Picking with Reyne – Vol 17

August 28th, 2010 by

It’s no mystery that antiques are the biggest “green” thing going. It’s not like antique enthusiasts are jumping on the “green” wagon either. We were “green” long before it was the cool thing to be.

But the latest hip trend I see is antiquer’s taking what we call “findings” which are pieces of antique or vintage items (not the entire thing) and resourcing them. In short, we are recycling recycled items!

How does one do that? I’ll give you a few examples:

Rice grain bags – currently very hot in the Southern market. What does one do with them? Covering antique chairs, or making pillows for the couch with them. They are so popular, that Restoration Hardware has caught on and is selling reproduction pillows.

Jewelry – I’ve seen jewelry artists taking lone earrings, single shoe clips, buttons, etc and adorning jackets with them, or creating necklaces with the older pieces as pendants or parts.

Photographers are taking cool old painting frames and using them to showcase great black and white photography.

I remember the first time I saw something like this was several years back when I saw typewriter keys being used to create names on a necklace.

Then it was mahjong tiles incorporated into bracelets; vintage bottle caps used to embellish purses…

I have also met dealers that specialize in “found” objects. Interior decorators have been recycling antiques for years. Take a look at how interior designer Kelly Giesen works with vintage doors, hardware and mixes vintage lighting with traditional:

I’d love to hear your suggestions on making old new again. Tell us about it here!


9 Responses to “Picking with Reyne – Vol 17”

  1. T.R. Hayward Says:

    Upcycling is an interesting way to make something new again.

    I take old silver and make jewellery from it, and will use the bowls from old spoons to make fishing lures.

    There are many other ways to upcycle, you are only limited by your imagination….

  2. Cobayley Says:

    Great topic, great article. All of us “old souls” that deal in and collect and sell “old stuff’ have had this recycling figured out years ago.

    We just could not throw it out. It might be useful. Note, not valuable, but useful. That was the mindset of my parents, grandparents and many past generations. Dont’ throw it away, I might need that someday.

    Well, now, we don’t neccessarily need it, but we sure are eager to turn it into something we can use, while not abusing our environment…

    Green is good.

  3. Reyne Haines Says:

    Green is very good. I couldn’t help but use the cufflinks as the main image for this story because a lot of people think “women” would be the only ones interested in using antique findings, but those cufflinks would certainly be something a man could use!

    Thanks for chiming in as always Carolyn! and Happy Hunting!

  4. Admin Says:

    My green idea….

    I`ve heard the saying,”Recycle stuff, so the word will be saved!”

    I´m a fanatical advocate of the idea of recycling. Why buy new when old is good and well made ?

    If you`re creative and you want something unique, so you can tune the old stuff something special about what the neighbor will not be.

    Here are a few products, which my friend has been manufactured for the old stuff.
    Be brave and try different things, but be gentle when you tune genuine antiques.
    Restoration is a professional job.

    1st. image: Bowl which is made from old vinyl records.

    2st. image: Handbag which is made from old book.

    So keep your eyes open, try and enjoy ! Antiques are not serious!

    Hunting continues…stay tuned !

    Marko :-)

  5. Reyne Haines Says:

    Marko – Both are very cool (especially that purse made from a book – who’da thought?)

    Tell us, do you recycle your antiques? And if so, how!


  6. Marko Says:


    I have bought the old chair “carrion” and experimented with them a variety of color and fabric combinations.
    Sometimes the old chair may be modern, when the change fabrics in modern style. It´s not wrong, because you can always change back to the orginal style of fabric.

    You can cheer up your decor,when you change the fabric from time to time.

    Be bold and try something new.

    Marko :-)

  7. Reyne Haines Says:

    I like that …”Be bold and try something new”
    Its like what we say in American – tongue in cheek

    Because this new thing is really old ;-)

  8. Admin Says:

    Hi Guys!
    I have two of the record bowls shown by Marko, a great street vendor in Brooklyn, NY sells them. I couldn’t resist buying them.
    I am also searching for some dealers to list their pieces on Antiques.com, that specialize in recycling and repurposing antiques.There are a few out there creating wonderful furniture and useful items, recycled from a wide array of antiques. It makes for the most interesting shapes and textures!

  9. Reyne Haines Says:

    It’s a great looking bowl for a modern home don’tcha think?

    Repurposing antique dealers – there is a girl Suzy here in Houston
    i can put you in touch with. I will be interviewing her for my upcoming The Art of Picking Segment where we talk about repurposing antiques…

    Also: http://www.etsy.com/shop/repurposedantiques


    Since Etsy.com is a craft site, they have a lot of crafty types that
    repurpose antique findings…

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