New Uses for Old Things-Repurposing Vintage Finds

Repurposing vintage finds

Because I’m addicted to shopping  at flea markets and thrift stores,  I’m constantly at risk of acquiring too much stuff.  If it’s vintage and really cool looking,  I’m compelled to rescue it.  And because I’m afraid of showing up on an episode of “Hoarding:Buried Alive” one day, I have vowed to control myself by limiting my purchases to things I know I can either resell, will absolutely wear or can actually use for some practical purpose, thereby justifying my decision to drag home, yet again, another “interesting” find.

Of course, I also like the idea that I’m preserving a piece of history and instead of going to Bed, Bath and Beyond or Home Goods to buy some cheaply made imported storage container or what have you, I can make use of a really unique vintage object to suit the same purpose.

So in this post I wanted to show you some of the ways I re-purpose some of my favorite vintage finds.


This is one of my favorite ideas and also one of my all time favorite finds.  Using vintage suitcases for storage. My set of 1960s faux leopard suitcases are not only a great place to store clothes I don’t wear that often, but it makes for a very attractive display in my bedroom.  Oh yeah, and when I found that pair of vintage red velvet slippers I just knew that’s where they needed to live when I wasn’t wearing them!

Vintage Faux Leopard Suitcases


I guess I love these because of the childhood memories. My Mom had one on top of her dresser. I used to think all the pretty cologne and perfume bottles sitting on top of the fancy tray was soooo glamorous! But I use mine to store my vintage brooch collection. They’re right out where they are easy for me to see and choose. I also have one on my bathroom vanity to keep a glass, toothbrush holders, soap dish, etc.

Vintage Mirror Vanity Tray

And since I’m on the subject of jewelry……


I had a heck of a time finding good ways to store my necklaces and bracelets.  That is until I found this mid-century guest towel rack/holder thingie.  It works perfectly for hanging them so they don’t get all tangled and it’s cute to boot.

Vintage Towel Rack for Jewelry Holder


So what if I already had a perfectly lovely hand crafted wooden jewelry box.  It was overflowing.  So when I spotted this adorable vintage wooden sewing caddie for about 5 bucks, I knew where my jewelry overflow was going to go.

So even if you can’t thread a needle, don’t pass up a cute vintage sewing caddy if you run across one. There are plenty of other things you can use it for.

Vintage Sewing CaddyVintage Sewing Box


Seriously, I don’t know what it is about mid-century mosaic tile trays,  they just appeal to me for some reason. I guess I like the colors and the patterns and they come in many shapes and sizes. The smaller ones I think actually were used as ashtrays.  I do use larger ones as serving trays sometimes, but what I really love to use them for is a colorful base under candles.

And these show up in thrift stores quite often for a few dollars a piece.


Vintage Tile Trays


Mid-century stemmed sherbet or dessert bowls are great for holding candles.  I thrifted these and round glass votive holders that sit perfectly inside!

Vintage dessert bowl candleholder



If I had to put plants in every single mid-century planter I fell in love with, I’d be spending all week watering! Again, like the tile trays, there is something about the shapes, colors and patterns that attracts me to them.   So I use them to make seasonal arrangements.  Smaller ones I use on my desk to store pens, pencils, etc and larger, taller ones are great for storing kitchen utensils.

Vintage pottery floral arrangement

Do you ever reuse/recycle vintage objects? If so, share your ideas!







By | 2016-11-14T13:38:23-04:00 November 14th, 2016|Lifestyle, retro decor|12 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell November 23, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Yes, vintage luggage is a very attractive space saver when you don’t have lots of storage room or small closets. They look so cool stacked up don’t they? Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Liz November 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    I too do the same thing, especially since my home is teeny tiny and I need the space. the vintage luggage has been the one I have utilized the most! Great ideas for the others 🙂

  3. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell November 17, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Yeah, I’ll probably be taking that luggage set to the nursing home with me! And totally agree. It’s way more fun (and less boring) to find cool things and use them as they weren’t intended 🙂

  4. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell November 17, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Thanks! I obviously have too many brooches. But at least I’ve corraled them 🙂

  5. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell November 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Never thought of it that way. But you are right. A tray does create a nice frame to showcase random things.

  6. Avatar
    Vix November 17, 2016 at 10:14 am

    A fellow dealer friend of mine had an almost identical luggage set, she kept hers too, they’re amazing.
    I love re-purposing things, far more interesting than going to Ikea and buying things made for the original purpose…boring! xxx

  7. Avatar
    Janet Colwell November 17, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Hi Theresa, great ideas for upcycling. Love the mirror with vintage brooch display!

  8. Avatar
    Nicole November 17, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I also have a tray on my vanity, to keep perfume and odds and ends in order and looking tidy. There is something about a tray that changes things from looking like a sprawly mess, to suddenly being a “collection” 🙂
    Also, that luggage set is amazing! And the shoes definitely belong on top.
    The Artyologist

  9. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell November 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to part with that leopard print luggage. I’ve never seen anything like it. Your vintage suitcases as a table is a very cool idea! And I’d love to see pix of your golden plant stands. As far as the clothes, don’t be surprised if you end up checking the rental prices of storage units in your area 🙂

  10. Avatar
    Suzanne November 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    That set of luggage is to DIE for! Wow!

    I love all of these ideas. Like you, I need to be cautious about bringing in too much vintage into the house. Already my vintage clothing collection is taking up way more space than it should.

    I also like to repurpose vintage pieces but I’m much stricter about bringing in household items. About 2 years ago I tried to clean up the look of the house and so far have kept that promise to myself.

    Normally I buy bigger pieces, like a couch, a table or recently iron plant stands that I repainted gold.

    I’m using a trunk and several vintage suitcases as a table in my office.

    That vintage sewing box idea is genius.

    Great ideas and a creative post!


  11. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell November 16, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I know, Jill. Isn’t it cute? You could probably find one online too. Good luck with your search. 🙂

  12. Avatar
    Jill November 16, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Some neat ideas! I really like that guest towel rack for jewelry. I’ll be on the lookout for one of those when out vintage hunting!

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