Clever Ideas for Flea Market Finds

Vintage style is only as far away as the nearest flea market or thrift store. Take a look at these ideas to unite the castoffs into one carefree style.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • 1 of 23

    Sign It

    Weathered signs and memorabilia are perfect for creating gallery walls. Antique signs add character to any space, big or small. For a more cohesive look, use pieces that are in the same color family. If an eclectic look is the goal, pieces can be different shapes, colors, and sizes. The key is to capture the tarnished style that characterizes flea market charm.

  • 2 of 23

    Update Metal Trays

    Metal serving trays are a common flea find and you can customize them with a simple stencil technique. Watch and see how it's done.

  • 3 of 23

    Mix Old and New

    A farm sign above the bed and a patchwork quilt help to give the bedroom a vintage vibe while graphic, modern pillows and light gray damask wallpaper leave the room feeling fresh and up-to-date.

  • 4 of 23

    DIY Doily Bowls

    Turn old doilies into cool bowls. This simple technique takes just a few steps and basic DIY supplies.

  • 5 of 23

    On Time

    Utilize cast-off pieces from other old homes to increase the architectural interest in your own house. A salvaged mantel brings interest to a plain wall. If an entire mantel can't be found, use pieces of vintage molding to construct your own. Use old house numbers to create a wall clock. (You can buy clock mechanisms at craft or hobby stores.)

  • 6 of 23

    Why We Love Flea Market Finds

    Watch and learn the secrets to success when it comes to decorating with flea market finds.

  • 7 of 23

    Cut a Rug

    Antique rugs, like the Swedish ones here, can carry a story and history all their own. However, they aren't made just to cover floors. Use rugs as wall hangings, to cover throw pillows, to drape over furniture, or on top of tables.

  • 8 of 23

    Target Practice

    Riflery and archery targets are common and graphic symbols that can surface in antique shops. Here, a canvas target was framed and hung above a bed to create a focal point.

  • 9 of 23

    Get Organized

    You'll find vintage tin containers in almost any antique store or at any flea market. With their often vibrant colors and old-fashioned illustrations, they make great desktop organizers. Utilize old tins in an office or to spruce up a side table or entryway buffet.

  • 10 of 23

    Quaint Quilts

    Before going out and buying decor for a home, look to old family heirlooms like quilts and use them as accessories. Quilts bring color and pattern to a plain bed, adorn a table, or hang like a piece of artwork. If a family quilt doesn't turn up, local thrift and antique stores are sure to have scores of them in stock.

  • 11 of 23

    On Display

    Think outside the box when it comes to displaying objects. Unexpected items, like this red pedal tractor set atop a china hutch, are what will give your vignettes personality and spark. 

  • 12 of 23

    Fully Functional

    Items from years gone by can still be put to good use. Here, an old wine-bottle dryer serves as a rack for glasses. Get creative and repurpose old items to make them serve a purpose today.

  • 13 of 23

    Farmhouse Fun

    Repurpose feed sacks as throw pillow covers or framed artwork. Mix feed sack pillows with throw pillows in modern prints for a look that blends time periods.

  • 14 of 23

    Fab Vignettes

    Add storage and personality to a hallway or stair landing with flea market cabinets and buffets. This old cabinet adds fun, color, and personality to the space. The antique art piece above it and decorative items on top of the cabinet create a charming vignette in a formerly boring corner.

  • 15 of 23

    Suit Yourself

    Fill small spaces with flea market finds to turn an otherwise wasted space into a creative function. In this room, a coat closet shifts into a bar for entertaining guests. The suitcases provide storage space, while a serving tray creates a level surface atop the suitcase. In keeping with the theme, vintage wallpaper accents the small space and gives it an air of distinction.

  • 16 of 23

    From Door to Desk

    With flea market treasures, repurpose is the word to keep in mind. A barn door set on two old sawhorses becomes a desk in this living room.

  • 17 of 23

    Repurposed Headboard

    For a creative headboard solution, go on the hunt for rustic, old doors. Here, French barn doors become a grand headboard, and an old crate serves as a makeshift nightstand. Antique tin tiles from a salvage yard cover the ceiling, giving the room instant architectural detail.

  • 18 of 23

    Front and Center

    An old painted buffet, antique silver candleholders, and serving pieces combine with glass bottles to create a country glam dining room. Scour salvage yards and flea markets to find gorgeous silver pieces that need a new home. 

  • 19 of 23

    Mirror, Mirror

    Two inherited French mirrors were the inspiration for this glamorous bathroom.  A sleek, simple vanity allows the mirrors to remain the center of attention. When thrifting for antique finds, keep an eye out for pieces that come in pairs or sets. Often, this will increase the value of your score.

  • 20 of 23

    Crate Coffee Table

    Build your own coffee table from old crates and wooden boxes that can fit together and form a one-of-a-kind piece. Add a piece of glass on top of the crates to form a solid surface to set drinks, books, or decorative objects on.

  • 21 of 23

    Vintage Accessorizing

    Vintage jewelry, purses, perfume bottles, and scarves work to dress up this once plain bedroom wall. To make more of a statement, find old picture frames and use cork and burlap to make a pin board that displays jewelry, whether it's the pieces you wear every day or inherited pieces you want to display.

  • 22 of 23

    Cart Around

    An antique wooden wagon is a creative living room storage solution. Use the wagon to keep blankets or firewood within reach at all times. 

  • Next Slideshow 20 Flea Market Makeovers

    20 Flea Market Makeovers

    Turn flea market finds and vintage treasures into one-of-a-kind pieces for your home. It's amazing what castoffs and secondhand scores -- such as doilies, plates, furniture, and odds and ends -- can become!
    Begin Slideshow »

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close