Wednesday, 2 December 2009

All The Fun Of The Fair

In the run up to December 25th jumble sales are replaced by Christmas Fayres. Don't be put off - it's not all Santa's grotto and tombola stalls. If you look beyond the hand-knitted tea cosies, luxury hamper raffle and soggy mince pies there's often a few goodies lurking on the white elephant stall.
China cake stand with bird design, 1950's etched glassware, 1950's linen cocktail napkins (part of a set of 12)

How do you find a Christmas Fayre?
  • They are usually held on a Saturday morning or early afternoon.
  • Check your local newpaper's classifieds section under "What's On". They are generally advertised in the Thursday and Friday edition of the week that they are held.
  • Keep an eye on newagent's windows, church and community centre noticeboards.
  • Look for banners and "A" boards outside churches and social centres when you're out and about.
  • Shake the free paper before you recycle it, there's occasionally flyers advertising events popped inside.
1960's-era Avon bluebird pomander

What should you look out for?
  • Fayres are a great source of unused toiletries and cosmetics as people make room in their bathrooms for yet more of the inevitable Christmas gift packs.
  • A mostly elderly congregation means that church fairs often have a good selection of vintage scarves and costume jewellery donated to the cause. 
  • Baking trays, mixing bowls and pans. 
  • Pretty china, silver cutlery and cake stands.
  • Vintage linen tablecloths, tea towels and napkins.
  • Retro board games to play on Xmas day.
  • On the handicrafts stall search for fabric-covered padded coathangers and lavender bags.
  • Don't forget to check out the book stall for vintage volumes on handicrafts and baking or for cheap paperbacks.


Any other tips?
  • A Christmas Fayre is a sedate affair, it's not considered good form to haggle. 
  • Nobody will be offended if you don't buy a raffle ticket.
  • Go armed with plenty of change.
  • Take a bag to carry all your bargains home in.
  • Stay till the end and you'll often be able to purchase any remaining home-made cakes for pennies.

1980's clip-on earrings look fab clipped on your shoes - this selection cost me 5p


  1. Love the cake stand and I don't even want to know how much you paid for that Benefit Dandelion... it'll make me sick with jealousy as I spent £14 on mine! :) xxx

  2. Hi!

    I see you like Jean Patou :), I love that fragrance Joy-its like nothing else i've smelt before.

    Could you do a few perfume blog posts? would be interesting, im absolutely mad about perfumes

    :) G


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