log cabin flea market Stocked Market – continued
Antique stores and flea markets offer ideal accessories to complete the look of your log home
by: Kurt Cyr

Re-use or Lose
This leads me to the third way of discovering success in the world of flea market shopping: creative re-use of an object. Just about anybody can take a nicked, scratched dresser with peeling paint, put a price tag on it and call it shabby chic.

It would seem that everyone thinks their trash is someone else’s treasure, as the prices will testify. But that elusive ability to reinvent uses for items that no dealer would ever come up with, and be able to put an inflated price tag on them, is where true success lies. A rusting gate or single section of an old iron fence could easily be turned into a headboard; or put it on its side, add legs and presto, it’s now a one-of-a-kind coffee table. These are obvious transformations, but they’re just the beginning. Perhaps that hay rake is long enough to use as a drapery rod. You get the idea.

Simple laboratory beakers work well as liquor decanters. Don’t pass them up just because they don’t have stoppers. What about using a child’s small rubber ball or old cork fishing bobbers to seal them? Still can’t find something? What about crabapples for a temporary solution? And if that old Irish pine dresser you have your eye on for the dining room is just out of your price range, wouldn’t that chicken coop, egg-laying, nesty thing work better for displaying your collection of decorative serving platters? (And, it’s much cheaper.)

It is important to retrain your mind to think outside of the box, to see beyond an item’s current use and transform it into something special and unusual. This way of thinking is the ultimate in recycling. Sometimes a fresh paint finish will provide a whole new life for a neglected piece. But expect to pay more for something that is only an obvious transformation away. It is on the second and third levels of transformation that the bargains are found.

True success at the antique or flea market lies within you. Know your product inside and out, shop ahead of the trend and think of unexpected uses for everyday objects. Remember these three important points, and your triumph at the flea market is assured.

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