Elkhorn Flea Market, WI

I went to the Elkhorn Flea Market last Sunday, as planned. I took photos with my phone because I feel obnoxious with my big camera at flea markets, and sometimes I just don’t want to lug it around. I was there by myself, and I was there on a mission. I needed my hands free to carry the untold treasures I was sure to discover.

Spin that wheel!

Elkhorn Flea Market Finds

I loved the spinning wheels, but they were way too expensive ($1850 for the big one). I wish I hadn’t missed out on the deacon’s bench though. I liked it, made a loop, came back to it, and it was marked as “sold.”

Antique Deacon's Bench

You’ll be glad to know that I passed on the following two paintings, both of which were huge and cheap. Hera with a lazy eye! I was into it.

Old Paintings

Lots of other good stuff, including vintage and antique stoves. So many old stoves.

Magic Chef Vintage Stove

I bet you that beauty worked better than ours. (Every stove works better than ours.)


Vintage Cabinets

Elkhorn Flea Market Finds

Vintage MCM Dining Chairs

Antique Door Knobs and Plates

Then I spotted what I had come for. Not literally, of course, as one doesn’t typically know in advance to be shopping for creepy old mannequins. It’s a feeling. A lovely warm feeling that you are buying something that will delight and confuse.

Vintage Mannequins

The guy wanted way too much for them, and I paid way too much for them, but less than what he was initially asking. As I told my sister later, it’s always worth it for weird things. (They’re super out of place in a residential setting, by the way.)

Yay, Elkhorn! I’ll be back next year for sure.

44 Responses to “Elkhorn Flea Market, WI”

  1. Marci October 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I would have spent an hour and WAY too much money at the booth with the doorknobs and escutcheons.

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      They were beautiful. We’re lucky in Chicago though — there are a bunch of salvage shops that sell that kind of old hardware.

  2. AnnW October 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Well I’m sure you can use the mannequins somewhere for your photos and blogging. Then they will be props and tax deductible. You could Sell your antique stove and buy a brand new one. Those deacons’ benches will show up again. My in-laws had a 7 or 8 ft one that we had to pass up because we had no space for it.

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      I’m trying to decide if I want to refurbish or replace our old stove. I’m bummed about the bench though! I’ve wanted one for years.

  3. Nikki October 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    I love those chairs with the psychedelic floral cushions! This flea market looks magical.

  4. Griffin October 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I love the bench and chairs! I went to their August flea market, the whole thing is a bit overwhelming and wonderful! I’d have to agree the (many) mannequins were definitely the most interesting part of my trip as well (:

  5. Ally October 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    LOVE the mannequins! They are a great investment cause they are unique and you love them! You will have fun with those! Besides, they are no weirder than the life size C-3PO and R2-D2 I plan on having in my entry way someday! LOL

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Brandon would like you a whole lot.

      • Ally October 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

        Yes, I did see his AT-AT in his office at your old house… I trust he’s found a nice spot for it at the new one? May the force be with you!

  6. Abby October 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I love everything you took pictures of! Especially that awesome head planter. What time did you go to the flea market? I drove up from Chicago and got there around 11am and was totally overwhelmed by people and stuff. I got no effective shopping done and left empty handed – feels like I missed out!

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

      The head was almost identical to the all-white one that I have! Just the necklace/neck line area (and all of the paint, obviously).

      I left around 7 (arrived at 9). It really started to pick up around 10:30 or 11, so you got there at its busiest.

  7. Procrastamom October 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    I love going to antique & flea markets! I would have packed up those dining chairs into my little clown car somehow. I’m heading to one in Vancouver this weekend, but I’m looking for Fiestaware & Vintage Pyrex. My drug of choice :D

    Cool mannequins…can’t wait to see what you do with them.

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      There was a ton of vintage Pyrex. I wanted all of the pink and reddish-orange ones.

  8. Laurie October 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I LOVE those chairs! They aren’t even generally my style but that fabric is so happy!

    Those manniquins are going to be fun for Halloween! I see a witch’s coven…

    That really is a good flea market! I need to get in on one of those. My life might be a whole lot better with a many-drawered chest.

  9. Sarah October 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the creepy mannequin ladies! I think it’s the armless-ness that really gets me!

  10. Henry Drake October 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    I like you opinion about weird things. Hey! As long as they make you happy, why not?

  11. Jenny October 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Hey! Do you know any details about those chairs? A maker or anything? I really like them – they would be great in my kitchen!

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      I didn’t check for a manufacturer since I wasn’t in the market for them, but they’re pretty standard mid-century modern Danish-style chairs. Do you have a healthy Craigslist in your area? Chairs like that pop up pretty regularly around here, I know.

  12. Lucy October 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I love the green haired bust. If I had your home, I would go all out in whimsy. I also love the vintage stove! I think they were all great finds but those are my favorite.

  13. Julie October 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Made me laugh out loud! And I never laugh out loud at things! Those mannequins?!?! You are hilarious.

  14. Cristina October 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    The Welcome Back Kotter dress it the greatest thing I have ever seen. Hahaha!

  15. Elisabeth October 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    My house aches for those doorknobs, and my heart aches for that bench!

    I wonder what they were asking for the lady vase that looks like a Jonathan Adler? Our antique mall had one of those and they were asking a fortune for it.

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      They were asking $195. How much was the one you’d seen? I’m assuming they’re the basis for the lady bust vase thing I have.

      • Elisabeth October 3, 2013 at 11:40 am #

        I can’t remember for sure, as it was a year ago. But I want to say $500-$600.

  16. Jo October 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    Those are awesome. I have a male mannequin hand that I use to hold my keys.

  17. Jennifer October 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Have you been to the Kane county flea market? I’m from Chicagoland and that’s the one I usually go to. How do they compare?

    • Making it Lovely October 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      Go to Elkhorn! Kane County is OK, but I don’t look forward to it like I will Elkhorn now.

  18. Barbara October 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Looks like a fantastic treasure trove, and I can’t wait to pay a visit next spring! Thanks for the tip.

  19. Katrina October 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Absolutely love Elkhorn! Was there Sunday but probably would have been a little star struck had I seen you. It’s such a long wait now until next May! Great find/buy with the mannequins!

  20. Stacey October 3, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    I love Elkhorn! I was going to go to this one, but then decided not to at the last minute. Are you a Chicagoan? Me too! Love the chairs you showed and I completely here you about bringing the big camera. What are you going to do with those mannequins?? Do tell!

  21. Charmaine October 3, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    I was there and saw that lady planter too. I think the May and the September fleas are the best.

  22. Lynell October 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I LOVE your mannequins! I have a bunch of stuff like that, the most hilarious is a male underwear mannequin that goes from about mid thigh up to the navel. Makes a perfectly weird side table. Unfortunately my boyfriend has banned it from any public areas of our home. :( He’s no fun.
    I’ll have to try the Elkhorn Flea Market, I’ve been to the Kane County, but not Elkhorn. Fun!

  23. Meredith October 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I loooooooooove Elk Horn! I’m originally from Wisconsin but have lived in Iowa for the past 9 years, so haven’t made it back in several summers. My mom and her neighbor go to all of them; she was there on Sunday and actually got me a croquet set. (I now get texts if there’s something she thinks I need/want.) So glad you got to check it out; this post made me all happy and nostalgic.

  24. Emily October 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    I have been going to the Elkhorn Flea market for years and it is the best. Last weekends was the busiest I have ever seen it! I bought most of the decor for my wedding at this Flea market! I’m so glad you checked it out Nicole!!

  25. mara October 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    welcome to wisconsin. glad you had a good time at the elkhorn flea market. i always enjoy it never know what i am going to find….wish this wasn’t the last one of the year. go 2014.

  26. Kari H October 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I would give my left ear for those card catalogues and letterpress drawers! Ack… so much storage for my out-of-control jewellery collection…… pretty!

  27. Erin October 7, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I was raised and still live about 40 minutes from Elkhorn- and that is my favorite place to look for antiques and vintage goodies. I couldn’t make the last market, but I would have died if I saw you there. Home design bloggers are basically celebrities to me :)

  28. lori (aka: marzi) October 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    OMG nicole! so funny! a ton of the items you featured are items i seriously considered buying! the lady with the green hair…oh how i wanted her. my friend that was with me thought i was crazy!! i did leave with a few treasures but not quite as many as usual! it was super busy this time!

  29. Rick November 8, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Wow, so many neat finds!


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