Brimfield Treasure Hunting Finds From The May 2024 Show

Do you wanna build a snowman…I mean…go on a Brimfield treasure-hunting journey with me? I just got back from Brimfield, one the largest if not THE largest flea market and antiques show in the country and I am DYING to show you everything.

Collection of Brimfield Flea Market treasures found while shopping including a light blue vintage typewriter, picnic basket, Christmas ornaments, coral, terracotta pot, wallpaper brush, thermometer, and a blue calcite palm stone

A quick Reader’s Digest breakdown of Brimfield for those who don’t know. The Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts is a collection of over a dozen flea market fields, individually owned and operated.

You can also see more info about shopping the show in my Brimfield Flea Market guide.

The collection of vintage shows means thousands (plural) of dealers to shop from. It’s overwhelmingly large and incredibly eclectic, in terms of the variety of goods and prices. It’s an amazing experience for anyone but for a vintage shopping lover, it is Heaven.

A collection of large, vintage wooden dough bowls under a tent at the Brimfield Flea Market in May 2024

Brimfield is one of my favorite adventures and I’m so glad the event, in a small Massachusetts town, is only 2.5 hours from us. It’s the perfect day trip and excuse for solo time.

I’ve been shopping Brimfield for many years, I think I’m up to year 12 now with a few years taken off during pandemic times. I’m working on compiling a big ol’ shopping guide for the Brimfield market. But until then, how about some treasures and story time?

The Budget: $160

I went with an all-in budget of $160. This needed to cover things like parking and the bag of Faddy’s cider donuts demanded requested by my husband. Hot tip…Faddy’s Donuts is a Brimfield institution and a food vendor not to miss.

Collection of vintage glove molds set up outside a vendor tent during the Brimfield flea market in May 2024

What I Went Looking For

Over the years, I’ve developed a system for shopping flea markets. It’s a fun mix of things I’m specifically looking for vs. those I can’t live without.

I perpetually keep a list on my phone of the vintage items I’m searching for. It’s always with me when I’m thrifting and is a handy reminder. I even keep measurements in the list. For example, there’s a very specific mantle mirror I’ve been looking for and what makes it hard to find are the dimensions, less than 32″ high with a wider width.

While I specifically look for items on the list as I meander the show, I also look for things I can’t resist. Usually, it’s this feeling of I couldn’t possibly leave that behind. My favorite way to describe the feeling, someone is going to have to take this out of my cold dead fingers because I love it that much.

Without further ado, my current vintage shopping list:

Vintage shopping list on a phone including unique art, mantle mirror, wool blankets, terracotta pots, coral, picnic basket for s'mores, vintage Christmas ornaments, and more

Some things will live forever on my list, like unique art and plant pots. I will never NOT be searching for those items because they are some of my favorite ways to accessorize our home.

Let’s Park It

I rolled into Brimfield a little later than I wanted to, just after 8:00 am and missed the turn for my usual parking spot. The spot just as you start rolling into town from the West, in a big field on the right. I found a new parking location, more centrally located at a person’s home just behind Hertans, for $10. It may just be my new favorite.

Gear Up

This show was my first time shopping in Brimfield in the rain. I almost didn’t go, especially knowing I wanted to take a bunch of pics to write a Brimfield shopping guide. But the lure of escaping parenthood and general responsibilities for a day took over.

After parking, I geared up for the cold and the rain. Thick warm socks, muck boots, and a hooded raincoat. Also snacks and water. Lots of snacks and water.

LL Bean canvas tote filled with gear for vintage shopping in the rain including a hooded coat, boots, warm socks, water bottle, and more

Thankfully, I also brought a zippered tote to carry my newfound goods and protect them from the nonstop rain.

First Stop: Hertans

Since I was parked in the back corner of the Hertans show field, I started perusing there. So many vendors were closed up tight. I figured it was because of the rain but after chatting up the few open vendors, learned it was also because another field, May’s, was opening that morning. Many vendors in other fields choose not to open until 10ish on another field’s opening day. Interesting.

I almost bought a vintage rug from one vendor, which was only a 4′ x 3′ rug but it would have been a big improvement for my attic closet. But at $100 and the first hour of shopping, I passed it up.

I left Hertans after an hour, empty-handed and disappointed with the lack of vendors open. But also optimistic (and a little bit wet) knowing there were still more than a thousand booths to visit. Although these fun upcycled planters almost got me.

Upcycled planters at a vendor booth at the Brimfield flea market in May 2024

Second Stop: New England Motel

Across the street from Hertans is the New England Motel field. It’s always been my favorite and today was no exception. It’s a good mix of curated booths for the perfect Instagram shot vs. your more traditional flea market booth.

While I love perusing the curated booths, I often can’t afford their prices. But there’s no harm in looking!

Curated booth example:

Collection of vintage cameras on an old light blue cabinet at a vendor booth at the Brimfield Flea Market in May of 2024

My favorite flea market booths are the types jam-packed with lots of treasures to pick through. It’s these types of booths that I tend to find my purchases.

Treasure hunting booth example:

A vendor booth at the Hertan's field during the Brimfield market week in May 2024

First Finds: Typewriter And Terracotta Pot

Immediately, I found a booth with a sweet old woman, who has been a vendor at Brimfield for more than 40 years, and an adorable little terracotta plant pot. There was also this vintage baby blue typewriter in the corner of her booth that I could not stop thinking about.

Seriously, what to do with a typewriter other than display it on the shelf? Nothing. Nothing else will happen with that typewriter. But it had to be mine.

I lingered in her shop long enough to convince myself it needed to come home with me. This will not be another vintage paper cutter (like the ones we had in elementary school in the 80s) or a citrus juicer situation. Two vintage items I passed on over the years that haunt me to this day.

Spoiler alert, the typewriter has found a home:

Light blue vintage typewriter on a shelf with dried hydrangeas in a vase, old photos, coral, and ship art

It’s on the shelf up in the hallway. It’s a slippery slope and now I’m working on completely rearranging the shelves. Stay tuned.

Light blue vintage typewriter on a shelf with a vase of dried hydrangeas, old pictures, and coral

Committing The Ultimate Brimfield Faux Pas And Living To Tell The Tale

A few booths later I came across some gorgeous vintage Christmas ornaments. I collect the pink glass ornaments for a little tree we put up in our hallway each Christmas. We’ve had a few casualties and the tree is starting to look sparse.

This booth had some of the most stunning pink ornaments I have seen. Yet, I walked away and did not purchase.

Box of pink vintage Christmas ornaments at a flea market vendor booth

As I walked away I thought to myself, “Self, I’ll come back later for the ornaments. I just started shopping in this field and they are so fragile I would need to take them back to the car. I’ll go back for them later.”

Dear readers. The number one rule at Brimfield. If you find something you love, buy it. Because either A, when you return for it, said item will be gone. Or B, you won’t be able to find the booth or the item when you try to go back.

One more time. If you find something you love at Brimfield, buy it immediately.

So when I tried to find the booth again, I could not find it. Not surprised one bit. This has happened far too many times than I care to share. You would think I would know this by now. I got so spun around in the field that I couldn’t find the booth, gave up and resumed shopping.

A few booths later I enter a vendor tent and feel like I’ve seen this booth before. I say to myself, “Self, you’ve been in this booth less than an hour ago. Act cool, you’re about to walk by the booth owner and she will FOR SURE recognize you and think you’re the crazy lady who got lost and is shopping the same booth twice and doesn’t realize it. Wait. What’s that? Ornaments!!! What dumb luck! Maybe I should buy some lottery tickets on the way out of town?!”

Yes, I randomly stumbled back into the booth I was trying to find, found a pair of ornaments, and PURCHASED THEM! Well, my two favorites.

Pink and silver vintage Christmas ornaments sitting on a vintage black truck

Other Finds

The beauty of Brimfield is that it isn’t just antiques and vintage finds. I found the cutest little crystals shop and couldn’t resist a blue calcite palm stone. Anything to lessen those anxieties.

A table filled with cyrstals and palm stones at the Brimfield antiques show and flea market in May 2024

I also came across this tiny little shop tucked behind the porta-potties. I almost passed it up because the mud puddle in front of their tent was exceptionally large, in terms of both girth and depth. Muck boots to the rescue! Being a Vermonter is helpful.

And then I spotted them. The stack of picnic baskets. JUST the type of picnic baskets I was looking for to corral s’mores paraphernalia for the upcoming s’mores season. I found THE ONE right basket for me at just the right price and purchased faster than you can say “bunch of munchy crunchy carrots.” (Octonauts reference anyone?!)

I tucked it in my tote bag and dashed to the car to stash it since it was large and awkward. Me being me, I broke one of the handles in transit. Face…palm. Here’s hoping wood glue will repair it, if not I’m taping it because I love this basket!

Vintage picnic basket sitting on an old trunk in front of a wall of framed family photos

Third Stop: Shelton’s

After the trip to the car, it was off in the other direction to Shelton’s field.

One of the booths I came across was FULL of gorgeous, colorful textiles. The booth owner was so sweet and helpful as I was checking out the sizes and prices. I desperately wanted to purchase one of the larger textiles and use it for layering at the foot of a bed, either ours or the girls.

Textiles booth with colorful cloths at Brimfield antiques show in May 2024

I learned the vendor would return for the July and September Brimfield shows with another load of textiles. This bought me some time to finish the girls’ bedroom design plan and hopefully incorporate one of these beauties. If not, the white one is going in our room!

Towards the end of shopping in the Sheltan’s field, I stumbled into an extra curated shop. Like extra extra in all the good ways. I introduce you to Seed to Stem, which has a brick-and-mortar shop that looks just like this in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Seed To Stem booth at Brimfield 2024 filled with house plants and curated nature items

They had a gorgeous piece of coral that needed to come home with me. It was even on my list! I have a little coral collection I’ve been working on since our time in Maine and this marks piece number six.

I also couldn’t resist picking up a shark’s tooth. Can’t explain it.

Coffee Break

At this point, it was around 11:30 and I was super cold, wet, and a little grumpy. I don’t like being cold and wet. But it was nothing a little coffee and a donut couldn’t fix!

Faddy’s Donuts is a must-stop for me every Brimfield. I always get myself a coffee and donut as a pick-me-up. It’s the best combo and Faddy’s apple cider donuts are so warm and crispy, they melt in your mouth.

Faddy's apple cider donut and a cup of hot coffee at Brimfield flea market

I munched my donut as I walked back to the car to tuck my coral in a safe space so it wouldn’t break.

This was also a good opportunity to strip off my soaking wet jacket and try to dry it out in the car for a few minutes while I warmed up a little.

The Last Hurrah

For the next couple of hours, I shopped with little rhyme or reason. I mainly stuck to the shops along the road and then meandered through Quaker Acres, another Brimfield market field, a little bit.

I think I was in Quaker Acres when I found my last finds of the day, an old wallpaper brush and a bath thermometer. Both items I want to use in our soon-to-be-finished (I hope) greenhouse.

Vintage wallpaper brush and a wooden bath thermometer found at the Brimfield antique market in May 2024

I love having a small hand broom around when I’m potting plants and wanted to use this extra wide brush like a broom to sweep up dirt on the potting bench.

I thought the bath thermometer, a simple thermometer encased in wood, would be a cute addition to hang inside the greenhouse to help us know the temp.

Feed Me

After meandering about until about 1:30 ish, I was starving. As I walked back to the car, where I had packed myself enough snacks to feed an army (or my two small children), I walked past the food vendors.

There is one food vendor that is synonymous with Brimfield. Pilgrim Sandwiches. And I felt like a sham because I’ve never had the iconic sandwich. When in Rome.

I moseyed on up to their food truck and ordered my first-ever Pilgrim Sandwich (a Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce).

Pilgrim Sandwich food truck menu sign at the Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts in May 2024

It did not disappoint. It might have lived up to its infamy.

Calling It A Day

After purchasing my sandwich, along with a bag of donuts to bring home to my husband, I took my spoils back to the car to eat in the warm dry environment.

I started the day with grand intentions of spending the entire day shopping and leaving around 5:00 pm-ish. But it was almost 2:00 pm and I was getting miserable. Cold. Wet. And down to my last $40.

While one side of my brain told me I should stay, shop, and eke out as much as possible from my trip for efficiency’s sake. The other side of my brain told me you’ve had fun and can return in July, hopefully with less rain and temps above 54 degrees.

Home it was. When I pulled into the driveway, where it was sunny and 75, I was greeted by my kids who immediately asked to see the treasure. Hashtag raising little vintage lovers.

Brimfield antique market treasures found including a light blue vintage typewriter, picnic basket, wallpaper brush, Christmas ornaments, coral, terracotta pot, thermometer, and crystal palm stone

Now…to find all the right homes for my new treasures.

Pssst…As an addendum of sorts to this blog post, for anyone who may notice the mention of a shark tooth but no picture of said shark tooth. It is officially MIA and the search party has been called off. In under an hour of coming into our home, it was hijacked by small hands who do not recall where said shark tooth was left. I have given up hope of ever finding it again. Le sigh.

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  1. I know Melinda (mostly her dad), owner of Seed and Stem. She grew up my hometown of Westborough, also where Kay and Hank’s Reilly grew up. Sweet connection!

    1. No way, that’s really cool! Small world. I’m dying to go to Worcester and check out their shop. Have you been?!

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