Thrift Store Makeovers: Swap It Like It’s Hot

Flea Market Swap between 33 bloggers!

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know I’ve been teasing a little about this week’s Flea Market Swap event, better known at #SwapItLikeItsHot, coordinated by the uber-talented Charlotte of Ciburbanity. (3 cheers for Charlotte!)

So, how does a #SwapItLikeItsHot work? First, everyone playing is assigned a fellow blogger. Then we all head out to our favorite thrift stores, flea markets, etc, to uncover goodies to send to our swapee. We mail our items to their recipients, dance giddily when we receive our own box full of goodies, and get to work reimagining what the contents can be!

Want to see how my thrift store makeovers turned out??

I received a box full of goodies from Christy at Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer. And I have to say, as I started unpacking the goods, I was feeling a little stumped! Here’s a look at what she sent me:

Flea Market Swap - Before

A wooden basket, a wooden frog, a china plate and a solid wood watermelon slice.


Yeah, that watermelon slice really threw me! What in the world was it used for in its pre-thrift store life??

The frog was my first makeover victim. After some Googling, I discovered that it’s actually a musical instrument! Bonus – you can buy your own on Amazon! There should be a carved wooden stick in the frog’s mouth that you can scrape along the back ridges to make a percussion sound.

Flea Market Swap Before - wooden frog

Since I had no plans of using this as a musical instrument, I thought it would make a perfect little sort of bud vase. I got to work with a drill and paddle bit, carving out a hole in its back. Lemme tell you, this was NOT easy! The wood this thing is made out of is super hard!! Once the hole was drilled, I gave it light sanding and a coat of metallic gold craft paint. I would have preferred to spray paint it, but the single-digit temperatures we’ve been having aren’t really spray-paint friendly. But still, he looks pretty jazzy with his new coat of paint!

Wood Frog Bud Vase via

Now, onto the wood basket! This basket held a pretty interesting discovery—a stamp on the bottom that reads: “Made By Inmate. Maine State Prison.”

Flea Market Swap Basket - Before

I think it’s pretty cute as-is; it just needed a slightly darker stain to suit my taste (one light coat of Minwax Red Mahogany).

Flea Market Swap: Wood Basket After. via

Once Spring rolls around, I’m going to use it as a mini herb garden in the kitchen.

Next up, this china plate that I decided to turn into ring dish.

Flea Market Swap: China Dish Before. via

An Anthropologie-inspired Eiffel Tower Ring Dish, to be exact. I’ll be sharing the full step-by-step tutorial later this week, otherwise this post would be waaayyyy tooo long. {Update: you can find the full tutorial here!}. But I will say, my first attempt at sculpting a miniature Eiffel Tower wasn’t as disastrous as I thought it would be!

Upcycled China Ring Dish via


And last but not least… the watermelon slice!

Flea Market Swap: Wood Watermelon Slice

Well… I’m still stumped on this one. So, what if I make this an interactive #SwapItLikeItsHot? If you’ve got a suggestion for what I should do with this random wood watermelon slice, let me know! Leave me a comment! I’ll choose one idea and share the results in the coming weeks!

Now, I hope you’re not swapped out because there are still a bunch of makeovers to check out—today and the rest of this week! Hop on over to Sarah’s blog, While They Snooze, to see what she did with these old 45 records and this colorful shower curtain!


Flea Market Swap Day #2


Don’t miss the full rundown of awesome swaps happening this week!
I’ll be updating the links each day.

Day 1
Run to Radiance
Decor Adventures
Year of Serendipity
58 Water Street
Don’t Disturb This Groove
Like a Saturday
Artsy Chicks Rule

Day 2
Two Purple Couches
While They Snooze
The Gathered Home
Black and White Obsession
Restoration Redoux
Confessions of aSerial Do-it-Yourselfer

Day 3
Primitive & Proper
Queen of Everything
That’s My Letter
Finding Silver Pennies
Migonis Home
Windgate Lane

Day 4
I Am a Homemaker
Town and Country Living
Thoughts from Alice
Our Southern Home
Chic Little House
SG Style
Two Thirty~Five Designs

Day 5
Gourley Girl & Guy
The Thinking Closet
The Charming Farmer
2 Little Superheroes
Shades of Blue Interiors
Live Pretty on a Penny

Sharing with: Pretty Preppy Party / Something To Talk About

69 thoughts on “Thrift Store Makeovers: Swap It Like It’s Hot

  1. Pingback: Flea Market Swap: Fabric Covered Basket | Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

  2. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

    I am very impressed that you were able to come up with great ideas for most of the items! That watermelon just spoke to me ha ha. I saw that stamp on the bottom of the crate too lol. I guess it was made by an inmate? Love the frog in gold and the plate is very cool now! Great job, I know I was tough on you, but you pulled it off great! 🙂
    Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted…Flea Market Swap: Fabric Covered BasketMy Profile

  3. Celia

    Great job! FYI when you scrape the stick along the frogs back the noise it makes attracts other frogs. If you are in the right location the frogs will all be a trilling (croaking ?)
    Maybe you could make the watermelon into a sign as a sun?
    “You are the sunshine of my life” or
    the children’s song
    “Oh Mr. sun, sun Mr. golden sun …..
    OR – add a bracket to it & make a shelf to catch keys by a door?

      1. jody settlemire

        I would add a bracket and some paint to the watermelon piece and make it a sconce shelf thing for the wall. I like what you did with the little frog, he turned out cute. 🙂

          1. jeannine

            That was my thought too – adding a wood bracket to make a knick-knack shelf to add interest to a wall grouping of pictures or photos.

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  5. Marie@The Interior Frugalista

    I’m visiting from Christy’s blog – I just had to see what on earth you were going to do with that frog and watermelon slice. LOL Well you wowed me with the frog – that is a sweet transformation! I’m with you on the basket – perfect for a mini herb garden! As for the watermelon…good luck with that! The only thing that popped into my head would be to put 3 mini legs on the bottom, paint and distress it, and use is it to display something. (mini pots with succulents, a vase with flowers, etc). -OR- if all else fails make a sign with a French graphic.

    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Hi Marie! Thanks so much for stopping by! I like the idea of turning the watermelon into a mini display – I hadn’t thought of that! Christy sure gave me a challenge with this box of items!

  6. Jessica B

    Chop it down the middle, flip on its side for bookends for cookbooks!!!! I’d spray it with a high gloss clear laquer. : )

  7. Pingback: Flea Market Swap Makeover - #swapitlikeitshot | Like a Saturday

  8. cassie

    i love that frog! he’s awesome!!! and as for the watermelon slice…. hmmm…. i think you could sand it, repaint it with colorblocking, lay it on its side and drill some pencil holes in it to make it a modern pencil holder. i don’t know!

  9. Pingback: Thrifty Makeovers Repurposed (Swap it Like it's Hot!) - Artsy Chicks Rule

  10. Arlo Boutwell

    The watermelon is perfect, glue some real watermelon seeds over the painted seeds and screw in two eye hooks or cup hooks to the top toward the ends (this would be the straight side not the rounded). Then the real work begins, cut another piece of wood in a half moon just like the watermelon, or you could just cut a square or rectangle. Then paint it, decorate it with WELCOME or last name BOUTWELLS some flower or graphic design you like. The flat part is the bottom and the curve is the top unless you go square or rectangle and you can figure out from there. 2 small cup hooks close to the same spot as your melon and 2 open chain about 6 inches long. Mount your design on the house and hang the melon with the chains. Very cute summertime decoration. I have Santa’s, witches, bunnies, 4 leaf clover, pot of gold, fall leaves, tulips and a Bronco helmet to decorate for the seasons. If you have no idea what Im talking about I can email a pic of mine..

    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Thanks for the idea Ario! One of my friends made a watermelon door decoration out of plywood last summer, and my husband and I were actually laughing that if she’d waited a year, I could have given her this one!

  11. Rhonda

    take a rectangle piece of wood for the back and put the watermelon slice as the bottom of a shelf. Put a candle or a mason jar with candle and make a sconce. And of course paint it!

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  14. Pingback: Thrift Store Jewelry Hangers - Our Southern Home

  15. Pingback: Anthropologie Inspired Eiffel Tower DIY Ring Dish | two purple couches

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    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Haha, thanks Jillian! I’ve completely underestimated my sculpting abilities 😉 I usually take my rings off when I’m washing dishes or baking, and there’s always that moment of panic when I can’t remember where I put them!

  18. Katarina

    Great work. About the watermelon: I challenged myself before seeing what you did to see what I could come up with first. But it was hard so I scrolled to see what you made. But you were stumped as well. So it made me think some more. Here’s my idea:
    I like the half circle shape of the watermelon. I would paint it (white for example) , drill some holes in it and attach small hooks. Then buy a circular mirror(without a frame or bigger if it’s with a frame) that’s about the size of the watermelon. Glue the watermelon on one of the sides of the mirror and you have a jewelry display/mirror to hang up on your wall. So the left half for example would be mirror and the right part the watermelon part with hooks. Hope I explained it somewhat well 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you make!

    1. Two Purple Couches Post author

      Thanks Katarina! This watermelon has stumped several 😉 I really like your idea of taking a jewelry hanger one step further by attaching a mirror! Very clever!! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  19. Pingback: 10 Awesome DIY Thrift Store Makeovers | two purple couches

  20. Jan Elizabeth

    This exchange is such a fun idea! An idea for your watermelon: use a jigsaw to cut it into six arches and make one of those wooden rainbow puzzles. They are pretty high-end toys that can be put together in lots of ways.

  21. brett

    This looks like so much fun! Love the idea of a swap. You had some definite challenges and I’m so impressed with your “after” pieces! The frog gets a good chuckle for the flowers – it’s really cute now! And the ring tray … precious! Thanks for linking up to the Pretty Preppy Party! xx, b @
    brett recently posted…MAKE: A Spring Wreath Using On-hand SuppliesMy Profile

  22. cat

    I know it is verrrry late, but with the half watermelon you could put a hook to hang it [ on the “rind”]
    paint the colours of the rainbow …. on the straight side you could attach ribbons in the rainbow colours….
    hang as a wind catching mobile…..
    What did you make it into in the end?


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