After moving to our studio almost a year ago, we were psyched about the seemingly endless space to store and showcase our vintage collections. Open floor space was quickly covered with rows of shelves and, licketly-split, empty shelves were filled with candleholders, plates, goblets, and all sorts of vintage treasures. It didn’t take long before we needed to creatively invent space where there was none!
Our three vintage trunks became our first creative storage solution. To make room on a section of shelves, we removed all but a few mason jars and placed the rest in two trunks. The trunks were then stacked on top of each other and the top trunk became the perfect place to display our many frames. It also looks pretty cool, huh?
We found a old heavy-duty file cabinet for almost nothing ($2.99!). Now filed away in each of the drawers are tablecloths. See that adorable pink dresser? Those drawers are filled with small bowls and dessert compotes.
With our 400+ vintage dessert plates, it became difficult to see all of the sweet patterns when stacked up and keeping the metal trays neatly displayed was nearly impossible. The solution? Dresser drawers! Now we can easily select the perfect dessert plate or metal tray!
Our favorite storage solution is these trio of old-school office supplies. Inside the green filing cabinet are vintage doilies and the brown magazine file drawers are filled with small silver-plate trays. The metal file dividers now display trays of all sorts!
Come visit us at our studio! Available by appointment, we’ll meet you at the door and even open a few drawers!
Scones with jam and lemon curd, cucumber sandwiches, and chocolate-covered strawberries – sounds like a tea party, right? Well, almost. These delicious treats need to be presented properly to your guests, and yes, that means pretty vintage tiered stands.
This week we have been preparing for a reception tea party to be held in Asheville next weekend for a very special bride, Jess. Her mother wants everything to be tea-party-perfect so we’ve been assembling and making tiered stands for each table. So far we have 11 ready with only 4 left to prepare and assemble.
One of our older posts, “Make Your Own Tiered Stand,” has tips for making a tiered stand and the basics are the same. If you drilling into hard porcelain, we have a new tip to add – use a diamond-coated drill bit. Two biggies while using this bit – the drill bit needs to be constantly bathed in water and you only need slight pressure on the plate as it grinds the porcelain down. A second tip is to position the drill bit at an angle to start an indentation in the porcelain. Otherwise, the bit jumps around and it’s difficult to get it to stay put. After you get a nice quarter moon-shaped groove, you then can begin to move the drill slowly to its 90-degree angle and continue grinding through the plate. Patience and arm power also are needed!
Once finished with your three plates, put them together with the hardware, get the scones in the oven, and start cutting those cucumbers! Of course, we are more than happy to provide these vintage tiered stands along with the other teatime essentials. Mark the date on your calendar for your tea party and give us a call!
Pinterest is one of the very best social media tools out there – really. On a personal level, it’s perfect for archiving ideas about any topic, hobby, or interest you might have whether it’s recipes you want to try, movies you love, or DIY tips. For a business, it’s a terrific way to reach potential clients by visually showcasing your inventory, work, and visions.
Now, there is another way Pinterest can help a business directly connect with their clients. We didn’t think about it until we saw a blog post by Old South Vintage Rentals, and it’s brilliant! Consider using Pinterest to create a “wish list” with Southern Vintage Table. Even if you don’t already use Pinterest, it’s very easy to set up. Our suggestion is to create a “secret” board, invite us to be a collaborator, and let us know how we can help you.
There are several places you can peruse and then pin our inventory. Look through our many Pinterest boards, our website, especially our inventory slide shows (which we still have more to add), and our Instagram posts. Once you have finished archiving items on our collaborative board, let us know, share details and numbers, and we can provide a quote.
Easy, peezy! Looking forward to collaborating with you!
It works – it really does! Regular household hydrogen peroxide is terrific for cleaning stained china! I’ve used this cleaning trick many times now and it has worked almost every time. All you need is regular hydrogen peroxide, soaking time, and a warm oven. It’s pretty remarkable and very easy.
I had a chance to give it another try with a set of salad plates gifted to me from my dear friend, Cissy. I immediately loved this vintage Homer Laughlin pattern with the edging and gold florals. Although the exact pattern name is unknown, the mark says “Homer Laughlin Colonial.” These stained, slightly crazed pieces needed a little time and effort and I knew just what to do.
With a tray underneath to catch spillage, I poured the H2O2 onto the first plate and filled it almost to the edge. Then I carefully placed the second plate on top, filled it, and continued until all the plates were soaking. After soaking for two days, I poured off the H2O2 and put them in a cold oven. With the temperature set to 200 degrees, the plates baked for about an hour. What happens in the oven is the heat evaporates the H2O2 that has seeped into the china pores, bringing the stains up to the surface.
Here are the incredible results – before soaking, after being in a warm oven, and then cleaned.
So, give it a try with any stained china you might have or find. It’s definitely worth the effort! Check out my previous cleaning post for some more incredible before-and-afters! One thing I have learned since that post is you don’t need to use anything stronger than the standard concentration of H2O2. It just takes a little more time and may take a couple of soakings, but it works just as well and much cheaper, too. Voila!
I had an epiphany this week worth sharing with any or all procrastinators out there – need something to motivate you to start that project that’s still on your list and has been for some time? Here it is – publicize your list and commit yourself to a weekly blog. Sound too extreme, a little wacky? Well, I can personally attest it has worked for me!
It was Thursday and I hadn’t settled on my weekly blog post topic. The week had been especially busy getting ready for three weddings coming up this month – ironing napkins, packing dinner plates, polishing silver – and I kinda lost track of time. I had to get going on something that day – especially if it was a project that might take a little time.
As I was mentally running through my long list of restoration projects, I experienced the epiphany – if I didn’t have this weekly self-imposed commitment, I wouldn’t be worrying about getting a project done in the next two days. Whoa. My blog is more than a way to share our adventures, new inventory, and events – it’s my push, my inspiration, and maybe more importantly, my reason to get things done.
So, it was time to tackle our final goal set at the start of the new year – restoring, distressing, and repurposing some of our vintage finds. I am pleased to reveal our first restoration and here’s the before and after. Not only does it have a new paint job, it’s structurally improved as well!
Two years ago I found this metal mirror frame at a local thrift store. I covered the black metal with blue chalk paint, distressed it, and inserted a blackboard piece. It looked pretty good but the blackboard kept slipping out and it was so lightweight, it easily toppled over. So, I wanted to add a little heft, re-paint it, and glue the blackboard to the frame. It was time to check this one off!
To add the weight, I unscrewed the base and added kitty liter to the base using a funnel. Yep, clay kitty litter. I didn’t have any sand and didn’t want to go buy some so I used what I had. To keep the kitty litter from spilling out, I cut a wine cork – one of my favorite fix-it solutions – and stuffed it in both ends. I screwed the frame back together and painted it using three shades of gold, first painting with the antique gold color and then adding the lighter two here and there. After a light sanding in key places to the reveal a little black, I added a light coat of gold.
Before gluing the blackboard and to dress it up, I glued a strip of wall paper to the back of the blackboard piece. Some time ago, I picked up a few rolls of left over wall paper at a thrift store. It was a terrific purchase because not only did I use it in this project, I have used it several other times as well. My final step was to prevent the backboard frame from swaying. My solution was to add a few hooks to the back and create a twine design, connecting the two pieces of the frame.
So, one restoration project finished as well as our weekly blog posted. Done and done. Already thinking about what project to tackle next ’cause next week comes up pretty quickly! Here are two ways you might use this restored, and steadier, gold blackboard stand now in our inventory at Southern Vintage Table!
I am very excited about our next event because this time it’s very personal. Although I’m not ready to reveal details, I’d like to share how I will be making this family gathering festive and colorful by making a set of no-sew buntings. This is my third time making these (one for Melanie’s Linen’s Lace & Lingerie shower and the other for Gerri’s baby shower) and now I have some terrific hints to share with you on how to make your own!
Step 1 – Select your fabric.
For this family party our color scheme is blue, white and yellow. I decided to go with two blue patterns, two amber and one white. I love paisley and floral prints as you can see! My basic formula is to select one large print, two smaller ones and a polka dotted or striped pattern. Another idea for fabric would be to use vintage pillow cases, sheets or colorful prints from vintage clothing.
With 1 yard of each, I will easily have enough to make 2 buntings with large triangles and several smaller ones as well. It’s also nice to have some extra cloth for small touches in other areas of the decor. I don’t have a plan for that just yet but I think something will come up. If you are making only one or two strands, you can probably get by with less but the needed yardage depends on how many prints you will be using and how long you want your strand to be.
Step 2 – Gather your supplies.
In addition to the fabric, you’ll need to get bias tape and fusible bonding web. Purchase two rolls of fusible bonding web – 1/4 inch and 5/8 inch. When you glue the sides of the triangles it will be so much easier with the smaller width. The wider width will come into play when you press the bias tape to the triangles.
You’ll also need a good pair of scissors, an iron and I would also recommend using starch when pressing the fabric. It will stiffen up the fabric and help with wrinkles at the same time. The triangle with the A is a from a former paper bunting that I am now repurposing as my pattern.
Step 3 – Fold and press fabric and cut your triangles.
Using your triangle pattern as a guide, fold over one end of the cloth, spritz with starch and press a crisp edge at the fold. I usually pin the pattern and then cut one triangle at a time down the folded edge for each of the fabrics.
Step 4 – Glue the edges with the fusible bonding web.
Open the fabric triangle and cut two pieces of fusible bonding web on the edge of the triangle. Refold the fabric and press with your iron. Start at the folded edge and move to the point by picking up the iron as the glue melts. Read over the directions on the package for more guidance. Here’s a tip – once you have glued the edges to a triangle, I found it easier to use as my template than the paper one.
Step 5 – Attach the triangles to the bias tape.
First, find the center of the bunting and pin it. This is where you will glue your first triangle. Then decide the order of the prints. The middle print will be first triangle to add at the center of the bias tape. Open the tape and insert the triangle. Cut a piece of fusible bonding web and press. You’ll add each triangle, one at a time down the tape. If you will be tying the bunting to something when you hang it, be sure to leave about a foot of the tape free at each end.
Once you have added all the triangles, you’ll need to flip the bunting strand and glue the other side of the bias tape. When doing this side, you can just roll out the fusible bonding web and press down the length of the tape without cutting for each triangle.
That’s it! You have a festive, colorful and custom bunting to hang! I love seeing them on the front of a food or drink table, across the entrance doorframe and even on a cake. (Thank you, Tammy, for all of these ideas!) I plan to make 2 or 3 large triangle buntings, several medium and a couple of teenie ones. Somehow I know I’ll find a place to use all of them!
Next weekend is our family gathering so you’ll see these on display in two weeks!
I love tiered stands – whether they all match or they are all different – a tower of vintage plates filled with yummy treats is so pretty. As I have collected many dishes for Southern Vintage Table, some have come with chips, cracks and other imperfections. Although their lives as dinner or salad plates may be gone, many now sit either under or on top of a stack of vintage lovelies. If you love the look and have some vintage china you’d like to transform into a tiered stand, today’s post will help get you started!
Tip 1: Find a good set of basic directions.
Months ago I researched how to make a tiered stand from vintage plates and found many helpful websites. I like the directions found on “Make a Vintage Cake Stand” on Caroline’s blog, Lifestyle from Caroline. Her steps are a good place to start, but read on because I have more great tips you’ll want to know.
Tip 2: Make a cardboard template to help find the center of the plate.
Finding the center is easier said than done! After struggling with an easy, reliable technique, I finally came upon this idea and it works amazingly well.
Measure and cut a piece of cardboard that’s 11″ x 11″ or 10.5″ x 10.5″. Then measure and draw lines 1 inch and 2 nches from the edge on all four sides. If you wish to get even more precise, draw a third square at 1.5 “. As you can see, my template is not perfect but still works well enough.
Now place the plate in the center so that all edges are evenly spaced between the drawn lines. Take a ruler, place it diagonally, making sure it’s at the intersection of the squares in the corner. Draw a line near plate’s center with a non-permanent marker. Repeat the steps for the other two diagonal corners. Where the two drawn lines intersect is the center.
Tip 3: Get the plate up off the surface.
When you are ready to drill with the tile drill bit, elevate and support the plate on two pieces of wood situated between the center. When you finally drill through the plate, you don’t want the drill bit hitting the work surface.
Tip 4: Drill from both sides.
When your drill has peeked through the underside, flip the plate and drill from the backside. This will help you drill the hole through the plate more quickly.
Tip 5: Be ready with water.
Have a cup of water close by to cool down the drill bit – it gets very hot and can cause the plate to break. Dip the hot drill bit in the water and you’ll hear a hissing sound as it cools. Also, splash the plate with a bit of water to cool it down as well.
Tip 6: Consider buying your tiered hardware from Etsy.
Caroline suggests Amazon or ebay for the tiered hardware but I think Etsy is the best choice. I really appreciate the philosophy of Etsy – it’s a group of online shops that either sell vintage, handmade or craft items and many are women-owned. There’s no bidding and many of the shops are in the US. I found that most of the tiered hardware on ebay comes directly from China, Hong Kong or Australia, which means shipping costs more and takes longer. I would also suggest buying more than one set – you’ll get hooked once you get started!
Tip 7: Choose 4-6 mixed and matched plates.
To maximize the versatility with your tiered stand, go ahead and select 4-5 plates that coordinate with each other. If you can, have three different sizes of the same pattern and then two or three patterns that go well with the main pattern. You can then have a tiered stand with all the same pattern or a stand with ones that look nice together.
These beautiful vintage china stands are available from Southern Vintage Table. Create you own or request a set for your next gathering. Your tasty treats will look so lovely! Be sure to see more of our tiered and cake stands on our Pinterest board.
A peroxide soak works to clean up stained vintage china as I attested to in a previous post, “Out, Dang Spot, On My Vintage China,” but I have another product worth trying – denture cleaner. Using the two together, this cleaning episode is also dramatic and definitely worth sharing!
Recently I picked up a small set of vintage china that came with 4 very stained teacups. Someone suggested using denture cleaner to get rid of stains so I decided to do an experiment – denture cleaner vs peroxide. I put two tablets of denture cleaner in a container with two of the cups and dropped 1/2 tablet inside each cup. I added water to both cups and the container. For the other two cups I poured peroxide inside the cups and placed them in a separate container. I also added peroxide to the container to cover the very stained bottoms.
Over several days the cups soaked in the two solutions. I changed the denture solution several times and added more peroxide as needed. The denture cleaner did remove some stains very effectively but stripes of stubborn stains still remained. What was interesting was the stains on the two in the peroxide were uniformly lighter but neither of the soaking solutions thoroughly cleaned the stains at this point.
I decided the denture cleaner had done all it could so I put all four in the peroxide soak. Over the next week, after rotating the cups periodically and adding more peroxide as the water evaporated, the stains slowly faded.
Following their second long soaking, I put them in the dishwasher. The hot water in the dishwasher continued the cleaning process as I noticed amber colored drops of stain had seeped out of the porous china. It reminded me of the previous time when I had heated up peroxide-soaked plates in the oven. What happens is the peroxide solution seeps into the pores. When heated, the water evaporates and brings the stains to the surface. Take a look at the photos in “Out, Dang Spot, On My Vintage China” to see what this looks like since I forgot to take photos this time.
One final hand washing and the results are stunning! The inner and outer stains are gone and these vintage cups look terrific!
Peroxide does a terrific job cleaning stained china but, in this instance, I also think the denture cleaner helped. With my next group of stained dishes, I’m starting with denture cleaner but I will be ready with the peroxide soak if needed. Although the process can take time, it’s both cheap and effective. More vintage lovelies restored and available at Southern Vintage Table!
FYI – After writing this post, I decided to separate my tips from the “Features” category on my blog. So, you’ll now see “Vintage Tips” in the menu on the home page. We are always looking for ways to clean and restore vintage treasures so if you have a tip, please consider sharing. And, as always, thanks for your visit!
Want the classic creamy vintage color for a tablecloth, lace overlay or any piece of cloth? Try using a tea stain! It’s easy, inexpensive and fast.
This past week I was on the hunt for a few more lacy overlays for Casi’s upcoming wedding. I finally found one beautiful crocheted tablecloth with several stains and one white lace overlay. They had the dimensions I was looking for but I needed to do a bit of work on both. For one I needed to get the stain out and the other I needed to put the stain in!
The stained crocheted cloth had to be carefully soaked. After soaking in Oxiclean and gently washing 3 times followed by a concentrated overnight soak and a final wash, it is now ready. I should have taken a before photo but you can definitely appreciate the after. So beautiful!
The white overlay had to be treated in an entirely different way – I had to stain it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work because it’s not a cotton material but it did! Here are the easy steps.
First, steep the tea. I used 5 family size bags and added hot water to a pitcher under my Keurig machine. I ran the water 4 or 5 times until the tea bag released all the tea color. After stopping up my stainless steel kitchen sink, I added the brewed tea and enough water to cover the cloth. One tip that was shared by the antique dealer I bought it from was to make sure the tea was evenly distributed so I used a wooden spoon to stir the tea. Then I added the cloth.
I quickly made sure all of the cloth was getting soaked in the tea. Standing there at the sink, I continuous moved the cloth through the tea water. Periodically I lifted it up to check on the color. When I got the soft creamy color I wanted, I wrung it out and put it in the dryer under low heat with a lavender dryer sheet. Don’t rinse or you’ll lose some of the color but the good news is that if you stain too much, you can rinse some of it out before drying. Also note that the dryer may pick up some tea stain so after I dried this lacy overlay, I put in a brown towel to clean off any of the tea color on the dryer drum.
Here’s the before and after!
The perfect creamy color! Now I have to remember to hand wash this as recommended but that’s no biggie because I can always dye it again. Want to add a little vintage color? Use tea! These and other lovely vintage overlays, crocheted and lace, are available at Southern Vintage Table. Our inventory is growing and we have many different sizes available.!
Never-ending challenges for practically all of us are organization and storage. Our quandary at Southern Vintage Table, and maybe yours as well, is how to store our inventory safely and keep it visible. We have lots of stuff – china, linens, flatware, serving dishes, frames, vases, silver accessories, baskets, suitcases, candle holders, etc. Lots and lots of stuff. How do we keep it all safe, visible and organized? Here are three quick tips that have helped us and might be useful for you, too!
Tip 1:Decide your organization scheme.
Should you sort by type, style, color, pattern or size? Many times it’s a combination For example, we sort teacups by color and napkins by color and size. For dinner plates, we sort first by style then by color.
Tip 2: Store in a clear container.
To economize, we were storing a lot of things in boxes. We labeled the boxes but it still was hard to remember what was inside, especially if it was stacked underneath another box. We decided to invest in clear containers with the lid attached. Now we can see the items through the plastic and these bins stack onto of each other neatly and safely.
Tip 3: Cocoon delicates with bubble wrap and then cling wrap it!
If you have delicate china or glassware the major consideration is how to store safely yet visible. This vintage Blue Willow teapot was in a cardboard box covered with brown paper because we didn’t want it to break. Unfortunately, we also couldn’t remember what box it was in. As the adage goes, “out of sight, out of mind” but, in this case, we didn’t want to forget we had it. Now it’s on the shelf with a cocoon of protection – a layer of bubble wrap, sealed with plastic wrap.
What’s cool about using this combination is that the bubble wrap gives it cushioning and the plastic wrap acts like tape to keep it all snuggly closed. And, when you stack one on top of the other on the shelf, they cling to each other which prevents slippage. I also like that when I go to unwrap, all I have to do is to cut away the plastic wrap which separates quickly and easily from the bubble wrap. With tape, I usually have to cut the tape which also cuts the bubble wrap, making it difficult to reuse.
These three practices have helped us keep track of our inventory at Southern Vintage Table. Keep us in mind as you plan your next dinner or party – we are ready and organized!