Collecting Vintage Vases

From antique crystal and glass vessels to vintage milk glass, I’m sharing a few tips on collecting and curating these treasures for display and use for some beautiful, timeless floral arrangements.

Collecting Vintage Vases

One of my favorite vintage items to source are mismatched vases + vessels. Every time I step into an antique store, Goodwill, or estate sale, I always keep my eye out for these sparkling treasures. Because of my love for them, I thought I’d share a few tips + tricks for you to collect a few of your own.

Source a Variety of Shapes and Sizes

Vases tend to be decorative home items that most people have a small collection of. They come in so many finishes, shapes and sizes and it’s great to have a variety on hand to make up an array of floral arrangements that will suit any flower type.

And, for that reason, it can be easy to amass a collection if you’re not careful (which is quite alright by me). However, for those that don’t have an emotional attachment to each and every piece they find, vintage vases also tend to be an item folks thin out when they are decluttering their home.

The need to have a variety of vases in your collection actually adds to the fun of collecting them. Take a look at the vases you already own and decide which shapes or finishes you are missing. I personally tend to gravitate towards crystal and milk glass, and to pieces that are rather midrange in height. With that, I’ve been looking for more low, round vessels and orb containers to (literally) round out my collection.

Collect in Groupings

Bud vases are an example of a piece that is great on it’s own. It can be beautiful and lovely and full of detail, BUT when you curate a collection of them together, well that’s where the magic really happens.

Milk glass or hobnail vases tend to be the same. By finding a similarity in some of the pieces you’re collecting you essentially start curating instead. The tiny details shine even more in each piece in a collection of likeminded vessels. You begin noticing the similarities and the differences, and both are beautiful in and of themselves.

Groupings of vases have become popular for wedding table decor and for entertaining in your own home, much like that of curated collections of candlesticks as of late.

Consider Non-Traditional Vessels

While it’s easy to spot a traditional vases to make your arrangements, be open minded and consider the possibilities in some not-so-ordinary vessels that just may service as a beautiful home for your florals.

Ironstone pitchers, enamelware pots, ceramic crocks or jugs, and vintage drink ware, antique silver (or silver-plated) serving pieces like creamers or mint julep cups are a few places to start – just to name a few.

Here’s a few from our collection that I’d use to put together an arrangement in my own home. I always try to keep that in mind when i’m sourcing pieces because I love having fresh greenery in our home to really breathe some life into it.

Recognize Quality

I think above all else one thing to keep in mind about antique vases is their quality, craftsmanship and detail. Like most things vintage, they just don’t make ‘em like the used to.

Look for details in the vases as you’re searching for them, such as the weight, makers marks and unique detailing. Know the difference between glass and crystal, between silver and silver plated. Know that you can score deals (especially at garage sales and thrift stores) because often times people just don’t know what they have sometimes, especially when boxing up estates-worth of goods at a time.

And be sure to inspect each piece to ensure there are no chips, cracks or soldering issues to ensure they are water tight and in good shape for holding your beautiful floral arrangements.

I hope these tips help you add some fun floral vases to your home and perhaps inspire you to deepen your collection. You can even check out our Vintage Goods shop to find a few new pieces of your very own. I hope you’ll give us a tag if you’re out sourcing and find a new vase of your very own #HEIRLOOMED.

And, also be sure to check out my roundup of some of my favorite vases + vessels out there in the market right now.

heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about my favorite made-from-scratch recipes, creating traditions with your familyfarmhouse home decor, effortless entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, tips on gardening creating a timeless capsule wardrobe, and small town + historic travel. Our product designs feature a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of apronstable linenshand-poured candles and keepsake gifts. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

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