Thursday 7 February 2013

Vintage Nooks for Bits 'n' Bobs

I love finding vintage treasures, especially when they serve a function as well as looking good. Creativity isn't only about the making, it can also extend to the way you choose to store your tools and supplies. Surrounding yourself with things that appeal to your sensibilities helps to nurture inspiration. Here are a selection of vintage found objects that I use in my studio space.

A great friend of mine, a wheeling and dealing antiques trader, whose house is stacked to the rafters with decades-worth of accumulated vintage wares, rustled up this letterpress for me after I mentioned to him that they are good for storing threads. My array isn't the most beautiful collection and I could certainly style it better, but I find that the little nooks serve their purpose – they are great for tucking and slotting little things into that would otherwise get lost. I hang it on the wall beside my sewing area and turn to it whenever I am in need of a bobbin.

The appeal of vintage objects is that, more often than not, they were built to last the ages. I love the ornate detail of the corner metal pieces that not only add a touch of finesse but also help to strengthen the join and aid durability. The flower is a rose that grew, against the odds, on my inner-city balcony last spring. I keep it there as a reminder that beauty is cyclical, spangling new doesn't always mean best and that old things are not to be shunned! 

When people move away from London, back to their homelands or onto new pastures, they are often forced to discard those less than necessary items. This box was given to me by a friend of a friend along with a bagful of tapestry yarn, copper wire on wooden spools and nylon threads wrapped around pretty old-fashioned cards. It was originally a box for Provincial glace fruits but the girl it belonged to used it for sewing notions.

I love the label, stains, rips and all. Check out the abundant fruits piled high in those baskets, yum.

Now this box houses my rubber stamps and ink pads. What would you store in here?

This is a 19th Century German-Sumatran cigarrillos tin. It has been in my family for as long as I can remember. My mum used to store pins and needles in it and a few years back I pilfered it to do precisely the same! 

Having these vintage objects around me reminds me of family, friends and all lovers of making. They help me to feel connected somehow and I also appreciate how they bring a sense of continuity to the art of traditional handicrafts. 

What vintage finds do you use in your crafty space? xx 


  1. That'a lovely idea to put cottons in the printers tray! I really must try it out with mine. I also use a vintage singer machine and quite a few bits and bobs that have been passed down through the ages. Heather

  2. Hi Heather,

    Thanks for your message!

    Glad you like the idea. Your sewing machine sounds delightful. Feel free to post pics to my Facebook page: I would love to see how you style your printer's tray...

    Best wishes, Leanne xx


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