Weekend Estate Sale Shopping and New Antique Booth Display


One of my favorite things to do on a lazy weekend morning is head out to an estate sale.  The wonder of what I might find gets me every time!

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit an estate sale in my area, and it did not disappoint.

Even though they were already a few days into the sale, there were still plenty of great finds left to pick through.

I would love to share with you today what I found while out digging and how I styled those finds for a new antique booth display.


Where to Find Estate Sales

My best resource to share is a fantastic website called EstateSales.Net. You can search via zip code for sales in your area, it’s how I find 99% of the sales I attend.

Also check your local Facebook Marketplace or Facebook Garage Sale Groups, as smaller estate sales may be listed there and not on the EstateSales.Net page.

Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for those signs! Many times family members of relatives who have passed or moved into a facility are hosting the estate sale and not a company.  In those instances, the sales are more impromptu and usually advertised by yard signs and word of mouth. 

Tips for Shopping Estate Sales

Before we get going with the vintage finds, I would love to pass along a few estate sale shopping tips, if this is new for you!

  1. Shop the sale early for must-have higher-end finds, then go back at the end for deals. Most estate sales run 50% off sales on the last day.
  2. Bring cash, even though many estate sales will now take credit cards. With cash, you can often negotiate a better price and avoid a fee you may get charged for using a credit card.
  3. No need to share what you plan to do with your purchases! Some estate sale companies don’t care for “flippers” or antique booth dealers (that’s a whole other post!), so if you’re shopping for resale keep that to yourself.
  4. Check the garage and outbuildings first. Items out there are less expensive and you can often find great old pieces for a steal hidden away in the garage.
  5. Start a pile of your finds at the register then ask for a bundled price. This is a great way to get a few dollars off your purchases, especially at the end of the sale.
  6.  Be open to repurposing items you find. Often the items the estate sale may think are “trash” are some of the cheapest and best finds, like this set of worn-out paintbrushes I found at a sale a while back. Old paintbrushes are a trending home decor item right now, and these sold in my antique booth super fast!

    This pair of old paintbrushes was in the trash at an estate sale, but sold quickly in my antique booth!

Estate Sale Finds

Like I mentioned above, I always head to the garage first when I get to an estate sale. 

And that’s where I found most of the items I took home from this sale.


This old solid wood drawer was dirty and in a pile of trash, but I knew it had potential!

I was especially drawn to the squared-off handles, that almost looked hand-carved. I took this home with me for $1.

I also found in the garage this great chippy paint cabinet and old steamer trunk. I paid $50 for both!

And this little white shelf was my last pull from the garage. It was really dirty so I had to clean it off with the hose once I got home.

But for $10, it was a great find!

It’s a sturdy little shelf and I knew it would make a great display piece for my antique booth. More on that here soon 🙂

Antique Booth Display

I’ve had an antique booth for the past 11 years, with the exception of a 2-year stint when I had my own brick-and-mortar store.

I love creating fun vignettes of my thrifted finds at my antique booth. It’s almost therapeutic for me . . . to take items I’ve dug out of garage sales and flea markets, and make them part of a cohesive and beautiful display.

My current antique booth is kind of an odd shape–it’s shallow and wide, with a large air vent return I have to keep clear.

Most of my booth is taken up with my Fusion Mineral Paint display, so it’s been a challenge at times to create a really good display with the space I have.

I decided to use the white shelf to add height on top of the chippy blue paint table (which always stays in my space). It fits right over that air vent return I mentioned above, so it’s a good piece to keep around. 

To take up the last bit of wall space above the white shelf, I hung this gorgeous antique mirror that was a recent thrift store find. 

Then I filled up the shelves with the remaining small items I had in my stash.

I had several yellow items, as well as baskets, so I used that color and wood texture as 2 more anchor points in the display.

Over on the side of the shelf, I staged this adorable painted house set (which I found at the estate sale!) on top of a vintage picnic basket.

They sold the next day!

Another quick seller was this vintage McCoy Horseshoe Wall Pocket. It lasted less than 48 hours!

This gorgeous basket was something I had purchased for myself awhile back, but decided I didn’t have the space for it.

It was handmade by a local basket company for the Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri.

It also sold quickly! And while I’m sad I couldn’t find a space for it myself, I’m glad someone else who loves it now gets to use it.


Tips for Creating an Antique Booth Display

I get asked a lot for help creating compelling vignettes and displays, so here are a few quick tips to help you out if you’re looking to ramp up your own antique booth displays.

  1. Pick large anchor pieces and place them first.
  2. Repeat colors and textures throughout your display.
  3. Keep a cohesive style. Mixing primitive with mid century with grandmillenial can make your display feel confusing and distracting.
  4. Add filler in empty areas, like old books, greenery, or old photographs.


Here are a few more tips and ideas for you, in one of my more popular YouTube videos about antique booth displays:

I am really loving how my new display turned out, and I think my customers will enjoy it too 🙂

I still have the large cabinet and trunk from the estate sale to work in to my booth, I’m just waiting for the space to open up for them.

If you’re an antique booth owner, I have lots more articles for you that may help your booth business:

4 Steps to Take your Antique Booth from Hobby to Business

4 Ways to Jump Start Your Antique Booth Sales

5 Reasons You Aren’t Making Money in Your Booth or Vendor Business

Why You Should Fluff & Shuffle Your Antique Booth Display

Can You Make Money Selling at an Antique Mall?

And if you’re a video fan, there’s a whole playlist over on my YouTube channel with lots more tips for starting and running a profitable antique booth business.

Thanks for joining me today, I hope you had fun coming along with me and seeing some treasures!

Linking up to: Tuesday Turn About

Janice (Soph) Alexander

Friday 28th of April 2023

Thanks for sharing. Your booth looks amazing. I love your creativity!!

Melanie Alexander

Monday 1st of May 2023

Thank you :)


Friday 28th of April 2023

So many estate sales and so little time!! There are some amazing items!

Melanie Alexander

Monday 1st of May 2023

Thank you Anna! Wouldn't it be great if we could make it to ALL the sales??

Mary Jane Taylor

Wednesday 26th of April 2023

You are always an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

Melanie Alexander

Wednesday 26th of April 2023

Thanks so much Mary Jane :)

Rachel-The Antiqued Journey

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Your booth looks beautiful, Melanie!! That basket is a stunner...some lucky person that is!!

Melanie Alexander

Wednesday 26th of April 2023

Thanks Rachel! And yes, that was a great basket, I'm not surprised it went quickly!

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