Vintage Skills that are Making a Comeback! Main Photo

Vintage Skills that are Making a Comeback!

Posted: July 10, 2020 by Maureen Scullion

What happens when you are sick to death of your color scheme or your stuff is looking shabby or there are gifts that need to be sent and the stores are closed or what you want isn’t available? Here are some vintage skills that are making a comeback!



“They don’t make them like they used to” is a phrase that's often sais and is actually true. In the past furniture was handmade and very expensive. Folks hung on to their furniture and passed it down through the generations. Instead of throwing out the old sofa a family would send it out to be reupholstered. Because furniture is now so cheap, and cheaply made, it comes apart quickly. The easiest and cheapest thing to do is trash it and buy new. This is ultimately terrible for our budgets and the planet. Instead of throwing away the sofa or armchair how about looking back to an old school skill like upholstery? Just remember: While it is possible for beginners to handle some small reupholstery projects, you run the risk of seriously messing up a piece of furniture for jobs that are more complicated. (That heirloom piece passed down from your great-grandmother? Forget about it.) If it’s a simple piece or a small fix you can take a virtual upholstery class. If it’s a large piece or precious to you hire a local professional



Many of us have furniture that we thrifted or was passed down to us that is caned. Caning is a method of weaving chair seats and other furniture either while building new chairs or in the process of cane chair repair. Caned chairs hold up amazingly well over years or even centuries but eventually the caned section – commonly the seat and/or back. Will need some attention. Recaning is not a DIY – mainly because the long reeds themselves are difficult to come by. In this case call a professional. Luckily we have a caning company nearby!



According to Wikipedia a blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut (cf. tinsmith). Blacksmiths produce objects such as gates, grilles, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils and weapons. The place where a blacksmith works is called variously a smithy, a forge or a blacksmith's shop. Smithing is hard hot work but we are fortunate in our area to have several crafts people and a place that you can take lessonsImage having the knowledge to repair metal work or craft custom art for gifts.  



The skills involved in making items from wood comes in very handy as a homeowner. Carpentry repairs, cabinetry, molding installation and a lot of furniture repair all come under the heading of woodworking. So too can woodworking skills be used to create items such as cutting board, butcher block counter tops and more – not to mention gift giving. Classes for practical woodworking skills as well as advanced lessons can be found here:


Wallpaper Hanging

Oh yes – you read it here – wallpaper is making a comeback. However, for so many decades wallpaper was out of fashion that the skill of hanging wallpaper is something of a lost art. Luckily the peel and stick wallpapers that are on the market are very easy to work with and quite forgiving. But peel and stick wallpaper should not be used anywhere but a small area. For something bigger you should use quality material and that is more than a weekend DIY. Luckily for you there are quite a few online courses that teach wallpaper hanging. If you feel this is beyond your skill level quite a few painters are also skilled at wallpaper- both removal and hanging new. Check with your favorite painter to find out!

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