I cannot pass a flea market without getting a little flutter in my belly, usually accompanied by a high pitched scream at my husband to immediately stop the car. I love the excitement of finding that perfect item at a bargain price, even amidst protestation from the driver’s seat.
To me, a flea market is not only a place to find a bargain, but also a treasure trove of items with great potential.
Not only do I see possibilities in rusty graters, discarded tins and old jars, but also in peeling cabinets and decaying crates.
If you are a novice at this style of shopping, here are a few tips to get you started on your first collection:
Medical glassware, jars, pitchers, old bottles – anything that holds water, can be a lovely receptacle for flowers.
Pick two or three specific themes, for example white pitchers or coloured glass, otherwise you will end up with a bunch of mismatched items that will clog up your shelves.
My friends know that blue and white china is my Achilles heel, but you could collect any pretty china. To get started, I’d suggest sticking to a certain type, like stoneware, or stay within a similar colour tone. Don’t think you are limited by serving cake in your side plates, they would look great on your wall too!
Genuine vintage fabric is getting harder to find, but purchasing a partly damaged tablecloth, curtain or sheet will not go to waste. You can make cushions or lampshades out of large pieces of fabric if the damaged part is removed.
Solid timber furniture, peeling paint and all, can always be salvaged. I tend to like the weathered look, but it can easily be turned into a sleek looking item by applying a coat of paint or changing the knobs.
Old posters or tin signs add a great burst of colour to any room. Look out for something that will go with your existing colour scheme or to liven up a neutral palette.
If you live in Sydney, Rozelle Public School has a secondhand market every Saturday and Sunday. If you are into vintage fashion or up cycled furniture, try Surrey Hills monthly market at Crown Street. Of course, my old favourite is the local Salvo’s or St Vinnies or The Junk Yard in Bennet St, Richmond. Hard not to walk out of there without finding a true bargain! Let us know if you’ve been to any great markets lately, we’d love to try them out.
Cheerio ’til next time!
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