I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time in Maine this summer, which is not only great because there is almost no better place than late summer in America’s most northeastern state, but also because there are some excellent flea markets, yard sales, and general junk shops in rural Maine that have all sorts of goodies you wouldn’t even know you’d want! On a recent trip to one of my favorite stops for all things old and used, Cliff’s Antique Market (on Route One in Scarborough, for anyone making a trip to the Pine Tree State anytime soon), I came across a bounty of items that I just knew HelloGiggles readers would be as excited to find as I was. Also, you’d be amazed what sorts of cool things you can do with the most random of objects. As I so easily discovered, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure troll!
1. Old Magazines
I found a few separate stashes of old magazines, some of my favorites being Down East, Sportfishing and Nature Magazine. I love keeping old magazines around the house because they’re always fun to flip through to look at old ads and articles, and in many cases they’re a lot cheaper (and lighter!) than a stack of coffee books.
2. String of Beads
You can never go wrong when you buy a string of beads at a junk store. I bought this strand for one dollar and it even came with a clasp. That’s a serious bargain, and I’ve worn it everyday since I first laid eyes on that brilliant blue hue.
3. Beanie Babies and Treasure Trolls
For those of us nostalgic for our younger years, never fear: the nineties are alive and well in flea markets and antique stores! This week at Cliff’s I found an impressive collection of Beanie Babies (I loved this rainbow-colored seahorse) and Treasure Trolls. What were once some favorite toys of the nineties now make for perfect kitschy decorations. I love putting these sorts of toys on a window sill, shelf or desk top.
Speaking of kitsch, no trip to an antique mart is complete without a walk through the doll aisle. Sometimes it’s creepy (depending on how antique the doll) but sometimes you can come across a real goldmine, like I did when I stumbled upon a full set of Spice Girls dolls!
5. Vintage Unicorn Anything
For all you unicorn lovers, now is the perfect time to check out a flea market or vintage goods shop for some old discarded unicorn decor. I found a pile of unicorn-themed goods, and if it wasn’t so heavy or if I had more room in my suitcase, there’s a good chance I would have gotten this beautiful unicorn framed mirror for a certain unicorn-obsessed friend of mine back in LA.
6. Old Records
You don’t need a record player to enjoy old records, and even if you do have one, sometimes an old album cover is better used as wall art. I fell in love with the cover for this Jackson 5 vinyl, but Cliff’s had stacks upon stacks of some of my favorite oldies, it was just too hard to choose.
7. Novelty Items
Sure, these are a dime a dozen, but they’re always fun, especially when you can find something like an old school Mickey Mouse picture frame or a Y2K doll. I mean, I didn’t even know Y2K dolls were a thing!
8. Old Tools
I get that old tools might seem like a less obvious choice for items to purchase from an antique market but in some cases they can have a dual purpose of being useful and decorative!
9. Lobster Buoys
This is probably the kind of thing you’ll only find in Maine, but at a store like Cliff’s there are always a lot of these for me to choose from, which is great because back in LA I’ve got a whole nautical-themed thing going on in my apartment. In fact, I’ve bought a new buoy on almost every trip home — they are great to hang on doorknobs or to use as wall hangings. Even better — they’re light (duh, they are buoys after all!) — which means it’s easy to stow away an old lobster buoy in my suitcase for the trip across the country.
What about you guys? Have you been to any awesome antique markets recently? I would love to hear about all the cool things you’ve discovered and how you use them in the comments below.
All photos by Annie Stamell