Shopping for Craft Supplies at Flea Markets

comments (2) July 30th, 2008     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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A sunny day at Stormville Flea Market in New York State.
Quilts and quilt tops abound at flea markets.
Trays of buttons and baubles are begging to be remade into something fun.
A sunny day at Stormville Flea Market in New York State.

A sunny day at Stormville Flea Market in New York State.

Photo: Kayte Terry

It was a glorious, sunny day at Stormville Flea Market, the kind that thrift junkies like me dream of. Vintage craft supplies such as fabrics, trims, and buttons figure prominently in my handmade line of accessories, so I tend to shop flea markets the way other crafters shop Joann’s. Of course, when most of your supplies are vintage, sourcing and shopping for supplies can be a little unpredictable. I like to think that it’s part of the fun and the goods I find “tell me” what I am going to make.

There are thousands of flea markets going on every year throughout the country. Here is a good list for finding one near you. Also, don’t discount local stoop sales or estate sales. Although they are a little more unpredictable, if you keep your eyes and mind open, you are likely to find some great stuff!

Some shopping tips from me to you:

*Although it’s good to have some idea of what you’re looking for, don’t get too set on one specific thing. If you are only looking for turquoise Lucite buttons, you are going to miss out on a lot of other great finds.
*On the other hand, don’t go crazy either! I sometimes get swept up in the flea market frenzy and come home with things I really can’t use or don’t need.
*Think about other uses for craft supplies you find. Vintage quilt squares make great pillows or trivets, an old dress with a great pattern can find new life as a bag, and buttons are an interesting alternative to sequins.
*Look out for stains or other damage. Some things at flea markets are just dirty and need a good washing, while others are really beyond repair. Keep in mind that a beautiful tablecloth with a little stain can be cut up and used in all sorts of different projects.
*Lots of big groups of items are usually less expensive than buying things by piece. Look for boxes of fabric, big bags of doilies, and jars of buttons. These will keep you crafting for months!

Happy crafting!

posted in: stormville flea market

Comments (2)

acakenson writes: cool tips! thanx a bunch!!!
Posted: 12:55 am on August 13th
MsKirko writes: Oh! I just shopped at a flea market this weekend for fabric and old stuff I could recycle. And, I went towards the end of the flea market when people were willing to cut me a deal on stuff to get rid of it before they had to pack it all up and go home...
Posted: 6:31 pm on August 4th
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