Friends, Humor, Life

Flea Market Sunday- Lots of Fun, Loads of Junk & Scads of Great Tips


So there is this flea market here in the Chicago area that is at the Kane County Fairgrounds the first weekend of the month. I had been there years ago when I was carrying Annie (so 12 years ago!) but it was cold and rainy that day and I didn’t end up staying too long. For years I had heard so many people say that you gotta go to this thing! So Rebecca and I got out our calendars this summer and planned it out.

Here are some highlights:


They were asking 12 dollars a jar no, thank you.


They made these from what looked to be old ceiling tiles. Pretty cool. These were between 15 and 20 dollars.


This booth was a favorite, but their prices were a little too high.
We loved her name.


Loved this basket, but 28 dollars? Yeah, not what I wanted to spend. It was still there at the end of the day, but by then I had already found a much cheaper replacement. Rebecca, however, loved another basket in this booth for 18 dollars.


The above was all part of a cool little shop set up in one of the animal barns at the flea market.
I loved this color!


And that mirror? Swoon.
This was a cute shop and loved the name.


I also loved her “merchandising” like using the metal tub to hold these items.


Loved the chicken wire.


But 49 dollars for a chalkboard? Yeah, no.
 I told Rebecca that it would look nice above the bed. Heh heh.


Love me some boots with a skirt.




our loot
I take a terrible picture. I do.
Really, I am much better looking in person.



Rebecca didn’t like her face in this one. I couldn’t see because I didn’t have my actual glasses on, but she has never taken a terrible picture in the 17 years we have been friends, so I don’t know what she’s talking about.


It was so much fun to spend the day with one of my most favorite females on the planet.
So here are some tips for shopping at a flea market we learned the hard or easy way depending on how you look at it:

1- do not bring your kids

We did not miss being asked to go to the potty 15 times (the porta-potties were few; I think we only saw one the entire day), or complain that they were hungry 10 times (the food was even more sporadic, we left the fairgrounds to go to Red Robin) or ask to buy something from every single shop there (there was junk galore just screaming for your child’s attention and your wallet’s attention too).
Keep the little ones at home.
It will save you money and your sanity.

2- do not have a schedule 

Plan to be there the whole day.
We left the house at 8 and didn’t get home until almost 5.
If you feel rushed, you may end up spending more than you wanted to.

3-go on the last day of the flea market

The vendors do not want to pack up their stuff all over again and take it back home, so they are more willing to make a deal with you.
Yes, if you go on the first day, you will get the pick of the litter, but they won’t budge on the price.

4- do not buy from the front of the flea market until you have shopped the back end

The front booths were WAY overpriced.
Mason jars for 12 dollars each??
And they were all still there when we left 20 minutes before they closed.
There were mason jars all over for under 1 buck, so pace yourself and do not rush to buy when you first walk in.

5- leave and come back

We left to go eat lunch, have downtime, gab, and think about what we wanted to get.
So we got our hand stamped and left.
Parking was free so we could come and go as we pleased.
It also helped us to put things in perspective as far as price goes.

6- bring cash and set a budget

We saw lots of vendors taking checks and even credit cards.
My advice- don’t be tempted.
I would have spent a lot more if I knew I could write a check or put it on a credit card, but I knew I would stick to my budget if I only used cash.
And I did.
I even left with 25 dollars in my budget.

7- haggle

 At first, I admit I was a little scared of doing this.
But by the end of the day?
I was a pro!
We had separately made wish lists of what we wanted to get.
Mine had things like an old window, shutters, vintage knobs, plates, and a mirror on it.
So when I found a vendor who had this one shutter that I thought was perfect?
I offered him 20 for his 25 dollar shutters.
Nope, he wasn’t gonna budge, so I said goodbye and kept looking.
When I found similar shutters a few rows away for 25,
I offered her 20.
She countered with 22 and I countered with 21.
She laughed and said,” are you from that pickers show??”
She also said I was cute, so I immediately loved her and almost gave her the 22 she asked for.
So I got it for 21 and I haggled like the pros!
So much fun and so worth it!

8- go with a wish list

It’s like going grocery shopping without a list.
You will buy crap you did not need.


9- if you really want it, get it

Rebecca learned the hard way.
This basket she loved was 18 and I know the lady would have given it to her for 15 but we just hemmed and hawed and when we returned, it was gone.
So if you like it, I mean really really really like it AND it is on your wish list AND it is within your budget, get it.
So here are my finds:


Plastic number 4! Pure glee!! I think I am going to frame this. Cost=$2.



Old locker basket that I am using for magazines
 Cost- $12.00


An old shutter from a farmhouse in Wisconsin. I am thinking of painting it but letting the old color show through and using it to display photos and Christmas cards!
It looks a lot shorter in this picture because I cut off the top while taking the picture, but it is tall.
Cost- $21.00 after haggling.
 An old window that I am not sure what I am going to do with.
I will have to look at Pinterest for some inspiration!
But this was the deal of the day.
Every window I saw was 25 and up, but this guy was 7 bucks!!


Cute flower pin for my denim jacket!
They were $8.50 each, but I asked if we could get 2 for 15.00 and they said yes.
So Rebecca has one in gray, and I have one in white.
The website link is here for this and their other adorable items.
The next one is in October…. will I see you there?

7 thoughts on “Flea Market Sunday- Lots of Fun, Loads of Junk & Scads of Great Tips”

  1. Thanks for reading ladies! And Calina- I love me some Pinterest for ideas! Don't know what I did before it existed….oh yeah, I just had to think harder! 😉


  2. wow! Great finds! I would love it if you would share this and/or any other projects you have been up to at Tuesday Talent Show at Chef In Training! Thanks so much and I hope to see you there!-Nikki


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