Monday, April 3, 2017

Vintage Retro French Artistic Stencils for Furniture DIY

DIY Shabby Clock with Artistic Stencils
DIY Shabby Clock : Join this special two part series as directions will appear on, posted tomorrow 4/4/17 so check for how to make this great item!   Pic:

Artistic Stencils : DIY Vintage Furniture Products with Stencils

French cottage chic never goes out of style and and the furniture market is booming with  these mass produced chairs (below) ! As well, cheaply made-in-China cardboard clocks load the searches at We Heart It and , and these items are JUNK!   I've even seen dressers with distressed looks that are simply pressed wood and going for six times the amount of a regular wood dresser. Ridiculous.   All are selling at high prices and are cheaply made .  Why not use some truly vintage objects (which we love) and furniture and duplicate the look yourself?  Go green and save the planet by up-cycling something , add some stencils and make it an attractive focal point for your home! Here are some suggestions!

We say NO! Please stop buying new products and instead, make own vintage style things with stencils!

Vintage Chairs adorned with stencil designs from ArtisticStencils
Yes! We say upcycle and shabby your own chairs and adorn them with stencils

Upcycle Some Chairs

The chairs above are painted! Now some of you may think this breaks all the rules, but that is exactly the point ! Have fun shabbying up something old and making it new again.  In fact, now that I see this photo from Artistic Stencil's website  called "Artistic Stencil Designs " and  I am kicking myself for getting rid of my old mahoghany chairs. They don't make solid wood like that anymore, but the fact is I was not crazy about the brown. It never occurred to me to actually paint the entire chair! What a great idea.  

Stencil Paris Fleur di Lis for Chairs or Crafting from Artistic Stencils
For the above look: you will need this stencil, $16 here.

So, Get a little crazy, find some vintage color paint or chalk paint, a solid color for the entire chair works nice as they have done. Grey and White mix is soft blend for any shabby cottage or Parisian decor. 

A little fresh fabric for cushion recovering and then voila, go to town with stencils. You can see by the looks of the design, how easy these stencils are to use. They are made of Mylar plastic so you can easily maneuver.  They came from ArtisticStencils on Etsy, a husband and wife team who sell these and have many designs in stock.

ArtisticStencils on Etsy offers stencils
Stencils from ArtisticStencils on Etsy.

Above:  Stencils make for easy projects. You can do shelves very easy by coating with solid paint and adding a stencil.  Just two colors and you are done with a great look in the home!   This stencil below was used in part for the shelf. 

French Stencil from Artistic Stencils
French Stencil $20 here.
Below: DIY dresser was never easier. Shabby it up with some great Artistic Stencils and give a new look to old furniture!

Shabby DIY Dresser stencils from Artistic Stencils
Shabby DIY Dresser stencils from Artistic Stencils

Frenchy French dresser! Paint with love an then stencil it up! You will need to browse this selection of French stencils and go to down!   If your dresser is old , dented or less than perfect that's even better. You can't go wrong when turning something old into something shabby! Stenciling makes for a great  look and a new purpose for old things. 

Other Items of Interest (Clock Face DIY Wall Clock  Above)

Artistic Stencil Clock
Artistic Stencil Clock: For stencils Find them here, they come in different sizes


In the meantime, get some stencils:

On Etsy: 
On the Web: 

Thanks to our sponsor Artistic Stencils, but the ideas and tutorial is all our own. We liked them so much we are networking them to another blog, design-swag so people can learn how to make this great retro clock!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Decorating with Old Books

Vintage Books Decorating
Collection of Old Books, Great Decor find them at RetroChalet

I just love the way old books can add a statement to a room. Here is what I did with a stack of old blue books in my country home.  I have these for sale now, on Etsy, as a five piece lot here.  The books are comprised of old books that I found in my travels. They are imperfect, and I liked their messed up look. Each has it's own character, more so, from loss of original dust jackets.

Decorating Books  Old Book Lot at RetroChalet
Buy these old books at RetroChalet

The books don't have to be in great shape to show decor ability. In fact, I think the best thing about old books is how many hands they have been in, and how often they have been read.  How many eyes have they seen?

Pretty Poppies Vintage on Etsy , Old Books
Pretty Poppies Vintage stack of Old Books here $36.50

Pretty Poppies Vintage on Etsy has a slew of old books that would make for great book displays.  Above, the lot that matches yet has very distinct vintage looking spines would look great on the mantle or in a stack on your table!  Sometimes, just one book will make a great focal point.  I simply love this shop run by Amy from St. Paul, Minnesota!

Cutco Cutlery rare Cookbook Vintage Cookbook from PrettyPoppiesVintage on Etsy

Pretty Poppies Vintage Cutco Cookbook $9.50

This cute little Cookbook above, is rare indeed.  Most likely a premium or mail away for Cutco Cutlery.  These knives are still in use in my kitchen today, and let me tell you, stay sharp forever!  The above book would look adorable sitting on the counter as a display item or conversation piece, standing up in a napkin holder! Sometimes even single books are a great statement piece.

How to Display Your Books:

Old Milk Crate great for books At PrettyPoppiesVintage
This milk crate can be used to hold various books! $42 at PrettyPoppiesVintage

I am all about repuposing and perhaps things that you would not normally consider to hold books would be perfect to display books in your home. Above, an old wire milk crate would show off a few favorite books just fine!   Directly below, an old wire basket wrapped with rope could work in with a cottage or lakefront home, showing your favorite summer reads.   Below that,  a vintage magazine rack can hold taller books and magazines.
Cottage Style Basket for Holding Books at Pretty Poppies Vintage
Hold books and more in here, $36 at PrettyPoppiesVintage

old metal wire magazine rack at prettypoppiesvintage
Magazine Rack $36.50 to hold books & magazines PrettyPoppiesVintage

Crafting with Old Books: 

CindysPaperDesigns Folded Book Art
Folded Book Art Patterns at CindysPaperDesigns on Etsy.

Here's another interesting thing to do with old books, Cindy Fisher on Etsy sells Folded Book Art Patterns for only $5. You can download the pattern and make your decorating books into something great by cutting or folding the pages into a functional work or art!

Read more about this: on iramency blog

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Openslate Collectibles Jewelry Toys Antiques

Bakelite Dangle Brooch from Etsy Openslate Collectibles

Bakelite Dangle Brooch from Etsy Openslate   $75 here

Openslate Collectibles & More!

Openslate is curated and owned by Nancy of Southeast Texas.  In this store you will find vintage toys, collectibles, antique jewelry, modern and mid century modern, in addition to other antiques. Nancy runs Openslate on both Etsy, and RubyLane. Above,  a USA bakelite brooch from the 1940's in pristine condition makes a great gift for a collector of jewelry or vintage plastics.  

vintage brooch cross jewelry whiting davis openslate collectibles
Whiting and Davis vintage cross adorned with jewels, $75 here.

Above, a gorgeous 4" x 3" Whiting and Davis vintage cross features vintage crystals.  Nancy says, "I carry a large array of vintage items including dolls, dollhouse furniture, costume jewelry, estate jewelry, fashion accessories, home decor items and much more."    The store stocks a large selection of costume jewelry, we couldn't help but notice the toys for girls and boys!

Dollhouse Rolltop Desk from Openslate Collectibles on Etsy
Dollhouse Rolltop Desk , $24 here.

We adore this rolltop dollhouse item, from the 1970's, The tiny details make it worthy of any dollhouse. Leave in it's original form or use some chalk paint, and paint it to match your doll house! It even has tiny compartments for doll house sized letters! Pull open a door with the tiny knobs! How cute is this?  A slew of dollhouse items are the shop including a miniature lamp and kitchen set!

Amazing Spiderman ColorForms from OpenslateCollectibles
Amazing Spiderman Colorforms Toy, , $32 here.

Original colorforms still unused, and stuck to the original parts. Colorforms , yes, it's true I had these when I was a child. Nothing like taking the plastic removable stick ons and making cool scenes with them. You peel them off the board, and stick them on the backdrop. 

Spider Man ColorForms

ColorForms:  You can remove them and reposition as needed. 

Made of a plastic-vinyl they somehow just stick to the cardboard backing and removing them doesn't leave any residue. They were quite amazing. Finding a set in unused condition with all parts is rare considering how much they were played with .  

Shop Now: 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Archival: Plant Stands Vases Home Decor

Archival Plant Stand Vases Home Decor
Editor Pick:  This plant stand looks great as is, or shabbied up with Annie Sloan paint. Find it, and other plant stands at

Do you collect old planters or vases?  Etsy shop Archival has a huge offering of mid century plant stands and vases. The "Regency" style above was made out of cast metals. I used to see these all the time back in the 70's as a kind...but now finding them is getting much harder.
mid century modern plant stand, bird stands at Archival
Round Geometric Plant Stand....Find it here.

Metal Mid Century Modern Plant Stand 

Look at this great mid century modern plant stand, above.  I assume many of the all metal ones were on people's sunporches or porches, and over time instead of being refurbished were thrown out. Now with their "rustic" look they look great in a foyer holding fresh or faux flowers. I would think also, you could repaint if you so choose, but I sort of like the vintage look.  Shipping will be fair, as it's a light item, and who would have thought it would look so great with wicker?

Wicker Plant Stand  Flowers vases plant stand Archival
Wicker Plant Stand, Mid Century at Archival.

These wicker plant stands look fabulous in original condition. I have to admit, I used to turn down rattan thinking that it would collect dust. Not so, it's easy to dust and not to mention you can paint it.  If you like that whole "shabby vintage look" I've discovered a great trick  painting with milk paints. I've used Annie Sloan but others work well too. One quick swoop covers the item in most places and gives it a flat vintage look.  Now you can take a second look at wicker, and see that wood, wicker, or bamboo plant stands, planters, baskets or vases may be the way to go.

Archival Plant Stands Wicker Bamboo Photo Prop

Archival has been on Etsy since 2012 located in Nashville, Tennessee.