Vintage Gifts for the Holiday

For Christmas we always play “the game.” You know the one where you get a number, pass the gifts, and steal them from each other (or any variation thereof).

Our newest twist to this game is buying our gifts second hand, either from a yard sale or from a thrift shop. Not only is the challenge to find the best deal, but also to customize it if need be.  So here is my unique gift and I hope it inspires you to search out and find others your family will enjoy.

This fall, on a cool morning, a sweet old lady had a one day yard sale, one of the last of the season. I felt a bit bad for her, she wasn’t getting much traffic, but her prices were spot on. I rummaged through some framed prints and my breath caught at this dirty gem.

She pointed to the covered wagon on the needlework saying, “it was made before cars.” I pointed out the adorable person on skis and said, “I doubt it.”  I’m a jerk, I know, but you got to use your smarts at yard sales. But on another note, how do you date a needlework piece? Here a few hints to get you started:

  • The fabric- Needlework or cross stitch fabric was invented in the mid 60’s due to a renewed interest in the craft. This piece was on a thin piece of cotton.
  • The frame- The style of the frame can say a lot. An ornamental one can date it older, where a plastic one is newer. This frame is a slightly molded wooden frame mounted on a solid wood back board.
  • The subject- Look at the piece. What elements are included? What is the style of dress? Does it look like the creator had a pattern or does is flow organically? Look at the letters, calligraphy, block? All these things can add up to a certain period. This piece doesn’t have a pattern that I can tell, the clothing and wording suggest a time in the 1950’s to me.

She threw in a coloring book for my toddler and I bought it.

To bring this tired piece into a new era of décor I did a few things:

  1. I cleaned it, and boy did it need it.
  2. I reattached the paper backing to the frame.
  3. I painted the frame a coordinating red color.
  4. I sanded the molded edges of the frame to make them pop and give it a rustic appearance.

I can’t wait to see if my $2 investment wins the game this year and everyone’s hearts. What fun thrift gifts have you found this holiday season?

Happy Questing!


Gift Guide: The Artist

Are you looking for a gift for the artistic/creative person in your life? Here is a list that I came up with of some amazing gifts that they would love to get!


  1. Coloring Book! of course Artist love coloring! Sometimes we need to do something creative that is more laid back and doesn’t require so much brain power.  And its good for all ages! Product link
  2. Coffee, we love our coffee!  We need caffeine to keep those creative juices flowing.  This mug also stores cookies, you cant go wrong with cookies and coffee. You are also supporting other artist by buying it on Etsy. Product Link
  3. Traveling is so dear to most creatives hearts.  It fills our minds with inspiration and its always good to have some type of journal or sketch book to take along to pen down our ideas! Product Link
  4. This compact watercolor set is just so cute! It is perfect for traveling, all you need is water and you will be all set up.  Product Link
  5. Artist are messy, I admit it.  That’s why this would be a perfect gift, we need something to keep us presentable.  Product Link
  6. I added this to the list because I own it and its one of my favorites.  I carry my sketch book and all my pens and pencils and I just throw it in my purse.  Product Link
  7. This tracing tablet is great for lettering and many craft projects.  Product Link