You don’t have to pay a lot to have a fun collection. Here are some inexpensive fun collections for kids. Look for:
1. The little paper umbrellas that come with tropical drinks — the patterns on the paper are fun and make a colorful display.
2. Figural swizzle sticks were easy to find in the 1970s. The colorful plastic stirrers are found in many restaurants and bars, but old collections at house sales are the best source.
3. Crown bottle caps, the metal caps with a ruffled edge, are made with brand names and clever logos. They have been used to make button covers, pins, bracelets and other jewelry.
4. Playing card trading is a new hobby. A rebirth of an old hobby. Traded in the past were playing cards with interesting backs, whole packs of cards or the saved jokers from the packs.
5. Children’s printed cotton handkerchiefs are still good as emergency hankies and as properly folded “flowers” with pointed petals and an added stem.
6. Small, figural tape measures are handy at a flea market to make sure the antique chair is small enough to fit in the back seat of the car. A group of them makes an interesting presentation.
7. Looking for bigger collectibles? Try world globes. You can tell the age by the changing shape of countries’ names and borders.
8. Or how about hanging a collection of wooden sock stretchers in the laundry room?