I'm in Iowa City--just finished college at the U, thank you very much-- and the thrift stores here are pretty sweet. Since it's a collegetown, lots of people give up their stuff so you get nice used items. Oh, and especially cruise the area in May when the dorms close and the last week in July cuz EVERYONE throws out their junk, even if it is in good condition. Heh, lots of stuff in my apartment is from the end-of-the-school-year craziness. Also there are plenty of garage sales in Iowa City. Check out the weekly Ad-Sheet for those. Plus there's these thrift/antique/consignment shops:
Stuff Etc.--one close by K-Mart south of Iowa City and the other is in Coralville close by the retro McDonalds off I-80. I've had more successful visits at the one in Coralville.
Houseworks-- (which I love is on Stevens Drive on the southside of I.C.--- back by their knickknack section they keep their fabric and other crafting stuff. I found some sweet vinyl and some other fabric that has little monsters on it
Granny's-- southside I.C. across from Office Depot-- if I remember right someone there has JARS of buttons for cheap
Artifacts--lots of cool vintage, great selecting of jewelry and brooches as well! corner of market and gilbert
The Antique Mall- next to Verde (used to be the Green Room) on South Gilbert. One thing I noticed was that they sell the oyster shells that had buttons cut out of them. Oh, and they had false eyes!
Crowded Closet on Gilbert Ct. straight back from where you enter there's a craft section that has vintage books/mags, embroidery, lace, rickrack, fabric, yarn, buttons, sewing notions, lots o stuff! Check it out!
Second Act--my favorite place to shop for clothes.. they're also a vintage and costume shop, too they're across from where the Goodwill used to be on Boyrum on Olympic Ct.
Revival is also nice b/c if she likes your work, you can sell it at her shop like scarves, clothes, jewelry, etc. -- it's on Linn Street across from the Iowa City Public Library which ROCKS
Paul's Discount is fun to go to as well, it's an unusual general store... very fun to browse through and find fun items--back behind JoAnne's on Hwy 1
Ben Franklin- Sycamore Mall Yay! I love this place!
The Knitting Shoppe- across from Walgreens on Muscatine Ave Lots of unique yarn. I just picked up a cotton and wool blend that feels heavenly.
JoAnnes- corner of Riverside and Hwy 1
There is a Hobby Lobby in Coralville; the very back is where most of the crafts are. The rest is pre-made junk. I'd rather go to Ben Franklin. They have a better selection anyway, I think.