Score! Adventures in Estate-Sale Shopping

A lovely reader asked me how I did on the estate sale I went to last Friday, so instead of just telling her about my antique haul, I thought I’d show all of you!  Last Friday, all I found was this desk some lace curtains and an enamelware bucket.  BUT, when I went back today, I found sooo much more!  Bob and Mark, the gentlemen who run the estate sale, decided there were too many treasures in this particular house for just one sale, so they spread it out over 3 weekends.

Let’s start with last Friday’s desk.

I made myself a promise not to pick up any more furniture unless it’s really unique.  I think this little desk really fits the bill.

Dust much?

This may end up a keeper.  I’m thinking of stripping down the top and re-finishing it and then painting the rest white.  My husband decided he wants a nice place in one of the upstairs guest rooms to sit with his laptop and write his next novel.  I guess he’s getting tired of being locked away in the basement without windows!  I think this might be a good addition to the guest bedroom I’m re-decorating.

Next up are what we call “the smalls”.  I am concentrating more on smalls these days because although we’ve done well at our last two shows, we’ve been selling smaller furniture, but not so much the big furniture  pieces, so I’m trying to hold back on furniture buying.  I had to pretend not to see a lovely oak dresser with mirror for only $65.00.  You really have to dig into boxes to find the treasures at these over-stuffed sales because there are just too many boxes for the estate sale planners to go through.

Wait?  Did you just say “Shut it and get on with the pictures”?  Okay…okay!!  This is my loot from today!  Minus the two doors (one pink, one blue) and the tin cabinet I bought, also.

I’m always on the look-out for good lamp shades.  I like to tear apart the cloth ones and make what I call “skeleton shades”.  The nice big drum ones are just super easy to cover and they sell well.  I love the wire milk crate, red and white enamelware bucket and if you look closely under the fan, you can see a glass toothbrush holder right next to the taps for shoes and the flame bulbs!

I collect cookie cutters and tiny purses, so those are for me.  My husband has a small collection of typewriter ribbon tins.  Not so much that he wanted to collect them, mind you…I started the collection for him.  (All he collects are books and postcards…I figured he needed to branch out a little).  Don’t know what I’ll do with the paper ribbon and the glass bird, but I thought they were cool!!  The locket with the “G” on the cover is actually a belt buckle!  Weird, right?  I thought it was so unique and different.

I was short on money for the items I had purchased, so I ran down to the store to replenish my cash. When I got back, the crowds were gone, so I decided to head back in and check out the sale one more time.  I started rooting around deeper in the basement boxes.  I was elated when I found all of these glass beads!!!  The pictures don’t do them justice…they are just gorgeous!  And they’re so hard to find.  I held on to the box of them like they were the Hope Diamond of junking.

A new mirror for my collection.  Aluminum garland…another rare find!  A fleur-de-lis, an old coat rack, more lace curtains, a Meadow Gold milk crate and an enamelware platter.

A yellow fan in amazingly good shape…awesome! I love those flame bulbs…another rare-to-find item here.  Not sure you can see it too well in the pictures, but those Wearever Protectors are like taps for your shoes!  I also picked up some Halloween ephemera for my son who just LOVES retro Halloween stuff.

I also hit another sale after this one and picked up some Hoosier cabinet drawers and a couple of nice horse hair brushes.  Guess what?  There’s another estate sale tomorrow!!  This kind of shopping is so much fun, but it’s not getting my bedroom re-decorated, now is it?

Bye from the bungalow,



Finding Fabulous


  1. That fan needs to meet my two fans (it takes 3 for a collection after all)!

    I want to do some skeleton shades too – love the drum shades for that!

    Now, get into that bedroom and get cracking!

    • Oh, maybe that’s why I do everything in threes! Even my kids! The skeleton shades have been selling really well. Unfortunately, one of the shades that sold I had intended to keep. It had an awesome filigreed finial on top and just the right amount of torn fabric left on the spines. Womp womp…that’s what I get for being disorganized.

  2. What a haul, Jean! I love all the Christmas items you found! Great desk, too. I’m on the look-out for one for my daughter that I can make over. She is a writer, too,{although still working on the first great novel} and would love to have her own little area. Our Salvation Army usually has some decent ones every so often {they are great to go to for furniture}. I haven’t done an estate sale yet. I think it is a little intimidating since I’ve never been before, but they have them quite a bit here.

    • Oh, Kathy, don’t be intimidated. They’re exactly the same as garage sales, but you get to go all through the house, basement and garage for treasures. Good estate sale planners will bargain with you, but usually not on the first day of the sale. Give it a go and let me know how you make out. You may just find that desk you’re looking for at a reasonable price!

  3. Donna Skaggs says:

    o.k., I take it back, I do hate you for finding all of the vintage garland!!!!LOL That stuff is adicting! I have 2 sets of the silver bells also, but mine are on short strands. Heck of a haul!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Haha! I’m not a fan of the bells, though. I thought about cutting them off and throwing them out. Do you have a plan for the bells? Oh, and that silver and light blue strand…the one I covet the most….It’s almost as tall as me…twice!

  4. Baubles and beauties. Such great stuff. Were the prices good? Love seeing all the treasure you brought home. That fan looks new. You never see them in that kind of shape. All the ones I’ve ever found have needed a bag of steel wool to get them in any sort of shape. Love it!

    • Bob and Mark always work with me on the prices…they know I’m cheap! AND I rarely buy the stuff that other people want. I couldn’t believe that fan was still there for the taking! I was about 5 minutes late to the sale and when I arrived I saw all these piles of things that other dealers had already set aside and my heart sank…and the first thing I saw was that fan!

  5. Wow, you scored big time!! I love estate sales. In the area I live in, everything goes half price at noon on Saturday. I try to scope it on Fri. for the I can’t live “withouts”in case it doesn’t make until half price, then grab the deals on Saturday. 🙂

    • That’s a great plan! the prices definitely drop here on Saturdays, but I don’t think it’s half price. That would be great!


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