I love decorating with vintage or primitive items, and today I am going to share with you 8 ways to include primitive decor in your home.
I have been decorating in a primitive style for a long time now. It all started about 15 or so years ago when my sister introduced me to Country Sampler Magazine. I fell in love with the magazine, and would spend hours browsing through it! I was always wishing I had that kind of stuff so I could make my house look like that. I never realized it was as easy as shopping a few garage sales and thrift stores (and a few handmade items thrown in)!
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8 Ways to Include Primitive Decor in Your Home
1. Old Cabinet Doors
This is also something my sister introduced me to. You can usually find them at Habitat for Humanity for just a few bucks apiece. They make great signs, and could also be used for painting pictures on (if you’re more talented than I am!).
These are a couple I did a few weeks ago. If you want the tutorials, check out this post.
2. Old Books
I love decorating with old books. Several years ago, I was at a church garage sale, and they had a whole collection of classics. They were having a sale where you would pay $2.00 for everything you could fit in to the bag. I hadn’t really gotten in to decorating with books yet, so I just grabbed a few. I have always wished I had filled the bag, because I am always running out of books to decorate with!
This old cookbook was the find of the season a couple years ago. I think I paid about .50 or $1 for it. Definitely a treasure!
The doll in the upper photo I made from a pattern by Raggedy Hollow. The website no longer exists, but you can buy the finished doll in my Etsy Shop.
3. Handmade Items
I love old rag dolls, teddy bears, etc. I have found a lot of old teddy bears at garage sales, and probably have more than I need! I have also found a lot of primitive patterns through Country Sampler, and have sewn quite a few rag dolls, bunnies, and other things.
Many years ago (probably about 20!), you could buy Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann and Andy fabric at the fabric store. The pattern was right in the fabric, and all you had to do is cut each piece out and sew them together. I had made several sets for myself and others before I started really getting in to the primitive decor. So I made one more set and “grubbied” them up. I used darker yarn for the hair, sewed on buttons for the eyes, and added stitching to the nose. I also painted on the stripes and boots, added some laces to the boots, and tea-stained all the fabric. Now they fit my decorating style! I found the pattern for the dolls on Ebay, but could not seem to find the clothes, although they had other clothes that might fit.
The bunny I made from a pattern I ordered from Lucy’s Lazy Dayz Primitives. I am currently working on a girl version of the same bunny!
I made the original version of this dress several years ago from a pattern I ordered from Vintage Inspired Folk Art by Dee Duncan. Then last year, I was fixing up my office/sewing room, and I had a dress form I had picked up a few years ago from Hobby Lobby that I wanted to display it on. However, the dress wasn’t quite big enough to fit over the form, so I made a second one and added a little extra fabric on each side. Then I attached to dress form to an old candlestick I had, and now I have a mannequin!
4. Electric Candles
I love ambiance lighting, and I especially love the silicone-dipped bulbs. I have replaced all of my small bulbs with them.
The chicks I made in the upper photo, I made from a pattern by Woodland Primitives.
5. Old Crocks and Food Tins
I have found so many old crocks and food tins at garage sales. Some people want a lot for them, but I have also found them for a few bucks. I never spend an “antique” price, when I know I can eventually find them for a “primitive” price!
I don’t mind a few chips in them. It adds character!
I love signs. If I had room for more, I’d have more in my house! Most of the time, they don’t cost any extra money. I just use scraps of wood left over from other projects, and I keep all my favorite paint colors on hand.
To make my signs, I find a font I want to use, type up what I want it to say, and print it out. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it to the right size. To make my signs more primitive, I usually paint one color followed by a coat of crackle medium. Then I paint the other color. The base coat is the color I want to “crackle” through the top color. I also brush or spray sealer on to help protect them.
The sign in the top photo is one of my favorite sayings. It pretty much describes my decor! I made it using a piece of the fence we tore out a few years ago. It was very weathered and still had a little of the paint on it. It was perfect!
The “butter milk” is just a white jar candle I picked up at Walmart. I got the label from Blue Cupboard Primitives.
I love old trunks! We have a really old one that my husband’s dad had in his attic. If I had the space, I would use it in my decor. But in a small house, if there’s that kind of space, it usually has a practical use! So instead, I find miniature trunks and decorate on a smaller scale.
8. Old Cookware and Household Items
I have found a lot of old cookware at garage sales. Most of them are no longer fit for use, but they make great decorations!
One of my favorite pieces is the old flat iron in the upper picture. I found that at a flea market several years ago. It was definitely a good find!
So I hope you got some good ideas you can use in your own decor. What are your favorite ways to include primitive decor in your home?
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