We are all about old school. Or vintage...whichever you prefer to call it. But this time of year, "old school" encompasses an array of memorabilia that brings up memories of school days' past. From vintage globes and maps, to felt pennants and vintage lunchboxes, we can remember and relive the best recollections of our childhoods with a few simple additions to our home decor.
There's something about the beginning of a school year, with the promises of a new beginning and new....everything: pencils, paper, crayons, clothes, classroom, classmates, and of course, a new teacher. But for those who aren't returning to school, a new year brings back nostalgia for those simpler, more innocent days in our life.
Is it any wonder that vintage school items have never fallen out of favor? From felt sports team pennants and metal lunchboxes, to globes and maps and science beakers, school books and school desks, these items serve as a talisman and touchstone to our childhood "wonder years."
HOW TO CURATE A UNIQUE AND USEFUL COLLECTION
The first step is to determine what appeals to you, and gives you good vibes from days gone by. That will help you narrow your focus to a few choice items that you can incorporate into your home's decor without overwhelming it. If books are your thing, vintage and antique school books abound. Find a child's vintage leather belt to bind them up in a stack. If geography was your jam, look for vintage globes and maybe an old-school pull-down map for your home. Pennants can be mounted in a shadowbox, or they can be stitched onto a plain or plaid pillow cover. Old science lab glass decanters and beakers can become interesting vases. School desks can be transformed into side tables, and chairs or stools might make a fabulous plant stand.
WHERE TO FIND VINTAGE SCHOOL ITEMS
The usual haunts are your best bet: start at home - ask family members (especially former teachers) if they have leftovers from their teaching days that they've tucked away and would be willing to share. Estate sales and thrift stores, as well as auctions and eBay are other prime hunting grounds.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR TREASURES
As with most antique and vintage items, it is important to keep them away from direct sunlight, and control the humidity of their environment, as extreme temperatures and fluctuations in humidity can cause them to deteriorate quickly. If your items are fragile and rare/valuable, or just have a lot of sentimental value or , consult an expert for advice on how to store and display them best.
NOT JUST FOR FALL
While fall is the time when nostalgia for school days seems to hit its zenith, school items are timeless and classic. Display and use them year-round as a reminder of your own childhood school days.
Photos courtesy of Pinterest. This article was originally published in the Busy Bee Trader, a guide to vintage and antique stores in the mid-south.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!