Weekend Flea Market Flips

October 1, 2019

It seems like magic, doesn’t it? Those flea market flips you see on HGTV with eye-popping before and after transformations accomplished in the blink of an eye. Well, you don’t need complicated power tools to transform tired, sad, vintage cast-offs into enviable one-of-a-kind interior décor pieces. Not with a few easy how-tos from the pros!

The first thing to score is a flea market find — a garage sale goodie that you can use to perform your upcycle magic. This weekend (October 5 and 6) the big, fantastic Horseshoe Market is happening at Broncos Stadium near 20th and Federal Blvd. in Denver. It’s there you’ll find a treasure trove — 200 booths full of vintage and antique items — plus, onsite workshops and creative hands-on experiences. You’ll walk away with all kinds of inspiration and maybe even a special piece or two that you can put your special spin upon. 

What to Look For

Martha Stewart, who you know could buy anything her heart desires, finds flea markets a special treat. Her top advice for anyone shopping for a flea market find is to arrive really early or late between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. (or, in the case of the Horseshoe Market, arrive on the second day). When vendors are starting to pack up at the end of the market day, they’re eager to sell their goods and you’re bound to get a great deal. 

Have an open mind as you circle the booths and do that two or three times to make note of items that catch your eye – and their prices – so you can comparison shop and get the best bargain. Know how much things are worth, so you don’t over-pay, and inspect items for damage and flaws. A few imperfections don’t mean you shouldn’t make an offer and remember that friendliness helps foster good negotiations. Never say, “What’s your best price?” the experts advise. Instead ask, “Would you consider less?” You’ll likely get five to ten percent off. 

More shopping tips from Confessions of a Serial DIYer and dos and don’t’s from HGTV here.

Some of Martha’s favorite flea market makeovers turn a plain wooden table into a rolling kitchen counter with a fabricated stainless-steel top, added shelf, hooks and towel rods. Or a worn and weary china cabinet, transformed into a sophisticated home office – with a pullout desk over the former silver drawer, and painted a warm gray with embellished wooden appliques in a lighter, whiter gray. For a look at those makeovers with great tips and hacks, click here and here.

Fascinating Befores and Afters

When it comes to upcycling old throwaways and creating unique items for interior décor, DIY Network shows off some super creative transformations like an old fan cover converted to a wall clock. Or useless armchairs in need of new upholstery turned into chic cowhide slings. And antique metal grates reborn as upcycled end tables. Some of these projects look easier than others (sand and paint?) but all of them help motivate us to try our hand at reinventing flea market finds.

Lara Spencer, the Flea Market Flip HGTV host, shows off these before and after photos of contestants’ recreations, nesting tables, dressers, china cabinets, chandeliers. Here’s a simple DIY for anyone who appreciates vintage art – like the kind found on antique seed packets from bygone eras – linen pillows printed with the images to match your décor.

And check out the clever drawer pulls that transformed this dresser project by HGTV contributor Bryan Patrick Flynn. He offers a thorough and easy step-by-step how to for the rookie DIYer.

A little paint can EASILY help repurpose useless flea market furniture into signature pieces that no one else in the neighborhood or in the state, has! Dated nightstands that were au currant in 1950 can be even more so today. Dressers that have seen better days, can have a fabulous future with stencils, a little painter’s tape and your own imagination. For inspiration check out this Etsy Shop Prodigal Pieces where blogger and owner Larissa breathes new life into garage sale pieces or Funky Junk Interiors.

Weekends in Southshore

When residents are not enjoying Life at the Lake in the master-planned community of Southshore or one of the many dining, shopping and entertainment options nearby, they’re living it up in their brand new homes!  Check out the offerings here from Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers — available in ranch and two-story designs and priced between the $400s and the $700s.