No matter what you collect, your fabulous finds deserve to be displayed. A pleasing arrangement allows you to enjoy your curated menagerie and gives onlookers the opportunity to fall in love with it, too. Plus, it's fun to share your acquisitions and earn the admiration (and envy) of an audience. But how should you exhibit your discoveries to their best advantage? Here are some creative ways to make your unique collection shine.
The items you collect will have some say in how they are best displayed. By their very nature, dishes lend themselves to stacking. Collectors of beautiful pyrex milk glass, glow-in-the-dark uranium glass (aka vaseline glass), and other popular wares are stackable on sideboards and shelves for great effect. Take, for instance. the stunning stacked assemblages by Tanya Hughes. Aside from maintaining the awesome Mrs. Hughes vintage fashion blog and offering vintage patterns for sale in her etsy store, Tanya is a pro at showcasing her amazing pyrex collection. Follow the pyrex maven on instagram (tanyamaile) to get a steady dose of her talents.
Photo credits: tanyamaile
A sturdy shelf can be home to more than stackable things. Figurines, photos, ceramics and other alike objects pack a visual punch when aggregated on a mantel, ledge or shelving.
You can see the impact of a throng of similar pieces in Susannah Carson's exquisite and otherworldly displays.. Carson has a real “eye” for artistry. Her ocular designs elevate porcelain plates, canvases and other substrates. Perched in simple plate stands, these museum-quality painted plates are a sight to behold. Start your own collection at her online shop and follow her on instagram.
Photo credits: susannahcarson
Take a lesson from the pleasingly peculiar world of Tina at peculiarpullip for creative shelf display.. This collector of Pullip dolls had the brilliant idea to use a dollhouse to "house" her collection. A cabinet shelf does the trick too, as her overflow army of big-eyed dolls will tell you. For more info on these delightful creatures, read Tina's Peculiar Pullip blog on Wordpress.
Photo credits: peculiarpullip
Blenko glass is much beloved by collectors around the world. Since 1921, the West Virginia company has crafted hand-blown glasses in a rainbow of colors and a plethora of shapes. Our friend Chris Martyn is a premier collector, a proud owner of dozens of rare and desirable pieces. Chris was kind enough to share a few pics of how he displays his exceptional collection in his home to inspire other glass owners.
It's fun and interesting to cluster families of like things on a shelf. We were thrilled to acquire this group of Happy Children for that very purpose.
You don't have to be a librarian to maintain a library of books. Tomes on shelves do more than just dress up your space—their mystical properties enrich minds and lift moods,. So put yourself in proximity to the real and imagined worlds of writers and thinkers with an artfully arranged shelf of books.. Don't forget to dust 'em off and read!
Themed artwork is especially engaging when it's displayed en masse. Consider hanging your like-minded paintings, sketches, photographs or other works of arts together on a wall. "Cluster art" isn't new, but it is timelessly appealing when it's done right.
Photo credits: Susannah Carson
There are a multitude of ways to put your treasures on display. Hey, that rhymes! The point is, forget the rules, just be guided by what works and looks good.
Photo credits: peculiarpullip
Now Share It Already
Show us your best ideas! You're invited to share how you've displayed your collectibles to our gallery and inspire collectors everywhere.
Store and display collectibles your way
We hope you'll enjoy this continuation of vintage discoveries in alphabetical order, many of which are regulars in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay.
M is for Mottahedeh.
N is for Needlepoint.
O is for Ornate Antiques.
P is for Photographs.
Q is for Quilts.
R is for Religious Collectibles.
There'll be more in part 4.
Find these and similar vintage and antique treasures in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay.
More visual treats to whet your shopping appetite. All available in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay.
G is for Gold.
H is for House of Hatten.
I is for Italian Lace.
J is for Japanese doll.
K is for Kitsch
L is for Linens
Stay tuned to find out what's featured in our Vintage Alphabet, Part III. There's always a full alphabet of vintage collectibles in our eBay store.
If there's one thing you can say about our eBay business, it's that no two days are ever the same. Our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay offers an eclectic variety of merchandise. The store attracts serious collectors, window shoppers, costumers, staging professionals, crafters and even resellers looking for that special something. We're getting better at rescuing gold when we're out and about. Here's a short list of items that customers have been eager to buy.
Someone wanted this hat.
My partner in crime recognized the value of the well-constructed straw hat shown above, and sure enough, it sold to a buyer in Korea within hours of being listed on our eBay site. What makes this hat special? Quality (the straw was super sturdy); origin (made in Italy); age (over 50 years old); condition (flawless) and style (self-evident).
Chinese pottery is very popular.
I'm drawn to stunning works of art with Asian origins. Fortunately, many of our customers also appreciate our finds in this area. The buyer of this Chinese Satsuma vase asked us to be on the lookout for other pieces featuring this beautiful "1000 flowers" or millefleurs pattern.
Mid Century has a big fan base.
Retro towels, table cloths, bed linens and interior decor are hot right now. Mod floral and atomic patterns are often scooped up as fast as we can list them. Judging by sales, buyers also appreciate no-iron percale sheets (popular in the 60s and 70s) more than ever. Made in the USA and union made—two labels that are harder to come by in newer merchandise—tend to increase desirability.
Classic patterns continue to please.
Toile patterns are consistently good performers, so we like to score it for our store. Pillows, throw blankets, comforters and table linens often feature this pattern in blue on white or off white. More rarely we've found it in yellow on white and also red on white. Variations on this theme complement French Country (sometimes dubbed "romantic" or "shabby cottage") as well as American Colonial decor.
What are you looking for?
Send us your suggestions for our future shopping excursions. We may just find exactly what you've been looking for.
Learn about our recent discoveries and what captures our imagination in this blog, then peruse the treasures in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay.
Brought to you by...
... Susan Buie, writer by day, vintage curator and co-proprietor of the Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay in all the moments in between.