Tag: Vintage

Vintage Cupboard Makeover

For my new baby girl’s nursery, I used all secondhand furniture. I needed a changing table, and my dad made a generous offer: to remake a vintage, heirloom cupboard into something that could be used as a changing table. The cupboard had sentimental value to my family because it was mine as a child, and before that had been passed down to us from family friends. Affectionately known as “the Bunny Cupboard,” it had been enjoyed by multiple families since the 1960s. We loved the idea of saving the old cupboard instead of buying a new changing table, because otherwise it didn’t have much useful life left. Okay, it probably didn’t have any left – I wish I had a “before” picture. The project saved it from ending up as landfill garbage!

By 2020, it was in poor shape! The decals were almost completely rubbed off, the hinges were broken and rusty, and the faux wood veneer had seen better days. To refurbish it was quite the project, but my dad was up to the task! Using oak wood paneling, he upgraded the exterior. Carefully, he was able to save and re-attach the original bunny emblem to the new cupboard door.

Inside, he painted the drawers yellow for a finishing touch. My mom color matched acrylic paint to fix the chipped blue knobs, making them look brand new. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finished product. It is not just a hand-me-down now, it’s a real heirloom quality piece. The drawers are perfect for storing cloth diapers and outfits. With a changing pad on top, it makes a great changing table. When she is older, it can be used alone as a dresser. Thanks to the magic of tape, the bunny emblem can even be removed for a more mature appearance.

I asked my dad about the creative process of making the cupboard. “I really enjoyed this project, more than I thought I would,” he said. He said he honored the original design of the cupboard, staying true to the lines of the mid-century piece while completely overhauling it to be better and more beautiful.

The nursery was complete just in time for baby girl’s arrival, so it was time to celebrate. By “celebrate,” I mean go to bed at 8pm, then get woken up at 11pm, 1am, 4 am and 7am. Four hours of sleep is the new eight, you know. But at least we will be sleep deprived parents with a wonderful nursery with its signature one-of-a-kind furniture piece.

 

$100 Dinnerware Upgrade from the Thrift Store

This guest post is by my friend Julie, who shares her creative idea for replacing her dinnerware on a budget below. Welcome Julie Hoffman to the blog!

When my husband and I got married, we combined all of our kitchen goods. We kept what we liked and donated the rest. We both had an affinity for Corelle dinnerware and serving ware, from previous positive experience with the durability of Corelle. Our home is an open style loft condo in a historic building, with wood floors over 1880s brick. Whenever we would drop a plate or bowl, the dish would shatter into a million pieces, shooting out in a ten foot radius and making it dangerous for anyone or the kitty to walk nearby. We couldn’t be sure if it was our floors, the Corelle was from an outlet or some other reason we kept having trouble.

After the final butter, corn and bowl explosion, I was fed up and ready for a change.  We set a budget of $100 for a new set and I started looking. After two weeks of checking Craigslist, thrifting and web searching, I realized that our budget was too low to acquire what we wanted.  We wanted a quality, complete set for 8 that was microwave and oven safe. Quality new sets were close to $300 and quality used matching sets were always incomplete. In the third week of being frustrated, I came up with an idea that my husband agreed to.  

The new parameters of the search:

  1. Mismatched plates and bowls, but fitting a theme
  2. Same measurements as our previous plates
  3. Microwave and oven safe
  4. Gently used or new
  5. Not glass or stoneware.

I kicked off a new search to great success! I made sure to carry a measuring tape and a list of preferred plate and bowl measurements in my wallet, as well as a checklist of how many I already had at home. I wanted 8 dessert plates, 8 salad plates, 8 dinner plates and 8 bowls. Here are my findings:  

These first plates remain one of my favorites. Clearly labeled microwave safe. Johnson Brothers designed dinnerware continue to fall within my tastes. They have an extraordinary history of successful china production, even merging with the Wedgwood Group, but later closing in 2003. What a shame! My husband called these “happy-inducing!”

This bowl seems to be serving ware with another purpose, but is fantastic for soup and putting crackers on the edge.

Here are other plates I picked up that fit within the theme:

I found these at an antique shop, but at $6 a plate, these ate up my budget quickly.This one doesn’t seem to “go” with all the rest, so it may be replaced.

After a month of regular thrifting, Goodwill employees would ask me if I had any coupons every time I checked out, which I didn’t understand. Staffers told me that whenever someone donates to Goodwill, the receipt for your donation included a coupon for 50% off one item! I had been bagging up all of my plates as they were replaced in preparation for donating them.  I starting bringing at least a bag or two of donations whenever I would go to Goodwill to acquire a coupon. (The coupon requires you to at least donate a full grocery bags’s worth of items in order to receive a coupon.) This coupon really helped us stick to our budget, because I did make a few “happy mistakes” along the way.  

I picked these up, packaged four for $8 and paid $4 with the coupon.  All plates with gold, silver or platinum on them are not microwave safe.  When I brought these home, I was dismayed to learn that the gold glaze (which I thought was just a pretty paint) made them not microwave safe.  These Spode plates are so pretty they are still at home and being used, just not in the microwave.

These are also vintage Johnson Brothers, but it is not clear due to age and labeling whether they are microwave safe.  I brought these home when I coming down with a cold and didn’t know it yet, so maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly!!
After 2.5 months of thrifting when I have the time, the dinnerware upgrade is mostly complete! We had a few serving pieces made from Corelle that I also replaced. All of these are vintage and not microwave-safe, since we don’t use our serving-ware for reheating/storage.  They are divine!

I found these mugs to go with everything else and they are perfect for tea or hot chocolate!  The tall one is “Pioneer Woman” branded.Even the kitty got a dining upgrade! This one has 22kt gold on it and makes me happy to look at it twice a day when I feed him!  (I don’t think he cares one way or another, but my experience is better!)

We stayed close to budget, making the full set complete for $110.  Our previous cabinet plate shelves were old and weakened hand-me-downs, so we did splurge for strong chrome dinner plate shelves from the Container Store.  This added a cost to the project of $40. I did look at thrift stores for those, but did not find anything strong enough. I’ve struggled to find bowls that match the theme, so have purchased just plain white ones for now and the two floral ones you see here.

The BEST PART of this project is the happiness upgrade in the kitchen!!  When I originally started this, I thought it would be a time-consuming and difficult project that would just yield a functional kitchen.  I had NO IDEA how awesome it could be! It is so wonderful to pick out a place setting for your meal based on your mood and what plates you feel like eating off of.  My husband LOVES our new dinnerware and feels the same way that I do! Before embarking on this project I researched the idea of mismatched plates and remember a blogger saying they feel “fancy, but not formal” and that “you deserve nice things!” She was right!  

Update: Everyone in our extended family has had a tough year and the usual people did not feel like cooking a Thanksgiving meal this year. We volunteered to cook a meal for everyone. You know what that meant? A wonderful excuse to offer a great meal to our loved ones. For the past year, I’ve walked past a gold-rimmed set (not microwave safe!!) in a thrift store that I thought was divine but had no use for. I brought my husband to the thrift store to look at them to see if he would like to treat our family to a formal event with these or a fancy event with our every day ones. He loved these and thought it would be a special treat for our family. The thrift store had priced it at $175 for the full complete set of 12. This set never sold was now priced by the piece. We got the complete set for $50! We added two gravy boats to the set, a vintage gold-rimmed boat ($0.99!) for just this meal (one for each end of the table) and a tall white Wedgwood boat and plate (microwave safe and $4!) for our regular use. We will be using his grandmother’s vintage silverware and vintage napkins at the meal.  His grandmother had pink rose décor in her apartment, so here’s hoping we properly honor her memory this year! Wishing abundance and prosperity to you and yours this holiday season!


 

 

The Return of the 1920s Style Formal Dress Trend

So you’re getting ready for all those fun spring events and you need a dress…if all the current trends of today aren’t quite your thing, or you just want to stand out, why not look to the past for inspiration? Gatsby style may have fizzled a little since the 2012 movie heyday, but 1920s inspired party fashion is a perennial classic (and my own personal favorite fashion era). Honestly who wouldn’t want to wear the flowing fabrics and beaded accessories?

This post is sponsored by Wardrobe Shop, a kind of a one stop shop for finding your next outfit for spring formals, weddings, or just looking really, really good for brunch. You can look like you just stepped off the set of Downtown Abbey.

Let’s take a look at three fun ways to incorporate a vintage 1920s look into your formal wear. Go for the entire head to toe look, or choose just one fashion element to elevate your look with a hint of vintage glam.

Hats

Fascinators and decorative hats are for more than royal weddings and the Kentucky Derby. Dress up your look by taking a cue from the stylish women of history. Choose a hat with a plume (see photo below), flowers, ribbon or a combination of all three.

Dresses

Formal wear trends frequently borrow from decades past, and styles this season are no exception. You can find the ruffles, tulle and lace of yesteryear in styles that will fit right in at weddings, parties and dances.

Faux Fur

A faux fur (or “vegan fur”) wrap is just like what my great-grandmother wore, but better because it’s cruelty free. It adds a bit of warmth on chilly nights, but way more importantly a lot of glam.

Shoes

Don’t forget shoes! Pair any of the above looks with your favorite heels or check out button up boots and vintage inspired shoe styles.

75% off Vintage Apparel in Minneapolis

vintage on sale MinneapolisSave on vintage treasures in the Twin Cities – this weekend only

Local shops closing = major deals for Minneapolis shopping! Here’s where to find 75% off vintage apparel this weekend in the Twin Cities.

The Hidden Haberdashery

A men’s resale shop located in the beautiful Blaisdale Manor (pictured at the top of this post) is closings its doors and Sunday, November 13 will be the last day to shop. The well-curated merchandise is all 75% off. As of Saturday when I stopped by, there are men’s blazers and sport coats, ties, leather goods, and miscellaneous accessories still available including a tiny vintage coffee grinder which someone totally needs to snap up. Plus you get to shop in a mansion, which doesn’t happen every day! Find the final shopping hours on Facebook and danmichaelbatista.com.

The Hidden Haberdashery - vintage up to 75% offRewind Vintage in Uptown

This popular Minneapolis vintage shop is following in the footsteps of Blacklist Vintage and closing its Lyndale Avenue doors. Rewind is also selling everything at 75% off and the racks are still full for shopping. Bargain hunters take note: the store will be open for up to a week, but may close sooner if merchandise sells out. Rewind will continue to impact the Minneapolis vintage sale scene from its remaining location in Northeast.

Vintage jewelry on display at Rewind I hope you have fun shopping whether it’s here or another favorite spot, and if you find any treasures will you let me know? Follow The Pink Paperdoll for more information on store openings, closings and sales – connect on Facebook and Instagram.

Doll Catalogs of the 90s

90s doll catalogsAfter delving into the world of Madame Alexander, I started remembering the 90s doll companies who marketed to my generation. Despite being very loyal to American Girl (shout out to Samantha), I received a wide variety of doll catalogs in my mailbox. Turns out that some of the dolls in these catalogs have now become collector’s items. Here’s a quick update on some 90s doll companies you might remember and what happened to them.

90s Doll Companies

Did you read any of these 90s doll catalogs?

Magic Attic Club

90s doll companiesThis blatant rip off of American Girl had a cute premise: four friends played dress up in a magical attic and were transported on adventures. Like American Girl, this 90s doll company’s products included dolls, accessories and accompanying paperback books. Some of the story themes are a little heavy on the cultural appropriation for today’s standards.

Current Status: Closed in 2007.

MyTwinn

90s doll companiesThis slightly creepy product line was actually founded with a heartwarming intent. An emergency room physician noticed that her young patients were attached to their dolls for comfort because they looked like them. Believing that dolls helped boost a child’s self-esteem, in 1993 he developed a doll-making technique to create replicas to resemble children’s features. The company gained immense popularity through 2001.

Current Status: After running into quality issues when manufacturing was sent to China, the company closed in 2016. MyTwinn dolls are highly collectible and have sold for over $1000. More details can be found on this history of MyTwinn.

American Girl

90s doll companiesCurrent Status: still crushing it, even though they retired some familiar characters from the original historical line.

Did you have any of these dolls? I’d love to hear your memories of them in the comments section!