Top 5 Things to Look For at Yard Sales This Year

five yard sale title

The top five things to look for at yard sales this year are my “most wanted” list and it might not be your top five but if you are vintage lover like me I bet some of our wants are the same.

No. 1

Vintage Ladders

Vintage wooden ladders are number one on my list this summer.

Red Ladder

 I like to use them myself and they sell like crazy in my booth.  


Right now I am using that vintage red ladder with makeshift white shelves as display piece in my booth.  Several people have tried to buy it including one other vendor who wanted both the ladder and the shelves.  Wonder what her plans were for my lovely red ladder.  So I know I can sell them if I can just find them.

Ladder Christmas Tree

We had a ladder Christmas tree in 2014 and my grandkids absolutely loved it.

Kodak X45 on ladder

After Christmas it stayed on in my family room as a display shelf.

No. 2

Vintage Outdoor Bits and Pieces

This group includes vintage picnic baskets, tennis rackets (with press), croquet sets, fishing reels, and thermos.  I included thermos here because I want to find the larger jug type thermos and the thermos packs like folks took to football games and such.

Aladdin Thermos

Never mind the cow, she is just along for the photo-op.

My picnic baskets1

I buy picnic baskets both for myself

Picnic Time

and  to sell.  This one got a makeover before it went to the booth.

Wooden Tennis Rackets

These vintage wooden rackets are in my grandson’s room.

Wooden Tennis Racket

My favorite vintage tennis racket find was the one above that not only had the press but an adorable red plaid cover too.  It was a quick seller in my booth.

Croquet Set

The partial vintage croquet set satisfied my appetite for a while but now the hunt is on to find a complete vintage set.

No. 3

Vintage Fishing Equipment

My booth needs some mantiques so what better than fishing equipment.

pink reelSource

Fishing reels are high on my “most wanted” list this year.   Ok, ok this one is not exactly a mantique but really what are the odds of e finding a pink fishing reel?  Trust me, if I find one its mine.

reel bakelite handleSource

Actually I looking for some more like this vintage Penn Peer fishing reel No. 209, made in USA with a red Bakelite handle.

Minnow Bucket Star

Even though reels are high on my list I would also buy minnow buckets,

fishing luresSource

vintage fishing bobbers and

Fishing lures in shadow boxSource

vintage fishing lures.


Who could resist a vintage creel?  Not me.

No. 4

Vintage Christmas Decor

Summer may just be the best time to look for Christmas Decor ans I always keep and eye out for it.  Just last week I scored vintage Christmas decor at the thrift store.  You can read about it in VF No. 79 Christmas In April.

McKee Tom and Jerry Eggnog Cups

These McKee Tom and Jerry eggnog mugs need the matching bowl.  I will be looking for one this year but will be very lucky to find something so specific.  Usually you just have to keep and open mind.

Shiny Brite Green Box

Shiny Brite are my favorite vintage ornaments

Favorite Shiny Brite 4

to find but I try to keep an eye out for any vintage ornaments.

Woolworth's Aqua Ornaments

So when I found these aqua ornaments from Woolworth’s I had to take them home with me.

Santa 2

This vintage Christmas planter and bottle brush tree are the kinds of things I’ll be looking for this year.  I love them and they are quick sellers during the Christmas season at my booth.

Santa Mugs and Elf

Vintage Santa mugs and knee huggers are always a great find.   This knee hugger isn’t vintage but a very good reproduction.

Few Bottle Brush trees

Vintage Pulz houses are also a great find.  This one needed a little home remodeling when I found it but it had all the missing parts with it.  So with a little glue it is good as new again.


Vintage blow molds are also on my “wanted list”  this year.out

Another post you might enjoy: How to Decorate for Christmas Vintage Style.

No. 5

Ironstone and China

Ironstone has moved down on my list because it is a bit pricey now and my personal collection is overflowing.  I recently thinned out my collection by taking some things to my booth.

White Ironstone Creamer Tree

I took some ironstone platters and some of these ironstone creamers.

White Ironstone Platters

Most have already sold.  So I will keep an eye out for more platters which sell well.

Place Setting

By collecting Johnson Brothers Regency pattern (swirls) over the years I have finally accumulated enough to serve eight.  See my Vintage Style Easter Tablescape.  It is ironstone and it mixes well with almost any other pattern or style.

Desert Rose Tablescape 3

I love to do tablescapes and you don’t need a whole set of dishes to do that.  When I did the Franciscan Desert Rose Tablescape I had four dinner plates.

Haviland B&B Plates

There are four of these Johann Haviland bread and butter plates and I’m planning a tablescape with them soon.   

Note:  I didn’t share five individual things but categories of things I’m looking for this year.

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  1. Isn’t this FUN? We overlapped on a few–big surprise, right?! Love your list and your fabulous photos. Too bad we can’t go together! Happy hunting!

  2. What an awesome, awesome list! I am hunting for everything on this list too! 🙂

  3. distresseddonna says:

    Great list! After seeing the jar of fishing lures I am adding them to my lists.

  4. OH I love everything on your list, Sharon…I am thinking I need to find
    a plaid picnic basket now…

  5. What a great list Sharon, and some of them are in my top 10 like ladders, vintage ornaments, and baskets. I have a collection of vintage fishing lures from my youth that I’ve never shared. I think I feel a post on that coming up on them. Love that pink fishing reel.

  6. I like the vintage fishing stuff and we have a lot of that at our lake house.

    I see the old tennis rackets with the wooden racks on occasion. I need to pick one up and see how it sells for me.

  7. OK, we’re officially twins! I love EVERYTHING on your list except the fishing stuff and that’s only because I never found a cool pink fishing reel before! Great list!

  8. We overlapped on ironstone, Sharon–we’re both on the lookout for it. Mantiques was good thinking; I think all of us “lady” dealers could probably benefit by trying to think like a man while we shop 🙂 Great list–

  9. Hi Sharon, what a fun post. I took notes for the quiz later! Love the white picnic basket and thermos. Actually, I loved everything on your list and wish I could visit your shop. Happy Sale-ing!

  10. Fun lists. I have been toying with getting a ladder for my booth, but my spaces are so crowded as it is that I am afraid it just wouldn’t work.

  11. Sharon, your inclusion of ladders and outdoor stuff definitely attracts me too. The fishing equipment is a cool mantique, and we’ve sold any fishing gear we’ve brought in. Dishes do not do well for us, so I excluded them, although I am drawn to them like a moth to the light, as you well know! Great list.

  12. loveyoumoredesigns says:

    I’m always on the lookout for ironstone, minnow buckets and ladders,too! ANd guess what? I just picked up that racket (cover and all) at Goodwill yesterday for $1.49! It’s selling on ebay for around $15 but I think I’m going to keep it! Good luck on your summer yard sailing!
    xoKathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

  13. Fantastic list…. Always love your displays and how u photograph things!

  14. OH the Desert Rose made me smile. This is my mothers China. One sure felt special when she brought it out for use. Super list. Thanks for sharing it

  15. Like the colorful fishing lure display and especially the pink reel! I don’t even fish! Love the thermoses too! Ladders~I found a vintage discarded one on the roadside last year…my lucky day! It sold in no time!


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