Tag Archives: vintage

Mad As a Hatter

mad hatter, alice in wonderland craft, diy, graphic 45, thrifty finn

Am I smart, or am I smart? For once I’m on time to post my Halloween crafts! Reason being, I began crafting them few weeks ago already. *furiously pats herself on the back* Here’s my first craft, which is a before/after kind of thing.

Last Christmas, on my trip to Lapland, I dropped by the local arts & crafts store Taidekehystämö Hyvärinen  to see what they had to offer. Of course I found my way into their discount room in the basement and in there, I spotted papers from the 2010 Graphic 45 collection Halloween in Wonderland. So what is girl to do? To buy as many as she can, just in case she comes up with something cool to use them with. And that cool came in the shape of a hideous, broken lamp my landlady gave to me “since you are so crafty and can probably use this”:

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

This lamp screams 2002, don’t you think? It’s not too bad though. The base has some weight to it, and the proportion is alright. To transform this, I painted the lampshade black. Then I used black washi tape to reinforce the corners of the lampshade AND to attach it back to the white support thingy. Then I covered the sides with distressed scrapbook paper cut few millimetres smaller on each side, to show the black corners.

At this point I realized the painting was unnecessary, so I didn’t do it for the base. I just washi taped the corners and covered the top part of the ‘pyramid’ to hide the wood. Then I covered all the sides with scrapbook paper, again cut few millimetres smaller. For the wire part I cut a small notch and punched a circular hole in the paper. After gluing the paper down, the notch is barely visible. Here’s the finished lamp:

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

diy mad hatter lamp, thrifty finn

The total cost for the lamp was around 4 euros, including the used glue and washi tape. Not too bad, don’t you think?

There will be tons of Halloween posts coming up, so don’t forget to drop back in later this month. If you have written about your Halloween crafts, feel free to leave a link in the comments. I’ll be sure check them out.

-Thrifty Finn-

Kauppa & Galleria Talli

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

Hello, hello, hello…Last Sunday I was selling my second hand clothing and crafts at a flea market here in Espoo, which was organized by a local gallery slash design store. Let me tell you…The surroundings were fantastic! I’m always putting down Espoo, as it’s a city that combines the worst of cities and countryside, plus all the buildings are designed by dimwitted engineers, which makes all the neighbourhoods generally seem void of all that it’s nice in humanity. But I digress…

Kauppa & Galleria Talli literally translates as Shop & Gallery Stables, and the name is quite apt. The whole shebang is a converted stable and the event room (where the flea market was) looks like it’s fit for all those gorgeous Pinterest barn weddings.

Let’s collectively ooh and aah at this point.

Anyhoo, I thought  you’d enjoy some pictures…

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery, Talli9 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I don’t know what’s up there but the entrance to the event hall is to the right and the entrance to the shop is somewhere on the left. The shop itself is very cute and they sell artisan type of design things. There is even a small café corner in there.

Talli5 Talli6 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

They don’t only sell ceramics, but they were the only things I had an okay picture off :D The master of photography hits again :DDD

But the best part was the event hall. I can’t get past how cute it is! It’s not that big and I love the intimacy of it.

Talli1 Talli3 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I made okay sales, although I did joke on Twitter, that my salary for the day would have been good in Cambodia. From the crafts I sold the boxes and the one card just peeking at the bottom of the picture. Customer flow was okayish but there was one lull, when there were only sellers present. Overall I am pleased with the location and the pricing for the table was good too. There are only couple of things, that I see needing improvement. The first is lighting. It was a bit too dark in there. The second is music. The owners played this jazzy lounge music from Spotify, and I can understand, that they thought it would work as a non-offensive background music, BUT we sellers are there to sell. And easy listening jazz is not for selling. I don’t mean the music has to be blaring the TOP 40 like in H&M BUT it has to be upbeat. Upbeat sells.

The next flea market will be there on 1st of November from 11 till 16 o’clock. You can get there by car or by the busses 156, 158 and 543. I hope to see you there then ;)

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Apparently I was the only idiot there, who carried their stuff to sell there by a bus. But for my credit, I’ve managed to build my second hand selling inventory into such as I don’t have to carry a lot but all of the items make somewhat cohesive collection. (Apart from the clothes I’ve actually worn myself. I sell them for couple of euros each).

Kaboom, A Thrift Store in Helsinki

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket

For the first time for a long time, I’m introducing a new second hand store to you. I was told about Kaboom by my friend, who has sold his stuff there and apparently has made good money each time. Hearing this, I had to go and check it out.

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket

Kaboom is located on Albertinkatu 46, only couple of hundred meters from the Kamppi shopping centre.

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarketMy first impression was, that it’s not too big but there’s a nice mix of things for sale. Quite a bit of retro goodies as well. The prices range from very cheap to the upper edge of what I consider reasonable prices for second-hand goodies, but most of the stuff I saw was between 2-10 euros. Retro things obviously being more expensive.kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarketIf you are selling, there are some vitrines available for your pricier things. I ended up booking a table as they have a deal going on. 2 weeks for 70 euros. I usually get my butt kicked with self service second-hand stores, but I’m hoping this location is better for the stuff I usually sell. I haven’t checked my saldo yet, so fingers crossed :)

Anyhoo, Kaboom has a website HERE and a Facebook-page. The staff is very friendly and speaks English. Definitely worth a visit, if you are into thrifting and second-hand things.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Naturally I’ve bought a quite a few things from there already. They have a charity booth, where the proceeds go half to children’s charity and half to an animal shelter. I found this gorgeous, gorgeous skirt in it. It’s way too small for me, but I just had to have it for the print. I mean look at it:

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket

It’s just heavenly, don’t you think?

DIY Slipcover for a Seventies Chair

DIY, Ikea hack, slipcover

Few weeks ago a friend of mine called me enthusiastically about a chair he found at Kontti, a chain of thrift stores owned and operated by Finnish Red Cross. He went on and on about its lines and how he was planning to re-upholster it with some Ikea-fabric.

You know where this is going, right?

So, the other week I visited him and he showed me the chair and the fabric. He was right, the chair has nice lines and the fabric he had picked up was nice too. I’m especially happy by the fact, that he is FINALLY introducing patterns in his home decor. It has been an uphill battle but I got him there. Only a decade or two and we might even see patterns with multiple colours in there.

As you can see, the original material is rather “interesting”. Certainly a product of its time. But it’s actually quite nice to sit on, so creating a slipcover would be a good way to bring it up to date.


We began by laying the cover on the material. We discussed on how to go on about it and since I had to go and pick up my phone I had left elsewhere, I left my friend to his own devices. Meaning, I assumed he was going to do what I instructed him to do. Wrong. When I came back two hours later, he had decided to clean up his balcony instead and was planning to leave the “actual sewing and doing” for me.

I’d like to pretend I stood my ground with this. He was the one who sewed but it was me who did the thinking. In the end I didn’t get back home until very late that day. But I did get a good meal out of it, so it wasn’t entirely terrible experience. Plus the chair looks pretty bitchin’ too. Here’s how we (and I use the term we here very loosely) did it:

First we cut the material in half lengthwise and I had Niko finish off the short ends with a double fold, while I pondered how to put the cover together. I knew it had to be some kind of envelope pattern but as the top and bottom were to be of different widths, I had to do some figuring out to get it to look neat.

The original material is still underneath as there is no way the Ikea fabric would support the weight of a person. We (I) decided the best way to get a tight fit, was to pin the fabric directly on the chair frame. This way we could also be sure that none of the original material would be showing and that we could see/test right away, if the cover would be easy to remove and put back on.

pressing, slipcover, Ikeahack

If you take second look at the prototype, you can see the shape of the finished cover. We left very wide seam allowances and used that to create nice edges on the narrow opening. The seam allowance isn’t of even width, but pressing it forces it to stay in shape. You can see the difference in the picture above.

ikea hack, slipcover

The little cut-offs on the original material are there to help to put the cover on the frame. We had to leave a gap on the new slipcover as well and it left a little of the orange fabric visible. I solved this by hand stitching small pieces of fabric on either sides of the frame as you can see here. Here’s how it looks when the slipcover is on:

ikea hack, slipcover

See, no ugliness in sight! The next step was the seat cushion…

seat cushion, ikea hack, slipcover

The original seat cushion was double-length, but my friend only wanted a cushion for the seat part. I cut it in half and crudely rolled the opening hem closed and stitched it up by hand. We then made another envelope cover for it:

envelope cover, ikea hack, slipcover

Very simple. First, finish off the short ends with a double fold. Then fold it around the cushion to see where you want to stitch, take it off and stitch the side seams closed. Here’s the finished cushion:

cushion, ikea hack, slipcover

And here’s the finished chair:


I don’t know about you but I’m very pleased with myself. If you have any questions…Go ahead and ask!

-Thrifty Finn-

The Flea Market Season Is Open


Today was my first day of outdoor flea market for this summer. The city of Espoo hosts a free park flea market few times every summer and this was my first time of participating. The weather was heaven!

I didn’t know what kind of stuff would sell, so I gathered a bunch of my better clothes as well as some vintage fabrics. Turns out I should have taken home decor and kids items with me. But my sales weren’t too terrible, plus on the bright side, I didn’t have to pay anything for the spot. Actually, that’s a huge plus. My name ain’t thrifty for nothing.

banana boxes, thrifty finn, flea market

As per usual, I got chatty with my co-sellers. Quite a few of them had attended these free flea markets before. Directly across from me, were a bunch of girlfriends, who came there with three cars (and 21 banana boxes) and they had a very nifty set-up. They had thought to bring rope with them and they strung it between trees and hung some of their better stuff on it. Next time I’m going there, I’m going to use that trick to display my vintage fabrics.

vila, lacy top, thrifty finn, flea market

Naturally I did some shopping myself. I bought this top in the hopes it would fit me and usually  size L from Vila does. Well, it DID fit me but just, and it didn’t hang prettily like this kind of top is supposed to. It wasn’t too bad as I managed to sell it almost right away to someone else. My other finds included Vans-sneakers (not in a perfect condition, but they were 2 euros and I can get one summer of use out of them) and a faux Tommy Hilfiger-purse. Personally, I’m not too keen on rip-off purses but it’s a perfect bag for the summer and will go with tons of my clothes, so I couldn’t possibly pass it up.

leppävaara, bulevardi, Alberga, thrifty finn, flea market, summer

The location was just perfect. This view is looking up on the boulevard park of Leppävaara and behind me here is the Sello-mall. The next flea market here is on 3rd of July. You can just show up and pick your spot, but you have to bring your own racks, tables or whatever you want to use to display your stuff.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. I was in a doggy heaven. I lost the count of how many doggies I gave cuddles to.