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Five Things to Collect for Under Ten Dollars By Pamela Wiggins

Even if you're collecting on a budget, there are plenty of wonderful antiques and collectibles you can buy for less (much less in some
cases!) than $10 per piece that can be very rewarding to own. You can
even venture beyond your online comfort zone to enjoy foraging antique
shops, flea markets, and even antique shows without breaking the bank.
There are many, many ideas for bargain antiques shopping, and here are
five great places to start. Click on the links included to read more
about each topic.


If you've visited this site in the past, you probably know that I collect vintage Santa Claus and Halloween postcards, and you've seen a number of them displayed here. While I do
find one of these specialty cards for less than $10 occasionally (I
snagged a cool Santa card on eBay recently for $5), that's not always
the case.

Truthfully, I worked my way up to these more expensive cards starting out with cat postcards and greetings designed to celebrate birthdays and other festive holidays around a century ago.
Very rarely did I pay more than $10 for a cat card I ran across, and
that was a pre-Internet collection. Many of those holiday cards still
run only a dollar or two. There are many other affordable postcard
options out there, so all you need to do is find a favorite niche to get
started. Read more about vintage postcards in my feature, A Love for Old Postcards.

Vintage Handkerchiefs
Not only are vintage handkerchiefs pretty collectibles in their own right, they can also be quite useful for craft projects. Did you read Vintage Hankie Transformations
for a few crafty ideas to sock away? Even if you collect vintage
hankies with lace trim to tuck into your jacket pockets (lacey romance
is slated to make a fashionable comeback this fall) or nicely
embroidered examples to frame as wall hangings, hankies hold lots of
collecting potential. And, best of all, you can often find them for just
a few dollars apiece. In fact, I've seen them on occasion at estate
sales for 25-50 cents each. Now that's a bargain!

Old Buttons
Now don't get me wrong, there are some very pricey buttons out there on the secondary market. Rarities and hard to find items come in all
shapes and sizes. But the vast majority of button collections are made
up of fairly inexpensive examples that are just as interesting as can
be. I'm personally drawn to Bakelite buttons myself. I don't own many,
and I eventually sell most examples I buy, but I always have to at least
take a look at them when I spy some at a show. Whether you're a
seamstress yourself, or just remember your grandmother sewing up a storm
when you were a child, clothing buttons can bring back lots of great
memories for a very small investment. And if you're willing to pay
closer to $10 per button, you can snag some really great examples like
pretty hand painted porcelains and metal military buttons, along with
those made from various and sundry materials such as glass and bone.
Read Button Up a Nifty Collection to learn more.

Vintage Sheet Music
Back when television was just a dream and radio programs kept families from all walks of life entertained for hours on end, most every home
held a stack of vintage sheet music belonging to the resident musician.
Playing piano, guitar or another instrument had long been a popular form
of home entertainment even before radio. That's why so many great
pieces of sheet music survived over time, because so many were produced
and purchased in the first place. These collectibles ranging in date
from the early 1900s through the late 1940s look lovely framed, since
many of them depict gorgeous ladies, patriotic themes and even musicians
and singers of the day. Or, if you have a piano in your home, you can
prop a piece or two up for display and change it out seasonally. Never
thought about collecting sheet music? Read Music for the Eyes to explore all the possibilities this type of ephemera holds.

Nostalgic Aprons
This idea may push the envelope a little when it comes to $10 or less. Truth is, vintage aprons have already started to rise in price in many
areas of the country. However, there are still some great bargains to be
had on these little pieces of nostalgia, especially when you hit estate
sales and flea markets to find them. You won't often find the really
old full body aprons used from the Victorian era through the 1930s for
$10 or less, but you can forage out some very interesting mid-century
aprons in that price range. There are also holiday aprons, souvenir
aprons and other fun specialty aprons that appeal to today's collector.
And you can even decorate with them. One of my friends used pretty red
and white aprons from the 1940s as window toppers in the kitchen of her
bed & breakfast recently, an I idea I really loved! Read Collectors Tie One on with Vintage Aprons for more information on these up and coming collectibles.

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