For every crafter and project lover these stores are amazing gold mines! You can find some of the most amazing things and yes some very strange things too. I once found an inflatable house keeper... BUT just because they have weird things does not mean you can't find something amazing. Don't give up if you don't find anything the first time around (which has yet to happen to me, so I doubt you won't be able to find anything.... don't be too picky!).
I had been looking in stores for a while for an entire set of alphabet stamps. I normally would find a set, but they would be too small, or way too expensive. One day I went with my Mom to the ARC store and I found an entire set for $2. They were in perfect condition and not one of them had ever been used. I still don't get why someone would give it away, but then I remember not everyone is into crafts as much as me.
The same day I found two metal pictures of birds for $.99 each. They same thing could be found at Hobby Lobby for about $10 to $20. They were a little banged up on the sides, but it made it look more rustic and interesting.
About a month after I started working on the theme in my bedroom (french/fur-de-lie) that my mom found this iron metal fur-de-lie for me at the Goodwill store by her.
In mid November (2010) I found a bunch of this chunky yarn. I knew right away what I wanted it for. I made this scarf for a coworker with it. Even the fringe I got at the ARC store.
The first weekend in December I was up at my parent's place in Woodland Park, CO and they have a junk store up there that's locally owned and run. I found a package in with a bunch of random stuff. It was only $.50 and I thought I knew what it was. Turns out when you fit all the pieces together it forms this star. I painted it silver, as it was just plain wood when I got it. It was great to hang in front of my sliding glass window with Christmas lights on it.
All these items and sooo many more can be found if you just take your time and look.
Remember.....Don't discounting these stores just because someone else discarded them. Treasures are meant to be hunted for and found.