Antique Fair Inspiration

vintage rocking horse

Look what I found lingering on my computer: photos from when Brian and I attended a local antique fair (the Coburg Antique Fair, held each September) that I never shared with you. It’s better late than never, though, because as I was looking through them I realized that Antique fairs can be great source of inspiration (even when it seems that most of the prices are HIGH) and that there still are things that can be used as is and transformed just like our thrift store finds.

The old rocking horse pictured above was just cool – and expensive – so it was eye candy. But look at this dresser:

book page dresser

Aha – more book page decorating. I liked the way they burnt the edges of the pages and decoupaging them is a fun idea (and of course, very DIY), though I wasn’t big on the purple color. Gray, black, or white is more my speed.

wood phrase dresser

This dresser is definitely more subtle and I LOVED the engraved saying. I don’t know how to burn in an engraving like that, but it could be replicated easily enough with vinyl or even a sharpie-transfer technique.

Another great idea from this piece is how they solve the problem of missing original hardware. They made the first drawer different – a lighter color and painted knobs – while keeping the hardware the same on the other two drawers. It all still coordinates and is a nice option from replacing all the knobs or doing a mix-and-match sort of solution.

white-green chairs

Of course it’s easy to find inspiration for furniture makeovers – these chairs must’ve been in my mind when I made over our dining room chairs, don’t you think?

blue locker baskets

You see a lot of wire locker baskets, but not painted versions as much. Wouldn’t this color be great in a boy’s room or to add a punch of color to a mud or laundry room? If I remember correctly, they were only $10 each which would totally be worth it since I hardly ever see baskets like this. Can you tell I was tempted?

buttons jar

Next to the lockers was this jar – not old at all, but with the simple addition of a vintage-looking label it looks the part, fitting in with its vintage surroundings. I actually see jars like this all the time at the thrift stores, plus they are still sold new for under $10 (less when on sale) so you could make your stored items look this cute pretty easily.

jars with findings

See how great they look grouped together with a few truly vintage wire-bail jars? And how many wire-bail jars do you have (or find) that are missing their lid? Use them to keep large tags like this for labeling, or tall things like paint brushes. You probably remember that I’ve got a bunch of vintage mason jars for storage and this has inspired me to look for this larger jar to mix in with the mason jars.

Many things tempted me at this fair, although many more items made me think ” I could do that for a LOT less!” In the end I purchased only one thing:

vintage music sheets

This stack of vintage sheet music that was bundled so prettily. And what did I do with it? Used the sheets to create this wreath, this decoupaged sign, and these repurposed coasters. I even kept the simple tag (what a super simple gift-tag idea: use the number of the recipient’s birthday or age or the day of the holiday!) and hung it on my office bulletin board.

Do you still find deals at antique fairs, stores, or malls?


I’m sharing this at Chic & Crafty, Fab. Creative FridayWeekend Wrap-up, and Saturday Nite Special.


  1. Martha Ellen says

    I love going to antique shops. Sometimes I still find bargains –antique jars and dishes–ironstone and old vintage bowls. I’ve collected old jars for some time and still find it hard to pass up a good deal—they are wonderful for storage in the kitchen.

  2. says

    Love your pictures and agree these are great finds whether purchased or not. Feel pretty old though as your “vintage music sheets” are in my collection of my early piano books as a kid : (
    Guess that makes me “vintage” too, guess I like the term better than old!! : D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>