Do you live for that “Eureka!” moment when you spy that smashing 1940s veiled tilt hat or a must-have mid-century coffee table? When you have a passion for tracking down timeless treasures that fit your vintage, nostalgic style, you know that the coolest finds aren’t going to be discovered in local malls or big-box retail stores. We have a few tips to help you take your hunt for timeless treasures beyond the obvious thrift shops and flea markets.
Pieces with pizzazz can be found close to home. Just ask Great-Aunt Irma. Seriously … ask your aunts, grandmothers or elderly friends for an invitation to peruse their attics and basements for forgotten heirlooms and timeless treasures. You might just find they’re happy to part with items they haven’t used — or even looked at — in decades, knowing you’ll give the finds new life.
Imagine the sweet memories that will be shared while sorting through boxes, blowing the dust off the spines of vintage books and opening hope chests. And, something you can’t buy in a thrift shop: the priceless stories behind the glittery hummingbird brooch worn to a first sock hop and the Depression-era glass candy dish that was always filled with peppermints.
Estate sales and auctions are goldmines for timeless treasure hunters. When that fast-talking auctioneer slams the gavel, points at you and yells, “Sold, to the highest bidder!” it’s hard not to break into a happy dance. Take a lesson from the early bird who got the worm — show up at the crack of dawn for the best deals.
And, cash is king at these events, so make time for a stop at the ATM. Feeling daring? Go ahead, live bold and take a chance on a box of mystery items. Sometimes estates will auction off whole box-loads of vintage clothing instead of dealing with sorting through them — who knows, you might get lucky.
Use estatesales.net to find auctions and estate sales in your area. Not keen on waking up early and fighting the crowds? Shop anytime with online auction sites like liveauctioneers.com. You can brag that you scored your vintage brass candlesticks while sitting in your dentist’s waiting room.
Get lost in time browsing online marketplaces. eBay is a treasure trove when it comes to scoring vintage posters, hard-to-find concert t-shirts, retro furniture, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and more. Etsy merchants sell vintage items ranging from costumes to clothing, jewelry, photos and housewares. Also, many independent thrift stores choose Etsy as the platform to host their e-commerce, so you'll find on the site treasures from second-hand shopping destinations like SharkGravy of Chicago and RogueRetro of Seattle.
As you continue collecting timeless treasures, look no further than Pinterest for dreaming or doing. Create and fill boards with ideas on how to style, repurpose and upcycle your vintage finds. When the creative juices start flowing, there will be no stopping you!
Whether you design wall art with your collection of chintz-patterned china plates or upcycle a weathered farmhouse window into a chalkboard calendar, your timeless treasures will no longer be someone else’s discards. They’ll be part of your amazingly stylish story.