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Garage Sale Finds & a Painted Windmill

This Summer has been full of garage sale fun for my husband and I. We have been to hundreds of sales this year and have collected quite a few garage sale finds that I still can’t believe especially since we almost gave up on garage sales in Iowa all together.

We almost gave up on them because of the twilight zone that is the Cedar Rapids area, there are so many sales that start in the beginning of the week and early in the day. We started to think that the only people able to go to garage sales are retired or unemployed, we are neither of those things but we were able to adjust our work schedules so that we could hit up some of the sales.

While garage sales are not always fun and sometimes we just spend hours driving from crappy sale to crappy sale, the times that we find great deals make all of the mingling with undesirable local folk worth it.

My most recent garage sale find was a windmill that wasn’t even for sale. My husband had purchased a lot of big items that required us to park behind the sale in order to load his purchases. When we turned the corner, the first thing I noticed was this green and yellow windmill spinning in the yard.

The couple who was having the sale mentioned that they were downsizing and getting rid of almost everything outside so I knew there was a good chance they would sell it to us.

I also knew that my husband would get the best deal possible if I told him I wanted to pay no more than ten bucks, he would get me that deal and I was right, we got the windmill for ten bucks.

Much like the rusted out blades on the windmill, my wheels started turning. I was imaging all of the ways I would paint it and the hardest part would be to settle on one design.

Lucky for me, my husband spotted another windmill and bought that one for five bucks so it will not be long before I get to see another one of my ideas come to life.

I liked the green coloring because it reminded me of the John Deere colors which makes me think of farms, barns, and cows. Since those are all of my favorite things to see, I decided to paint a scene that features all of them.

I painted a barn, cows, a pig, chickens, and both of my dogs. Each side of the painting has a different part of the scene that comes together as one full picture when the windmill spins.

I also painted the tower part of the windmill red, white, and blue. I like the way the colors run together,it kind of reminds me of a bomb pop.

I love the way this shade of red resembles the red barns I have seen around Iowa and the blue is the perfect shade to look like the sky on a beautiful day.

I put the windmill right outside of my kitchen window so when we eat dinner we can watch the blades turn and see the beautiful farm scene.

This was my favorite garage sale find this year because I was able to make it my own and I love the way it turned out. I have found a lot of great deals at garage sales and lots of things that I could not find anywhere else.

We joke about how our favorite thing we ever found at a garage sale was our friend Bob. We met him a few years ago at a sale that wasn’t even his but he heard that my husband was looking for hunting items and he was looking for someone to hunt his property due to nuisance deer so it was meant to be.

He yelled out “I have been looking for you” to my husband and invited us to follow him to his house. My daughter was at school and my husband always carries a gun so we weren’t worried about our safety. I knew immediately that Bob was quite an interesting character and I was excited to get to know him. Over the past couple of years, we have done just that, and it has been a lot of fun.

Have you went to any garage sales this Summer and if so, what are some of your best garage sale finds?


ellen beck

Thursday 21st of September 2017

I keep forgetting youre in Iowa too :) I have been DYING for a windmill and you found one in John Deere colors for $5? Geez!! I woulda hopped on it too. I have went to Blains and TSC waiting for the sales, I cant find one at a sale to save my life. Good find!

Aprill Coleman

Friday 15th of September 2017

I havent been to a garage sale since I was 12 years old living in Maryland. However, I'm always down for thrifting at the local Gateway Rescue Mission in my area. Also, that windmill looks lovely!

Ali Rost

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

I don't go out of my way to go to garage sales, but I will stop if I find myself out for an afternoon walk. There are so many treasures to be had. Love your windmills. They remind me of a big one we had on our Iowa farm when I was a kid. x

Karlyn Cruz

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Wow! What an amazing find! I love the bright new colors as well. You did a great job making it look so beautiful!

Aileen Adalid

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

I loooove going to garage sales and you just reminded me to keep a lookout for them. There are always some good finds much like what you've found here! I would actually love to have something similar to what you have :D