Flea Market Makeovers for the Outdoors: Projects and Ideas Using Flea Market Finds and Recycled Bargain Buys

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Flea Markets, Garage Sales, Thrift Shops, and even big discount stores can be treasure troves for the eclectic home decorator. With a little creativity, inexpensive castoffs and furniture from such resources can be turned into charming and stylish furnishings for your favorite outdoor living spaces. Crafting expert BJ Berti identifies such diamonds in the rough and gives them new life. Flea Market Makeovers for the Outdoors features complete step-by-step instructions and photographs for twenty-five projects, from...
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Overview

Flea Markets, Garage Sales, Thrift Shops, and even big discount stores can be treasure troves for the eclectic home decorator. With a little creativity, inexpensive castoffs and furniture from such resources can be turned into charming and stylish furnishings for your favorite outdoor living spaces. Crafting expert BJ Berti identifies such diamonds in the rough and gives them new life. Flea Market Makeovers for the Outdoors features complete step-by-step instructions and photographs for twenty-five projects, from the simple tasks of gilding a table or making planters from old galvanized buckets to more complex projects like applying floral decoupage to an old table or creating gorgeous and inexpensive outdoor lighting by recycling a chandelier into a decorative candelabra. Accompanied by beautiful and clear photographs to illustrate each step, Flea Market Makeovers for the Outdoors is an appealing and fun resource for flea market junkies, thrifty decorators, and those who simply enjoy unique style.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821228616
  • Publisher: Bulfinch
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 11.18 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

BJ Berti is editor-in-chief at Crafter's Choice, a division of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and author of Flea Market Makeovers (Random House, 2000). She lives with her artist husband in New York City and Bloomington, New York.
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Read an Excerpt

Flea Market Makeovers for the Outdoors


By BJ Berti

Bulfinch Press

Copyright © 2004 BJ Berti
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-821-22861-7


Introduction

YOU CAN TRANSFORM YOUR FAVORITE OUTDOOR LIVING spaces into useful and stylish areas for entertaining and relaxing using recycled and renovated flea market finds. This book demonstrates step-by-step how, with a little elbow grease and some ingenuity, you can turn cast-offs into charming and practical pieces to enhance your porch, deck, backyard, and garden.

In recent years, fixing up the porch and other outdoor areas in distinctive ways has become a key priority for homeowners. Using outdoor spaces for the things we love to do-be it eating a simple meal, visiting with family and friends, or just enjoying a nap in the fresh air-is an important addition or even a necessity in our hurried lives. Unfortunately, new furniture and accessories for the porch and lawn can be prohibitively priced, and less expensive pieces can often lack character. But lots of bargains, castoffs, and other pieces of less than perfect furniture are waiting to be unearthed at flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores.

Home improvement stores and the big discount operations carry lots of simple, basic, inexpensive pieces that can also be enhanced and made more personal with a little thought and desire. Identifying these pieces is not difficult, and with imagination you can make them into usefuland charming additions to your outdoor living areas.

At any yard sale or other secondhand spot, you can find metal or wicker furniture, odd chairs, benches, old shutters, small tables-even the makings of a birdbath or an outdoor candelabra-at rock-bottom prices. Take these "finds" home, roll up your sleeves, and the creative process begins! Clean the objects thoroughly, strip paint, remove rust, and add decorative design elements that turn ordinary items into objects that are uniquely yours.

As you set out to track down makeover-worthy flea market items, keep in mind a few basic "rules of the hunt." Don't overlook items that seem totally unusable: a rusty chair, a wicker table with an area in need of reweaving, or a shelf painted an ugly color. Take a chance on a less than perfect object and it is entirely possible for you to turn it into something that you can use and enjoy.

Also keep in mind that not every piece is worth salvaging. If a piece requires more work than would be justified by the end result, pass it by. Here are a few helpful rules I follow when sorting through flea market offerings:

If an object is cheap enough and I can imagine how it might look once I've painted or otherwise refurbished it, I buy it, even if I don't have a specific need or place for it at that time.

Pay attention to the object's overall shape and design; I won't buy something unless its shape is pleasing to me.

Ignore the current color or fabric; if a piece has good bones it can usually be made to look good again.

After you've finished looking, look again. Some of the best things I've acquired were things I had overlooked at first.

Don't buy something that's really falling apart-unless it's a real bargain. In that case, take a chance. You can always throw it out later.

On page 69 you'll see the "before" photo of a metal lawn chair that was smashed by a tree during a storm. It appeared totally unsalvageable. However, upon further consideration, I found the seat of the chair to be intact, and the perfect size and shape for turning into the top of a table for the yard.

When your goal is to furnish outdoor rooms, certain things are always worth buying, assuming the price is right: wicker pieces; lawn furniture or smaller pieces in wood, iron, and metal; old lighting fixtures that can be transformed for candles; salvaged decorative metal fencing, trim, shutters; garden tools, and trellises.

Take some time before you hit the flea market to educate your eye to recognize good design. Look at shelter magazines that specialize in outdoor spaces and visit outdoor-furniture shops-the higher quality the better. Once you've done your homework, trust your instincts and work to develop your style. Be inspired by the things you love, experiment with color and pattern, and work toward a look that is truly your own. Have the vision to see beyond the apparent, and keep your eyes and imagination open as you shop.

Let chance guide you and be inspired by what the hunt turns up. Any object holds the promise of transformation, however unprepossessing it appears to start with, if treated with imagination. Use this book as a guide to inspire your creativity-you can use the projects as they are or as jumping-off points for your own ideas. Whatever approach you take, have fun transforming your flea market finds into lovely and unique pieces that will make any outdoor living space a marvelous place to entertain or to simply smell the roses.

Just remember: There is no such thing as a worthless piece of junk.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Flea Market Makeovers for the Outdoors by BJ Berti Copyright © 2004 by BJ Berti . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 10
Porch and Deck 15
Gilded Lunette Table 19
Painted Porch Swing 23
Mirrored-Glass Cabinet 27
Metal-and-Mosaic Table 33
Stenciled Folding Screen 39
Glassware Candle Holders 43
Outdoor Entertaining 47
Cushioned Love Seat 51
Wire Picnic Baskets 55
Thrift Store Metal Trays 59
Painted Candelabra 65
Metal-Topped Side Table 69
Child's Rocking Chair 75
Vintage Floral Picnic Cloth 79
Lawn and Garden 83
Curved Iron Bench 87
Painted Wicker Chair 91
Polka-dot Lawn Chair 97
Metal Folding Chairs 101
Decoupage Wicker Table 105
Felted Patchwork Throw 109
Flowers and Birds 113
Embroidered Daisy Tote 117
Flower Holder and Shelf 121
Galvanized Metal Planters 125
Pebble Mosaic Birdbath 129
Antique Wooden Trellis 133
Rustic Hanging Planter 137
Basic Techniques 141
Resources 155
Index 157
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