My Five Favorite Tools to Fix Thrift Store Finds

Thinking back to my childhood, I remember always being super resourceful. I would make Barbie clothes out of old rags, shorts out of high water pants, and even dresses out of oversized tops.

Those days are gone, but the resourceful bug remains a huge part of my lifestyle. As a thrifter, reseller, and stylist, I love making the most of second-hand items. Whether it’s a dress that’s missing a button, a jumpsuit with a detached strap, or some Lululemon leggings that need a good shaving, I love saving treasures from the landfill.

As I’ve gotten more connected with other thrifters in the Valley, I’ve realized how much fear and apprehension there is around “damaged” clothes. Whether it’s a stain, a rip, or a missing piece, not all that’s damaged is useless. Actually, I’ve resold countless thrifted items that I was able to sew, lint roll, or shave within minutes.

If you’re looking for a set of tools to help you fix and save some amazing thrift store finds, I have one that’ll come in handy for almost any thrift emergency.

I’ve included some Amazon affiliate links to make your shopping experience easier, but I’ve purchased most of these pieces in my local dollar stores. Choose the option that works best for you!


Clothing pilling is one of the most common signs of wear on a garment. The small ball of fibers usually forms after constant wear, washes, and on the parts with most abrasion. While most people would consider this item a lost cause, a quick shave can turn an item from trash to treasure.

Conair Fabric Defuzzer - $10.99


Lint rollers are an essential tool for anyone wearing clothes (I hope you’re one of them)! Thrift store inventory is not washed or cleaned before going out on the racks, so it’s important to clean and sanitize your items once you’re home. Dog and cat hair can be commonly found on clothing. Fortunately, it can be easily removed with a few rolls.

SuperiorMaker Lint Roller - $16.95


You don’t have to be a professional seamstress, tailor, or fashion designer to make simple alterations to an item. I’ve purchased many items with missing buttons, small holes, or detached straps. Luckily, my resourcefulness has come in handy, as I’ve mastered the art of simple stitching. You can do it too!

SINGER 02051 Mini Travel Sew Kit - $7.96


Stains can be a deal-breaker for many shoppers, and I can't blame them. Not knowing whether a stain is removable or not is a gamble most thrifters take. A fellow thrifter and reseller recommended Tech Stain Remover almost a year ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. It removes even the most stubborn stains from pre-loved clothing, and I highly recommend it to moms, thrifters, and resellers.

Tech Stain Remover $13.74


OK, this one might seem silly, but hear me out. I’ve come across some unique and amazing pieces for years. Unfortunately, these items might be stained, damaged, or simply boring. Never underestimate the power of imagination and a pair of scissors. Take the chance to crop, distress, and restyle your thrift finds. You never know what unique creation will come out of it.

Fiskars 01-004761J Softgrip Scissors $6.48