Old signs are definitely (one of) ‘my things’

I told myself I was going to stay off the computer and get some stuff done.


So I made an attempt. I had a stack of new magazines I hadn’t yet touched, so when it was reading time for my son, we sat together flipping our own desired pages.


So, I’m going to blame this computer hack sign attack on the magazines.

“Son, did you see this wall?!? Your room needs this wall!”

 It was like a reincarnation of Saturday mornings with SNS.

 I can only read so much, then I have to get up and DO something. 

 Vintage sign inspiration drives me absolutely mad. MAD. That’s a good mad.

 You see, in the magazine, I came across one tiny picture of a sign. And my brain lit up like a Christmas tree on a shorted out blinker. That had me bolting for google.

This one would remind me to not only eat, but to COOK. Eh… EAT is out. But it sure is cool.

  I can vision 101 different things to do with these and places to put them. Here’s my dream barn storage btw.

 furniture source

 And things to make out of them. 

Miss Mustard Seed, please come sew for me… I’ll loan you my nicest farmer jacket to stay warm in and buy you a boatload of Diet Dr. Pepper and promise to NOT sing you show tunes. Trust me, it wouldn’t be pretty. 

What’s that? You’re making a slipcover tutorial in my honor? Does it come with someone to show me HOW to follow a slipcover tutorial? Something to think about maybe, eh?

 I think this sign needs a sprawling tree underneath it with garbage strewn around. You know.. tornado alley like.

These are house numbers…. I’d wallpaper a table top with them. But my son would be much more creative and flash these at me, giving me limits on how soon he needed to EAT.

 Wonder if they’re ripping down or putting up? I say, leave them up and keep going! But if you’re taking down, sending to Canada isn’t THAT big of a deal.

 This coke sign needs to be my new office desk top.

One day I’m going to paint a real vintage looking mural on a brick wall. Guess I’d better stock up on a couple bricks…

I’m glad our road signs are all new like because if I lived here, I’d be in daily car accidents.

 “I’ll take 5 of everything, please. No need for a bag. Just a U-Haul. Do you carry barn storage kits too?”

“I know whatchoo need! I take you!” (name that movie)

 Michael Wurm! Here’s an egg sign for your chalk wall! 🙂

 Wasn’t that a fantastical tour?!?

I didn’t capture the sources to most of these. I found them at random on google. If one of them was yours, please let me know which one and I’ll link back to you! Sorry, I was just in a flat out frenzy.

So now you know. There’s a reason my stairs look the way they do. Vintage signs and beat up labeled crates and such are my passion.

Other sign related posts of mine…

memory sign table

how I make old signs

lettering up my palette desk 

the playroom headboard

A link party devoted to signs

I keep getting off track with my plans. And these sign pictures help get me back on track. More clear clean surfaces are in grave grave danger. 🙂

Ohhh  I wanna know! What would you consider to be YOUR thing? 

That one deal that really makes you tick?

Do you have alot of it surrounding you?

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67 thoughts on “Old signs are definitely (one of) ‘my things’

  1. Bling makes me tick for sure! Gotta sparkle somewhere or I am disappointed. And mixing patterns! Love love love to do that!
    Those signs are awesome! I can see why clear spaces are in danger now. You are over stimulated sweetie. Breath!!!!

  2. Only one picture out of all these I really like, the stairway….those are so practical and interesting to look at…kids could run up and down them and not bother them at all…now that’s sweet! Thanks for your comments of design at Mel’s Cabin.

  3. I loved all of the pics! So inspiring! I’ve always loved your stairs. I think they’re one of my favorite pieces of your house.

    BTW, have you seen “American Pickers”? Awesome show!

  4. Color, Color is definitely what makes me tick! I absolutely love color. My house is not one of those with a continuing these through out the house, it is not neutral by any means. My kitchen and family room are orange, my bedroom is shades of green, living room, and halls are a more neutral green, bedrooms are blue and yellow. I just love color, particularly orange and green. Also, maps, I really love maps. So many uses, and I am still discovering more. Thanks for the eye candy, signs are awesome!

  5. That chair is awesome! Great! Now I am sitting here trying to decide how to get that look. Ugh! Wouldn’t it be cool personalized like the subway art? Wouldn’t it be awesome to sit there and meticulously hand stencil fabric? Wouldn’t it be way way way stupendous to make a mistake and cut a piece a 1/2″ too small and have to hand stencil more fabric to replace it? Yeah, that is about my kind of project!

  6. Those signs are totally you! your stairs actually inspired my idea with a stencil I did on the back of mine…although very different in style, still so much fun to add a little something different. Have a great day Donna!

  7. I like chippy french furniture with a touch of blue. If I run into it, it has to come home with me, so I guess I am lucky I don’t live near MMS’s store….I am amazed at your inspiration photos. I do have one sign in my house that you would like, it is an old license plate in brown from Wyoming that was made for a truck! My son gave it to me when I got engaged, and it has hung in our man cave on the wall ever since! Its my little piece of funky junk!

  8. LOVE all those signs!!! I think my “thing” is vintage hardware…I just can’t stop myself…rusty, chippy, layers of paint…whatever, I love it! I tie, glue it screw it on to eveything! And if I don’t have anything to put it on, it just sits “all pretty” in a bowl or on a shelf somewhere…until I do 🙂 Thanks for an inspiring start to my day! Take care, Laurel

  9. I lOVE those signs….my ‘THANG’ is mercury glass….I love it’s vintagy sparkle! Thanks for sharing this post….what a great way for me to start my morning.

  10. Great post! Your style so reminds me of mine some years back when I was young like you…. As I’ve aged, my tastes have changed but primitive antiques were my thang for years… And I still have touches here and there. I adore your blog!

  11. Hey Donna,
    Love all these photos! You know, I think SIGNS have been my “thing” lately…my daughter counted 8 in the kitchen (chalkboards included). And EAT is one of them! So I started thinking, is that too many? Now I’m moving signs around 🙂
    But those stairs of yours rock every time I see ’em 🙂
    Love your ideas
    Becky C

  12. Wow, that’s seriously alot of signs! I have an old RC Cola sign and our old license plates on a fence. My thing is old wood crates like you made your stairs out of, only I use them for plants, magazines, storage, etc. I just cannot pass them up at a sale, especially the ones with dovetail corners.

  13. I swear you and me must be long lost twin sisters–everything you love and say are exactly how I feel and what I desire. This post has now got the song “Sign sign everywhere a sign” circling in my head-LOL!

  14. I love them too!! I recently purchased a ginormous Clabber Girl Sign from the 1940s to sell in my Etsy shop. When I went on the USPS site to get a shipping estimate, it said the package was too large to ship. I went to UPS and the quote was outrageous! So, now it is mine and I can’t say I am sad about it because it really was startng to grow on me anyway!

  15. Ok I am LOVING your stairs…and the egg signs! My thing…hmmm…bookshelves…love em…can’t get enough of em…want more of em (much to my husband’s chagrin)!

  16. Visually, possibly the best post yet… my heart stops when my eyes spot a vintage sign. Mr. Norm may leave the road looking at the wild life… I, when I spot a sign… Can not get enough of them..Love this post and that chair ~ Oh my!

  17. great photos!!
    so Donna do you watch the show American Pickers? They love old signs too! We don’t have cable but just got Netflix…..I fell in love with that show! Have you considered a tv show of your own? 😉

  18. I. LOVE. YOU.

    I know I’ve told you before. But I’ll say it again. You are so original and unique and oh so expressive. I was right there with you on your tour! Loved it. I think you did this post in warp speed! I swear, I could feel it!!!!! You should see my hair…it’s like I was on a roller coaster or something! Woosh!!!!!!

    ps – my thing is swirls. SWIRLS. Gotta have em somewhere!

  19. I love the signs. I could have them all over and I have almost had accidents while driving along and coming across a wall mural on an old brick building! I have to control the urge to just hit the brakes and start snapping photos. Other than signs I’d say my “thing” is jars. I but I mostly am drawn to those that have some words on them!

  20. …when I first clicked on the chair image I thought you had made a chair out of signage…….then I realized it was upholstered……..then I thought well Donna could just make a template/frame of the wingback in plywood…paint outside white or grey….get some legs…..do her magic with her wonderful talent of signage…glue the signage to the frame…paint the inside white grey or black ….and make amazing flour sack cushions….
    there you go Donna another job for you!…you are the one person I know can see this …….and get it done!

  21. Howdy Donna! I have a lot of catching up to do with you and the blog, but am totally loving the current post! You know I love those stairs that you did. I too have a “thing” for old signage. Are you sure we aren’t related somehow…LOL!!! But I have to say that your question about what is my “thing” really got me thinking. And I can’t pin-point that down to any one thing. But some of them are old signage, rust, old books, beautiful fabrics, vintage transferware, old cars and dogs!!! Wow, bet you didn’t want that much information, huh?

  22. FunkyJunk Donna, will you marry me?
    Dana at Cooking at Cafe D.

    But, seriously, you made me spit coke all over my screen when you wrote this…”But if you’re taking down, sending to Canada isn’t THAT big of a deal.”

    I just love signs, too.
    Glance over here – on your next “reading time” with your son. That postcard draws me in with those amazing wall signs. What are those called? The wall billboards? here’s the link with the postcard – http://www.cookingatcafed.com/2011/01/picture-postcards-and-magic-revolving.html

  23. I am thinking that you need to find an upholsterer near you. Have them upholster two wingbacks in muslin. One is yours, one theirs. Then, you paint the sides and backs like signs, kind of like the bus sign chair. You keep a chair, and they keep a chair. Seem like a good trade?
    There is fabric paint additive that turns regular paint into fabric paint I think. Or, you can use fabric paint. What would be nice, would be an ottoman in muslin with the names of all your old cows on it. Or, a person could list all their old ancestors on it.
    If you don’t want to do this, doesn’t IKEA make off white furniture for a reasonable price? I would like to see what you could paint on those. I bought a drop cloth at Home Depot to try the Copy Me challenge. I picked a beigey one that would lighten when I washed it. But, it had plastic on the back. So I stopped dead in my tracks. I guess I could rip the plastic off. Anyway, less than 30 followers to go, right? Ann

  24. Something tells me you spent a lot more time on the computer today than you had anticipated. If you are anything like me, you google one thing, then can’t stop. Your time was not wasted though! Those were all great and inspirational to look at….

    Take care,

  25. I am an old sign buff myself. I had to do a double take on the 6th photo down from the top..Angels Camp that is just down the road from my house. My mom grew up in Angels Camp, it is a great place for vintage stuff…an old gold mining town with tons of history!

  26. That chair is great! I love old numbering also….but what really makes me tick is old antique samplers….I love to hear the stories behind them. I really like them if they are in chipped up frames…..thepinkeep.blogspot.com

  27. OMG- I thought it was just me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love letters, signs, numbers. I would KILL for that chair. And those sings. And all of it. Man, I need to learn to sew. Come here- we can buddy up together!!

  28. Vintage Silver is what makes my heart go pitter patter. Combined with old wood and plaster it’s the “Beauty and the Beast” of decorating.

  29. What I collect: bentwood chairs – especially signed Thonet, Morris type chairs, nutbirds – the tobacciana and other birds made in the 1930’s of tagua (Brazil) nuts decorated with bakelite and googly eyes, antique porcupine things like boxes or bowls- usually made in Ceylon or Ethiopia, tortoise shell boxes if they are cheap enough, miniature copper cowboy hats that used to be ashtrays, alligator belts from thrift stores, vintage oil paintings of mountains, but especially Yosemite, Willy Seiler rag type dolls from Japan in the 1950’s, Playmobil snow type figures, and my very favorite: lamps, usually wooden ones, handmade or ones made from antique wagon wheel hubs. I am slowing down, though, and trying to unload things. Ann

  30. GASP…holy toledo I cannot stop staring at this post. Fellow addict here and I am in LOVE with each and every item/picture you posted! Thanks so much for sharing it all with us….I know I can count on you for my “fix” 😉

  31. That chair is to-die-for. I have been a long time fan of your signs, and your whole design style for that matter.

    (Is the movie Indiana Jones? Just taking a stab.)

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