If you are looking to discover more about decorating with vintage finds, here are tons of ideas, inspiration, and a few DIY projects, too.
I am a storyteller.
A weaver of tales.
A spinner of yarns.
Maybe that’s why I love vintage decor. You know. Something a little old and worn around the edges. Something with more lives than a cheshire cat. Something that has lived a long and prosperous existence before you ever meet it.
Oh, the tales it could tell.
The challenge of vintage decor? Truly? Is what to do with it after you bring it home.
You are standing in a flea market or yard sale and tucked between the random pieces of junk and nonsense and 50 pairs of coat hangers from 1954, you find something that makes your heart beat faster. You scoop it up and clutch it to your heart and lug it to your back door.
What do you do with it?
That’s why I’m so happy we are friends. You have given me so many ideas for decorating and creating with yard sale finds over the years, it’s my turn to return the favor.
Here are my best tips (and a few projects, too) for decorating with vintage finds.
Decorating With Vintage Finds
Q: How can I decorate my living room vintage style?
I think every room needs a little bit of vintage. Truly. When I’m decorating with vintage finds in my living room (or any other space in my home) I want to create the impression that it evolved over time. I don’t want it to look cookie cutter or like a house out of a magazine.
I want it to look like me.
Does that make sense? And the easiest way to make a room look like me is to purpose to make sure I’m decorating with vintage finds. Here are several ways I add vintage finds to my spaces:
- place a vintage find on top of a stack of books
- when you add a grouping of three somewhere–make sure that one of them is vintage
- hang a vintage find on the wall and add a frame around it
- repurpose a vintage find into something else (I’ll show you how to do this with the projects at the end of the post)
- group several vintage finds together to create a collection
Q: Where are the best places to shop for decor?
Once everything opens back up and you can shop and yard sale again, here are my very best shopping places:
- Thrift stores—did you know that thrift stores have reviews? If you are in an area where you aren’t familiar with the thrift stores? Read the reviews before shopping. Not all thrift stores are created equal. That way you can figure out if they have furniture or home decor or simply clothing, etc.
- Facebook marketplace—I can waste a good hour on Facebook market place if I’m not careful. The best part? Once you look around over there, Facebook knows what you like and it starts suggesting things for you. I love a helpful social media app. (total aside: I also sell over there, too, and it’s a great way to make a little extra cash).
- Yard sales—this is still my number one for finding the unexpected.
- Asking—I know this is a random idea, but if you are looking for something specific you can always put out an all-call on social media and sometimes an amazing find turns up like my vintage mirrors.
Q: Do you actually use the pieces instead of just decorating with them?
This is actually one of my best tips.
When decorating with vintage finds, you are SO much more likely to appreciate them if they are actually useful. For example, I have an entire collection of milk glass. It’s not expensive. Most of the pieces in my collection I got for under $5.00 at all the place mentioned above. I display some of them in a bookshelf painted in a contrasting color to make them pop.
But here’s the best part.
I actually USE most of these pieces. I use them for serving. I use them for flower displays. I use them to hold other vintage finds, like scrabble tiles or old wood bead strands.
Find vintage items for your home that you can use as well as display.
Q: What are some hot vintage finds to look for?
There are so many different vintage finds that are trending now. Here are just a few of my favorites:
- antique mirrors (I used mine to decorate the staircase)
- oversized vintage frames
- bingo cards
- silverplate silverware sets
- quilt pieces
- vintage board games
- cast-iron doorstops
- vintage mailboxes
- vintage fruit pieces
1. Paper fruit
Here’s one I found recently.
It’s a pear made out of paper.
I have an entire pear collection, but I found this one with an apple and here’s how I decorated with them.
I placed them in the bookshelf and put them on a stack of books.
When I have two pieces like this, I like to push the books back slightly and add one piece on the top and one piece in front.
You can add or take away books to make the pieces work together in the display at the right height.
2. Printer blocks
I love old printer’s blocks with typography on them—and these blocks are my initials.
“K” and “W”.
Here, I’ve stacked them on the books on the bookshelf as well.
I’ve also added them to a piece of wood or even created an entire display with them before on a mantel.
The bird piece was made for me by my sister out of vintage book pages and attached it to a piece of wood.
decorating with vintage finds: DIY project ideas
Here are a few ideas that I’ve done with the vintage decor items I’ve found. I’ve also posted a fun video on creating a vintage finish with paint.
I found these vintage yard sticks.
And I made this DIY yardstick stool.
4. Vintage game pieces
I found these vintage croquet mallets.
And I made these hooks.
You can also decorate with scrabble pieces like this Christmas tree.
Or hang game boards on the wall.
5. Vintage silverplate
I found this vintage silver plate.
And I made these cabinet door handles.
You can also make napkin rings.
And this silver picture frame holder.
6. Vintage shutters
I found these vintage shutters.
And I made a wall.
I’ve also made message boards and found these shutters by the side of the road and transformed them here.
7. Vintage pennants
I found these vintage pennants.
And I decorated with them like this.
You can also make a pillow with them like this.
8. Vintage plates
I found these vintage plates.
And I created a wall display with them.
I also use them to decorate my recipe plate rack like this.
9. Vintage hinges
It’s so easy to find vintage hinges like these.
Why not use them as wreath hangers?
Just attach them to a shutter or a door and hang wreath from a ribbon.
10. Vintage faucets
What to do with a vintage faucet?
Why not make a tassel from it?
11. Vintage books
I love decorating with books.
Especially ones that are well-loved.
You can see all my book decorating tips here.
And on and on and vintage decorating on.
The amazing things about vintage finds?
NO ONE ELSE has something exactly the same–especially when you create a project with them.
They are unique and creative and full of personality and character.
And if they wrote a novel?
I’d buy a dozen copies.
Because vintage finds? They are the best storytellers in the world. 🙂
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