One of my favorite types of items to use in decorating and crafts is vintage – the older and more rustic, the better. And, the more unique or rare the find is, the more it is treasured and held in esteem. However, I also don’t like to spend a fortune on my craft supplies and decor so I have to shop very carefully.
Antique stores are probably the easiest place to find vintage items but can also be the most expensive. What you need to do is shop several stores in different areas and compare costs because some are far more reasonable than others. I have a favorite store in Newaygo, MI that has a great selection of more shabby style vintage items at fair prices. It happens to be where I picked up the picket fence, jail keys and several other items like hose nozzles and old windows.
Flea markets are another great source and a place where you can usually do your best negotiating, especially if you find several items. I have only been to small flea markets where I have found vintage fly reels and other accessories to decorate our cabin. I plan on going to some of the larger flea markets this Spring and Summer and can hardly wait!
Estate sales quite often have many antique items since this is normally the sale of a homes contents that belonged to an elderly person. I have found a few treasures to use in decorating at these types of sales.
Garage and yard sales occasionally will have a hidden vintage find but you have to look real close usually amongst the toys and clothing items! I usually stop and do a real quick scan to see if it looks like there is potential for a closer look. I don’t spend too much time at these.
Roadside rescues! –It’s almost embarrassing to tell you how many times my husband has come home with a treasure he has found along side the road. Someone else has left it at the curb for the garbage truck and my husband stops and snatches it! We have been the recipients of old vintage wooden chairs, a glass table top, and some faux pillars (not sure what to do with those yet!) If I’m with him I say ‘don’t you dare stop!’ If he comes home with something, by himself, I’m secretly glad.
Resale stores should have been listed right under antique stores. I have found so many cool items from little hole in the wall resale shops that you could easily drive right by. They are similar to antique stores but much smaller and usually a lot less expensive. It appears that instead of antique dealers selling the items, the antiques are sold by individuals on consignment. The signage will usually say Resale Store and maybe list antiques as an item sold.
Salvation Army or Goodwill stores are also an excellent source for vintage items if you can get to a store frequently. These items usually sell fast. I especially like all of the antique furniture that comes into these stores and sells at ridiculously low prices. I have also found lots of antique mason jars.
Ebay and Etsy are the two best places online that I have found to buy vintage items. You can get things like vintage typewriter keys, grain sacks, or mason jars. Search any item that you may be looking for and chances are that you will find it.