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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Car-Boot Booty

Since my last post, I've been busy trawling car-boot sales looking for local loot. And by "loot", I mean castaway chairs screaming out for a make-over, preferably for under £5.00. Since I left England it seems that the cost of practically everything has rocketed into the stratosphere, but you can always rely on a jolly good car boot sale for a jolly good deal. 

For those of you who do not know, car-boot sales are sort of a British institution and are a rather fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The Cambridge Dictionary romantically describes them as such: "an event in a public place where people sell unwanted possessions, often from the backs of their cars." Or, as my American friend Nealia queried while we were skyping the other day, "So... it's like a cross between a yard sale and a flea market?" Yes, exactly, but from the back of your car. Isn't that fantastic?

What makes them so fun is you can find anything at a car boot sale, and you can haggle for it too. I'm actually a bit rubbish at haggling as I tend to do exactly as I'm told, so if I'm told something costs £2.50 then I'll pay £2.50. My boyfriend David is brilliant at haggling and is therefore the perfect car boot sale partner. 

David at a car-boot sale
Want to see what we scored? As the old idiom goes: "one man's junk is another man's treasure."

Cast-iron chandelier - £1.00

Detail on chandelier: Bakelite candle holders

Jersey Pottery coasters - £4.00

Bucket-back sprung seat chair - £3.50

Two poorly re-upholstered G-Plan chairs - £2.50 each

Vintage glasses - £0.50 pence for six

1970's pencil holder and sharpener - £0.50 pence

Grand total spent - £12.00. Not bad going.

I'm going to use the G-Plan and bucket-back chairs as my next project pieces for upholstery, and will post fabric ideas soon. They make perfect starter projects because both styles are simple enough that I can wet my feet again with some upholstery techniques, I didn't spend a fortune on them, and their shapes suit my mid-century aesthetic.  Hopefully I can make them look so fabulous that someone may be interested in buying them once completed. The chandelier is another side-project for restoration, and the other bits and pieces...  well, I just couldn't resist.


  1. I like it. Lovely little treasures. Have fun. Xx

  2. Car boot sale is on my to-do list for when I visit! Can't wait to see your progress on the chairs.