If it’s Spring, it Must be Antiquing Time!

I look forward to Spring for so many reasons but when antiquing season opens up, we’re so there! A few weeks ago, we were at our favourite antique market in Aberfoyle, Ontario. Today we’re showing you some interesting finds that we’ll be making over and featuring on Birdz of a Feather in the near future (we’ll also show you what we’ve done with a few past finds).

The first thing I came across was this old clock. I had made over a very similar one when hubs and I were on an HGTV show called Trash to Treasure soon after we met! I always thought that if I came across another one that I’d buy and make it over for our own house so this buy was a no-brainer for me 🙂

Here’s what the original Trash to Treasure clock looked like.

I didn’t get a great after picture, but I used a few different techniques to faux finish it and I replaced the missing glass:

I’m on a milk-paint kick lately so my ‘new’ clock will likely get some kind of distressed treatment, but it will definitely be upcycled into more than just a decorative clock!

A little while later, we stumbled upon a mishmash of letters in a pile. As I sorted through it, I realized that it spelled ‘clock’! I didn’t buy them but looking back on the picture, I wish I had 🙁

Anyway, right beside the clock on the same table was this bread pan. I don’t have any immediate plans for it yet, but you can be sure I’ll think of something!

I have an avid interest in typography and especially letter print blocks like these. I own only a handful of these that I display in a letterpress drawer in my craft studio (which you’ll see further down) but I would like to start a larger collection.

The ones on the table were pretty pricey, but when I looked under the table I spied another box. For some reason, these were much cheaper so I bought a few of the larger ones. Take my advice and always look down or in the dark corners because it pays off!

These letterpress blocks are bound to show up in a project sooner or later. Here’s the letterpress drawer I purchased at Aberfoyle a few years back for $30:

As you can see, I also have a thing for milk glass, shoe forms and glass insulators. At Aberfoyle, glass insulators are always in abundance:

One day, I’ll turn my own collection into a project, so they won’t be on display in my craft studio for long.

This advertising piece caught my eye and got my wheels turning. What a great idea for displaying shoe forms!

I’ve got shoe forms scattered about in several places, one of which you see below, but perhaps I should bring them all together into a more cohesive collection.

Click here for more about the milk painted shelf.

Vintage baby baths are a great find. This one is nice and deep; it would look fabulous filled with plants!

Hubs purchased the one you see below before before we met. For now it holds potted plants but I have plans to fill it with soil and plant it properly one day soon.

You can’t go to an antique market without finding vintage sewing machines. This one was $165, which is pretty reasonable given it still had the sewing machine in it.

Just a few weeks earlier, I had stumbled upon a sewing table (sans machine) at our local value village. With a price tag of only $15, I thought it was steal. However it was missing the foot pedal and wheel which I would have liked to have. Imagine my surprise when we came upon the EXACT same sewing table – not only in better shape, but with the foot pedal and wheel intact!! If I didn’t already have the other one, I would have snapped it up in a minute for $45 and would have gladly paid $30 more to have all the cast iron pieces.

Of course, there are plenty of cast iron bases too:

Hubs and I have converted two bases already; one in my studio and one in his mancave. The one in hubs’ mancave was a garbage find; he used pallet wood to create the top. You can read more about it here):

The one that’s in my craft studio was purchased a few years earlier at Aberfoyle; I was drawn to its curvaceous lines. Here’s the base after we painted it:

We added this top, which I think was a Goodwill find that I’ve been holding onto for years. Sometimes you just have to purchase things knowing that you’ll have a use for it one day! While that can quickly turn into pack rat syndrome, I keep trying to convince myself that I don’t really have a hoarding problem 🙂

Here’s how my sewing table base turned out:

Car paraphernalia is usually around and I’m always on the lookout for an interesting grill. You know what they say about the early bird catching the worm? Well this time, we got to Aberfoyle late; unfortunately this one was already sold.

This truck door also caught my eye. I’ve always wanted to hang one on our back yard fence as decor.

However, last year, I saw the exact same logo on a different door. I don’t think there were a fleet of trucks around advertising the asylum so I think it’s safe to say that this vendor is merely reproducing the logo on old doors. If it’s important to you and you’re looking for authenticity, be sure to ask before you buy!

Hubs says his brother has a stash of old doors. Maybe one day I’ll convince him to part with one so I can pop it onto the fence! I guess I’m just a victim of so many ideas, but too little time.

We came across this interesting repurpose. Someone took an old post office lockbox door and turned it into a piggy bank.

I think it’s so well done! Someone even created plaques to fit around the coin slot!

I picked up a similar lockbox door on our travels so it’s great to have this inspiration! Hubs is a stamp collector so I’d like to make him a storage box for his random stamps using this door — but sshhh, don’t tell him!

Speaking of mail related items, whenever I see (the colour) red, I’m like a moth to the flame! If money – and space – were no object, I would have convinced hubs to bring this post box home with us!

One thing in particular that I’ve been wanting for a long time is a thread cabinet. I’m a fashion designer by trade and would love to have one for my craft studio. This one was ok, but I really want one with glass drawers so you can see the threads on display.

This stainless steel milk can may look familiar to you.

We purchased one at Aberfoyle last year and used it to adorn an upcycled discarded fire pit:

This time we not only found one, but two! This one had all the milk attachments on it – for the same price we paid last year! Again, if I didn’t already have one, I would have nabbed it! Who knows what I could have come up with for the attachments!

I wish I had room for more of these iron holders and irons…

… but sadly the vintage iron display in my craft room is complete:

These green enamel light fixtures are another common item at Aberfoyle.

I purchased two larger ones a few years ago for my craft studio and cleaned them up. I love them, but haven’t hung them yet.

This rusty, crusty light fixture came home with me. It was missing the shade and had no cord, but for $4, what DIY’er could resist? I wondered what the original shade looked like, but I didn’t have to wonder long.

Just 20 minutes later, I discovered exactly what it looked like. With everything intact, I think this one was priced at $70. At least now I know what the shade looks like – in case I ever come across one! However, I have plans to rejuvenate it and upcycle this into something else completely! All-in-all, I’m really happy with my $4 buy.

This little charming box was priced for just the box alone.

However, it was what’s inside it that blew me away when I opened it. You’ll just have to stay tuned to a future DIY to see what became of the contents.

Anyone who’s been reading Birdz of a Feather for any length of time will know that we’re avid bridge lamp collectors. I can barely get a few feet past one without turning around to buy it. This wooden one was no different.

At $45, it was pretty reasonable considering the wiring was intact but I noticed that it was missing the collar that holds on the light fixture. I know from experience that those can add another $20 if you have to source one in the city. I asked the vendor if he had one to throw on and he said ‘no’.

But then I went digging through a box of stuff and found one! I took it to the vendor and he gladly threw it in for free. If you don’t ask and/or look, you can’t reap the benefits!

By this time of day, it was hubs’ 50th trip to the car, but who’s counting.

We weren’t done yet; I was only getting started. Earlier in the day we came across two items that would’ve made great planters. The first was this grain trough.

Hubs loved it, but I didn’t take a shining to it. I thought it was quite beautiful in it’s original form so I didn’t feel inspired to put my own touch on it. I nixed this one to hubs’ regret.

The next planter contender was this cast iron sink:

I adored it – right down to the original faucet and soap dish.. Hub’s absolutely hated it; partly because it weighed a ton.

I thought I’d push the limits so I gave the vendor my money, but when I saw that hubs genuinely didn’t want anything to do with it, I begged for my money back. This one was my regret; I think it would have made a stunning planter, but you have to pick your battles. In the back of my mind, I knew there’d be something ahead that we could both agree on – and there was!

My heart skipped a beat when we came across the telephone booth surround. Hubs was intrigued too; after all, it weighed considerably less than the sink did!

Since I’m the negotiator, I quickly asked what the best price was. The vendor got on the phone to the owner of the piece while we waiting. It usually pays to ask, but this time we came away with only a $5 deduction. I still would have been happy at full price – i was that excited about it, but I always have my game face on! Never let on to the vendor just how exciting you are over a piece. It really does help with the negotiating when you’re face-to-face but not so much over the phone. The irony didn’t escape me that we were done in by a phone call 🙂

Another trip to the car:

Soon after that score, we’d had our fill and headed out. I daydreamed all the way home about how we would reimagine and repurpose our purchases. Right now, we’re busy plugging away on the phone booth and I can wait to show you what we’ve done. Subscribe so you don’t miss it; it’s coming up soon!

As much as we love antiquing, it’s even more satisfying when we get stuff for free. Here’s a few of those upcycles:

Roadside Rescue Waterfall Dresser:

Chair Makeover:

Fire Pit Makeover:

At Birdz of a Feather, we’re feathering the nest… one room at a time. Follow our blog here to get tutorials on other DIY projects, in and around the home. You can also follow us on PinterestFacebookYouTube and Instagram.

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4 thoughts on “If it’s Spring, it Must be Antiquing Time!

  1. Sara, I feel like I was just behind you as you walked among the antiques gathering new treasures. I’ve lost track of what you bought vs admired, but that’s okay. I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with all your new finds. There are so many interesting pieces to be had. I am dying to know what’s in that green case! Please don’t keep us waiting too long. The phone surround, too, has me curious. What a fun hobby you’ve found to enjoy together.

    By the way, did you meet on the HGTV show?

    • I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long, but I do have a long line-up of planned projects! Perhaps I’ll move it up 🙂 Hubs and I met 3 weeks before HGTV contacted me to be on the show. I had applied to be on Trash to Treasure a year earlier and had long forgotten about it. When they contacted me, they asked if I could bring a friend or two so I convinced Hubs to come to the audition with me. They cast us a few days later and the rest is history. The funny thing is that the show decided to play up the fact that we were in a new relationship. Near the end of filming, I think I even said on camera “if our relationship could get through Trash to Treasure, it could get through anything” – and that’s certainly been the case!

    • Oops – I didn’t notice what a bad angle that picture was! It actually has three legs; the third one is hiding 🙂

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