Antique Shops are for the DIYer in You!

Sometimes when you are on vacation, or in my case driving down the street, you may see signs for various antique shops with grandma names or buildings you would see on the TV show American Pickers. For those of you who already embrace antique shops and know the treasures they may hold, you may have things to add to this list. For others who wouldn’t step foot in a store full of “old stuff”, I dare you to go inside just once! Who knows, you may find your new favorite coffee cup inside!  

Here is my quick rundown of what I love about antiquing:

  • Glass-There are endless glass options to behold. My favorites are green and pink Depression-era glass, as well as Bavaria hand-painted dishes. Personally, I collect glass and display it in my home next to my modern décor to show off my personality in our home. Another idea for using glass from an antique store are to create a tablescape using both your regular dishes and antiques. This way you can dress up your table for any event (e.g. Easter, Christmas, and birthdays) and get use out of your collectors’ items.

  • Wood- Anything you find that has a good wood frame (meaning, it has ‘good bones’) or is well built can be upcycled or get a facelift to be used in your home. I like to restore the original finish of wood to bring out the piece’s history. Right now we have a great library table in M’s room to organize diapers and toys, though we had used it for a changing table when she was small. Don’t rule out the use of wooden boxes!  One of the current trends is the personalization of Coca-Cola crates (for example, creating your own Coca-Cola toy box or planter). 

  • Knick-knacks- These are endless and I include anything from old books, keys, embellished jewelry, salt shakers, crocks, and cigar tins in this category. I’m not a big collector of these items, so I won’t go into them too much.  However, there is a lot of potential here! You can use books not only to read for pleasure, but also display.  My book display consists of children’s books, but for the mamas who can get away with leaving vintage books out, the display appeal is wonderful! I have bought keys and jewelry, too. You can buy kits at craft stores so you can update the vintage jewelry or add broaches to your existing pieces (think Premier Designs, only you are designing every piece!)

  • Vintage prints- These are great! Not only can you have a unique picture for your home, but if you don’t like the print and love the frame simply remove the picture and replace with a family picture or your own artwork or fabric.
  • Quilts- All handmade quilts are sewn with love. There are many options for buying a mass-produced quilts at department stores, but there is probably not a backstory for those. Also, you never know when you will find a brand new, handmade quilt in the mix. Most antique stores have some boutique booth where you can find the new items. 
  • Dining hutches- This is another endless category for facelifts. My husband loves the classic dining hutch or China cabinet, but I don’t. The good thing is you can do many things with them. You can turn them into a gardening worktable, book shelf, and even a display case dresser combo. 
  • Primitives- These always seem to be a staple for front porches and county-chic decor. In this category I place old ironing boards, tools, window panes, and doors. Think rustic Restoration Hardware.
  • Children’s rocking chairs and play tables- This is something I’m on the lookout for now. There are many options: painted, wicker, solid wood, etc. Yes, the new plastic chairs and tables are easy to clean, but they do not necessarily have a special story or meaning behind them. These are the perfect item to upcycle and personalize these to make them new. You can also pass this down through the generations. Remember, good bones are best! 

  • Flea Market Items- I’ve purchased my fair share of flea market items. There is at least one booth in every antique store I’ve visited that has something you would find at a garage sale. Even though you might not be into collecting or DIY you may find something you need that isn’t available through your local Facebook Swap/Shop.

What would you add to this list?

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