Local My Life

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


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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Nikki
    October 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

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

  • 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 (:

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

      That, and the ghostly white color.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cristina
    October 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm

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

  • 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.

  • Jo
    October 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

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

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

      Mine can hold… oh, wait. No arms.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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 :)

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  • 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!

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    Wow, so many neat finds!

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