Monday, February 27, 2017

Seeing Past the Ugliness

How many of you dealers pass up an item just because it is outdated, ugly or the wrong color? Oh come on you know you are guilty. The next time you are out shopping yard sales and thrift stores slow down and give that ugly item a mental makeover. If you walk away you are losing easy money. 

Sometimes all an item needs is a simple coat of paint or a few tweaks to change the complete look. When I am out junking I am always on the look out for certain things, but I never let an ugly item keep me from making a purchase. Thankfully, I was blessed with the ability to be able to see past the ugly and envision what an item could look like. It is not always an easy task, but most of the time I can.

We wanted to share seven quick, easy and cheap thrift store fixes. 

1. Figurines: I painted over this ceramic figurine with a coat of Annie Sloan Paris Grey and then went over with her white wax. 

2. Picture Frames: Frames are usually an easy fix. A coat of paint and some pretty scrapbooking paper can change the look in 20 mins or less. 

On this next frame, I covered the existing image with burlap then added burlap flowers, a lace doily and painted clothespin to hold a picture.  

3. Outdated Framed Prints/ Mirror Frames: Take that outdated photo out, remove the glass and backing, give the frame a coat of paint and sell it as an open back frame. These are so popular with brides right now. Or replace the picture with a chalkboard center or chicken wire for a message board. 

Here is a gorgeous old frame I found at a thrift store. I think it may have had a mirror in it at one time. I loved the shape and the ornate details. My first thought was chalkboard, but then after a closer inspection the wood was cracked and too uneven so I came up with jewelry organizer. 

4. Floral Arrangements: If the flowers are outdated and it is a pretty basket or vase, just toss the flowers, paint the vase (if it needs it) and add some new greenery or sell just the vase. 

5. Wreaths: This was a pretty simple makeover. I took everything off the wreath. Painted the deer and pine cones white and then added rearranged everything and added a burlap bow to the deer. 

6. Pitchers: This is another easy fix. Check out the makeover. These pitchers were picked up for $2 each at the thrift store. Pic via: Pinterest (The Painted Hinge)

7. Lamps: This was an ugly, green metal lamp. I spray painted it white, distressed and added the burlap flowers to the existing shade. 

Scored this pretty little glass lamp for a buck. I didn't change the appearance of the lamp, but I deconstructed the shade down to the bare bones and added bits of lace trim and old ribbon. Another super easy fix that was flipped for $34. 

Here is a pic from an old booth of mine. I found a pair of  UGLY old brown, wood lamps and transformed them with a coat of chalk paint and sold them without shades. 

Pic via: Mom Advice

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Edison Bulb String Lights

For all you vintage dealers that love the look of the old Edison light bulbs, I wanted to let you know I found them at Big Lots for $25 for a 15 count string. I have been looking for these for a while now, but refused to pay the high price tag that comes with them. 

Hampton Bay makes a strand with 10 lights for the same price and you can get those at Home Depot. The ones I bought are by Wilson and Fisher. I have never heard of this brand but thought I would give them a try since you get five more lights for the same price. My strand has a total length of twenty feet. So we shall see how they work out. 

 Edison Bulb Drop Light Set, 15-Count

I love the look and they really help light up your booth. 

I'm thinking I might need to find an old ladder and wrap them with the edison bulbs. Love this idea. Pic via: Pinterest

This would be a fun booth display too. Pinterest has so many great ideas. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

10 Tips for Shopping Yard Sales & A Blog Guest Video

Spring is right around the corner. People will soon be spring cleaning and de-cluttering and you junkers know what that means. Time for yard sales. They have already started popping up around here. So we wanted to share some of our best tips on how to shop yard sales.

1. Plan Your Route
In order to make the most of our your trip and make it cost effective, you will want to get a list of all the addresses you are going to stop at. Put them order as much as you can starting with the closest to your house and working your way out. Because most yard sales wrap things up by two o'clock you will want to hit as many as you can. Be sure to take your GPS or map. 

So now how do I find those yard sales? Well, since we live in a virtual world now, very few people advertise in the newspapers anymore, but some still do. So be sure to check your local paper. Also check bulletin boards in your grocery stores on Thursday evenings. If you are checking online be sure to check your local Facebook groups, Craigslist and yard sales sites like:  Yard Sale Treasure Map, Garage Sale Rover,, YardSales.Net 

2. Budget, Cash and Gas
Set a budget of how much you are willing to spend and how far you are willing to drive. Be sure to gas up and get cash the night before. If you are running late the morning of this will save time. People are getting savvy now and they have credit card devices to take payments. But remember CASH is KING! You are more likely to score a better deal if you have cash and you will stay within your budget. Fanny packs are not attractive, but they are time savers and then you don't have to keep up with a wallet. 

3. Pack a Cooler
 Having water, ice and snacks available saves time. Staying hydrated in the heat is a must and you can snack on the go to keep up your energy. 

4. Dress for Comfort
Dress in layers so as the days gets warmer, you can start peeling articles of clothing off. Take comfortable shoes. Leave the flip flops and sandals at home. If there is early morning dew on the ground your feet will get wet and dirty and that just makes for a cranky day. You never know when someone has an old barn that they might let you go picking in. This has happened to me before.

5. Prepare Your Yard Sale Survival Kit
Some other things to pack are: Sunscreen, bug spray, hat, sunglasses, gloves, tape measure, drop cloth (for moving bigger pieces) batteries to test things out, screwdriver for removing battery doors, rope and bungee cords for securing larger pieces, 

6. Leave Your Kids at Home
The less distractions you the more territory you can cover. Kids get tired and cranky. 

7. Start Early and Be Prepared to Haggle
The early bird gets the worm. So try to get their as early as you can. Don't feel bag about haggling. They expect it and most people will give you a better deal if you ask nicely. Do not insult them. My approach is always "is this your best offer" they want to get rid of this stuff. So you don't know until you ask. Also, see when the last day of their yard sale is and go back a right before they close. Most of the time they give stuff away because they don't want to haul it back in the house and they don't want to take the time to go donate it somewhere. We have scored some really good stuff by going back by at closing time. 

8. Examine The Breakables
When checking out glassware or plates be sure to check for small chips and broken places.  

9. Take Boxes or Bags 
The more you stuff you buy, the more room it's going to take up in your car. Be prepared to store your goods. This will help ensure things don't go moving around in your vehicle. I also take a big canvas tote, you know the ones at T.J. Maxx with the handles. If you are at a large yard sale and there are lots of people, you don't have time to be picky and think it over because just as soon as you walk off someone else will grab it. So that is where having a bag comes in handy. Fill that sucker up and then take it the owner and check out. If they want too much for an item, you always have the opportunity to put something back.

10. Charge Your Phone
If you are using your phone to look up items you can drain your battery quickly. I'm the worst about forgetting to charge my phone. So think ahead! 

Now we have saved the best part for last. I asked my sweet friend, Tonya of Thrifty Treasures if she would be a guest on the blog today and she was happy to share her six favorite tips for shopping yard sales.You have got to watch this video. These are awesome tips and I would have never thought about these. Tonya has an antique booth, she sells on Ebay, Etsy and Amazon and as if that were not enough to keep this gal busy she runs a very successful Youtube channel. If you get a moment be sure to stop by and show her some love. She has some great videos. I especially love the ones called "what's going to my booth" Tonya, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to make this video for us. It is very much appreciated! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Antique Booth Shelving

If you sell a lot of smalls you are going to need shelving. I'm always on the look out for cute shelves and bookcases as these seem to do really well for me. I recently did a search on the internet to find some ideas. Pinterest can be your best friend when looking for inspiration. We thought we would show you what we came up with. 

Most of these images came from Pinterest. I added credits if they were obtained from another site. If you know of a credit that is missing, please let us know as we do not like to intentionally leave these off. Thanks and enjoy! 

I love the look of stacked crates. You can always easily move them around and take them away.  via: 

I love this next idea because of the chippy, weathered wood behind it. I may have to borrow it

If you have room in your booth, this is a cute idea too. Stack smaller bookcases on a table

This page called: Living Vintage has a lot of great ideas

So this next idea is kind of in the shelving category. I love that it could be used not only for gloves, but hankies, tea towels and more

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Old Doors as Displays and Room Dividers

From time to time we get questions from dealers asking how they can define their area when they are not allowed to put up walls, or there are no existing surfaces for them to attach to. Old doors to the rescue. They make great temporary walls, room dividers and displays. You can use solid doors, old screen doors or even the tall shutters. 

I was perusing Pinterest the other night looking for some ideas and came across lots eye candy. It's amazing to me what some folks can come up with. I thought I would do a quick post and pass along the inspiration. If you have used old doors in your booth feel free to share pics with us. You can send them to and we may just use them in our blog post.

The following pics were taken from Pinterest. Enjoy! 

This next idea is great for outdoor shows. They lightweight shutters can easily be broken down and set back up. You can also use them in store as well. Just add L brackets to the bottom. The brackets can found at your local hardware store. 

This kind of wood would be pretty with lamp behind it and some shelving. It would seem like you are peeking through the window. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Creating Your Own Price Tags

We wanted to do a follow up post from yesterday's article called: The Skinny on Price Tags In case you missed it, just click on the title to be taken to that page. We found a lot of you like making your own digital tags. For those of you that are new to this concept there are several ways to make tags and all those are mentioned in the last post.

If you are going to be making tags that are printed off from your home computer you will need a software program for this. You can find FREE programs out there like Pic Monkey, Pixlr and Be Funky. Again these are free and do very basic commands. However, if you are familiar with graphic design and want something with a lot more bells and whistles you can use programs like Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro or others. 

Either way you decide to go, you are going to need two things. Clip art, and fonts. 

Clip Art: Is a ready-made usually copyright-free illustrations sold in books or as part of a software package from which they may be cut and pasted or inserted as artwork. Here are a few samples. 

Fonts: A font is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size. Here are some samples of both cursive and plaint fonts. 

Clip art and fonts can both be found on the web. There is a big world out there full of both. I will list sources down below. Please be very careful when selecting images or fonts because some of them may be copyrighted. What is copyright? Click here for an explanation.

Let's start with fonts. The two websites I use are: Dafont and Fontspace. There are more, but these are my go to sites. If you are not sure how to install these fonts just go to Youtube and do a search for  "How to install fonts" there are lots of videos that walk you through the process step by step. 

When you are about to select a font you will want to make sure the author of the font allows for commercial use. It will say either Free, For Personal Use or donate to author. You can make a small contribution to the author usually through paypal and then you are free to use the font if it says, donate to author. 

Usually out beside the font, it will state how it can used. See sample below where I have drawn the arrow. 

If you love vintage graphics, my all time favorite go to source, is The Graphics Fairy. Karen, the owner has kindly devoted so much time and energy to an ever growing database with free clip art.  And guess what? It's all vintage inspired. You can find any and everything your heart desires here. Just check out some of these images. Click on images to enlarge and for the largest size, please visit her site. 

Can you believe all these gorgeous images? You can spend all day on her site and still not see everything. But there are other sites out there  that offer vintage clip art, just do a google search for "Free Vintage Clip art" and you will find lots of sites. Some other sites I like to use are:  Clker    Oh So Nifty Vintage Graphics   Far Far Hill   

Of course, there are some sites that charge a small fee like Etsy. There are millions of graphics that can be purchased and downloaded instantly through Etsy. Another place I purchase vintage graphics from is Neare Store. But feel free to do your search to see what you come up with too. 

Clip art is everywhere. Look around your home. You will find clip art on old greeting cards, advertisements, wrapping paper etc. Now you are wondering how to get that clip art onto the computer. Well, that's where having a scanner comes in handy. I remember when scanners first came out there were so expensive. In fact, I still have my first Canon Scanner. I think I paid over $100 for it and it still works great. Nowadays you can find a built in scanner with printers for relatively cheap. They are usually 4-1 which will, copy, print, fax and scan. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating price tags. If you decide to print your own tags, you don't have to use plain boring cardstock paper. You can find fun cardstock paper at your local hobby store. It comes in different colors and patterns. There are some fancy hole punchers you can use to embellish the edges of your tags or to even create shaped tags like mason jars, deer heads, hearts, etc. Just take a stroll around your hobby store and you are sure to be inspired. 

We hope this blog post helps to shed a little more light on creating your own tags. Youtube has all kinds of tutorials on just about anything you can imagine. I first started watching makeup tutorials years ago, but soon discovered they have a video for just about anything out there. So if you get stuck, just check to see if there is a tutorial out there. So good luck and happy creating!