Monday, November 28, 2011

Deck The Halls With Flea Market Finds

The flea market is our go-to place for bargain holiday decorating. Although Christmas items pop up year-round, vendors bring out the bulk of their decorations in September. On this trip to the flea market, we were on the hunt for Shiny Brites and other colorful ball ornaments to display in a glass bowl on a coffee table. Jennifer was on the lookout for pinecone elves to add to her growing collection, and Kitty was hoping to get a deal on a few Mercury glass ornaments (the heavy ones with mirroring inside) to showcase on ornament hangers on a bookcase. 

Although the Mercury glass was too spendy for our pocketbooks, we did find two-dozen Shiny Brites for $9. (They wanted $5 a box, but since we bought two boxes, we got a dollar off.) We found three pinecone pixies for Jennifer ($3 each!), and the vendor threw in a tiny bottlebrush tree that we admired. 

We also stumbled upon a bunch of hilarious old Christmas cookbooks. We think it’ll be a kick to set them out at our annual cookie party––we might even make some of the kooky cookie recipes. (What are Molasses Crinkles?!)

Crafters’ Delight
As crafters, we like to snatch up old craft books at the flea market. The methods are timeless, so we update the looks with modern materials and embellishments. This visit, we wanted holiday books with retro projects that are back in style, such as felt appliqué Christmas stockings. Jennifer found instructions for an old-fashioned pom-pom wreath that she plans to make in trendy teal blue with a lime silk shantung bow on top. 

We were thrilled to find a shoebox filled with vintage Christmas cards. We picked out a few with gold embossing, die cuts, and glitter accents. Kitty had the idea to cut the fronts off with pinking shears, punch two holes in the top for a ribbon, then tie them to wrapped presents. Jennifer thinks the cards will look great strung on a satin ribbon as a garland for her tree.

Hark! The Bargain Hunters Sing

We’re always looking for a big, unique item to turn into a conversation piece, and on this trip, Kitty was in search of some spectacular holiday find for her living room. We spotted a vintage store sign for Bennett’s Egg Nog Ice Cream that had a great holiday feel. And when we saw a neighborhood’s worth of lawn ornaments, from toy soldiers to reindeer, Jennifer toyed with the idea of placing one by the hearth as a focal point.

But the find of the day was a charming old wooden sled. We thought it would look festive leaning by the front door tied with a red velvet bow, or would make a great display for wrapped Christmas gifts. Kitty was careful to hide her enthusiasm for the sled before she knew how much it cost. (If they know you love it, the price will go up.) A cheerful gal in a cowboy hat said she was asking $38 for it, saying it was an authentic, vintage Flexible Flyer. We carefully looked it over and noticed the steering bar was broken and got the price down to $30. The sled didn’t quite fit in our cart, especially since Jennifer had just purchased a pair of giant illuminated plastic lawn candles (only $5 each!), but it was worth the extra trip back to the car!

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