Hi there–I’m so busy with family right now that my head is spinning! I have a quick Christmas vintage finds post for you today, but on Wednesday, I’ll have a Thrifty Chicks vintage project for your reading pleasure. I hope you’ll stop back 🙂
A 9′ (approx) strand of mercury glass “double” beads (cost: 50¢, value: $12-15). And there are three more strands where these came from(!).
A few readers asked in the comments about how to tell the difference between old and new garlands. Once you hold real mercury glass beads in your hands, you can see how they differ from modern plastic ones. While there are new versions of glass bead garlands, they are actually easier to tell apart from old ones because they are so new looking.
Here’s a close-up of a newer plastic garland. At a distance, they can be difficult to tell apart from vintage versions. Plastic beads are strung together but are stationary; you cannot move them along the string. You can see the heavy seam lines and pock marks, which you would only find on plastic beads.
You will not find a lot of modern glass garlands at sales because they are not made in huge quantities, and they are typically quite expensive when purchased new. Christopher Radko manufactures a line of modern glass garlands, but they will not show the wear of true, vintage strands, nor the rough edges (see description below).
Mercury glass beads are strung (see the end of the string on the right), and the beads move along the string easily. The ends, if in tact, are tied off with wire and a small cardboard disc, sometimes shaped like a star.
Here’s another vintage strand, which shows you the paint wear on these [double] beads that is typical of many garlands. You can also see the irregular shaped edges of the beads, which you will only find on vintage examples. Sometimes the edges can be quite sharp.
Dainty feather tree mini-bulbs (cost: 50¢ each, value: $5-6 each).
[New-to-me] Shiny Brites with crocheted embellishment (cost: 25¢ each, value: $2-3).
Darling Christmas angel mouse carrying a bottle brush tree (cost: 25¢, value: $5-6).
A very merry, vintage-style snowman — he’s a keeper (cost: 50¢).
I’ll be back on Wednesday with a garden-themed, vintage-style project for you. Hope you’re enjoying your summer!!
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