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Treasure Hunting 101: Your Beginner’s Guide to Antiquing

By Rachel

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Treasure hunting 101: your beginner’s guide to antiquing, will help you excel at finding vintage wares!

Going to antique stores has become quite an exciting hobby for me over the years. I want to share some knowledge that I’ve learned along the way! If you are new to this vintage thing and are wondering how to get into the antique shopping scene, this treasure hunting 101: your beginner’s guide to antiquing, is going to be so helpful for you.

For those of you that already love antiquing, my hope is that these tips will still be beneficial to you and maybe you will learn something new to try!

Why Shop At Antique Stores?

Shopping at antique stores may seem like a daunting task, but it is just the opposite! Read about my first experience shopping in an antique store for some encouragement.

Antique stores are big treasure chests. When you shop at antique stores for home decor items, you are truly choosing a special way of creating a home that is all your own. You are sourcing items for your home that have a story.

a vintage vignette with a green flower frog

They contain character, patina, and are one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else has. It really is an exclusive kind of shopping because not many people choose to take that much time to design a home in such a thoughtful manner.

It’s also an environmentally friendly way to shop for things that you need. The Antiqued Journey’s sole mission is to encourage others to find something that has been used and loved for many years and give it new life!

I’m all about finding and re-using vintage decor items in my home. It’s so much fun!

Come along as I share some of my top thrifting hacks and learn how to shop at antique stores!

a vintage ironstone platter displayed on a mantel

Treasure Hunting 101: Your Beginner’s Guide to Antiquing

  1. Have an Idea of What You Are Drawn To.

    Many times antiquing can feel overwhelming if you don’t have any idea what you are looking for. Whenever I go into an antique store, I usually always have pieces in the back of my mind that I’m always looking for, whether that be copper, enamelware, or vintage linens.

    an antique German birthday book styled in a hutch for Fall artwork

    Before you leave the house, I suggest taking a walk through and looking at spaces in your home that are in need of some character. From there, get a vision in your head of what colors or textures might work well there.

    a vintage copper kettle with Fall stems inside

    Maybe vintage books in olive green or navy blue would be beneficial. Look at adding some wood elements such as old corbels or wooden spoons. It’s a balance of keeping an open mind but also narrowing in on what you are drawn to.

    vintage linens used on a shelf with milk glass

  2. Start Out Going With an Experienced Antique Shopper.

    When I first started antique shopping, my husband’s family had been in the hobby for years. They knew all the in’s and out’s such as what things actually were, fair pricing, and where to go to find good deals. Truly, they taught me how to shop at antique stores.

    It is so helpful to have someone along who knows their stuff when it comes to antique stores. I would have been so lost without them!

    vintage green books styled on a shelf with vintage milk glass

  3. Get Creative on How Else You Could Use Something.

    There might be a time when you will find an item that you love but don’t know where you would use it in your home. This is a time to think outside the box and notice if this piece could be used in a different way.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself: “Could I hang this on a wall to use for art? Would it work well for storage? Maybe it could be used as a vase? How could this piece be incorporated into decor that I already have?”

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    Let’s use pretty vintage books as an example.

    Instead of just putting them on a bookshelf, books can be used for adding height to displays, such as underneath lamps or smaller decor like pottery or bowls. It’s so fun to get creative and design a meaningful space!

    a vintage book used in a thrifted basket display

  4. Don’t Forget to Look Up!

    Antiques stores are always packed with goodies. Sometimes I find myself hurrying through just to see what’s around the next corner. Get down towards the floor to see what’s underneath other things and always look up. This is one of my top tips on how to shop at antique stores!

    You don’t know how many times I’ve missed a pretty thing because I forgot to look to see what was up there!

    Remember to take your time. Be present where you are and look all around in the booth that you are in. Then, move on to the next one!

    a vintage blue book with milk glass in a bathroom

  5. It’s Okay to Ask For a Lower Price.

    When it comes to pricing, don’t be afraid to be a little picky. It all comes down to if the item that you are looking at is worth that price to you. If you feel like the price is too high, go up to the counter and make an offer.

    a white hobnail footed milk glass jar

    For reference, I don’t usually ask for more than $5 off the asking price. My husband recently found a really pretty vintage lamp at an antique store that was priced for $27. I told him to offer $23 and they accepted it!

    Be fair about it but also understand its worth to you. If you really cant leave an item behind then it’s probably worth paying what is listed. You are, after all, supporting a small business!

  6. Look In Every Booth.

    Even if a booth doesn’t seem to be your style, it’s important to go into every one and at least take a quick scan. Sometimes the booth that seems to be the least ‘you’ turns out to have a beautiful treasure that you wouldn’t have otherwise found!

    Also, by looking in each area, you might discover a collectable that you love such as vintage glass, which will start off a new collection for your home.

    a vintage and thrifted lace hanky displayed on a mantel

Curating a Cohesive Home with Vintage Finds

There you have it! I’ve said it before but antiquing is extremely special and exciting. Each time you go you never know what you are going to find.

Sometimes you come across a piece that you didn’t even know you existed or didn’t know you needed until just then.

vintage hobnail milk glass displayed on a shelf for Summer

Closing Tidbits on Treasure Hunting 101: Your Beginner’s Guide to Antiquing

You will understand the amazement and satisfaction after you go for the first time, I promise!

Be persistent, be patient, and let joy lead you. I hope these tips in treasure hunting 101: your beginner’s guide for antiquing, encourage you to take a leap of faith and try something new.

signature from The Antiqued Journey

Let me know in the comments below if you are a beginner or a novice. I would love to hear other tips that you have!

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Treasure Hunting 101: Your Beginner's Guide for Antiquing

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.

Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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How to Thrift for Vintage Books

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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique, vintage, and thrifted. Let’s journey together!

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