Vintage Shelf (Made by My Dad) Gets a Fresh Look

Blue Shelves

Once upon a time there was a young couple who built a house and spent many years making it a happy home for their children.  The happy wife loved decorating, crafting, and gardening and wanted a shelf for her plants.  Her handy husband took a break from his farm chores and built a shelf that was exactly what she wanted.  The shelf was used for plants, and then for toys, and then it ended up in the barn where it sat for years.

Three in Pburg

(Mama, Daddy, and me in 1969)

On Mother’s Day of this year, Mama and I visited her storage barn where I spotted the shelf made by my dad so many years ago.  I liked its cute design and asked if I could have it, and of course, my mom let me.  I forgot to take a before picture, but the shelf was painted white and was very dirty from being in the barn.  Mr. SP helped me put in a few screws to reinforce it as it had gotten loose over the years, and then it was sanded and painted with AS Duck Egg Blue followed by a coat of wax.  What a difference a little TLC made for this shelf!

For fun, I styled the shelf with fall items and took pictures in the yard where there’s good light.  Truthfully, none of these items stayed on the shelf and are now displayed in various parts of my house for fall.  I’m hoping my mom will want this shelf back after she sees how good it looks now.  It would be perfect for one of the three, yes three, porches on the back of her home.

Shelves Styled for Fall

Since these fall decorations are on display, I may as well share a bit about each one.

My grandmother pressed this Japanese Maple leaf and made the card when she was in her 90’s.  I use it every year for fall decorating.

Leave dried by Granny


Both leaves are Vermont Sugar Maple and were gifts from Mr. SP.  I always dry my gourds to use another year.  Did you know that gourds and small pumpkins can be dried?

Leaves and Pumpkin


I’ve had this squirrel for years and years and enjoy using him for fall decorating each year.

Squirrel and Acorn


A student gave me this shelf fungus after we learned about it in science class.  He probably would laugh if he knew that twenty years later I am using it as a decoration.

Shelf Fungus


I love collecting vintage flower pots and only have two in orange.  The shape of this one is unusual.

Vintage Orange Pottery Planter


I was thrilled to have a few hours this weekend to slowly start decorating for fall.  Have you started?


  1. Paula, thank you so much for your oh-so-sweet comment! I would love to work with Studio Eleven so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that something will happen 🙂 I also love shopping local and would be happy to share a few spots: Circa or the Curious Orange Shop for upcycling, Roxie Daisy for some chic french farmhouse home decor, Greenwood Antiques (just outside Cville) for some really great crafts and upcycled furniture (I used to have a space there until my pregnant belly became too large to keep up with the painting!), and if you’re a foodie, the Main Street Market building is a great place to get local deli meats, cheeses, coffee, flowers, and also a few crafts and furniture pieces, and, of course, the downtown pedestrian mall has a multitude of small antique and craft stores. Also (although it may be a bit further than you’d like to travel) if you’re ever in the Richmond area, I would highly recommend Class and Trash – that’s where I find a ton of the vintage pieces in my home and for great prices! Love your blog and so happy to find a semi-local blogger! You’ve got yourself a new follwer 🙂 Thanks again and I hope to keep in touch! PS…love the shelf styling!

    1. Kristen – Thanks so much for these great suggestions. I can’t wait to visit them all. I look forward to following your blogging adventures.

  2. How special it must be to have these items, made by your father with love. I just brought back several dishes that belonged to my mom and plan to feature them some time down the road. Most likely in a recipe. How ironic, I have a piece of a wooden shelf/window that I pulled out of my former neighbors driveway back in June. I’ve been planning to paint it AS Duck Egg blue as well. It will go perfect in my beach theme laundry room. Great choice color on your shelf!

    1. Yes, 20 years!! I use it every year for life science but this year I’m only teaching physical science, so I brought it home. It’s as hard as a piece of wood.

    1. Thanks, Catherine. I’m glad that my mom and dad saved so many things that they weren’t currently using. I’m hoping that my mom will want this shelf back after she sees how cute it looks now.

  3. Do you recall where you bought the squirrel from? My mother had one just like it and I carelessly broke it so I’ve been searching for a replacement.

    1. I purchased the squirrel in a shop in Charlottesville in the 90’s that’s no longer in business. I’m sorry that I can’t help you find a replacement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.