Treasure Hunting in an old Farm House

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse

Have you ever seen the show American Pickers?  Two guys, Mike and Frank, travel the country in search of treasures that they can sell at their antique store in Iowa.  Sometimes they’ll get a referral, but very often they’ll just show up at someone’s doorstep because they’ll see a lot of stuff from the road and they’ll just go knocking on the door to see if they’ll part with any of their treasures.  Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.  They’ll open barns and warehouses and crawl into attics and dusty corners and see what they can uncover.

I want to be them!

I mention this show because  that is how I felt on Monday when my sister asked if I wanted to go pick an old farmhouse with her.  It turns out that my sister’s, husband’s, daughter’s husband (got all that?)  had a job cleaning out an old farmhouse and nursery.  He had to haul the stuff away but there were a bunch of antiques he thought my sister would be interested in.

So she texts me, “Are you interested?”  Oh my gosh yes, I need a new supply of junk!

I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of the house or the barn, by the time we arrived the sun was just beginning to set so we only had a few minutes to quickly go through the barn and greenhouse. I loved the wood on the barn but took a pass at most of the stuff inside.  We struck out again in the greenhouse which had seen better days.  Most of the glass that had originally been on the ceiling was now crunching beneath our feet.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Record Cabinet

Finally we worked our way into the farmhouse.

We actually took a pass on the antiques he thought we’d be interested in. There were a few huge antique dressers and wardrobes  in great shape but they were actually too big for us to work with.

I did grab this poor old record cabinet.  The inside is in fairly good shape but the veneer has seen better days.  That is not paper on the top of the cabinet, that is peeling veneer.

,Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Wood Window Frames

Finally made our way to the basement…this was the pickers paradise. This was the place where we had to crawl into the dusty corners and poke and prod to see what we could uncover.  If you could overlook the mold and dirt it was absolutely perfect.

Didn’t find any gold but I did find treasures that I could absolutely work with like these two old windows.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Hardwood Floor Bundles

Some old hardwood flooring was already bundled and ready for me.  Better yet, someone had removed all the nails.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, House Vents

I think my sister picked up these two old house vents but she let me have them thinking I could come up with a project.  The pressure is on, now I have to come up with a great project.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Green Vintage Pendant

I know there is a green porcelain light under that dirt. Did I mention it was dirty in the basement.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Rake heads

I don’t know if the previous owner was a hoarder but he definitely wasn’t someone that threw anything away. Two handle-less rakes are perfect for repurposing.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Wooden Drawer

There were a few of these drawers but I grabbed the one with the bottom intact.  

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Round Spool ends

There were probably 10 of these spool ends, I brought home 2.  

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Barn wood

A beautiful piece of old rough cut barn wood.  There is definitely a vintage style sign gonna happen here.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Vintage Meat Grinder

I was told this was a meat grinder but I’ve never seen one quite this vicious looking. I don’t know if I can repurpose this thing but it was too cool to pass up.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Wood House Siding

This was some of the wood siding from the farmhouse.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Oak Chair

This old oak arm chair is in need of some serious TLC and a new seat.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse, Vintage Suitcase

I already have several vintage suitcases but I couldn’t resist one more.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse

I didn’t get home until after eight and hit the shower immediately.  It wasn’t until the next morning that I opened my car and saw this pile of crap beautiful treasures.

Seriously, my car kind of stunk with the smell of mildew.

Picking Treasures from an Old Farmhouse

Luckily we’ve had some beautiful weather lately and I spent a lot of the day on Tuesday giving all my new treasures a good scrubbing.  They were so happy to be out of that dark, musty, damp basement. 

I think I have enough projects to get me through the Spring and I’ve already begun to work on the drawer.

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay inspired!


  • Mary De Shon says:

    That piece you called a meat grinder is a corn shelter!

  • Susan says:

    I have been digging and searching in my parents’ basement, which doesn’t have treasures as old or as dirty,(funny how that WAS a green lampshade!), but the mildew smell is something else. I have seen on line that if you freeze the piece, for a while, the spores will die.
    I wish I had your energy, can’t wait to see what you create!

  • Liz says:

    Your grinder might actually be part of a corn shelled. Used to knock dried corn kernels off the cob. I have a functioning one in my yard as “art”!

    • Joan says:

      Mary thought the same thing. How come everybody knows this but me? I’ve never seen one before but I love that you have it as yard art. I personally have a rusty bike and a rusty pushmower. Maybe the corn sheller would go well with them.

  • CraftyHope says:

    Oh, those treasures are indeed fabulous!! Sounds like a fun afternoon spent with your sister. I would have hopped at the chance to go plundering there as well!

  • Kimberly says:

    Haha, I was going to tell you but it looks like you have already been enlightened about the corn sheller. I have long wanted to find one because one of the highlights of my trips to my grandparents’ was to be allowed to run some feed corn through one next to their chicken pen. The feed corn would scatter in the chicken yard and all the flock would come running. I actually thought I found one several times at estate sales only to realize I was holding a (wait for it) meat grinder!
    Enjoy your treasures 🙂
    I pictured your nephew scratching his head as you walked past the nice armoires and grabbed the broken spool ends 🙂

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