I love personalizing my home with unique items in a way that fits my family’s lifestyle. I also love saving money. This is why I so enjoy shopping flea markets, looking for vintage items that will fit into my home’s decor. I’m also a fan of thrift shops, bargain basement stores, eBay, and Craigslist. But for this article, I’ll try to focus on cheap decorating with flea market finds.
I’ve learned quite a bit throughout my years of bargain hunting for the perfect pieces. I’d like to share some of these lessons with you.
Go First Thing In the Morning
Even if you’re not an early riser, you’ll want to get up and go on flea market day. Otherwise, there’s really no point in going at all. There are folks out there who are dedicated flea market professionals, and they will beat you to all the best deals if you don’t at least try to compete.
Wear Comfy Shoes
Not flip flops. I know they’re comfy, but not when you’re hiking along dirt or gravel road. Many flea markets are outdoors, so dress appropriately for the weather as well. You’ll enjoy your day more, and you’ll have more stamina to make it to all of the booths. You never know what you’ll be missing if you leave early!
This means come prepared with a list of items in mind. Knowing the kinds of pieces you need will help to keep you focused. You don’t want to get home, only to realize you forgot to look for that entry way table you’ve been needing. I’ve done this. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in all the great sights to see that you forget what you wanted in the first place. You’ll also want to be prepared to carry your treasures home. If you’re planning to buy furniture or other large items, be sure you have a van or truck to haul them home in.
Don’t Overlook a Diamond in the Rough
Flea market items aren’t always pretty. Sometimes they’re dusty. Often, the paint is chipping. That might not be a problem. Things can be cleaned, painted, or repaired to look good as new. You may even want to add your own unique flair to an old item by refinishing it. So take a closer look if you like the shape of a furniture piece that can be repainted or if you think a chair can be reupholstered. It may be worth the extra effort. Check out the book, Flea Market Style: Ideas & Projects for Your World by Jerri Farris and Tim Himsel. You’ll find lots of fun projects and also advice for cleaning and repairing your flea market finds.
Happy shopping, and don’t be afraid to haggle!