June 24, 2013

Flea Market Finds & Style

One of my favorite things to do is prowl around a flea market or antique mall.  You never know what treasures you might come across!  I consider it a “green” way to shop and decorate my home by keeping items out of our landfills.  And there is the financial savings you gain by scoring great pieces for relatively little money.  But it’s also a wonderful way to stretch your creativity… looking at “old” things in a new way.

Last summer, I picked up this little chair at a local flea market…

Upcycle decore, recycle deco, thrift store finds, DIY, Furniture makeover, Paint project, Decor & More
Decor & More

After a spray paint makeover, she’s right at home on my front porch as a bright pop of color and a perch.

And when I worked on my guest room makeover, this old brass finish lamp took on new life with a fresh coat of paint.

Upcycle decore, recycle deco, thrift store finds, DIY, Furniture makeover, Paint project, lamp makeover, Decor & More
Decor & More

In fact, repurposed decor pieces are best sellers in many antique and decor stores.  Need some inspiration for your next flea market trip?  Pinterest is full of great projects and makeovers you can do with items you might find at your local flea market.

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurposed, thrift store finds, DIY, Furniture makeover, Paint project, lamp makeover, Recycle Negatives
From old negatives to unique lamp shade

Ever come across a box of old slides or photo negatives?  I love the character they add to this lamp shade!

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurposed, thrift store finds, DIY, gravy boat make over, recycle silver servewear
What to do with old silver? A succulent garden, of course!  mysweetandsaucy.com

I’m a fan of old silver pieces, but this gravy boat-turned-succulent-planter takes the cake!

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurposed, thrift store finds, DIY, recycled windows, DIY flower boxes
Old windows? Not any more. myhomelookbook.com

These old windows with flower boxes is a wonderful way to add interest to a blank exterior wall.

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurposed, thrift store finds, DIY towel rack from broken chair, broker furniture
Towel holder from old chair back. easyhomestead.blogspot.com

Don’t disregard broken chairs or tables!  Their parts can be recycled into something interesting and useful, like this towel bar.

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurposed, thrift store finds, DIY oil dispenser, reuse old soda bottles
Reuse glass soda bottles. From nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com

These vintage glass Coke bottles would be conversation starters in any kitchen.

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurposed, thrift store finds, furniture makeover, upcycle old drawers
Upcycle old drawers into under-bed rolling storage. lowescreativeideas.com

Find a dresser that’s in rough shape?  Let the drawers serve as under-the-bed storage.  All it takes is a fresh coat of paint and some casters.

Upcycling balcony garden.Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurpose, thrift store finds, furniture makeover, upcycle old dresser, vintage furniture
Upcycling balcony garden. From eclecticallyvintage.com

Don’t need another dresser indoors?  Upcycle one into a unique planter for your front porch.

Upcycling balcony garden.Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurpose, thrift store finds, decore makeover, upcycle old suitcase, vintage luggage
Vintage Suitcase Bar – re-imagined via eclecticallyvintage.com

I’m obsessed with this vintage suitcase-turned-bar!  Very “Mad Men”, don’t you think?

Upcycling balcony garden.Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurpose, thrift store finds, decore makeover, upcycle broken dishes, vintage china
DIY mosaic via overthbigmoon.com

Odd pieces of china are easy to come by at flea markets.  Repurpose them into unusual and color stepping stones for your garden.

Upcycle decore, recycle decor, repurpose, thrift store finds, decore makeover, flatware, upcycle old silver, vintage utensils
Fun with forks. Source: repiny.com

Fashion odd pieces of silver flatware into interesting display stands, jewelry, or hooks.  These are usually sold in bundles for only a few dollars.

Summer time is a great time to enjoy outdoor flea markets!  Just be sure to go prepared.  Here’s a little checklist for when you head out:

  • Wear good walking shoes and comfortable clothes.  Carry a bag large enough to hold a bottle of water and sunscreen, but not so large it becomes cumbersome.
  • Take cash and your checkbook — many vendors will accept personal checks
  • Bring along a wagon or lightweight rolling cart to haul your treasures away.
  • Ask for a better price!  The worst they can do is say “no”. 🙂
  • Spend a little time on Pinterest browsing repurposed items before you go.  This helps get my creativity flowing!

Happy hunting!

Want to see more flea market projects? Check out Part II, Flea Market Tips and Flips

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