Quirky Collections: Vintage Trucks

I’ve had a real big crush on vintage toy trucks, (and of course- real vintage trucks,) for some time now. My latest post over at SC Johnson’s Family Economics tells how it all started and I share some photos & ideas of fun ways to use vintage toy trucks for display. I became so obsessed with old trucks that if you’ve ever been to my design website, you may know that my business logo is even a vintage truck. I share vintage red trucks used in graphics on my other blog HERE including a truck logo I designed recently for a rose nursery.I did some illustrations for a baby apparel company a few years back and just had to include a little truck in the line!When I find a dry, old cruddy truck at the flea market that could use a bit of a shine, I use a gloss spray acrylic for a freshly waxed look.This old Tonka dump truck makes a load of Granny Smiths look all the more delicious.With the sun finally out, I did a bit of planting in the beds of my 3 old pick-ups. While shooting the photo, I told Maggie that curiosity killed the cat, but she wasn’t buying it.I found an older shot of one of my trucks on a table with flowers from one of our barn parties.I keep a vintage tow truck on the shelf of my studio should any of my other trucks need a little help.I think this grungy little fruit truck has the best graphics! And maybe you’ve seen how much fun I have making pincushions in the beds of vintage toy trucks HERE. It’s caught on and I recently found this tiny matchbox-size one online. Luckily, the maker, Kerry of Kitty Garden Makes, was kind enough to sell it to me and ship it all the way from the UK. It’s the sweetest little thing!Do you have a collection with function? Tell me about it!

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33 Responses to Quirky Collections: Vintage Trucks

  1. #1 - kinuki says:

    Me encanta el logo.Y el body de bebé es genial.

  2. #2 - Kathryn Hansen says:

    I love your vintage trucks! you're so creative!

  3. #3 - Mona says:

    Adorable. I normally wouldn't give an old toy truck a second look but I'll be on the lookout for them now.

  4. #4 - Angela says:

    I love them!! I played with my brother's trucks as we grew up and then raised boys…so I kinda miss them around the house. My husband has a thing for airplanes though.

  5. #5 - Mama Magpie says:

    I collect them too- at least I try to! Yours are great!

  6. #6 - EmandaJ says:

    When I was a small child, and I visited my paternal grandmother, I would stay in the tiny room that belonged to my youngest uncle (now 75). In the room was a vintage toy metal truck that I would give anything to have! It held such fascination for me.

    I don't collect truck — I collect Teapots — blue and white ones. I make a pot of tea each morning and use one of the teapots selected at random. I have about 30.


  7. #7 - everyday inspirations says:


    You need to check out Catherine's blog : Red Shoes found here: http://redshoesllc.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/05/vintage-weekend.html

    She blogged about vintage trucks and when I read it I immediately thought of you! Perhaps you already subscribe to her blog…if not, just passing it along.

    (another) Catherine 🙂

  8. #8 - Robin Sanchez says:

    I love the picture with the GIANT dog….


  9. #9 - Lisa says:

    I LOVE your trucks…they are so cute!

  10. #10 - laurie -magpie ethel says:

    Awesome truck collection – and great idea with the spray acrylic. Always enjoy your collections.

  11. #11 - Cindy Pestka says:

    The idea and the photos are fabulous. I especially love the Godzilla-like effect of your pet looming over the truck!

  12. #12 - Linda says:

    I want trucks now! Thanks so much for that new desire. ha! No, I don't think I have a collection with a function…need to think about that awhile.

  13. #13 - Whitney @ Whisker Graphics says:

    I love that first shot of the trucks lined up with the flowers in them! Enchanting!

  14. #14 - Createology says:

    How fun to collect such vintage trucks. I am amazed that you still find them. Happy collecting…

  15. #15 - Stacey says:

    Hi Cathe, I have a present for you! You are always sharing and since you love trucks I'm sending you a link to our old truck. My hubby keeps saying he may just sell it but I totally love it and would drive it like it is- it's so charming. Use as you like 🙂 Stacey

  16. #16 - Andy's Pinstriping says:

    I love it! Your truck collection is awesome and I like that you make them functional instead of just letting them collect dust…in fact, you have inspired me to use some of mine out in the garden I think!

    Amazing creativity!!!

  17. #17 - Janet's Creations says:

    I have to stop reading blogs. Now I want a collection of trucks! What next? Seriously, your trucks look wonderful. The picture of the 3 trucks with the dog is great. The dog looks like the size of Godzilla. Yikes.

  18. #18 - Lyn says:

    I LOVE THE TRUCKS! It's so nice to see another lady who enjoys a cute pick up truck. I don't have a blog, but I have been following your's for a month or so now. Actually your blog was the first one I ever read! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

  19. #19 - Becky says:

    What a cute collection you have there! You are so creative in your display… love it!

  20. #20 - Cori says:

    OMG! I have ALWAYS loved these old trucks…gotta find myself some.

    So glad I stopped by to see this post today….I am inspired!

    Starview Sonnet

  21. #21 - la.daridari says:

    Last month I saw in a thrift market some old wood car-toys, and I fell in love.
    But your trucks are soooooo much fascinating too. And your displays are very nice!

  22. #22 - Gabi says:

    … absolutely great!!

  23. #23 - Campbell says:

    Your trucks are wonderful-and thanks for the tip about spraying them with acrylic sealer to give the colors a boost.

    As for my collection, it started decades before I thought about collecting them, as ladies of my mother's church group gave her a friendship tea before we left Germany to return to the states when I was 13. Each woman brought mom a teacup and saucer as her goodbye gift, and I adored her friendship teacup collection for years.

    When my husband and I were dating, and we were about to celebrate our first Christmas together, his mother asked her mother-in-law (his grandmother) for one of her teacups and saucers to give to me as a gift. That beautiful Christmas holly teacup was the start of my own teacup collection, and I now have over 20 of them that I've collected over the past 20 or so years. I look forward to adding to my collection, one cup and saucer at a time, and using them for teas held by my own church, or by me!


  24. #24 - marysworkshop says:

    I absolutely love your old truck collection and what a good idea to spray them with clear acrylic gloss spray to bring out their rich colors and beautiful patina. You have such wonderful decorating ideas using them, and the big dog next to the trucks looks really funny!

  25. #25 - ArtSnark says:

    how fun! I need to pull out my uncles toy trucks from the 50s & clean em up.

    I'm a tin toy junkie myself

  26. #26 - Dumpster Decorators says:

    Those are so fun! Thanks for the clean up tip,

  27. #27 - joyfulploys says:

    I have been going back through your older posts. I have printed off several labels…thank you so much for taking the time to do what you do. Then I got to the Ice Cream Cake…I want to make that…I was wondering if you have tried the no-stick baking spray under the cookie layer before baking?
    Thanks again,

  28. #28 - Cathe Holden says:

    Hi joyfulploys. I haven't tried cooking spray on the ice cream cake. It’s a bit precarious already getting the ice cream covered cookie crust out of the pan without damaging the edges of the ice cream. So I don't think I would risk not using parchment. But if you do, I'd love to know how it goes!


  29. #29 - Nan says:

    I loved your trucks post…of course it makes me want to collect them as I love the life size ones anyway! I collect old ceramic tiki
    mugs and use them in my studio to hold brushes, pens, chopsticks…you name it!

  30. #30 - joanne says:

    Cathe: I have been searching, but probably not hard enough, for old trucks and can't seem to find any. Also, where did you find the U.S. flag pillow in one of your truck photos?

  31. #31 - Cathe Holden says:

    Patience, my dear Joan, you'll find them. Summer flea markets are the best place.

    The flag pillow is one I made from a vintage flag and pillow bunting fabric.

  32. #32 - Astrid says:


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