Thursday, June 20, 2013

Starting a Hope Chest

Traditional Hope Chests

Some of my readers may be unfamiliar with the term "hope chest," despite the fact that it used to be a popular gift for girls on their 18th birthday all the way up to the 1950's. The idea of it is that when a girl turns eighteen she would be given a chest in which to store anything she might want to keep for her future house (example: linens, books she loved as a kid, etc.). Then, when she's married and setting up house, she'll unpack all the lovely things she put away when she was still a girl.

The idea has mostly died out, but it still remains popular in some Christian circles. Molly's older sister got one for her birthday, as well as several of our older cousins. But by the time Molly and I turned eighteen our parents had abandoned the idea.

Our Twist on the Original Idea

About the time Molly and I turned 18 we decided to start our own hope chests. Molly has a lovely wooden chest she's painted a weathered blue color, and I - well, I don't have a chest yet, but I do have plenty of stuff to put in it! Lol! We like to collect more dishes, and kitchen ware than most traditional hope chests, but the fun thing about starting your own hope chest is that you can do it however you want! Since Molly and I both love vintage Pyrex (and have no use for it right now!) we love storing it away for whenever we get our own place. The great thing about this, too, is that once we get our own place, we'll have a good start on all the stuff we'll need for living on our own!

The Contents

I have way too much stuff to do just one post on,  but I thought I'd take a moment to show you just a few of my absolute favorite finds.

1. What: A nine-piece set of matching condiment containers. There's a mustard pump, a ketchup pump, a sugar shaker, a container for syrup, a creamer, and two sets of salt and pepper shakers (I couldn't find those to photograph them). 
Cost - $6

2. What: This is one of my favorite finds ever. A beautiful, handmade crocheted afgan in the loveliest colors. I found it at a garage sale on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The owner wanted $10 for it, but I didn't want to pay more than $5. They went down to $8, but I was still hesitant so I decided to leave without it. As I was walking down the driveway the lady called after me that she would do $5. Haggling FTW!  
Cost - $5

3. What: Vintage metal mixing bowls. I love the pansy pattern on these, and they'll be perfect for baking, or even just eating popcorn or cereal in. I don't remember exactly how much these were, but definately no more than $7.  
Cost - under $7

4. What: Hand crocheted pot holders/coasters. I picked these up at an antique/thrift store. They match the colors I want in my future house perfectly and will be so useful!
Cost - $5

5. What: vintage Pyrex mixing bowls with clear bottoms. When I saw Molly's bowl like this teal one I was so jealous, so when I found it on eBay with a matching pink one, I had to get them! One of my favorite finds ever!
Cost - $9.99 + $8.52 for shipping

6. What: Clear glass Pyrex nesting bowls. I've had one of these bowls for months but I just recently re-discovered it and it made me want the whole set! I looked around on eBay but shipping is just so expensive, so I was thrilled when I found the full, four bowl set at a thrift store earlier this week!
Cost - $12

7. What: A non-stick frying pan in the most gorgeous teal color - it matches the colors I want my kitchen to be! I just couldn't pass it up.
Cost - $8

So what about you gals? Do any of you have hope chests? If not, would you ever consider starting one?


  1. I've been wanting to start one of these for a while. I think my mom had a hope chest when she was 16, with the idea that she'd have things for her house when she moved out. This has definitely given me the inspiration to do the same! I always stumble across swoon-worthy home goods when I'm antiquing. xHN

  2. I just started reading your blog and I love it! Love your goodies especially those pyrex bowls!


  3. You have such a great start to your collection! That's so funny because I have a hope chest too - well, a hope cardboard box. I don't have a chest yet either. It was so funny because my granny started giving me things for my "hope chest" when I was about six or seven. I just rolled my eyes back then, because I wasn't even thinking of that when I was younger. However, when I started college, I realized that I was going to be a grown up soon and why not buy cheap and cute things now? So, I did. I have so much now! The feminist in me was a little apprehensive about calling it a 'hope chest,' but I still do because of my grandma. But who says that a hope chest has to be when you get married? I'm going to be moving out sooner rather than later and I'm going to be prepared! Thanks for sharing some of your items!


  4. In the UK it's tradition to have a 'bottom drawer' although I dont have one...

    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  5. Oh yes, I'm familiar with the idea! I think it's cool, and I think you have an awesome start on yours!

  6. I've never heard of the tradition of a Hope Chest. Could it be it's something American? 'Cause we 're Christians and when i asked my mum and gran, they never heard of it. It reminds me a bit of those old stories where people would give a bride price.

    But i really like the idea, i think it's a sweet thing to give to your daughter. Some things she can you use at her new home and some things she liked as a kid. I'll maybe even do one for my own, 'cause i always see such beautiful vintage stuff but i can't use it.
    x Audrey

  7. I love hope chests! This post actually inspired me to ask my mom if she ever had one. She said she got a small jewelry box size one for graduation. She can't remember what she had in it but I guess it wasn't special to her back then. haha

    I always thought it would be neat to do something along the lines of a hope chest but not with household items. I always thought of storing away clothes/jewelry/accessories for *crosses fingers* my future daughters/nieces. I've always imagined how awesome it would be if one of my aunts gave me a box of their old stuff from the 80s (looove the 80s) and then I remembered they would have had to hold onto their stuff. That got me thinking about how often I give away, throw away, and sell my stuff. What if 20 years from now my daughter sees a picture of me and wants something I was wearing? I would love to be able to pass on my cool thrift finds to my future kids. (I'm really jumping the gun with that one, too, considering I'm not even dating. lol)

    Also, that blanket is totally rad. Your haggling was great!

  8. I love hope chests! My mom and I started one for me back when I was like 8, but I haven't contributed to it probably since then :( I love the idea though and yours seems to be full of beautiful things so far!


  9. I didn't have a hope chest precisely--that is, I didn't have a chest, but I did have the idea of collecting things for my future home before I got married. I had a set of the cutest rooster measuring spoons...and some tablecloths...maybe a few other things, but not nearly as much stuff as you already have by the time I got married!

  10. Hope chests are such an amazing idea...I've always wanted to start one, but I don't really know how I would store all the stuff! How do you store yours?
    I love all the things you've collected! They're beautiful, and they'll be really useful in the future, I'm sure!

    Decked Out in Ruffles

  11. I think this is a great idea! I'm getting ready to find a place of my own and I wish I had something like this. It would save me a lot of money and would be so cute and sweet to see what my past self liked. Your stuff is timeless :)


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