Are you looking for antique gift ideas this season? Maybe for that family member who loves vintage finds or the history buff who enjoys learning more about the past?
I have 10 perfect gift ideas for you today for the antique lover on your list. Any of these items would make perfect presents for your friends and family who love scouring antique malls or flea markets for those unique finds.
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Where to Find Antique Gifts for Vintage Lovers
Before we dive into the list, let’s talk just a minute about where to shop for great vintage items.
If you’re not the kind of person who loves hunting down old things, this shopping may seem a bit foreign to you. But don’t worry, we’ll talk about your best options for finding great vintage gifts that fit your budget.
1. Antique Malls
You probably have an antique mall in your area, or maybe even a few. Do a Google search of “antique malls near me” or “flea markets near me” to see them pop up on the map.
These types of stores can range from very high-end and expensive, to essentially indoor garage sales. I would shoot for the middle-of-the-road types–the antique malls that offer curated selections of true vintage goods but aren’t advertised as high-end antique shops.
Most of these types of stores have more limited hours than other retail shops (often 10-5 or 11-6), and many will also be closed on Sundays. Be sure to check the times online before you head out to make sure they are open.
Antique malls are usually made up of a variety of vendors who are each responsible for their own pricing. If you have questions about an item or need help locating the price of something you find in a vendor booth, whoever is working at the front desk will be able to help.
Another great tip for antique mall shopping is to ask for a discount at the checkout desk, Unlike your regular retail store, many antique malls will offer a standard discount off the tag price if you just ask!
2. Thrift Stores
If you’re up for digging more, you could also try shopping for vintage treasures at the thrift store. Beware though that you may waste a lot of time looking without finding much of anything! Thrift stores can really be hit or miss when looking for a unique vintage gift.
If vintage jewelry or vintage clothes are on your gift list though, a pop into the thrift store could be worth the trip. Sometimes these shops will even pull out any items with vintage style and keep them on their own rack or display case, which could make your search quicker.
If you’re able, try heading to thrift stores located in older parts of town, rather than in newer suburban areas. At these locations, you’re more likely to find true vintage items as the clientele donating them tends to be older.
If you prefer to hunt down your vintage gifts online, Etsy is a great place to go. Consider it the ultimate online antique mall!
Like an antique mall, Etsy is not one big giant store, but rather a collection of small vendors all on one platform. This means that different Etsy shops will charge different prices for similar items, and also have different shipping terms, etc.
Be sure to read each listing you’re interested in very closely and look through all the posted photos so you can understand the terms of that specific shop.
If you have questions about an item you find on Etsy, you can send the owner of that shop a message through the platform. Good Etsy shop owners should reply within a day.
If you aren’t sure what exactly you’re looking for, shopping on Etsy can be a bit overwhelming because there is so much to look through. So try typing in a generic gift idea, like “gift for vintage music lover” or “antique book gifts” in the search bar.
This will lead you not only to a list of specific items that match your search, but also to the different Etsy shops offering them.
If you find an item that interests you, be sure to check out the full inventory of that Etsy shop because you will likely see more items that meet your needs.
4. Small Online Boutiques
There are also a ton of antique dealers that have decided to take their business online and now have their own small, online stores filled with antique and vintage treasures.
Often these shops have lower prices than you may see on Etsy with the same great items. Try a google search of “vintage online gift shop” or “vintage decor online store” to see some options.
When shopping from small online stores, I always recommend first heading to their “About” section. This will give you an idea of who is running the store and if they are a reputable business.
Next, be sure to visit the “Shipping and Returns” page, as this will tell you how your item will be delivered and how they will handle any issues that may arise.
If you need a place to start, here are a few of my favorite small online vintage shops, including my own:
10 Antique Gift Ideas
Mismatched Vintage Silverware
This is a great gift for a young couple who appreciates things with character. Help them build their silverware collection with a set of vintage forks, spoons, and knives that are perfectly imperfect.
A vintage quilt makes a thoughtful gift that will stand the test of time. If shopping online, be sure to make sure the quilt is in good condition and ask for more photos if you need to confirm that it’s free of holes and/or stains.
Having a bar cart is coming back in style, and what better way to outfit it than with some great vintage barware pieces? I love this mid-century ice bucket, or a set of funky glasses would also make a fantastic gift for the bar aficionado.
Antique Clocks are great ways to add old-world character to any space. I would recommend shopping for them locally, if at all possible, as they will be costly to have shipped and could easily be damaged in transport. Try your local antique mall before heading online.
Milk Glass Pieces
Milk Glass has a timeless quality to it that helps it fit into any home décor style. Vintage milk glass pieces can be found just about anywhere, including sometimes for pennies at the thrift store. Try starting a new collection for a friend by bundling together a group of several milk glass vases, or for the experienced milk glass collector, try hunting down a more rare find like a cake plate or large pitcher.
Why decorate your walls with run-of-the-mill artwork from big box discount stores when you can add unique character and charm with a gorgeous vintage painting instead? Your friend or family member would love one-of-a-kind piece of vintage art to proudly display in their space. This shop on Etsy has plenty to choose from at a variety of price points as well.
True music lovers want to be able to touch and hold their music, none of this digital stuff! Vinyl records make a great gift then for anyone who really enjoys music and has a flair for the past. The good news is they are available in lots of places, from thrift stores to antique malls to online.
An old book is filled with nostalgia and would make a much-loved gift for any book lover. Try searching for an early edition by their favorite author, or perhaps a collection of vintage books from a popular series like Chronicles of Narnia or Shakespeare’s Collected Works.
Vintage Leather Goods
It’s true they don’t make things like they used to! Anything made of vintage leather would make a great gift for the person who appreciates quality craftsmanship and items that are built to last. Try searching for leather satchels, camera bags, or jackets as a place to start.
Book on Decorating with Antiques
There are several great books available from designers who work with mostly antiques, but Sean Scherer’s “Creating Authentic Interiors” is one of the best. It’s full of jaw-dropping photos along with practical tips for starting your own new collections. Shop for it at your local bookstore or you can find it here on Amazon.
There you have it! 10 great antique gift ideas for anyone on your list who is an old soul with a passion for the past. Now it’s time to get shopping!