Remove Tarnish From Silver and Metals

In my last post, I talked about my recent vintage salvage where I bought a vanity tray and jewelry tower from an antique market. Both items were beautiful, but needed a bit of TLC and a good cleaning. The tray was so dirty, you couldn’t even tell there was a mirror underneath all the dirt! I struggled to clean the rust off the edges of the mirrored vanity tray, and had to resort to Pinterest for some help. (Although these photos aren’t the best representation of how dirty the tray really was when I bought it, I wanted to show the tarnished edges before this cleaning process).

Dirty Before Photos

I found this Pinterest post about removing tarnish, and decided to try it. Here is my step by step tutorial on how to clean a tarnished item!

Items you will need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • 1/2 cup Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Plastic container or bowl

Step 1: Grab a plastic container or bowl large enough, and line the bottom with aluminum foil.

Step 2: Place the container in the sink, and set the tarnished item in the foil lined container.

Step 3: Pour in 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda into the container (I used 1 cup), and make sure that your water is boiling hot when you add it into the container.

Step 4:¬†Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and you should see dirt beginning to float around. I used a toothbrush to try and scrub more tarnish off, but it didn’t work too well.

Step 5: If the tarnish doesn’t all come off, grab some more aluminum foil and use it to clean it some more. Follow my video below!

Step 6: Fully rinse the item in warm water, and wipe dry with a clean cloth!


Vintage Vanity Finds

As you all know, vintage shopping and antiquing have become one of my most recent hobbies. I’ve gone to the majority of local antique malls, garage sales, estate sales, and other similar stores several times, and I was ready to visit a new place to find treasures.

About 15 minutes away from my house, lies a charming historic city known as Cedarburg. It is home to many little specialty stores, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and is just very unique. They also frequently have a variety of festivals that are recommended on the “things to do in Wisconsin” search, (especially to those visiting from out of state). I have always heard about Maxwell Street Days as a major attraction, but I had no idea what it was.

It was probably a good thing that I didn’t know much about it before, because I would have spent tons of money and several days there! Maxwell Street Days brings together hundreds of vendors from across the state that sell antiques, crafts, and other unique items. I could have gotten lost for hours if I had gone without my friend Leah, I’ve never seen so many vendors and goodies!

I have¬†been searching for a mirrored vanity tray for quite some time now, but have found too many of them to be overpriced and not what I was looking for. I walked up to a vendor with several piles of “junk” containing mannequin legs, tools, broken items, and miraculously, a very dirty mirrored vanity tray! The lady was selling it for $8, but I bargained it down to $3! All it needed was some TLC and a good cleaning! (I wish I would have taken a picture of how dirty it really was before I started washing it down because you couldn’t even tell it was a mirror underneath.) There will be another blog soon on how to clean the rust and dirt off of it well since silver polish didn’t work!

I also have been looking for a jewelry tray/tower, not necessarily vintage, but just one in general. I have found several tutorials on how to make my own with candle sticks and plates from the dollar store. Luckily, I found one at Maxwell Street days for $10, and negotiated to buy it for only $5! Again, it just needed some cleaning and it would be perfect for my room! All I did was use an ‘all metal’ cleaner and a cloth to clean off the grime.

After Cleaning:

I love these new additions to my vanity! I use the vanity tray for my perfume and a vintage Chanel powder I inherited from my Grandma. The jewelry tray is perfect for small items like rings and bracelets. I would include earrings, however, I cannot wear earrings anymore.

Vintage Map Anniversary Gift

So it recently was my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary this past month, and I wanted to make them something special since I cannot really afford a big gift right now. I wanted it to be simple, yet classy enough that they would want to actually hang it somewhere. After some pinning and searching, I found this adorable idea. My project ended up being a tad bit different in a frame rather than a canvas, but I still loved how it turned out!

My parent’s love story….

My parents met in Vail Colorado, their story is much like a fairy tail movie. My mom was vacationing with some friends and decided to venture out on her own one day to ski (since her friends had a little too much fun the night before). As she was getting on the lift, a guy approached her and asked if he could join her on the lift up (my dad), and she said sure. They ended up skiing together the rest of the day, and he eventually took her on a date. My mom which was living in Chicago at the time, began dating my dad long distance since he lived in Michigan. As the years went by, their love grew stronger and they eventually got married. And 25 years have passed since, which led me to creating this present!

Tips & Hints:

  • For the map
    • I searched the internet for a large sized map of Colorado which had Vail clearly labeled on it & I printed it on presentation paper for a more professional look
    • You can make the map as big or as small as you would like, all up to you! (This was as big as the map would print due to resolution)
    • I hand wrote the letters and hand cut them out of card stock, but you can do it anyway you want
    • I cut a small heart that was big enough to fit around the city, and glued it all onto the paper and set it into the frame!
  • For the frame-
    • I stock up on vintage or old frames from Goodwill, any sales, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. for projects like these
    • I used a wooden white frame that I got from Goodwill and I sanded the edges to take off some of the paint
    • I took black shoe polish and started streaking it all over the edges to make it look vintage
    • Make sure to let it dry thoroughly and add a top coat of mod podge!