Tis the season for holiday pins. This first week of December is dedicated to the start of this amazing time of year!
My new favorite weekend activity, antiquing! It’s a great way to spend a Saturday, a chance to learn some history, and score some amazingly unique finds. It’s cheap entertainment…if you can resist the impulse to buy. Here in Kansas City it’s booming. Tons of great shops are popping up around town and full weekend events are centered around the search for that perfect piece. (Or in my case, pieces.) It’s a blast but it can be a little overwhelming searching through shops upon shops, shelves upon shelves, years upon years of stuff. Here’s my tips for the best antiquing trip!
Make a Plan
Come prepared with a list of any specific pieces or ideas you’re hoping to find. This will help narrow your search when looking through the stores, if you know what you’re looking for it’s easier to spot.
Determine what you’re willing to spend for each piece. Then you’ll know if you should pay or pass.
Have your phone charged and ready for taking quick pics. I always take pictures of pieces I’m interested in throughout the day, then at the end of the day I decide what to purchase. Unless you immediately know that you love the piece and don’t think you’ll find anything better. If you like it but still aren’t sure, save it for an end of the day purchase. Pictures help you compare pieces as you shop. Take a few photos of the piece at different angles, the price tag, and the shop’s sign. Determine your favs then head back to the shops for purchase and pick-up.
Bring a Buddy
I always like to have someone with me for a second opinion. ‘It isn’t worth that much.’ ‘You HAVE to get that.’ ‘We could easily recreate that.’
My mom, who went along this weekend, was incredibly helpful! Plus it makes it more fun. The first time Ryan and I went, we literally spent the entire day just looking around and didn’t buy a thing! Cheap date!
Talk to Shop Owners
Use the shop owners and associates as the resources they are. They can help you save time if you’re looking for a particular piece. They also have great ideas for ways to use items, I’m talking Pinterest’s competition here. I especially enjoy speaking about the history of the pieces. Who knew these were salvaged architectural and design details from specific Kansas City buildings, awesome! It makes you want to buy them just so their beauty can live on.
Half the fun of antiquing is gathering ideas to recreate yourself. The shops do a great job of displaying the pieces in a creative way, that you can mimic! Plus, many of the antique places double as showrooms for fellow DIY-ers, like us. But this can mean higher prices since you’re paying them to ‘craft for you’. It’s your call on whether you want to pay for the finished product or gather the materials to recreate it yourself.
Be Ready to Negotiate
Remember the price on the tag is not necessarily the final price. Usually you can negotiate, just don’t expect to slash the cost in half.
I scored a deal on these shutters because I bought three, you can get cheaper pricing when buying larger quantities. I also shared my vision with Andy, the shop owner, on turning them into a screen for our wedding reception. He was so excited for us that he gave us a little discount, they love hearing how their pieces will re-purposed.
Prepare to Purchase Surprise Finds
It’s going to happen, you’re going to find something you love that you didn’t intend to. It’s awesome! I just have to keep myself in check or I’d end up with a truckload headed back to my apartment.
My Past Weekend of Antiquing…
This past weekend I was looking for tall shutters, two partially upholstered dining chairs, and Christmas ideas.
Shutters were easy to spot, a tall person searching for tall shutters isn’t even a fair game. Each store had their own variation, I found a few that I liked but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for.
Then at the last shop I found these gems, love!
We found tons of dining chairs but they can be tricky, most are sold in sets of 4 to 6 or with a table. Obviously I don’t need an extra table or chairs lying around, so searched high and low for options. I found two painted chairs without upholstery, cheaper than I was expecting but not what as comfortable as I was hoping for. Plus they were vetoed by Ryan.
Then we came across these chairs. Two of each, the same price, both needing a little paint and fabric. The first I liked, but didn’t love. Moved onto another store and found this pair with a little more detail sold on the spot!
As for Christmas inspiration, it was everywhere. Now that Halloween is over, Christmas is in full swing. My mom had a reminiscing, showing me ornaments that were nearly identical to ones from her childhood. I fell in love with vintage ornaments and some cute Santas, also lots of creepy Santas. And this tree caught my eye, get ready for a DIY.
Feel free to add any tips you may have. Happy antiquing!
If you all couldn’t tell by now, two of my favorite things are distressed wood and things that make a space feel like home. Warn wood gives such warmth and charm to a home, it makes it feel lived in, like it’s yours. It’s that little extra touch that transforms your rental unit into a place you can’t imagine leaving. Sometimes you need that little reminder that home isn’t a location, it’s a feeling.
That was my inspiration for this project! Two of my best friends got married last summer, (you’ve heard about them in**) they’re both medical students. I won’t get into the technicality of their fields of study, too complicated, but this is important to know because it means they may end up living thousands of miles from home. They may move multiple times for residencies and job offers, crossing my fingers for some place great to visit! I wanted them to be able to take a little piece of home with them, wherever they end up and always remember their first home, Kansas.
Here’s what you need:
Old Pallet or Barn Wood (I scored this from my dad’s warehouse. Check Craigslist postings or local warehouses.)
Spare Wood and Nails (This is needed to frame and attach your pallet pieces.)
Wood Stain (I’m still using my favorite, Miniwax’s Mission Oak Satin.)
An Old Cloth or Rag (For wiping away any excess stain.)
Paintbrush (To apply the stain, which poly-based so beware of stickiness.)
White Colored Pencil (Use this to trace your text onto your piece.)
HOME text (Print and cut your template then trace onto your piece.)
Temporary Photo Strips (To attach the HOME text for tracing.)
Paint and Paintbrushes (Whatever color combination you prefer, I liked the contrast of the state and text.)
Clear Spray Paint (I like Krylon’s Crystal Clear or Matte Finish.)
Gather your pallets! My dad has an entire stash of these at his work, so I hit the jackpot. If you’re not so lucky, I promise that there are SO many warehouses literally giving these away. Check your local businesses or Craigslist postings. If they’re not free, they’re usually cheap. If you exhaust all options and still are unable to find distresses wood, buy some knotty wood in the hardware store and transform it similarly to The Distressed HOME Sign.
Once you find your boards, cut them down to size. This piece is small, 12″x18″. I thought it would be great hung in a bathroom or kitchen. But the size is up to you! I’m wanting to make a larger piece for my dining room.
Gather some spare wood and nails to attach the boards. I gathered my dad too, my apartment doesn’t really have a place for using power tools. Here’s how I framed mine, I tried to align the new nail holes with the existing. You could even find some old rusty nails to enhance the rustic look.
Time to stain! This stain lets the integrity of the wood show but still gives a dark richness, I love it. I applied two coats using the rag to wipe away any excess stain.
Layout your text template using your home state! I created a template using a simple font, like Arial Black, with Font Squirrel’s StateFace. This font simplifies the outlines of states but you could also find a photo of your state to trace. Print and cut out.
Center your template, I like to use a rule just to ensure it’s nice and straight.
Trace your template onto your piece, I think it looks so cute even like this!
Fill in your text. The state outline gets a little tricky, it’s so hard to make those lines crisp. Thankfully Kansas isn’t super complicated to draw or shall I say trace!
Please don’t Ctrl+F to see how many times I said HOME in the post, too many. Thirteen to be exact!
Crate & Barrel’s cute feather linens.
It’s the perfect addition to any wedding guest table, a sign reminding your guests to tag all of their posts and photos with your #hashtag. It’s a mini-album of your big night!
There’s tons of great inspiration for these signs…
I especially love this article from brides.com, 10 (Stylish) Ways to Spread the News About Your Wedding Hashtag.
These signs are even available for purchase through Etsy, but no need for that…Gather inspiration, find fun fonts, plug-in your computer and create them yourself!
As you all know by now, dafont is my go-to for a huge variety of fonts. Absolutely great dingbats too! Start playing around with your layouts on Microsoft Word or Photoshop. I’m partial to Photoshop but it’s a luxury, I just happen to have purchased it while in school. If you’re interested in testing it out, they have 30-day trials available. If not, I promise you’ll be able to create something just as awesome on word.
I created a few options for one of my best friends who got married this past June, technically two great friends married each other. Hannah picked her favorite from the options I sent along. Then we framed it in a large gold frame, displaying it on the guestbook table. So simple but effective, everyone tagged tons of photos! They’re so fun to look back on!
Cool frame shelves from an even cooler blog.
I LOVE the new trend of using rustic and distressed wood throughout the home, it brings awesome warmth and texture. Not only is it great within the home but outdoors too! This ‘HOME’ sign made from a wood flooring sample. That’s right, no weathered palettes or purchased barn-wood here. It’s a leftover, unfinished, plank of wood. But who can tell?! I think it turned out perfect, it adds that touch of ‘homey-ness’ right outside my door. (And yes, I attempted to combine homey and ness. I think it works?)
Here’s what you need:
A Wood Plank (Check out your local craft store or hardware store!)
Sandpaper (If you don’t have this lying around, use a nail file or emery board. No joke.)
Wood Stain (I love Miniwax’s Mission Oak Satin. More projects with this stain to come!)
An Old Cloth or Rag (For wiping away any excess stain.)
Paintbrush (To apply the stain. This is a poly-based stain, so it gets sticky!)
Brick or Tile Sample (This sounds crazy but it helps when distressing your piece.)
White Paint Pen (These are the best. Super precise and you only need a few coats.)
HOME text (If you prefer, print and cut your template then trace onto your piece. Similar to Quote Canvas’s Step 3.)
Hanging Hardware (I purchased picture hanging wire and screw eyes. Then hung it from a rusty old nail, rustic!)
Ok, I must admit that I got too damn excited about this project and forgot to take step-by-step photos. But I do have a before picture!
What a transformation, right?
To start, I applied one coat of my favorite stain to the wood plank. Remember to wipe excess stain away with each brushstroke. After the piece is completely dry, apply a ‘streaky’ layer to create that woodgrain-look. Repeat if necessary.
Now it’s time to distress. I started with the sandpaper at the edges of the plank, sanding almost to it’s base finish. Then randomly sand areas of the wood plank, this helps the distressing look more natural. Here comes the crazy part, you’re going to scrape and bang your beautifully stained piece with your brick/tile. Don’t be afraid to gouge the wood, I mean we’re doing this on purpose after all.
Create your font template, here are some great dafont options Hoedown, Pottery Barn, and Pointedly Mad. Paint your phrase on the surface of your plank and then distress with your brick/tile again. Yes, that’s right. You’re doing to distress your newly painted font! It’s ready for hanging and displaying!
If you’re placing this sign outside, like me, make sure you spray on a protective coat. Especially if you live in a crazy climate state, like Kansas! I like Krylon’s Crystal Clear or Matte Finish.
Get ready for even more rustic DIYs to come. I’m working on some projects now that I cannot wait to share! Get distressing!