I love hunting for antiques just as much or more than selling them, it becomes an addiction. It’s so rewarding to find an antique, a piece of history that’s been neglected and turn it into something beautiful or useful. William Morris said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” These are words that I live by! It also appeals to my frugal nature. I work like a bloodhound to track down a deal. There’s an art to the hunt, it’s helpful to have a plan when searching or it can be overwhelming!Antique malls can be a good source, but be specific when shopping, look for one or two, maybe 3 items per trip, if you’re like me, you just can’t focus on anymore than that. If you find something, always negotiate, I find that they will usually lower the price. Auctions, especially country auctions, can really be a treasure hunt! Always set a limit on the item you’re bidding on and know what you’ll do with that item, are you keeping it or selling it for profit, that will dictate your buying price and stick to it, it’s so easy to get carried away at an auction! Scroll down to see pics of my auction bargains. I also have success at Goodwill stores and resale/consignment shops, again, zero in on a few items. I look for lamps, picture frames, glassware, furniture, iron items, fabrics and mirrors. But my favorite is digging through barns, basements and attics, I’ve gotten some of my most prized possessions that way. We live in the country, so if I drive by an old house with a barn, I will stop in and ask if they have any antiques for sale. (I learned this from my mother) I’m often invited in and allowed to rummage through the barn or attic! My husband found one of our cabins while helping an old farmer round up his runaway cattle!
I have refinished tons of furniture in my time, sometimes it’s just a new paint job or a minor repair, but sometimes stripping is in order, not one of my favorite tasks! But, the best way to get an antique at a bargain price is to be prepared to do a little work. You’ll find it to be very gratifying! But if you’re just not that into it, you can always buy antiques from me! My handpainted furniture was always a quick seller in my shop and a pleasure for me to create. I love to do faux finishes and handpainted flowers and designs, time consuming but fun!
I also love to find interesting, appealing lamp bases and make shades for them, another quick seller. This beautiful lamp cost $26 to put together, $20 for the base, free shade from a junk store and $5 worth of fabric from a bargain bin at the fabric store. The fringe was in a $1 box at an auction. This is typical of how I shop and recreate.Another favorite is to find bargain picture frames that need attention, refinish them and buy online prints.Look how beautifully these turned out, the peacock was $15 to make and the chicken print was $25! I can’t part with these but just think what they could be sold for!
This beauty was a bargain in an antique shop because the oil painting was chipped and scratched and the frame needed work. I mixed up oil paints to match the colors and touched up the rough spots and used metallic gold and bronze paint for the frame. There is absolutely no way to tell it’s been repaired! It’s very easy to do, so don’t walk away from a bargain oil painting in need of repair! Grand total – $45!
I love this one, the frame was free from a friend, I refinished it, re-glued it and bought the chicken print for $17!I found this gem in an old goat barn! It looked like it was ready for the trash heap! But it jumped out at me and I saw the potential. It was difficult to strip and refinish because of the turns and grooves, but it was so worth the work. The crackled mirror just adds charm, I wouldn’t think of replacing it with a new one. The grand total is $15!
Summer Auction – July 16, 2016 We attended an auction very close to our cabin in the little river town of Pacific. A two story Victorian packed with antiques! Twin sisters were born in the house and are 97 yrs old today! I found several items that I was delighted to buy, I had my eye on a dresser that was spectacular, but it went too high for my frugal nature, but this is what I did buy!
Ruby glass candy dish with silver jacket – $5.00!Leaded Crystal Pitcher, a steal at $17.00!
Nippon jelly dish, fine and delicate $5.00
Another leaded crystal piece, candle holder, beautiful! Also $17.00
Nippon bowl, amazing color! $6.00!And last, but certainly not least, because I love this old meat cleaver, a real bargain at $11.00!
These treasures are from a beautiful fall auction at an old house in the country. The wardrobe was $25 because it was in a pile in pieces! And I love the granite ware, I use it in my blog, the whole lot was $15! That huge, beautiful picture frame was $10! The chairs were $2 a piece and the library table was $25! A good day!
These items are from an estate auction, I love old earthenware, it was super cheap and the old copper water vessel was really a steal at $20! The amber glass pitcher has a hairline crack and no one wanted it! Sometimes I’m amazed at the the things that other people buy and what they pass up! But that’s what makes it all so interesting!Stay tuned for more bargains, the spring auction season will be starting soon!