Treasure Hunting at What Cheer & Fairgrounds Flea Markets -- October 3 & 4, 2014

by mary October 5, 2014

This weekend was a great one for treasure hunting -- on Friday, we were able to check out the flea market at What Cheer & then Saturday morning, we went to the flea market at the State Fairgrounds!  Made for a full weekend!

What Cheer -- What Cheer was a challenge this time, as the temp was in the upper 40s/low 50s & the winds were really strong -- I'm guessing 25 - 35 mph).  Not the coldest What Cheer flea market we've ever gone to, but probably the windiest -- As a result, probably 10% of the dealers weren't set up at all or had their things covered in plastic to protect them from blowing away!

Despite the cold & the wind, we did find some fun things for jewelry making & photography/display . . . including this cigar box full of odds & ends like the doll arm you can see, as well as keys, garters (I've been wondering how they might work in earrings) & monopoly houses & hotels!

Also found some more fish lure pieces -- I made a pair of earrings out of fish lure beads & shiny pieces recently & really liked them, so have been on the look-out for more!

And I found this really nice cedar box -- I have a couple already & use them to display jewelry at shows & as a background for photographs.

Also found several Halloween decorations -- they'll be fun to put out at this time of year with the rest of my vintage Halloween things, plus will make fun props for photographing my Halloween-themed jewelry!

Steve also found a really nice old wooden easel for me.  He'll make some type of backboard for me that I can hang necklaces on at shows -- am really looking forward to that.

Fairgrounds Flea Market -- Fortunately, the flea market at the fairgrounds is in the 4-H Building, so we didn't have to brave the weather Saturday morning!  Although we didn't find as much as we did at What Cheer, I did pick up a couple of things.

I really like the graphics on this ink blotter from 1950 that I found -- I think it will make another great prop for photographing & displaying jewelry.

The other thing I picked up was 2 bags of used/vintage chain from a dealer that is there fairly regularly & always brings bags of chain for me to consider.  I was only going to buy one at first, but he offered me a "deal I couldn't refuse"!

All in all, another good weekend of treasure hunting at 2 of Iowa's best flea markets!

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses . . . and to see some of the jewelry I make from the treasures I pick up, check out my website at


Filed Under: Treasure Hunting/Favorite Finds

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About the author

Pauline's Jewelry Box was founded by Mary Nelson in 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa.  I chose the name Pauline's Jewelry Box because my mother's name was Pauline & I have many fond memories of looking through jewelry box & playing with her jewelry

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