Finds of Different Kinds

There's a charity shop near my work that I visit every week. It's one of several that I frequent, but not one which usually has much to offer. In the past 6 months I've bought one jumper there, but I mostly just go in for a wander at lunch time.

When I was off work a few weeks ago, my friend and I were passing through town and we called in for a look. As I went in I spied a 1970s Singer sewing machine with its own table that looked as if it had just come in to the shop. Looking closer, I realised that the drawer in the table was full of bits and pieces, including the above chocolate box. So what does it contain?

 Buttons of course!

A wealth of buttons of all kinds to be exact. I can't tell you how my eyes lit up when I saw them. I didn't let go of that box, especially when I saw a woman hovering around the sewing machine, out of the corner of my eye. Hey, nobody was going to get their hands on the one decent thing this shop has had in months! Slightly embarrassingly, the woman actually worked in the shop, and was just wanting to see what was in the box so she could price it. Ahem.

I paid only £3 for the box which I think is an utter bargain. Considering how expensive some charity shops make buttons, when bagged up in sets or pairs. Here's a few favourites from the box:

Pretty cards with buttons, including metal and glass

Deco-style green buttons - I can definitely see a use for these on a cardigan

 Bakelite(?) Fastener - it has small holes on the leaves so you can sew it on

 Novelty and wooden buttons

Assorted large buttons and glass toggles

I also snagged this embroidered pouch from the same source:

Its contents include a hallmarked silver thimble. I still need to give it a clean and find out when it dates to.

Perseverance definitely pays off with charity shops, as this tale proves. I also like the idea that these items have been kept together and have come to a home where they will be used and cherished. I like to think that the lady who previously owned them would appreciate that.

And would you believe that my own button box is also a re purposed chocolate box? It seems somehow fitting.

I should point out that in balance to this great find, I had a slightly more dubious discovery this week. On my way to work I noticed a small footstool on legs which had been left beside the recycling bins at the end of my street. Bits and pieces of furniture quite regularly get left on the streets in my area, in order to be collected by the Council and taken to the dump. I went over to have a closer look at the footstool, and found that it was in fact a sewing box that contained a variety of things, including reels of thread. I didn't have time to have a proper look, so grabbed the box and put it in the boot of the car to look at later on. I should point out that I really don't need this item, or have room for it, but hated to think of it going to landfill.

Please excuse the mess and poor quality of the photograph!
That evening I had a more thorough look at the sewing box. Sadly, what it contained was pretty rubbish - some blank greetings cards, a pair of old sunglasses, a few old spools of thread, a broken watch, a small plastic slide viewer with a photo of some people at a table, a plastic money box containing human hair....Oh hang on....

I'm sure you'll forgive me for not having photographed this object, but it really was exactly as it sounds. A plastic, cylindrical money box containing two coils of long brown hair. Ewww and yuck. At least that made the decision for me - this box was definitely going on Freecycle.

Inside the box

So, I cleared out the contents except for the thread, and it was picked up today by its new owner, who knows nothing of its past. I think that's best - it's still a nice and perfectly usable item, but if I'd kept it, every time I looked at it I know I would think about the coils of hair.

Have you made any good finds recently? Or have you got any stories about horrible finds? Do share!

K x


  1. I love the green buttons, the black fasteners and the little baseballs! So fun

  2. What a haul! You're so lucky!

    As for the hair...hmmm bit icky! :)

  3. I love the green buttons too. You're right about persistence with charity shops, I've just had a few lucky finds after what feels like years of seeing nothing but rubbish! x

  4. I'm a wee bit green around my nose - I have a very distinct faible for vintage buttons, and this is a fantastic find!

    I just scored some lovely bakelite art-deco buttons myself, so I'm all happy, too. \o/ There's a picture of them over at my blog.

  5. What a brilliant find - charity shops can throw up some absolute treasures sometimes!

    As for the human hair, bleurgh... I've never come across anything as horrible as that although I did find some used chewing gum in the bottom of a teapot. The teapot cost 50p so I wasn't too heartbroken. It went straight back to the shop.

  6. You found a wonderful treasure trove of buttons! I think my favorite is that black bakelite fastener. But how cute are those 'diary' buttons?!

  7. I'm so envious, that truly is a wonderful find. x

  8. Ooh! Those diary buttons are fantastic! What a lovely box of goodies! I went to my favourite charity shop on Saturday and found ten years' worth of an obscure archaeological journal that my husband collects - and he didn't have any of them. £5 for the lot! Amazing!


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