One of the most affordable ways to add retro style to your home in through sand art, rocks and minerals. While buying them from specialty shops isn’t always cheap, there are online sellers who offer affordable specimens, and I’ve found that estate sales are a great place to hunt them down! Why? My guess is that they’re hard to classify, especially in terms of their age. Are they retro? Are they new? Are they true collectibles? So the company organizing the sale often spends more time pricing the “true” antiques and collectibles and slaps a budget-friendly price on the rocks. Works for me!
For this photo shoot, I embellished with chocolate rocks. Has anyone eaten this candy? Totally reminds me of the pebbles inside those giant pens they sold when I was a kid. Yes, it was a giant writing utensil filled with tiny polished rocks. But you definitely couldn’t eat those!
The sand art shown above and below is from the ’80s. We found it in my husband’s childhood rock collection a few years ago when he was asked to come home and clean out his old bedroom. I love that his mom saved his treasures, from the sand art trip souvenirs to his Transformers. The “robots in disguise” are a topic for another post!
The sand art definitely has a ’70s-meets-80s feel. You can find it on Etsy for a few dollars. If you’re into the Boho chic look or you collect ’70s/’80s-style decor from Urban Outfitters, these glass containers filled with landscape designs will definitely blend right in!
And how about this metal eagle stuck to a piece of iron pyrite? Doesn’t it look like something you’d see on the shelf in a bank or law office from the ’80s? How can you put a price on this kitsch?!
One more piece to highlight: a Desert Sandscape (shown below). This item was cut from a piece of desert sandstone, and my husband picked it up on a trip as a kid in the ’80s. He took many fun vacations with his grandparents, and boy, does he have the souvenirs to prove it!
So if you’re hunting for retro treasures at estate sales and garage sales, be on the lookout for rocks and minerals such as quartz, amethyst, geodes, iron pyrite, agate and more. Don’t forget the interesting combinations that resulted from adhering metal animal figurines to sparkling rocks or arranging colorful sand in a sealed glass tube!
And I’ve definitely picked up some fun pieces at Urban Outfitters over the last couple of years, including the sparkling rocks above, as well as the glass prism display box. Affordable and fun – in a cosmic Bohemian kind of way! Thanks for reading… XOXO, Kate