that by donating your used items, you’re helping your neighbors set out on a path toward employment.

Also, don’t forget to request your tax receipt when you donate to Goodwill.

So, what did we miss? Shout back in the comments and tell us what you’re donating this spring!

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
Bringing Art and Autism Together

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3 Chic & Easy Ways to Upcycle Your Clothes

Earth Day is April 22nd and to honor this day I want to share with you three easy and fun ways you can take your old, unused or unwanted clothing and upcycle or turn it into something new!

t-shirt bag

1. Tee shirt tote bags
You probably have a ton of old tee shirts sitting in your drawers. You may be holding on to some of them for sentimental value or in hopes to one day wear again, but if its been a few years already it may be time to find other uses for your favorite tees. A tote bag is an easy and fun way to turn your old concert tee into a shopping, gym, grocery or beach bag! Here are easy to follow step by step instructions and if you want a no sewing required option then you can watch this easy video tutorial

lamp shades

2. Recover a lampshade
Giving your home a makeover doesn’t have to be costly and sometimes all you need is a few small changes to spruce things up. You can change the look of your lampshade by recovering it with a new fabric that can be found right in your own closet! You can use a dress, top or skirt in whatever print you would like to easily give your lampshade a new look. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

shirt to cardigan

3. Turn a top that’s too small into a cardigan
If you’re like me you probably hold onto pieces of clothing hoping to one day wear it again and then before you know it, it doesn’t fit you anymore! Now you can take those old tops and turn them into long or short sleeved cardigans with no sewing required!  This idea is also great for kids since they outgrow their clothing so quickly. You can find the instructions here.

If DIY (do it yourself) projects aren’t your thing then you can always donate your clothing to your local Goodwill. You are not only making a charitable contribution, but by donating your old garments you are helping to eliminate waste. Goodwill will offload clothes or shoes that are not suitable for sale at Goodwill stores to textile recyclers. Goodwill knows that its customers expect a certain level of quality clothing. In an effort to keep usable goods out of local landfills, these vendors either ship them to Third World countries where they are given a second life or sort and resell them to textile “de-manufacturers” who turn them into other usable materials such as insulation or industrial carpeting. At the end, all donations fund Goodwill programs to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. No waste is equal to financial support for Goodwill services – all contribute to help the community.

Forty-five percent of recycled clothes are sold to other countries, 30% are turned into cleaning rags and 25% are turned into fibers for stuffing insulation, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Association. So think twice before you decide what to do with your old clothing!

Find the nearest Goodwill Store to you here.


Nicole Colon is a lifestyle blogger and designer from Long Island, NY, who is reinventing what it means to be “bad” by empowering women to discover their inner B.A.D. Girl and be Beautiful, Authentic and Determined. She provides her readers with tips, advice and fashion that aim to inspire them to get what they want out of life. Check out Nicole’s blog at

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
Individuals with Autism Practice Yoga at Goodwill

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