Flea Market Finds

Fantastic Flea Market Find — Writing Desk Chair



Once a week I hope to share a flea-market find with you.  The hunt through flea-markets, rummage and garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops is so much fun! Do you relish a really good thrift find, too?


I enjoy decorating by mixing older with newer pieces together, and it’s hard to beat the prices of most second-hand furniture.


The chair was at a church rummage sale I stumbled upon one morning while driving down an old dirt road. Of course I snapped it up. Actually, I think I flopped down on it to claim it before anyone else did. Not that there was a line-up or anything. It figured I didn’t have a dime on me either, so I asked this sweet lady to hold it until I returned from the bank. I think I scribbled my name in large letters on a piece of paper and asked her to tape it to the top.


It’s not an antique, but it caught my eye. The olive green, velvet upholstery shows some wear, and that doesn’t bother me. The backrest curves forward with contrasting crewel and trim. I like stuff with a history, even if I’ll never know what that story is.



The back legs curve and give it charm.


It’s being used at small writing desk in a corner of our living room where the bills get paid, mail sorted and messages written sometimes. I thought about painting the legs off-white like I’ve seen designers do in DIY magazines to make old furniture look more modern, but changed my mind.


The green has worked well in the living room until this past winter when I decided to change the wall color from cream to light gray.  One Friday night the mood struck and I whipped up a linen slipcover to go over it. (That’s what happens when it’s too cold to go anywhere.)

I plan to share with you how I made the slipcover right over the chair when my sewing machine was down.  Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get the job done! Hope to post about that soon.

How about you…. have you found a great second-hand chair that you just had to have?




Before & After: Well-Worn Bench to Versatile Extra Seating

This past week I received the sad news that a special and dear friend of mine passed away.

My sons affectionately called him Mr. Gene.

I worked with him for over 18 years before he “re-retired” last summer at the vibrant age of 92 to move closer to his daughter.

Before leaving Mr. Gene gave me a few items to keep in remembrance of him — an old, tattered picnic bench set among them. Both benches were worn and rickety… their smudged paint and banged up slats signs of the workhorses they had become for my friend.

And I loved every scar...


When I brought them home my husband asked me what in the world I was going to do with them.

I had no idea.

We didn’t need the extra seating on our patio and the weather would just add further damage.

So I hosed them down, spiders and all, tightened the screws and brought them inside.

I chose not to paint them and added a cushioned seat to both.

And this is how it went…

Supplies:  2″ thick foam cushion, cotton batting, pre-washed fabric, staple gun and staples, nailhead strips, hammer, scissors, fabric marker or pencil, tape measure.


Securing cushion with batting

1. Fold the long piece of cushion foam in half, mark it and cut it into two pieces, putting one of the cushions to the side for the second bench. Turn the bench upside and lay it on one cushion, trace around the seat with marker and cut away extra foam.

2. Lay batting on the floor, then the cushion, and the bench upside down on top of both, allowing enough batting on all four sides for stapling over the seat. Mark and cut the batting.

3. Pull the batting up over cushion and underside edge of bench. Staple once in the center on each side and smooth out wrinkles along the way. Finish by stapling all around to secure.

Adding upholstery fabric

4. Trace and cut upholstery fabric same as step 2. Allow all four sides of the bench an extra 1-1/2 inches for stapling. (I used extra corduroy fabric from my storage.)

5. At one end, staple the fabric over both the cushion and the wood seat, being careful to keep the pattern or lines straight.  Fold edges under as you staple to avoid future fraying. Turn bench over, smooth it out, pull tight and staple once in the center at the other end, then repeat next two sides. Finish by stapling around the rest of the underside to secure.

6. Carefully fold corner fabric back onto the bench ends like shown in the photo below.

7. Add nailhead strips around the bottom edge with hammer for a finished look. (Joann Fabrics had the strips, Hobby Lobby did not. The strips are much easier to keep in a straight line.)



When we have guests, the dining chairs can be moved closer together and the bench pulled in closer to allow for more seating.



The matching bench is at the foot of our master bed.

It’s been great for keeping a blanket off the floor, as a place to sit and get dressed, and as a springboard for our dog!




Both benches work well in our home… sweet reminders of a loyal and faithful friend.

“Loyal friends love through difficult times.” Proverbs 17:17

“Faithful friends are a rare treasure.” Proverbs 18:24

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