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yard sale finds


I haven’t been out to yard sales for over a month.  I’m not sure why, but I just haven’t been in the mood and we’ve had other things going on.  This week, though, there was the Rt 30 yard sale in New Oxford, PA, so I set out with my mom, husband, Sean, Emily and the boys and we found some great stuff.  The best haul of the day was probably this antique wooden tool box…




I also bought a set of antique French pate knives for $10…




…two Sterling silver salt shakers for $5/each…



..and a few other things.  I didn’t find any great furniture, which was a good thing, since we had a van full of people.  Emily had never been to yard sales before and she found a couple of cool things (some slate pieces from a roof and a vintage desk chair to use in her dorm at school.)  It was nice to be on the hunt again.

Between some of the meetings and other business things I’ve had to take care of,  I’m trying to fit in some painting here and there .  Painting’s very therapeutic for me.  I’m currently working on a sign for my living room…



As I was chalking out the design (on a board I painted in Shutter Gray in my Milk Paint), I realized that milk paint is a great chalk board surface. I wrote and erased my design several times.

 Ah-ha!  Now I have an idea…

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  1. Shawna Lieberman says:

    I cannot wait to see that finished sign!!! Love you – love your blog. I pore over every word, anxious to get a tidbit of inspiration. And those salt shakers for $5 each?? WOW!!

  2. Love the little salt and pepper shakers! $5>>>>Steal!

    And prayers for you! I’m in awe of all that you balance!

  3. To get those thin lines do you just use regular white chalk or a chalk marker? I have some board ready to be painted, but am trying desperately to figure out what to put on them. I have so many ideas that I can’t pin just a couple down.

    When I was growing up we actually had silverware with the (bakelite?) handles like your pate knives. So sad that we didn’t know what we had then. Who knows where they ended up. Story of my life. All the good stuff that my parents owned was tossed out so long ago and the only things they had when they passed away were cracked, chipped and broken! We keep them anyway, for purely sentimental value!

    Can’t wait to see the finished sign!


  4. Treasures, all of them!

    Is that a jewelers chest? I’m asking because it looks like the drawers are lined with felt.

    Milk paint and chalk I can smell the inspirational smoke from here!

  5. If I had a tool chest like that, I might actually put them back where they’re supposed to go! Quite beautiful for a tool chest. Love your other finds as well. I can’t wait to see what your idea is.

  6. LOVE your vintage finds! I never knew how fantastic vintage could be. Was raised to view it as junk. But in the past two years I’ve discovered how beautiful used things can be and it’s turned into a big hobby! It’s a bit harder to find unique things here in the tri-state area since I feel like it’s become such a big fad out here! Maybe it’s all the reality shows that promote sale finds.. What do you think?

  7. you are always full of ideas. love that about you; and i love your yard sale finds. beautiful! especially the tool box
    cheers Fiona

  8. Great finds! Can’t wait to see how the sign turns out and I sense another idea is hatching! Hugs, Leena

  9. sounds like a fun family adventure…I love the wood chest would be cool for silver too.

  10. Fun, Fun, Fun!! I would love that wood chest, it is a jewelers tool box, my pops was a jeweler and he had one just like it. [email protected]

  11. Sarah Clark says:

    Oh, the box! I had one, a gift from my husband. Mine was so similar but was table top size and had been a jewelers tool box. Sadly, a thief once broke in to our home and took the box…my stored jewelry and all. Eeeer! Yours is a great piece. Should be lovely when done.

  12. Oooh, how I love the hunt! Just reading about your finds make me want to go yard saling :) Love the salt and pepper shakers. Can’t wait to see how your sign comes out.

  13. Great finds! I love all your signs, can’t wait for this one :)

  14. Your tool box is AWESOME!

    Great deal on the salt and pepper shakers too!

  15. Good for you! Way to scope out a good yard sale! Now on to a very important question…totally unrelated to yard sale items. I am attempting to paint my kitchen cabinets following your tutorial of “how to for painting kitchen cabinets.” Used the same primer, same paint, same technique, etc. except for my husband used a roller with a little more texture. Results…not good! The cabinet now have “texture.” I attempted to sand the lightly and brush on the second coat. Still not looking great. Here’s my question in a nutshell…can I start over using chalk paint (homemade chalk paint)???? I’ve used the homemade chalkpaint with great success BUT not on anything like a kitchen cabinet.I love the ease of chalk paint and I have a very small kitchen. In my mind at least, I’m think the chalk paint would at least guarantee a good looking finish…but it’s the durability I’m concerned about. Would you please give me your recommendation for this project?

  16. tinam61 says:

    Oooh that is a machinist tool box. My husband has a collection of those (about 6) and they can be pretty pricey here in our area. (Southeast) We have been told they are more plentiful (and cheaper) up north. Do you mind if I ask how much it was? You also sometimes find them covered in leather. We use one of his larger ones as a side table beside a chair! Beautiful oak box.


  17. Heat! Heat is a kill joy except at the pool! Like you we are enjoying the cooler days; much better for having and going to yard sales.

  18. Hmm. Can’t wait to see what you do with the salt/pepper shakers. I have some of those, along with some other items, that we were given as wedding gifts 28 years ago and have never known what to do with them.

    Also, COOL tool box.

  19. I know just what you mean about painting being good for the soul and brain…we can make something with our hands, but can let our brain sort thru other problems or ideas…I would love a new chalkboard paint, so I’ll check back to see how the sign turned out for sure!!! Happy relaxing painting…
    Ps. I always appreciate your honest blog posts, real life – it’s just hard and without Jesus impossible!

  20. That tool box would keep me entertained for days. All those little drawers to fill. Some to be left open with something wonderful spilling forth. Oh, my gosh. My heart is racing!

  21. dawn matthews says:

    Can’t wait to see your finished sign…left me curious.

  22. Fun finds! And what a great thing to know – that milk paint works well as a surface for chalk!!

  23. Great finds I love that box. It is so neat!! The salt and pepper shakers are really beautiful too!


  24. I am working on my chalkboard art “skills” for chalkboard “art” for my shop. You seem to be mastering the skill yourself! I guess a dryer (ultra flat) paint surface would make a good chalkboard. You are onto something! Oh, and I looooove your “finds”, too!!

  25. Oh, those ideas…aren’t they fun? Your sign will be wonderful! What do you plan to paint the letters with? Love that chest with the drawers. Must have been some sort of chest for tools. Great!!

  26. Can’t wait to see the sign!!!

    I have a weird addiction to old tool boxes and tackle boxes. I love loading them with my paint brushes and all of the lovely things needed to paint furniture and I stack them up. My lastest find? A crusty 1950’s Craftsman steel tool box. Just looking at it puts me in a good mood.

    Thank you for your fun blog,


  27. Denise T says:

    Love vintage finds .Love old tool boxes as well as french pate knives.. Looking forward to your idea!!

  28. I have a very similiar tool box that I bought at a yard sale. I did some research and it’s a Gerstner large oak old antique machinist tool chest box. Apparently, they are very rare. See my listing below. :)

  29. Lovely finds Marian! I bet it felt good to get out and do some yard-saling! The sign is looking great…can’t wait to see how it turns out and where you put it!

  30. Wait. Did you just say Emily had never been to a yard sale?! Phew. Good thing you remedied that :) She’s learning from the best. :)

  31. Adore the toolbox, the pate/butter knives and the salt shakers. Very envious. Longing to see what you make of the toolbox and the yard sign, and to see news of your idea!

  32. I’m in love with the Wooden Chest and the Salt Shakers that were truly a steal! Love it when I wander into a Great Garage Sale!

  33. That tool box is to die for! I really want to see that sign done, how cool!

  34. Is that a gerstner chest from dayton Ohio??? If so they are still in business & their website is great!!! They have an amazing old building where they make them!! Old ones around here sell for $500…
    It should have markings on the latch or a brass plate?! I applause them as I grew up & live 30 miles from Dayton!
    Xo kara

  35. Wow, love that tool chest! Great find!

  36. Love that wooden box!! What a great find.

    I picked up an antique salt & pepper set while thrifting the other day, too (along with a cart full of other goodies). Love it!

  37. Love that old chest…my Dad was a machinist and had one just like it!!

  38. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while but never really posted BUT your tool chest find got me so excited!! I’ve been looking for them since by husband inherited one from his grandfather. They used it as storage for fly tying tools… I cleaned it up and re-purposed it as a jewelry box and I think it is perfect! They seem very hard to find – Congratulations!! and in such good shape. p.s. thank you so much (!!) for your wonderful blog, photos and info – you’ve inspired me to follow a dream I’ve had simmering for quite a while. All the best – Kirsten (aka: swandaughter at sten soppa)

  39. Jennifer says:

    LOVE the tool box…..I also found one, just a little different design. I’m restoring it for my sons room. He will be using it for a night stand as well as storing his collectable knives in. I will be lining the drawers with red velvet………Can’t wait to finish it. Keep looking ladies….you will find one!!!!

  40. It’s been a while since I last checked out your blog,(sham on me) I have to tell you I love your milk paint tutorial and can’t wait to get me some and try it. I love to switch up older furniture every chance I get, but I have always worked with latex. After watching you work with the milk paint, I’m sold!!! I’m heading over to your store and taking advantage of the 15% sale and buying me three different colors, hemp oil, bonding agent and crackle. I tell ya I’m all in and as soon as I paint that old dresser i’ve been hiding in the basement I’ll post it on my blog as well as my facebook page.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for re-sparking my painting fire!!!

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