Friday, June 29, 2012

PTO in Ann Arbor

I know I love hyperbole, but I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say PTO is the best thrift store I have ever been to.

PTO is a non-profit store that supports Ann Arbor Public School students through the resale of unique and gently used community donations.

And it's amazing.

It's pretty big but the best part of the store is the craft section. I have never seen an entire craft section in a thrift store before! They ask local crafters to donate their leftovers and encourage them to de-stash. They have a giant cabinet/island that has drawers on both sides that are labeled with every craft supply imaginable. There are shelves and drawers and cabinets everywhere filled with craft supplies.

I didn't want to look weird, so I took some quick photos with my phone so please forgive the blurry photos below.

You can click to see them larger if you want to marvel at this organization and stock!

pto crafts

pto crafts 2

pto crafts 3

pto crafts 4

pto crafts 5

pto crafts 6

pto crafts 7

Can you even believe how well-stocked they are??

I am the type of thrifter who would prefer to dig rather than peruse. I wish I could have spent hours digging through all those bins and drawers and shelves! It was like crafter heaven!

I only got one thing from the craft section but I found some great vintage magazines that I will show you in my next thrift report!

If you are ever anywhere near Ann Arbor, be sure to check out PTO. I'm soooo glad we did.

Do thrift stores in your area have a craft section?? We need something like this in Nashville!

If you're new to Owl Really, welcome! Please check out my favorite posts and consider subscribing! :)


  1. Looks road trip worthy!

    I find it very difficult to find sewing or crafting supplies in the ATL area - I just find it hard to believe.

  2. Even new supplies?

    I go to Atlanta a few times a year for work and I haven't been able to find my thrifting groove there. I haven't found a great place yet. Any recommendations?

  3. Oh my! that is unbelievable. I am so happy that you took pics! Well stocked for sure, but so incredibly organized! That's amazing.

  4. FUN! Can't wait to see the rest!

  5. how cool! i would love it if a thrift store around here had a craft section! it is so hit or miss looking for craft supplies around here.

  6. I'm a reader living in Nashville who stumbled on your blog a few months ago from another one I read. I have family in the Ann Arbor area too and also lived there for awhile. I agree with you completely, that is an AWESOME thrift. Did you check out Recycle Ann Arbor and the Salvation Army? The Treasure Mart antique store downtown is also great. They have pretty good prices. =]

  7. Michelle - how fun that you have lived in both Ann Arbor and Nashville! I love Ann Arbor so much but have only visited a few times. So glad you love PTO! It was so CHEAP! We did go to the Salvation Army but I get frustrated in Salvation Armies because of how clothes are organized by color and not by size... that makes me crazy! That was a HUGE store though! We didn't find anything there but I did see some amazing suitcases I thought about getting and checking. :) We went to Treasure Mart 2 years ago when we were up there and it was really fun to peruse! I think we saw Recycle Ann Arbor (is it just down the street from PTO?) but didn't stop.. I got the feeling that it was kinda like a Habitat Restore, with building materials, but I an guessing I was wrong?

    Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  8. Hi Jamie! We were up there a few months ago and I DUG through the endless drawers of craft stuff at PTO and found some good finds! lol. I am with you about the S.A. though, I prefer garments arranged by size. Recycle Ann Arbor does have building materials and salvage in the back warehouse, but in the front (and some in the back) they have normal thrift stuff like furniture, collectibles, books, records, housewares, art, electronics, sporting goods, toys, etc. They will often have mid century furniture for good prices. Some of their art and collectibles can be pricey, but other stuff is often a good deal. =]

  9. Oh man, wish I had known about Recycle Ann Arbor but I think Andy had reached his limit of thrifting! We headed to Barnes and Noble for air conditioning to finish killing the time we needed to kill. :)

    How long have you been in Nashville? Do you blog?

  10. My husband is the same.. he loves to thrift but his tolerance is way lower than mine! He can barely stand to go to the Goodwill outlet. lol. I moved back to the Nashville area in Nov. 2008. But I have moved around a lot- born in Australia, lived in MI then Memphis, then my family and I moved to Franklin in 1989. I went to FJHS, then FHS, then MTSU, then moved back to MI for a few years, then San Diego, then Australia, then back here to Nashville. I consider Franklin my hometown though because I spent my formative years there. I don't blog yet, but I'd love to at some point. My husband and I started a business and between that and my freelance work we are busy bees. I love to read blogs though, and yours is awesome! Love your booth at TAM too... =]

  11. Oh, glad I came back here and read the comments, or I wouldn't have seen what you asked. What part of town are you usually in? I live in Roswell, but cast my thrifting net much further! :)

  12. Michelle and Tina - you guys are both "no-reply bloggers" in your blogger profile which is why I am replying here rather than replying to email. Just wanted to let you know in case you wanted to change your settings in blogger to show your email address, then bloggers can reply to your comments when you leave them! :)

    Michelle - wow You have been all over! What is your business, if you don't mind me asking? Thanks for your kind words about my blog and booth!

    Tina - I don't mind going all over except for really south. I drive down from Nashville and can stop along the way. I am usually downtown but it varies. Actually, I don't know how often I'll be going in the future but last year I went a ton. Thanks!

  13. Sorry! I didn't know that. Do you know how I can change it? I don't have my own blog.

  14. I don't know how to change that setting either... :/ Will try and google a fix. lol. We started a legal services business. My husband has spent his entire career in the legal field as a process server and investigator. I don't have much legal experience, but I'm a great researcher and organizer so I'm kind of the office manager for lack of a better title. I write historic site reports and do graphic design freelance. Are you from Nashville originally?

  15. I googled and found this article that tells how to change it -

    Hope that helps!!

    Michelle, I am from Louisville originally, went to schoool in Indiana, and moved here 8 years ago (my 8 year anniversary is tomorrow, actually!). A legal business! Cool! :) That's totally out of my realm. haha!

  16. I'm in Tucson and I have NEVER seen such a section for craft supplies in a 2nd hand store! AMAZING!! What a wonderful find that is!


Thanks so much for visiting and for leaving a comment! I try to reply by email to most comments - if you are a blogger user, please make sure you have your email address set so that you're not a "no-reply" user.