- old suitcases - esp leather ones.
- Penguin classics - increasingly hard to find these days
- boxes - all kinds, from old slide cases to wooden veg boxes
- old sets of fish knives and forks, bone handled knives, steel and silver plated cutlery - make great presents
- cloth maps - look good framed on a wall
- enamel kitchenware - esp in cream and green or turquoise
- silver-plated bonbons dishes, bowls and candlabra - can be polished to look like brand new.
Well, like many people, long ago we had an old leather suitcase, also fish knives and forks, bone handled knives, silver-plated dishes and candlabra - and now wish we'd kept them.
Where to buy
Oxfam (http://www.oxfam.org.uk/) now offers all its best things online.
steptoesantiques (http://www.steptoesantiques.co.uk/) - vintage heaven
preloved (http://www.preloved.co.uk/index.cfm) - second hand china
theoxfordteaparty (http://theoxfordteaparty.com/) - sells a huge range of antique and retro goods
Be warned: it's a buyers' market. It is harder to realise these prices by selling your vintage homewares unless you customise.
How to donate
The Emmaus charity is always seeking donations of household goods and furniture. Visit http://emmaus.org.uk/.
We've found Freecycle is pretty useful too. It's amazing what people will take away (and probably use).
A Stitch in Time
For ideas of refashioning and recycling evrything from your wardrobe to your loo rolls, visit http://www.makeitandmendit.com/. It includes video clips giving useful tips.
Stitchers will love http://bedecked.co.uk/, a site filled with buttons and trimmings, perfect for turning fabrics into furnishings and customising old clothes.
Stitchclub.co.uk teaches children to sew and supports sewers starting their own clubs(I can't find this site). Other useful sites are http://www.highamhall.com/ and 'how to' guides are at http://www.selvedge.org/.
Other sites I found include: