Wood Wrapped Black Shelf

This project is different for two reasons: 1. it doesn't fit my usual home decor, and 2. it is one of my introductory feature pieces for my very own booth! ~eek!!~ 
My husband has encouraged me over the past couple years to sell some of my DIY projects. I've  been hazy on his motivation for said encouragement. Either its because he thinks my projects are totally amazing and others would fork over their hard earned green just to be the proud owner...or...my husband wants our floor space back. Maybe its a combo of both. ~wink~ With the encouragement, financial backing, and the alignment of the planets (my own opinion) my booth opened just in time for seasonal shopping.

Just love it when people move
and give their stuff away for free. 
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, I have a partner. A friend reconnected  an old MOPS momma and I because she knew we were both in the entrepreneurial mood. Its been fun! She has great ideas, beautiful handmade signs, and access to a recent barn sale (more on that later). Its been a great business match.

You can see the black shelf in the back. Clean, sturdy, and ready for a makeover.

Yes, its true. This photo is completely un-photoshopped. Such a beautiful thing! 

 I snatched the top two pallets...and would have grabbed more...but totally forgot that the back of the van was half full already with a stroller and folding chairs leftover from summer baseball games. Took a little Tetris-style packing to get those two pallets home. Live and learn, right?

The top pallet was in excellent shape, the nicest pallet I've ever come across, which made for easier cleaning and board selection. A few older pallet boards were thrown in for visual interest.  Wood glue and finishing nails secured the boards...and nearly doubled the weight! Its a solid piece for sure!
        Old book pages were Mod podged onto the back. I wanted to lighten up the inside to balance out the stark difference between the light colored pallet boards and the black shelf. It was good move, the book pages are the first thing people comment on when they see the shelf. 

And here it is in the booth at the local Flea Market & Antiques vendor store. The mason jars and coral bird picture are my friend's items for sale. Love her color choices.  

I had NO CLUE how to price things. So, after google search, which wasn't that helpful (huge price differences between Ikea and Pottery Barn) I met the prices in the middle and priced it at $80. Too high? Too low?

click here to see the booth
No clue, at all. The second time I ever walked into this Flea Market was to sign the paperwork...not part of my usual shopping, which is limited to the grocery store and thrift store. I would love to hear your thoughts on pricing items for a Flea Market booth. Thanks for your seasoned input!


  1. Pricing is often based on what you paid for an item and what various on line resellers charge plus common sense. I check out ETSY, ebay, Rubylane, SportsLane (not including their shipping charges) and then decide on a rational price for an item. My basic rule is if I pay $1 for an item I must charge at least $9.95. This doesn't always work, sometimes you find something wonderful for very little cost and you can charge much more) and the same for paying too much and charging what the buyers will pay. When I do my taxes each year I find that my reselling/stock cost works out to 6:1. The mall I am in takes 35% of all sales and there is a minimum that must be met before I earn anything. Takes a lot of work and creativity. Check out other vendor stock and prices to get a feel for what is being offered. Keep a notebook on what you usually charge for an item for your own reference when you find a similar item. It saves time figuring out prices (in the future). Keep records for all costs as well as all stock. Tax time needs to be planned for.

    1. Thank you for these great tips! I was just thinking about taxes today and what plans I would need to make for that, its the first time working without filling out a W2 form. I'll keep that notebook handy! What a good idea to have a basic rule for minimum markup on a piece, even if it doesn't always work out that way. Minimizes the guess work. At our mall, we pay a flat rate every month, even if we don't make a sale. Good for them...but we'll see how it works out on my end.
      I checked out those two websites, thank you for mentioning them! Its going to help! Even if my profits are small I'll have learned so much through this process.
      Thank you for sharing your insight!

  2. talking about taxes- save every receipt and note on it whether it is stock, supplies, (and any other costs that are business related. I keep a folder for each month and total my costs for each category , read your small business information (in Canada it is online) for your state/province.

    Hope you write/show pictures of how things are going in your booth. Nice to be sharing the space, lets you learn about what sells without paying the entire flat rate yourself.

    1. I did some research on the taxes and came to the conclusion that I am very happy that I only have two months worth of receipts to turn over to our tax lady for this 2015 year! Currently, they are in one of two heaps of papers on my desk, lol. Found my New Years Resolution: make & maintain monthly folders for booth costs. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your seasoned experience in this industry. :)

  3. Hi, Audra! Found you on the Vintage inspiration Party at my salvaged Treasures. I really like how you turned a plain bookcase into something that looks worn and homey and vintage! Best of luck with your new venture!

  4. Hello Audra, thanks for visiting! I couldn't believe I won...because I never win anything. But exciting all the same. Like what you did with the shelf, refacing the sides gave it a whole new look and modge podging the inside with book pages adds nice interest (and easier than painting!). Their are a lot of factors to consider when pricing, cost of item, materials used, etc. But the best thing to consider is not to under price yourself or that of your fellow booth vendors...let the merit of the piece dictate your pricing. I just closed my shop in May, after more than 15 years and pricing was very often extremely difficult for me. Good luck on your new venture. Also, I'm your newest follower;~) Best ~ Mickie

    1. wow! 15 years is a long time. I bet you saw several changes over the years in decor themes and pricing, especially with the economy on a roller coaster during that period. Our booth is a bit different from those around ours. I figure either that is a good thing because we are totally unique, or a bad thing because people are looking for something else. Guess time will tell! Thanks for sharing your input!

  5. Hi Audra, I love the background. Simple and so effective!!! Great idea! Bummed I had to miss this one!

  6. Great idea! I love how book pages dress up the backs of the shelves...so appropriate! Thanks for sharing. ;)


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