How To, thrift store finds

Starting a Collection

{I love photography, so I have a thing for vintage cameras.   I also love vintage silhouette pictures}

My friends always laugh at me because I’ve been saying “I want to start a collection!” for weeks. Turns out, I’ve already had several collections around my apartment but never really realized it. I think there’s a fine line between collecting and hoarding and I’m working really hard not to cross that line. When done right, decorating with your collections and treasures can be so much fun. After all, it’s a mini (or large in some cases, ahem, TLC) reflection of who you are. I’m not a pro collector, buyer or seller, and do it mostly for decorating purposes. I am attracted to old cameras, LIFE magazines, silhouette pictures, bottles, and vintage sheet music, and buy everything at thrift stores and yard sales.

Are you interested in starting a small collection but don’t know where to start? Here’s what I did: 

{Although it’s been really tough not to buy every LIFE magazine in sight, I try to limit my purchases to editions that covered major historical events}

Dont’ think too hard about it! We’ve all been on Pinterest and seen beautiful displays of collections and want to borrow the idea, but then are left feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start. Collections are supposed to have personal meaning, reflect you who are, and what you like. Sure, it’s great to feel inspired by others, but ultimately collections are about you. You probably already tend to be attracted to the same kinds of things when shopping anyway, so think about the things that appeal to you when you’re out. For example, do you squeal with joy when Home Goods has a nautical display? Do you get an adrenaline rush when a local flea market vendor has a display of vintage jars? Do you find certain things have cool visual appeal, like game pieces, buttons, or even door knobs? Take a look around your house and see what you already own and take it from there.

Collections can get to be expensive so start at flea markets and thrift stores first. Old things have a lot of character and are usually very inexpensive at thrift stores. You can repurpose them and make them your own. All of my mini collections are either free or cost less than $5 a piece.

{I’ve got a thing for vintage sheet music}

Assess the space in your house or apartment. Before you start buying things left and right, think about where and how you’re going to display them. If you don’t have a place for it, don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that! I recommend this book on decorating with collections. If I could, I’d buy vintage chairs and lamps but have nowhere left to put them, so instead I went with smaller items like vintage cameras.

The rule of 3. In my mind, anything over 3 medium to large pieces (maybe 5, depending on the item) is bordering on hoarding. As tempting as it is, you really have to limit your buying. Not only does it start to look cluttered and unattractive in your house, but think moving all that stuff, the last thing you  want to do is move 4 boxes of comic books or 2 boxes of candle holders. We’ve all been to that aunt or grandma’s house with the obscene amount of mini figurines, you don’t want to be that grandma. The rule of 3 doesn’t apply so much when it comes to smaller things that can be displayed in a jar or vase like vintage buttons or bottle caps. I say, fill the jar up and call it a day!

What do you like to collect and how do you display your collection? If you don’t already have a collection, what would you like to start with? 

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