21 Vintage Collections You Can Hang on the Wall

Keep Collecting Without Creating Cluttering

If you love collecting, you're probably running out of display space on tabletops, mantels, and chests. That doesn't mean you have to stop collecting. You just need to go vertical with vintage collections you can hang on the wall. Here are 21 ideas to get you started:

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    2. Hand-Cut Silhouettes

    Collection of vintage silhouettes hanging on the wall.
    Collection of Vintage Silhouettes. Susie Cushner/Taxi/Getty Images

    In a society where anyone with a cell phone can snap a photo at any time, cutting paper silhouettes by hand is a long, long lost art.

    Help preserve surviving examples (and make your space look stunning) by starting a collection of vintage silhouettes.

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    1. Vintage Posters

    Collection of vintage posters for sale at a flea market.
    copyright Leah French, licensed to About.com

    Posters aren't just for teenagers' rooms, especially if you collect vintage posters. The key is framing them tastefully instead of using cheap plastic poster frames.

    Make your collection look cohesive by choosing posters that share the same subject matter or theme. That can be anything from 1980's hair bands to old Soviet propaganda posters. 

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    3. Porcelain Plates and Platters

    Collection of vintage plates and platters hanging on a wall.
    Susie Cushner/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    Displaying a collection of old porcelain plates, platters, or butter pats in an arrangement is an easy way to fill up lots of wall space.

    They aren't even expensive to collect. When you're not looking for full place settings, you can buy beautiful odds and ends from long-gone sets for nearly nothing at thrift stores and flea markets.

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    4. Tin Ceiling Tiles

    Collection of vintage ceiling tiles for sale at Olde Good Things.
    CC BY 2.0 "Olde Good Things specializes in important building demolition" by IseFire / cropped from original

    Give your house vintage charm by hanging a collection of old tin ceiling tiles on a wall.

    You can frame them individually or just attach hangers to the backs.

    Instead of buying a wall's worth of tiles salvaged from a single ceiling, aim for a mix of different patterns and original finishes.

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    5. Advertising Art

    Vintage advertising signs.
    copyright Leah French, licensed to About.com

    Advertising art has been a hot collectible for years, and it's showing no signs of slowing down. Perhaps that's because it makes us nostalgic for the products we used to buy and the places we used to go.  

    To start a collection of advertising art, keep an eye out for old signs, magazine ads, and trade cards. You can stick with a single type, company, or product category -- or hang your wall with a mix.

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    6. Old Postcards

    Collection of vintage postcards to frame for the wall.
    Bluemoon Stock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    If you're searching for an affordable collection to hang on the wall, consider vintage postcards. A handful frequently costs less than you paid for your morning latte. 

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    7. Vintage Textiles

    Collection of vintage textiles hanging in a stairway landing.
    denise carbonell/ CC BY 2.0/Flickr/cropped from original

    Vintage textiles look lovely when you hang them on a wall, in addition to muffling annoying sounds. 

    You can collect everything from elegant tapestries to country quilts to vintage bathing costumes. They're all charming.

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    8. Silver Trays and Platters

    A collection of old silver platters and trays makes a striking wall grouping.
    CC BY-SA 2.0, "Various silver / brass / bronze things" by Ryszard Las

    Dress up your kitchen or dining room by hanging a collection of vintage silver platters or trays on the wall.

    If you opt for plated silver instead of sterling, you can pick them up for a few dollars each at flea markets and junk shops. 

    For the most interesting wall arrangement, choose a mix of sizes, shapes, and edge designs.

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    9. Old Black-and-White Photos

    Old black-and-white photos at a Memphis estate sale.
    CC BY 2.0, "costume lady" by theogeo

    When you hang a collection of old black-and-white photos of people on the wall, you don't have to limit yourself to your own ancestors. You can share your space with the people that everyone else forgot.

    Other appealing subject matters include architectural photos, vacation snaps, landscapes, and vintage street scenes.

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    10. Old Oil or Acrylic Paintings

    Vintage paintings for sale at a flea market
    Original by kfjmiller / morgueFile

    You don't have to go to a gallery to buy appealing art.

    At flea markets, antique malls, and even thrift stores, you can buy old oil and acrylic paintings created by both listed artists and talented amateurs. 

    Choose the subject matter you like best and start a collection. Good options include pet portraits, people portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and seascapes. 

    Or, choose a mix of subject matters painted during the same period or in the same style. 

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    11. License Plates

    Collection of old license plates for sale at the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, South Dakota.
    Old license plates for sale at the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, South Dakota. CC BY 2.0, "license plates on the wall" by Hugo90 - Thanks for twenty million views/cropped from original

    Hang a collection of old license plates on the wall? Why not?

    If you're a lover of classic cars, consider installing a collection in your den, home office, powder room, or even the garage. 

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    Even More Ideas

    12. Clocks

    13. Crosses and Crucifixes

    14. Orthodox Icons

    15. Vintage Kitchen Utensils

    16. Old Farm Implements

    17. Album Covers

    18. Maps and Charts

    19. Antique Mirrors

    20. Beaded Evening Bags

    21. Bookplates