Thrift Store Finds : Vintage Christmas
Follow Up : You can see each of these items being used within our Christmas decor 2019 in this post.
I had some great lucky Vintage Christmas thrift store finds over the past several months, which I used for our 2019 decorating.
It was fun sprinkling these new-to-me items amoungst our existing vintage Christmas things. I took some photos of how our home looked over the holidays, making sure to include a glimpse of every one of these items, which I’ll be posting tomorrow. So, if you fancy a little “treasure hunt / spot the new items” fun, come on back to see these items in action!
Prompted by my sister who drives (I don’t), in November we went on a thrifting excursion, going a little further from home than usual, for an afternoon of shopping in Etobicoke (a suburb west of Toronto). We found an area that has a huge Value Village, a Salvation Army, a Talize and a Mission Thrift Store (which was closed on Mondays and it was a Monday when we went). Being used to repeat visits to the same Value Village (at Lansdowne and Bloor) all the time, I felt like I was in thrifting heaven. I definitely had to pace myself, because we encountered so many great things in those stores, and at such reasonable prices. It was amazing and we’re both looking forward to going back to Etobicoke for thrifting soon!
So, some of these finds occurred in those stores, and the rest all came from my “tried and true” Value Village in Toronto.
Let’s begin with the ceramic figurines …
↑ The two mice came from the Salvation Army store in Etobicoke and the rest were found at Value Village at Lansdowne and Bloor. ↑
↑ This fellow, made by Homeco, is one of three that originally came together. The other two are holding a little Christmas tree and some gifts. And now I’m on the lookout for them! ↑
↑ This mouse could not have gotten into my shopping basket any quicker than he did! He has no markings but I’m pretty sure he was made by Enesco. ↑
↑ This item, marked “Made in Japan”, is a planter. I found it during the summertime on the single shelf that VV stocks with Christmas items all year ’round. (I look at that shelf every time I go to the store, but have never, not once, found a piece of cool vintage on it before! ) ↑
↑ This adorable set of salt and pepper shakers were inside one of those grab-bags where they randomly group items, in this case, all Christmas related, together, the good with the bad. I’m so glad these two ended up in the same bag, and survived without a single crack or chip! ↑
↑ Another grab-bag find. He’s also a salt or pepper shaker. I’ve managed to find his partner in a photo online — he’s also holding a candy cane but at a different angle. Of course, I’ll be on the lookout for that one, but won’t hold my breath. Again, I’m happy that such a fragile ceramic item made it to my home safely, after having been packed in a plastic bag with random other items. ↑
↑ This dish, which looks like a holly leaf to me, was found at the Value Village in Etobicoke. It was made by Beauceware Pottery Canada, out of Quebec. I’ve only ever found one other Beauceware item before (seen in this post) and I love it, so was happy to find this one, too. It was the perfect size to hold candy canes. ↑
↑ Speaking of that VV shelf that holds Christmas items year ’round, these drinking glasses were also found there in the summertime. These are the only Christmas dishes we have, although I have had my eye on the set of Corelle called “Holly Days” for years. I’ve only ever seen those on ebay, where mailing prices for that type of thing are ridiculous, so don’t own any, but maybe I’ll find some of those in the thrift store one day, to go along with these glasses! ↑
(Follow up: I was given a cute snowman mug by my friend Stella, this year, so now I have that, as well, as far as Christmas dishes go. )
Onto a couple of textiles …
↑ This large 100% cotton table cloth was found amoung the regular textiles at VV during the summertime. When I look at it I’m reminded of one of those “damn, why didn’t I grab it? situations” that come up when you leave something good behind at the thrift store. That other Christmas table cloth was also seen in the summertime, which undoubtedly influenced the regretful decision not to get it. It was pure cotton, in pristine, never used, condition, and had Santas on it. I guess I learned from that experience when I picked up this piece on the hottest of summer afternoons. I love that it has some black in it. ↑
↑ This table runner is handmade using quilting cotton. ↑
↑ A vintage corsage. ↑
↑ So ugly it’s cute? No other words. ↑
Now, onto ornaments …
↑ Same comment as that above. haha. Found in a grab-bag of miscellaneous ornaments at the Value Village in Etobicoke. ↑
↑ Found in the same grab-bag as the elves. ↑
↑ I ended up finding four Christmas mice during that shopping trip with my sister. So, I went from having zero Christmas mice to having four, in one day! I guess I have a new collection, now. This cutey is a pick, meant to stick into a plant or flower arrangement, but I displayed him in a small bottle with some aquarium gravel in it. ↑
↑ These wooden tiny Muskoka chairs were in the grab bag with the Santa salt shaker. I wouldn’t have chosen them specifically, but was happy enough with them to keep (and not re-donate, the fate of many grab-bag “extras”). ↑
↑ Also grab-bag extras that are cute enough to keep. ↑
↑ A vintage blown glass ornament. I’ve collected these types of ornaments for a long time now, and our “main” Christmas tree is decorated with only those. My collection has all come from ebay, though — I started using the site when it first opened to Canadians, before sellers got wise to what they had and everyone was going through their cupboards and selling all kinds of things at rock bottom prices. Nowadays, other than plain balls, it’s nearly impossible to find vintage glass ornaments on ebay at lower prices, so I was happy to spot this single one at the thrift store, remarkably intact, in a grab-bag with other items. ↑
And then I hit the mother lode …
Here’s the story about what, in my opinion (different strokes for different folks!), is one of the most epic thrifting finds ever :
On a Wednesday evening, two weeks before Christmas, I was at Value Village shopping for the “Thrifted Gift Exchange” I had with my sister and friend, that was taking place that weekend (written about in this post). I was on a mission as I had to find gift worthy thrifted things for two people, so was pretty focused on that. As I went down a clothing isle on my way to the scarves, I noticed that they’d put some Christmas things on top of the clothes racks, well away from all the other Christmas stuff. I quickly eyed the pile but didn’t expect there to be anything good left, it being so close to Christmas. Then I spied the side of two boxes that had been held together with an elastic band. After moving things out of the way to get to them, I was delighted to see the boxes contained the original blown glass ornaments that had come in them, priced at $3.99 for both boxes.
They’d originally been purchased at Zellers (a Canadian chain of department stores that closed in the nineties). One was marked “Made in Romania” and the other “Made in G.D.R.” — German Democratic Republic, which ceased to exist after the Berlin wall fell in 1989.
I saw that they were nice and decided to get them, but I didn’t open the boxes and inspect each ornament while at the store, so, it was only when I got home that I discovered what a truly great find for a vintage ornament collector these were. Several of them had been placed in the boxes with their backs facing up, so I’d not seen that all six in one box and three in the other were, what is known in vintage ornament speak, “indents” . Vintage glass ornaments with an indented part are particularly sparkly on a tree, and are highly valued by collectors.
It was hard to believe that I’d found these fragile, rare and perfect treasures at Value Village! It was the very best of Christmas gifts to myself.
I displayed them on a jewellery stand that I’d thrifted in the summer, specifically with Christmas ornaments in mind. Little did I know at the time, that it would eventually hold this special assortment.
And, that’s it for my Thrifted Christmas Finds for 2019!
As mentioned, I’ll be back tomorrow with photos of our home as it was decorated for Christmas. There will be a little look at how each of these things was displayed in real life.
In that post I’ll also share photos of a visit from a couple of fine women in my life!
Thanks for reading, xo loulou