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This time of year is my favorite for so many reasons: warm weather, spring flowers, longer days…but the thing I love most is spending sunny weekends outdoors hitting the local antique fairs. Thanks to the favorable weather, most fairs take place in the spring and fall — check this list to discover one near you.

The closest antique fair to HGTV’s Knoxville HQ is less than 20 minutes away in the Mayberry-esque hamlet of Clinton, TN. Each year in early May and October, this sleepy Southern town draws antique and collectible dealers from throughout the Southeast for their Clinch River Antiques Fair. Best of all, mixed in with the professional vendors are lots of locals who’ve cleaned out Grandma’s attic, barn or basement — so, although the prices and quality of antiques vary dramatically from booth to booth, there’s so much to choose from that I never leave empty handed.

Here are a few of the goodies I spied:

A coat of bright green paint and a liberal sanding give this 60-year-old dresser a kicky update — $150: Distressed Green Dresser

Mixed in with the antiques were a few crafts. How clever are these?! Old Reader’s Digest books cut into initials — such a great idea for a kids’ room or nursery – $15 .   Books Cut Into Initials

This stoneware pitcher in emerald (Pantone’s color of the year) would look amazing filled with flowers but for $375 it’s a little too rich for my (penny-pinching) blood:Stoneware Pitcher

I love old wooden toolboxes. I use mine to keep my magazine horde under control and hadn’t really considered using one as a planter but I love how this one looks — and for $20 (geraniums and all) the price certainly is right: Geraniums in Toolbox

If you’ve caught even one episode of American Pickers then you know that vintage metal advertising signs are red hot. Personally, I’ve never heard of Stubby soda but for $475, this colorful collectible would add a nostalgic touch to the right kitchen, family room, man cave or bar area.Vintage Beverage Sign

More my speed, this lovely English side table is one of a pair with matched mahogany veneers and Wedgwood drawer pulls — $900: Round English Side Table With Wedgwood Pull

Rustic, farmhouse-style furniture was everywhere. This shelf was once part of an overmantel. Decades spent in a barn caused the paint to crackle and buck. If you like the look, it’s easy to recreate on new wood furniture using crackle medium, two shades of paint (here green and cream) and a lot of sanding to reveal the bare wood — $350:Rustic Shelf With Hydrangeas

So, what are you waiting for? Spring’s the perfect time to head outdoors and score some antique bargains. Are there any great fairs or flea markets in your area? Tell us in the comments below.

MORE ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING:
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 1
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 2
Adventures in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover
Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray
Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame
Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts
Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle
Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday Decor

8 Responses

  1. [...] a slightly more muted version of this beach-inspired color palette I featured back in February. I love how a small orange accent provides a bright focal point in both [...]

  2. Kellie says:

    Love those Wedgwood drawer pulls.

  3. Stacey says:

    The cut out books are great.

  4. Grantley@HGTV says:

    I didn't find anything at this year's fair. Of course, a "bad" day antiquing is still a very good day.

  5. […] ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING: Adventures in Antiquing: Clinch River Spring Antiques Fair Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 1 Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston […]

  6. […] Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts Adventures in Antiquing: Clinch River Spring Antiques Fair 2013 Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday […]

  7. […] Toolbox —> New Planter Our own Camille spotted this old toolbox planter at the Clinch River Antiques Fair last year. The deep blue color makes the red geranium blooms […]

  8. kjc says:

    I have that green pitcher, but mine is cobalt blue, white on the inside, hairline crack in the glazing on the inside. Got mine at an auction for like $40. That green one is WAY over-priced! :)

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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