Monday, October 26, 2015

Repurposing Vintage Objects into Something New

By Jeff Burns

They are as much a part of fall as football, pumpkins, and turning leaves: Fall Festivals.  Nearly every weekend, schools, churches, and communities host festivals, and craftspeople and vendors come from all over to sell their handiwork. 

If you are a fan of history like we are, you are probably a fan of old things and of repurposing old things.  Fall festivals are a great place to discover repurposed things, vintage objects transformed into something else for your home or something to wear, or things made to resemble vintage things. Here are a few things we’ve seen in our area festivals this fall.

I’ve previously blogged about my wife’s craft, Patchwork Revival. We find vintage fabrics and unfinished quilt tops and squares at estate sales and other places, and she makes them into placemats, potholders, table runners, teddy bears, and bags among other things.  At every festival and show, we run into people who have something started by a grandmother but never finished.  These are fabrics from the 1930s to the 1960s and even earlier.

Bottle trees fashioned from rebar. While it’s not necessarily repurposing, it’s an old idea.  Bottle trees or “haint” trees have been around for ages and have an interesting History. The idea is that old bottles are put on tree branches to frighten and trap evil spirits.

Another vendor offered angels made out of old hymnals.

Photo and poster reproductions become new home décor.

Colorful baskets made in the traditional Gullah/Geechee/Low Country style that was brought from Africa

Chimes made from vintage silverware and from old glass bottles

New cloche hats, 1920s flapper style

These are just a few of the great finds in my area. Go out and explore yours, and enjoy a few funnel cakes on the way!

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