Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Best Seller: Chalkboards

When I started my flea market booths, I interrogated the owners of the flea markets about what sells best.  I was given several answers: "I sell books/videos/clothes every day", "unusual sells", "ugly sells" (UGLY? Really?), "painted furniture sells", "red sells". 

I've noticed that there often seem to be nice-looking, high-end home decor items being processed at the cash register.  These sorts of items have sold quickly out of my booths as well.

I've noticed that color sells.  And color is also fun to look at when I browse through the flea market.  So I've tried to focus on having lots of color in my booths. 

To that end, I started slapping colorful paint on large picture frames (that I usually find for free).  After a bit of experimenting, I figured out that the backside of sheets of old paneling (also usually free) make great surfaces for chalkboard paint (I learned recently that chalkboard paint can be applied right over the glass in a frame as well).  Sometimes I find the chalkboard paint for free too!

I painted up about a dozen frames in fun colors, added chalkboards, and threw them into the flea market.  They have FLOWN out the door.  To the point that I am completely out of them at the moment!  Time to find more frames! 

As you may have gathered from the last paragraph, these chalkboards are usually free to make and don't take very long to assemble.  They sell for between $12 and $28 each depending on the size and style.

Here are a couple of before photos:

This is the "before" of the  turquoise one below.

This one went red (sorry, no "after" photo).

And a bunch of after photos:

And here are a couple more in my booth (light green above and dark green below). 

Please bring me any large empty/ugly frames/framed pictures that you have laying around!  I think I'm in the chalkboard business for good!


  1. Can you paint chalkboard paint on metal? I love magnetic whiteboards - I would think a magnetic chalkboard would be extra groovy.

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  3. Yes! That is entirely possible -- as is painting a layer of magnetic paint under the chalkboard paint OR mixing the two together. Good idea!

  4. Then you could also sell cool magnets made from found items. Buttons, small keys, little decorations that fell off other things...

  5. I have magnets made from vintage costume jewelry that would be perfect! And I have TONS of keys. And other junk, of course!