Top 10 Vintage Gifts for Holiday 2017

By Kathryn Drury Wagner, editor, Flea Market Décor

If you haven’t finished—or even started—your holiday shopping yet, you’re not alone. According to analyst company Cardlytics, nearly 20 percent of shoppers wait until December to get going on their list. But there are some amazing vintage and flea-market finds that can be beautiful, unique and often, even affordable, holiday gifts. Here are our top 10 gifts for holiday 2017, based on vintage and flea-market trends.

1. Mad for Plaid! Any time we post plaid, whether it’s a vintage Thermos or a cozy Buffalo-check chair, on our Facebook or Instagram, we get so many positive comments. I think the world is mad for plaid!

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2. Which brings us to another related trend. Vintage Camping. Look for midcentury, “we’re in the woods” accessories like as Mighty Fine thermoses, camping blankets, chairs and pennants. Camping can come inside, too: I have aluminum, folding rack that was designed for camping that makes a great display for costume jewelry. Did you catch Home Sweet Home 1930 at Flying Miz Daisy? They nail this aesthetic.


3. For a while there, vintage cocktail shakers were everywhere. They are still a classic, but look for Cocktail Pitchers. These make a great gift for people who love to entertain. We featured a vintage, silver, 1940’s version in our Holiday issue that held a gallon of cocktails! Guess those people really liked their bevvies.


4. Nostalgic Christmas Ornaments. Shiny Brites were made until the 1960s, when people started to want sturdier bulbs, but we’ve never gotten over these shimmery, glimmery orbs. Modern reproductions abound but the vintage ones have so much charm and are quite affordable. Don’t throw out the box if you’re lucky enough to find a box, even if it’s only partially full! Those Shiny Brite boxes are very collectible.

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5.  Signet Rings and Lockets. East Coast fashion types have been sporting the signet rings, while savvy shoppers all over the country are snapping up Victorian, gold-fill lockers. We are going to feature a story on these beauties in our upcoming Feb/March issue, and the expert we talked with suggests looking at the hinge to tell if it’s an authentic Victorian locket. The real ones have hidden, tiny hinges.

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6. A train case would be a great gift for a teen or woman. I remember my mother having a Samsonite blue train case from the 1960s; the style has come full circle to be trendy again. Train cases are great for collectors who like to stash and organize.


7. Heave, ho and grab a Metal Bucket. When we attended Flying Miz Daisy, for  example, Through the Porthole had a bunch of beat-up, calf buckets. We’ve seen galvanized buckets of all sorts being very popular in home décor. People use them for planting succulents, for containing small Christmas trees and all sorts of other projects.

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8. Vintage sleds and skis are ideal gifts for a person who loves to go all out for the holidays. These outdoor toys and sporty accessories from the past now make beautiful home décor, especially in those hard-to-figure-out slim spaces on the walls.

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9. Birdcages. Our holiday issue has a project on how to turn a birdcage into a light but even unadorned, a cool old birdcage makes such a statement piece. They look great on coffee tables and add a romantic touch to any room.


10.  Don’t be afraid to surprise your honey with a Statement Piece. How about an old card catalog, iron sewing table, or incredible shelf? Whether it’s for an office or a workshop, a big piece of upcycled furniture is a statement gift for someone you know really well.

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My final tip, if you have done your shopping, be sure to pick up small accents, such as bells, ornaments or tiny trinkets, to use instead of bows. These upcycled treasures make packages look so special.

If you’d like to order the Holiday 2017 issue, click here:

Charlene Goetz