Transform found flea market objects into pretty and practical home decor.
Pediments that once graced the facades of stately homes might not have a place on your home's exterior, but they can make quite the statement inside your home. Hang an old pediment as wall art, or turn it in to something functional, such as a coatrack. Install hooks on the piece and hang it in an entryway or mudroom.
When you're on the hunt for flea market and secondhand treasures, it's important to shop smart. Follow these principles to help you spot amazing finds.
Tuck an old dressmaker's form into a bedroom corner as a sculpturelike addition to the room. For extra pizzazz, drape vintage necklaces around the form's neck.
While antique books often have beautiful spines, their covers can be just as intriguing. Layer books on a shelf with their covers facing out. Mix and match the orientation of the books, leaving some with their spines facing out for a dynamic display.
Maps are seeing the spotlight right now. Jump on the trend with a collection of framed smaller maps, or go all out with a framed oversize map.
What's the trick to a magazine-worthy home done up in flea market finds? Defining your specific flea market style. Watch and learn about different styles and find a flea look you'll love.
Scour antiques stores for old trophies and use the shapely prizes as a winning display on a tabletop, shelf, or even grouped as a centerpiece. The taller trophies work well as flower vases, too.
You might not play the radio anymore, but the units can make for a cheeky display. Spanning decades and styles, you can find miniature radios in nearly endless styles and models. Display a grouping in a bookcase or use just one on a side table.
Find new function in flea market finds. Use an old suitcase perched on a table base as a nightstand. Or add casters to old wooden boxes for movable storage. Look for boxes that are shallow enough to fit beneath your bed, add wheels, and you have hidden, yet easily accessible, storage.
Sometimes flea market furniture has seen better days. But if you like the shape and style, and the piece is still sturdy or repairable, a simple coat of paint will do wonders. The whitewash finish on this console table offers an air of shabby chic that suits the home's vintage coastal theme.
Vintage signs beg to be displayed as catchy artwork. Look for old signs that reflect your interests, geography, or somehow relate to your life for an extra-special display. Encase a flea market score with molding or a picture frame to give it a more polished look.
Prop an aged window frame on a buffet or fireplace mantel to give the impression of a view where there is none and to create visual interest along a blank wall.
Cotton bags have held staples such as sugar and flour since the 1800s and are now common flea market finds. Rework these patterned favorites into colorful artwork for your home. These bags, which were printed between the 1920s and 1950s, feature whimsical prints and cheerful colors to wake up any space. To get the look, simply roll the sacks and tuck them into shadow boxes hung on the wall. Feel free to switch them out as the seasons -- or your tastes -- change.
Give outdoor furniture new life by bringing it indoors. Rustic materials, such as these wrought-iron cafe chairs and the wooden antique farmhouse table, complement each other perfectly and create a cozy dining area. Vintage signs, hung from the ceiling and on the walls, add undeniable cottage character and distinguish the space as an eatery.
Create a charming bookshelf display with an arrangement of vintage printing press letters. Scour flea markets, vintage shops, and antiques stores for a collection of different sizes of letters and numbers to create a playful display. The well-worn patina of the letters hints at their long history and adds a casual character to this shelf.
Add flea market appeal to any room in the house with subtle vintage accents. Here, an antique train is displayed on a shelf in the kitchen, transforming the toy into a work of art. The weathered surface of the train allows it to blend with other accessories such as antique photographs and art prints that are strewn throughout this cozy cottage kitchen.
Wrap colorful ribbons around old spools to create a charming coffee table display. Wrapped with bright green ribbon, this collection of spools adds a pop of color to this neutral living room. Wrapping the ribbon halfway up some spools and leaving others bare creates a casual vibe that blends well with an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories.
Cameras are good for much more than preserving memories. Repurpose a collection of vintage cameras for use as an artful bookshelf display. The antique look of all accessories unites the items throughout this bookshelf to create a cohesive display that's filled with vintage character.
Facing an empty wall? Fill it with flea market finds to create a delightful display filled with vintage character. Here, a trio of different sizes of mirrors draws attention to an antique dresser that's been repurposed for use as a console table. Although they're different in size, the three mirrors feature similar gold frames, which keeps the display from looking haphazard.
Add a dash of vintage character to your kitchen with antique silverware. Here, an old fork propped in a bud vase keeps frequently used recipes within reach. The charming display blends with this cozy cottage kitchen and makes use of worn-out silverware that might otherwise take up needed drawer and cabinet space.
Repurpose eclectic flea market finds into personality-filled home accents. In this cozy living room, a French lavender storage container shines as the base of a floor lamp. To re-create the look, use a lamp-making kit from your local home improvement store. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to assemble the kit. Run the cord through a piece of metal conduit (the diameter of the conduit should be wide enough to fit into the top opening of your container). Cut a hole in the container, near the bottom, large enough to feed the plug-in end of the cord through. Place the conduit into the top opening of the container and secure in place. (Depending on the opening on your container, you might be able to use nuts and washers, or you might need to use an adhesive suitable for metal.) Place the harp, shade, and bulb onto the lamp. As with any electrical project, make sure the necessary power sources are turned off and nothing is plugged in while you are working.
Perched on a table or desk, a vintage floral frog becomes an instant organizer. This antique piece, once used to hold stems in place inside a vase or bowl, now keeps letters, postcards, and photos neat and orderly.
Decked out in bold blue wallpaper, this small entryway is anchored by a dark vintage dresser, which also provides grab-and-go storage for keys and accessories. Layering the space with playful artifacts, such as statue busts on the dresser and an umbrella stand, brings it to life.
Turn an eclectic mix of art into a single standout feature by sticking to a simple color palette. Here, the interplay among art, plates, and mirrors gives a plain wall plenty of personality.
Bored with store-bought napkin rings? For wow-worthy entertaining, fashion your own with antique drapery rings and encourage great conversation with personalized place cards for guests. Print a variety of quotes suited to the occasion on cardstock and cut them to fit in small vellum envelopes. Wrap a strip of decorative paper around the envelope and clip to drapery rings.
Give classic pieces your own twist for a fresh take on vintage. The modern silver finish on this metal bed frame instantly updates a traditional piece. For an on-a-dime alternative, buy a secondhand frame and spray-paint it silver.
Rework kitchen leftovers into tasteful tabletop decorations. Here, old pepper grinders were hollowed, painted, and embellished with gold leafing and upholstery tacks to create candleholders.
Repurpose old seasoning bottles to use as unique holders for flower stems. If you find the original holes are too small to hold the stalks, gently punch through the holes with a nail to widen them. Trim the stems to prevent the buds from wilting or sagging.
Dainty milk-glass cordial glasses are the perfect size to showcase single blooms. Arrange a few glasses on a tray -- or a pretty serving dish -- and use them as a centerpiece. You can also use the glasses and buds in place of name cards at a dinner party. Simply place a glass and a bloom in front of each guest's place setting.
Turn an old chicken coop into cottage-style magazine storage. This piece was cleaned up and stripped to reveal the original mellow wood finish. A collection of animal-clad weather vanes functions as unique art pieces and subtly echoes the coop's farm origins.
Scour flea markets and antiques shops for vintage oil paintings. The prints exude a comforting patina to any space and provide visual interest without breaking the bank. To start your own cohesive collection, pick a single theme -- such as these floral prints -- and repeat it throughout.
Fashion a stylish bed frame using old porch or fence posts. Refinish the posts with a coat of fresh paint and watch as the items take on a new life. Hang a strip of aged molding above the bed to hold flowers, artwork, and other knickknacks.
Flea market style and old shutters are naturals together. Refinish old shutters with a coat of fresh paint and hang them horizontally to display photos, postcards, and letters. If years of wear and tear prevent the louvers from closing tightly enough to hold the items, use a small piece of double-stick tape to keep them in place.