Top 5 Things to Look for at Yard Sales

Every April I look forward to the beginning of yard sale season.

In my  neck of the thrifting woods that means May with the kickoff  really being Victoria Day weekend or as we call it, regardless of the actual date of the Monday holiday, May 2-4 weekend. There are usually a few before that, but that’s when they start kicking into high gear.

Today I’m participating in a blog hop with a bunch of fabulous bloggers and we’re all sharing the top 5 things that each of us is looking for at yard sales this year. What Fun! Special thanks to Melissa for arranging this for us.


Corrected Yard Sale Blog Hop 300


Top 5 Things I’m Looking for at Yard Sales.


1. Silverware

The number one thing that I’m always looking for no matter where I go is vintage silverware, preferably with some age and patina.

vintage silverware forks and spoons

I occasionally find pieces at thrift stores and flea markets, but it’s always much more expensive… especially if found in sets.


vintage silverware forks, spoons, and knives

I buy it at yard sales from spring to fall and store it up in my craft studio like a happy little squirrel, keeping much of it to be used during the yard sale off season (October to May) when the pickings are slim.


plate flower wind chime 94

And I make hand stamped silverware wind chimes… like this garden plate flower wind chime.


angel wind chime 1

And this angel wind chimeand I sell them in my etsy shop.




2. Vintage Sinks

A few years ago I started collecting vintage sinks to be repurposed as planters and so far I only have the three shown below, so I’ll be looking to add a few more to my garden collection.

vintage white porcelain farmhouse sink

I found this large white porcelain beauty at a yard sale for $10.


vintage white porcelain farmhouse sink repurposed as planter

I love how the white of the sink makes the colourful flowers pop.


vintage metal sink

I found this rusty crusty metal sink at my mom’s cottage stash and she happily let me bring it home.


vintage metal sink repurposed into planter

So I spray painted it green, distressed the edges a bit, and planted it.


vintage green porcelain sink

This green porcelain sink was just $2 at a garage sale.


vintage green porcelain sink repurposed into planter with white lobelia and dishes

I planted it with some white lobelia to look like suds, and added a few vintage dishes that had a few dings.

To see how I planted these sinks check out my repurposed vintage sink planters post for some tips and tricks.

I’d also love to use one in a potting bench one day, if I find the perfect one.



3. Vintage Tools

Just because I love them, and I need more for some repurposing projects.

vintage wrenches and pliers

Like these wrenches and pliers.


vintage drill bits

And I’ve had something in mind for these large pretties for quite some time now, but I’m still a few drill bits short of a project.


vintage screwdriver collection

I love vintage wooden handled screwdrivers. I found these last year and I’ll be looking for more.


vintage screwdriver sunburst clock with painted circular saw blade clock face

I used some of them to create this screwdriver sunburst clock last year, and I have a few other repurposing projects in mind if I’m lucky enough to add to my collection.




4. Antique Books

I love books, especially vintage and antique books, of which I have a small but growing collection.

antique Shakespeare book set

I found this 1901 Shakespeare 18 book set last year for 50 cents a piece. The complete set is 42 volumes so I think I’ll be forever looking for the rest, but you never know. I might just get lucky some day.


antique book collection

Here they are with most of my antique book collection.


antique miniature book collection inside decorative birdcage

I gave this birdcage a makeover a few years ago and a few of the smalls are kept in there.




5. A Metal Chair

Yes… that’s right… just one.

When I found this metal chair I thought it would be easy to find it a perfect companion.

vintage metal chair with curlicue feet

I was wrong.


vintage metal chair repurposed as garden planter in garden cafe vignette

Almost two years later and it’s still single.


vintage metal chair repurposed as garden planter in garden cafe vignette

My green tea garden cafe won’t feel complete again this summer.. until I find the chair its perfect mate.

It doesn’t have to be identical… just a nice size and shape. I know it’s got to be out there somewhere.

Is there an online matchmaking service for chairs? 🙂


I’ll be looking for many more things this year too, but these are definitely my top 5. Are any of them on your list?

Be sure to take a look at what everyone else is looking for. Just click on the links below.

Amy @ Brocante Treasures

Cecilia @ My Thrift Store Addiction

Diana @ Adirondack Girl at Heart

Donna @ Distressed Donna Down Home

Eddie @ Eddie-torial Comments

Jillian @ Bella Rosa Antiques

Kim @ Snug Harbor Bay

Linda @ Itsy Bits and Pieces 

Melissa @ Melissa’s Antiques 

Pam @ House of Hawthornes 

Rita @ Panoply 

Shara @ Monkeybox

Sharon @ Blue Willow House


Thanks so much for reading, and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.

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  1. Love your list! Okay, so I’m definitely thinking about buying sinks when I see them now. I LOVE that green one!

  2. I knew we would share books and tools! I also knew silver would be at the top of your list. The metal chairs were a surprise. Great list, Tuula!

  3. I really like how you re-purpose your items, especially the silverware. I use silverware to make garden markers.

  4. That green sink planter is amazing and inspiring and now I have to run out to the Habitat For Humanity store and buy one! Lots of great stuff on your list!

  5. I love your beautiful wind chimes, they’re so unique!

    1. Thanks very much Kelly!

  6. Hi Tuula! Here’s hoping you find every single thing on your list this year 🙂 Loved seeing your sinks planted so prettily–that’s a new vintage category for me–

  7. Adorable sink ideas! Great job! Love the wind chimes!

    1. Thanks Cindy! I do love having sink planters in the garden.

  8. Note to self: Start lonely chair mating service. No one should have to sit in a lovely garden by themselves. That will be our motto. I am totally loving those sinks. It’s something I had never, ever thought of before. The green one is awesome.

  9. You are a genius. Oh my gosh I love the sinks but especially that table chair and lamp!!!!! Adding these to MY hunt list.

    1. Thanks so much Lauren! I do love my garden cafe. I really hope to find a second chair this year. Fingers crosses.

  10. Judy Gaaskjolen says:

    Your white sink is fantastic! Old sinks are hard to come by in Minnesota , and are expensive if I find one. You are so lucky to have that one.

    1. Thanks Judy! I do love it. It’s one of my favourite planters.

  11. So interesting, Tuula, that you have sinks on your list! It’s really fun to see what people are drawn to, and where our similarities (and differences) lie. I’m drawn to silver, but I look for unusual serving pieces that I can use when I host family. One of my sisters loves old books. Good list. Happy hunting!

  12. I actually bought an old sink last year to put in my garden this year and I always look for tools when I am thrifting. I love your metal chair and the color you painted it! I hope you find a mate for it.

    1. Thanks AnnMarie! I hope so too!

  13. I’m a vintage book lover, too! Love your collection of red ones, I’m also a Shakespeare lover. And collecting silver can become an addiction! Good luck this summer! xo Kathleen

  14. Tuula, it sounds like you have a great list of things you look for at yard sales. Your silverware wind chimes are so pretty, and those vintage sink planters are so cool. I hope you find a mate for you garden chair this upcoming season.

    1. Thanks Keri! My chair is tired of being lonely so I’ll definitely be looking for a mate.

  15. Loved this post especially all your garden re-do’s!! Fantastic!! Thanks so much for sharing!!


    1. Thanks so much Debbie! I’m so looking forward to yard sale season, and gardening season too.

  16. Tuula you are a genius. Not only did you show us what to look for but you also showed us how to repurpose them. That for me is the hard part coming up for a new use with old things. Thanks for joining us over at Sweet Inspiration.

    1. Thanks so much Mary! It a pleasure to join the party.