Breathe New Life Into Garage Sale Cast-offs! - Colliers Hill
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Breathe New Life Into Garage Sale Cast-offs!

Our favorite home and garden transformations to watch as-they-happen are the flea market flips with mesmerizing before and after makeover pics documenting the process. Recreating those makeovers is easier than you think – no tricky power tools required, just a few tips, ideas and plenty of imagination to give a tired, sad, vintage cast-off new life!

The first thing to score is the garage sale find with a potential for upcycling. The Mile High Flea Market is a Denver tradition and the perfect place to score an item with potential. It is held from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every weekend, year-round. And the STUFF that the 2,500 vendors sell changes from weekend to weekend. You’ll find everything from gently-used toys and old lamps, to living and bedroom furniture and other treasures.

Flea Flipping Potential

Bloggers Sonja and Jane showcase a few flips at their website: Sustain My Craft. There’s an iron outdoor chair cum planter, a denim patio blanket made from recycled denim jeans, a modern French country painted dresser and re-painted summer footwear. 

Martha Stewart, whose net worth is a billion dollars – according to Forbes this year – could pay to have furniture shipped from Bali, if she wanted. But she regularly visits flea markets in search of a fabulous flip. She’ll show you how to take lantern lids and turn them into bathroom pendant lights, how to repurpose vintage baskets, or create a mail organizer with vintage hooks screwed to a piece of sanded, stained wood.

And while you may not stumble across a cedar plantar for her next DIY, you could find one at a home improvement store (if you hurry – it’s almost fall!), and transform it like Martha did, into a cedar chest for blankets and throws.

Her top advice for anyone shopping a flea market is to arrive really early or between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m., or wait till the last day – and for the Mile High Flea Market, wait till Sunday). When vendors are starting to pack up at the end of the market day, they’d rather sell than pack up their stuff back into a vehicle and take it home — and you could score a great deal. 

So that you don’t over-pay, know what an item is worth, especially an antique or valuable vintage find. And while you should inspect for damage and imperfections, a few flaws shouldn’t keep you from making an offer. Remember that friendliness helps foster good negotiations and the experts say never ask for the vendor’s “best price.” Instead ask, “would you consider less?” and you’ll likely get five to 10 percent off. 

And here are a few more dos and don’ts from HGTV and more shopping tips from Confessions of a Serial DIYer.

The Makeover Payoff: After Pics

A little paint can EASILY help transform useless flea market furniture into signature pieces that no one else in the Erie, or Colorado for that matter, has! Dated nightstands that were trendy in 1950 can be au currant, today. Dressers that have seen better days, can be reimagined with stencils, a little painter’s tape and your own clever creativity. For inspiration check out Etsy’s Prodigal Pieces where crafter/owner Larissa breathes new life into garage sale pieces, or Funky Junk Interiors.

Lara Spencer, the Flea Market Flip HGTV host, presents before and after photos of contestants’ efforts from tables and chairs to china cabinets, and chandeliers. Here’s a simple DIY for anyone who appreciates eclectic: house number drawer pulls for an dresser project by HGTV contributor Bryan Patrick Flynn. He offers a thorough and easy step-by-step tuturial for the rookie DIYer.

The Many Lives of a Simple Door

A door can have more lives than a dresser; the possibilities you can create with a 32 x 80 hollow-core or solid wood door are limitless! One possibility is an arbor – one of those entrances that often provide support to climbing plants and vines. Designed on Sunshine shows you how to turn a door into an arbor, perfect as passageway to your backyard garden! And for some fast-growing vines and climbing plants to cover your arbor, Gardening Know-How recommends dutchman’s pipe, trumpet vine, clematis, climbing hydrangea, honeysuckle or wisteria.

Conveniently Colliers Hill!

The master-planned community of Colliers Hill is conveniently located in Northern Colorado, but still just 25 minutes from Denver and 20 from Boulder. Stop by and tour the beautiful model homes from KB Home, and Richmond American Homes and coming soon – Boulder Creek. Priced from the $400s, this fast-growing new home community has lots of exciting amenitiesrecreational options and is minutes from historic downtown Erie.