Flea Market Find and Refashion: Art Deco Bottles

On my last trip to the flea market I came across some vintage glassware and plastic perfume bottles from a few decades ago. I was drawn to the shapes of the containers but not the finish. I got the whole lot for $5.00 and decided a refashion was in order.

Perfume Bottles Before
Glass Vase Before

  I brought my treasures home and immediately cleaned them up with mild car washing soap and water. After they dried I used glossy all-purpose spray paint to give them an easy face lift. I placed the small pieces on an old cardboard box for painting. This gave me easier access to all the little crevices and allowed me to easily move them onto my screened in porch for the night to dry.  It took a total of three coats with a little drying time in between each to reach the finish I wanted. The paint takes longer to dry on plastic than other materials so I recommend letting it dry for about 24 hours before bringing it inside.

Once dried I moved my refashioned “art-decoish” pretties into my guest room. This was a cheap and easy way to add a little pizzaz to the bedroom’s decor. There is nothing like seeing your vision come together. I hope this project will inspire you to do your own flea market refashion!

Finished Art Deco Containers

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Flea Market Finds: Key Wall Hanging Refashion

I purchased this large dusty gold key shaped wall hanging for just a $1.00 during my last flea market trip. I could see the potential and brought it home for a quick refashion.

Key Refashion Before

This refashion was so easy and rewarding. First I gave it a good cleaning with mild car washing soap. After letting it dry I laid out an old tarp and grabbed a can of all-purpose glossy black spray paint I bought  for $1.99.  (At this point my husband stepped in because apparently I wasn’t using the proper spray paint technique.) He gave the key two good coats of paint and we let it dry over night. For less than $3.00 I transformed this bad 70’s gold decorative piece into a glossy black modern beauty that now graces the wall of my guest room!

Spray Painting the Key

Flea Market Finds: Antique Sewing Machine

Antique Sewing Machine Before

I hit up my local flea market this past weekend in search of some dusty treasures and inspiration. I was so excited to come across this little gem of modern industrialism and I had to share it with you. Check out the before and after pictures and the story below.
Antique Sewing Machine After









I found this beauty peeking out among lots of machinery and tools that I wouldn’t begin to know the origin of or uses for. The machine is obviously missing several parts that would be needed if you planned to actually sew with it, but that didn’t matter to me. I prize it simply for its beautiful sturdy, intricate lines and its romantic symbolish of a time past. I looked beyond the layer of dust and muck and could picture it sitting proudly on the nearly empty desk in my living room.

A cool $10.00 and a good scrubbing later and my vision comes to life!

I have tried to do some research online to find out more about the machine with little luck.  I believe it is from the 40’s and was made in Japan. The label says it’s a “Best Built” De Luxe model. I simply cleaned it up using a mild car wash soap and some warm water and now it’s on display in my living room, sure to be a conversation piece for years to come! I hope it can inspire you to find your own flea market treasure for your home.

Flea Market Tips and Tricks

Price Tags Are Just a Starting Point vendors expect you to haggle, don’t be afraid to offer less

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See Beyond the Dust:  don’t focus on the piece in front of you, rather envision what could be

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Dirty:  some of the best deals may be buried deep and a little elbow grease goes a long way

Don’t Follow the Crowd:  The best deals may be had during the off-season, just before closing time, or during bad weather. The vendors are there to sell and may be more willing to bargain with you on a slow day.

Carry Cash: Money talks and it’s much easier to haggle with paper than plastic

Sometimes the Thrill is in the Hunt:  You may not find something wonderful on every shopping trip. Sometimes having disappointing days at the flea market makes finding that great treasure later even sweeter.