There is nothing I love more than nostalgia! As a child of the 1980’s I remember talking on the phone for hours with my best friend. Our phone was attached to the wall with a rather long cord that I could never seem to get untangled. Answering machines were also becoming popular around this time, but not everyone had one. If the phone rang (That loud distinct ring we all know and love) you had to answer it! Oh and by the way you had to answer it without knowing who was on the other end, no caller id yet either! This is before cell phones, texting, Skype and the internet, when people actually had to pick up the phone when it rang, and..well actually talk to each other!
In a recent post, I mentioned my quest to find the rather elusive vintage, rotary phone. I had seen some really great examples of vintage phones restyled with decoupage on the web, and I was eager to try a project myself. In my area, rotary phones are rare. During many trips to thrift stores, it was always on my mental wish list, but I never seemed to come across one. Then one day my luck started to change. First, I was able to find a vintage red, Trimline desk phone, with tone dialing. It was not the rotary dialer I was looking for, but still a great find. At least I was getting warmer! Then about two weeks later I wandered into the same Goodwill. I quickly scanned the electronics aisle as I always do during my walk throughs. As I was about to turn around and leave, my eyes dropped and their it was in all it’s splendor a black 1950’s Western Electric Rotary Phone in excellent condition. I couldn’t hold back my excitement and squealed out loud. The lady next to me smiled and we struck up a conversation. I had been looking for this for a long time. It was priced right too, only $5.99! Now, I had two great vintage phones that would make great projects!
Both phones function well, and are in excellent condition. Although due to my digital line, my rotary phone rings and receives calls, but cannot dial out without a special filter attachment which costs about 50 dollars. This apparatus converts rotary pulses into tones modern digital lines can recognize. The black rotary phone works well and rings loudly; Unlike my current, modern cordless phone. I have not yet decided what I am going to do with the rotary phone. I did decide however; that the red phone would make a great first attempt at decoupage. A phone of this type which has many more angles and curves to work with I anticipated, would be more difficult than a previous cell phone decoupage. project I had tried.
I chose a 1960’s inspired fabric I had used in previous projects that I thought would go well with the red color and fit in nicely with the phone’s vintage flare. I decided to cut out the circular shapes with a pair of sharp scissors.
I applied Mod Podge to the back of the fabric with a paint brush.
One by one, I placed them on the surface of the phone receiver gently smoothing out any wrinkles with my fingers. I also applied them on various other parts of the phone such as the base, and phone cradle.
I then added a few coats of Mod Podge over top the fabric to seal it allowing it to dry between coats.
Now we have a groovy vintage landline phone popping with color! Look for a rotary re-do coming soon once I build up enough courage of course!
Fabric of choice
Paint brush with coarse bristles