When it comes to road trips, you probably don’t want to travel with me.
First of all, I’m that girl that has to pee every 30 minutes. Even if it is a short drive, if I’m in the car you’re probably making a pit stop. Besides my tiny bladder, I also can’t help but check out various antique shops/flea markets/thrift stores that we pass along the highway. Every billboard draws me in and makes me giddy for the “treasures” that I may find along our route.
We visited the Lake of the Ozarks at the start of the summer, driving the 3 hours west for our mini vacay. Finn allotted me 1 antique shop stop for the ride home. The pressure was on. I only had one chance to get this right and find the perfect stop for our little shopping spree.
I’m happy to say I found the perfect spot along our route and even managed to score a fab new chair.
While shopping, I instagrammed this photo. (It’s true…I do love a man who thrifts!) Finn was actually testing out a potential new piece of furniture, when I snapped the pic of him. What a good sport.
It’s a leather, swivel chair that we thought might fit perfectly with our desk. And at only $19…it was a total score! Into the car she went.
Waiting for us back at home was the chair we were currently using at our desk. An Ikea find that looked okay, but wasn’t actually functional for 1 out of the 2 residents here. (Hint, hint..how about the 6’3″ guy with really long legs, who couldn’t get his legs to fit under the desk??)
We needed a shorter chair, and this new score seemed to fit our needs to a T.
The chair is really unique and even has a funky floral pattern. You can definitely tell we didn’t pick it out at Office Depot.
It makes me almost want to sit down and do some work. Almost.
This $19 score is here to stay…
…and it definitely made our little detour worth it!
Is it just me or is this random space above my refrigerator super awkward? Some people have fabulously functional cabinets above their fridge, me…. not so much.
The solution to getting rid of this awkwardness: I wasn’t exactly sure. All I knew is that I had to add something… anything really.
That’s when I stumbled upon these vintage crates @ the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, Illinois. For ten bucks each, I couldn’t pass them up. Plus, they seemed fitting. Pepsi + Pop Shop + Refrigerator = some type of relation, maybe… a little?
I stacked ’em up and added some budget friendly accessories I had laying around the house.
When I put it all together, I was happy to say goodbye to the awkward space and hello to our new and improved “Pop Shop”.
Twenty bucks later, I was happy with the new look and even happier that this space filler didn’t break the bank.
Cheers to less awkwardness…
…and a brand new Pop Shop!
How do you decorate above your refrigerator? Any other tips or tricks I may be missing?
If you’ve been reading DIY Playbook for any amount of time now, you’ve probably quickly realized that we have a love for all things secondhand. Not just a schoolgirl crush…more like a madly, deeply, hardcore love affair.
Yep, we brake for yard sales…we scream for garage sales…we squeal over thrift stores…and we sure as hell jump for joy for resale shops.
So imagine our excitement when we found a new gem in our hometown.
Sure, it’s a resale store. But, all of the fab deals inside are only for the HOME! If you’re a regular thrifter, then you may notice that many secondhand shops are 80% clothing…and only 20% home decor and furniture.
Well not New Uses. This bad boy is 100% for the home. In fact, their motto is “A Resale Shop for the Home.”
So on a recent trip back home, we decided we needed to peruse the secondhand shop.
We didn’t go in with a gameplan for this trip, like we have for previous shopping trips. (Read more about prepping for a Winning Flea Market Trip right here)
Instead, it was more of a SCOUTING REPORT. What did this place have to offer? And how could we utilize their equipment to take our rookie DIY skills to the next level?
First up, the furniture area. We were incredibly pleased to see a vast array of quality wood pieces. From chairs, to couches, to side tables, and bar carts…you could find all kinds of goodies in this area.
Some pieces were good to go, and could quickly be added to the design of any room. Like these sweet stools that might look nice cozied up to a breakfast bar.
Other pieces were overflowing with potential.
We saw the above nightstand (only $18!) and immediately thought of transforming it. We’re thinking new modern hardware, 2 baskets underneath, and painted a crisp white or gray for a bedroom. You could bring this piece from outdated…to “Pottery Barn ready” in a weekend, without breaking the bank (or even much of a sweat!)
After scoping out the furniture, we took a look at all of the nick knacks. We could see how this area could be overwhelming for other rookies.
Again, you just need to see the potential and see if anything speaks to you.
This tray could be fabulous in a guest room. A quick coat of paint to fit your room’s decor, and it could hold books, water, and flowers to keep your visitors happy and feeling welcome.
Bridget eyeballed these preppy pillows. Just the right amount of color and pattern to make a small couch, bench, or chair really pop!
Baskets can be surprisingly expensive, but not at New Uses. Look at the wide variety of baskets this place has to offer. Lots of potential for adding secret storage to your home…
Casey almost pulled the trigger on this old toolbox. It was a steal at $8 and it had loads of potential. A fun new color or pattern would really bring this old brown thing to life! Sadly, Casey let this one slip through her fingertips. But, we’re guessing it finds a home quickly.
How about these decanters at $8 a piece?! Classy drinking anyone? Bridget’s bar cart is begging for the glam that these shiny pieces have to offer.
Holy moley wall of art! You know we’re all about personalized wall art here at DIY Playbook. But, we found some great pieces, at great prices.
Think about all of the great frames holding that art too. Just pick up a few with some good bones, add spray paint, and you can create a unique gallery wall in no time.
We did end up purchasing a few treasures to take home. Don’t worry, we’ll show you what we did with them real soon. DIY projects up the wazoo around here people!
After our scouting report, we quickly realized that this is the kind of store for us Rookies! We also found out that the Orland Park location isn’t the only one. Click here to see if there’s one near you.
We are happy to tell you guys we are teaming up with New Uses for future DIY projects galore.
We can’t wait to add these new stats, projects, and pieces into our Playbook. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated along the way. This will also mean great things for you, our reader! Expect giveaways, coupons, and much much more.
When it comes to shopping for unique items for your home, there is just no better place to visit than the flea market. You never know what the heck you’re gonna find, and most prices are bound to be pretty dang low. Just where we like ’em.
Recently the rookies decided to trek up to the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, IL for some good ol’ fashioned bargain hunting. (*If you’re a Chi-town resident, definitely hit this place up. They’re only open on the first weekend of every month, so plan accordingly.)
Now, if you’re new to the “flea market game” don’t you worry. We’ve outlined all of the steps so you can make the most of your trip.
Just like any good athlete, you need to warm up before the big game. In order to have a successful performance, you need to put in some time during this crucial preparation phase. Here’s what that entails before your first big flea market trip.
1. The Gameplan: Grab a small notebook that will fit in your purse or bag. We suggest you write down a list of all of the treasures that you’re keeping an eye out for. It’s also important to write down some measurements. For example, if you’re hunting for a new dresser, you’ll want to measure your space at home and have those measurements written down in your notebook.
2. Cash is King: Some vendors do accept cash, debit, and credit cards. But trust us, you don’t want to be that person holding up the line. You’ll have more bargaining power if you have cash in your hand when negotiating with a vendor. Be sure to hit the ATM before the big day.
3. Equipment: You wouldn’t show up to play baseball without your bat, gloves, and cleats. Thrifting is the same. You need to have your “equipment” ready to go. Here’s a good list of supplies…
-newspaper (to wrap up any fragile purchases)
-an empty bag or small collapsible cart (for storing your finds)
-snack & water (keep hydrated and fuel up to keep on going!)
4. Don’t Dress to Impress: Instead, be sure to dress for the weather. Some flea markets feature both indoor and outdoor vendors. We recently went at the beginning of March and there was still snow on the ground in Illinois. Get out your scarves, hats, mittens and bundle up! Be sure to wear the correct footwear too. Boots (especially ones that you can rinse off) are probably your best bet.
Here’s something we didn’t keep in mind on our last visit. Many big flea markets get extremely crowded. We’re talking shoulder to shoulder, suck it all in, squeeze between people kinda crowds. If you’re with a group, we suggest wearing something brightly colored so you can spot your fellow shoppers. Unfortunately we didn’t take this advice and were texting/calling every time we got lost. #rookiefail.
The only person we easily kept track of was Janimal and her brightly colored winter coat. #yougogirl
Okay, so you followed the warm-up and you’re now ready for the game to begin. Here are some tips for a winning flea market trip.
1. Set your Alarm: The saying “the early bird gets the worm,” definitely applies here. Get there early and beat the afternoon crowds. Browsing with a coffee in hand is our favorite way to shop!
2. Do a Lap (or 2): It may be a good idea to get the lay of the land at the flea market. Peruse each aisle just to see what is being offered. That way you can plan your day accordingly. This may not be applicable at every flea market (some are sooooo huge!), but if it’s a smaller space feel free to roam.
3. Don’t Hesitate: If you hesitate about a purchase, there is a good chance the piece won’t be there when you get back. If you’re in L-O-V-E…take the plunge, and go for it!
4. Negotiate: Here’s something we really need to drill into your head. Flea market dealers expect you to negotiate…so go for it! We know it can seem strange to haggle over a few dollars, but we’re telling you most vendors really enjoy that part of the process! It may seem scary at first, but after bargaining a few times you will be a natural. Here are some tips for any negotiating newbies…
-Don’t show your excitement over a piece.
-Never admit how much you love something, because that weakens your negotiating power.
-Remain calm and casually ask for the price
-Here are 2 wonderful lines to have in your arsenal… “Is that your best price?” & “Can you do any better?”
Great job…you’ve scored some fabulous deals and now have unique goodies for your home! We just have some final tips to really make your trip a home run.
1. Bring the big “guns”: Look at Bridget’s dad being such a gentleman. He came along for our flea market shopping trip and kindly offered to carry all of our scores. What a guy! It never hurts to have an extra helper (or two) to help carry all of your new treasures.
2. Sliding into Home: You need to make sure there is plenty of room in your car when hitting up a flea market. That may mean that you and your shopping buddy drive separate vehicles. It would be a shame to find the perfect item, and have to pass it up because your backseat is filled with people. Sorry friends…flea market finds take precedence over you today!
Yep..you may even find your very own $4 pencil sharpener at the flea market. It must be a teacher thing??
So there you go…our list of tips and tricks to have a WINNING trip to the flea market. I’m sure we forgot many…so why don’t you help add to the list. Can you think of anything we forgot?
We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend… flea market shopping anyone? Can’t wait to see you back here Monday morning.
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