I tend to see the world through holiday colored glasses when I am antique shopping. Whether I am at a thrift store, flea market or garage sale somewhere in the back of mind I am looking at everything thinking: “How could that be holiday decor.” I get serious tunnel vision around Halloween and Christmas, but year round I am on the prowl. Here are a few suggestions for things you could find at this weekend’s estate sale and use come December.
I’m such a sucker for anything neon. These vintage souvenir pennants always call my name when I see them at the flea market, but I never make the leap. I love the no-sew felt appliqué tree skirt I made last year, but for a girl that has over 100 Christmas trees, you can never have too many skirts. Thanks Brian Patrick Flynn for the adorable idea. I’m headed over to Etsy right now to browse for tacky pennants to call my own.
Vintage dollhouses are hard to say no to. Time and time again I have spotted them at flea markets and tried to rationalize why I needed one. Finally inspiration struck. I stole this metal beauty from my mother and created my own winter wonderland vignette. Metal or plastic, large or small, vintage or new – next time you see a dollhouse scoop that sucker up and stick it away for Christmas.
It is hard not to love Emily Henderson and everything she designs and styles. I knew from the moment I fist saw her on HGTV she was destined for design greatness. These clever globe snowmen she created are a perfect example. Not only do I love using ocean blue at Christmas I love vintage globes. These things pop up at the thrift store weekly. I plan on collecting several over the summer and fall to make my own snowman family come winter.
Old soda crates are the perfect advent calendar – they have 24 slots after all. Keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and on eBay for red ones like Coke and Big Red to fit the holiday decor (I also have an orange Nehi one I use at Halloween). Click here to see my whole DIY on how to convert your crate into an advent.
Vintage metal toy cars (new ones too) look extra adorable when styled to appear they are hauling a tree home from the farm. I have my husband’s childhood General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard I decorate each year. Go the traditional route and tie a small bottlebrush tree to the roof of a car or get elaborate with decorations like the multi-talented Suzy from Georgia Peachez.
Need an excuse to start a vintage toy collection? I use Christmas (or even Easter) decor as my excuse. I have used these vintage Fisher Price toys in vignettes and trees for several holidays. Christmas is all about the toys and everyone loves being brought back to the nostalgia of 70’s Fisher Price. A good sturdy Treetopia green tree will easily hold a heavy toy collection. I just passed up a retro Fisher Price doll house at the thrift store last week. Now looking at this tree again I am kicking myself for doing that.
I have two vintage gum ball machines in my garage that have been waiting for the perfect DIY. I think I found it. This snow globe by The Altered Past is just too cute. I see these machines new and used at flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales so finding your own should not be hard.by