16 collections to inspire your next trip to the thrift shop

Oh, these old things? They’re just a collection of pretties to excite the gatherer in you…

Hello vintage lovers, you’re in for a real treat, we’re showcasing some of our favourite collections as seen in Mollie Makes. We crafty humans do love miniature things (and giant things), things that come in pairs, or sets of three, four, or even more! To see everything organised neatly in these photographs taken by crafty collectors fill us with so much joy – we hope it brings you a slice of happy too.

1. Erasers

Erasers collection | Mollie Makes 54 | Laura Howard

Laura Howard’s childhood eraser collection is a source of colour, nostalgia and plenty of happy memories. 

Making and collecting are very much connected for me. I love crafting, but I also love gathering all the supplies, sorting through the shapes and colours, and imagining all the things they could become. In turn, my collections have inspired lots of creations over the years. www.lupin.etsy.com

2. Old photographs

Vintage photographs collection | Mollie Makes 47 | Oh Squirrel

Katie Wagstaff of Oh Squirrel is fascinated by the forgotten stories old photographs hold 

I’ve always loved old photographs – the picture quality, the notes on the back, the expressions, the clothes being worn. Everything about them tells a story. www.ohsquirrel.co.uk

3. Embroidery scissors

Embroidery scissors collection | Mollie Makes 55 | Christa Anderson

Christa Anderson’s love of stitching has led to an obsession with decorative scissors

My obsession with all things stitching-related began in 2013 when I made some hoop art for my youngest son’s room. My hobby quickly bloomed into an Etsy shop selling stitch hoops and jewellery. And as my stitching advanced, my interest in embroidery scissors grew. www.wildflowerthreads.etsy.com

4. Hats


Vintage obsessive Solanah Hernandez has a particular fondness for eccentric hats of the past

I started collecting vintage pretty early. My aunt and sister-in-law were both involved in vintage fashion in the 80s and 90s, so I got a lot of amazing hand-me-downs.

5. Suitcases

Vintage suitcase collection | Mollie Makes 43 | Great Britain & Tortoise

Suitcase upcycler Lisa Tilley of U Old Bag! is addicted to hunting down vintage luggage

Once I started selling my upcycled luggage I had free reign to collect as much as I wanted – my workshop is stacked floor to ceiling with suitcases. I’ve never counted them, but they must be in the hundreds! www.uoldbag.com

6. Kitsch dolls

Japanese dolls collection | Mollie Makes 59 | Missy Munday

Missy Munday sleeps, eats and breathes her crazy collection of 20th-century Japanese dolls

I find it hard to pinpoint what it is I love about dolls. I mean, what’s not to love? They’re the sweetest, smiley-est sidekicks – or the moodiest maniacs. They mirror the eccentricities of humanity. www.boopsiedaisy.etsy.com

7. Books

Vintage picture books | Mollie Makes 58 | Olivia Gordon

Writer Olivia Gordon is transported back to childhood whenever she flicks through her book collection

When my parents moved house we got our old possessions down from their attic. My sister Anna (13 years older than me) grew up in the 70s and I was a child of the 80s. We were both bookworms – and when I saw the familiar covers, I was overcome by nostalgia. Inside some of the books are stickers from when, as a child, I tried to start my own lending library. www.oliviagordon.com

8. Kitchenware

Vintage Pyres Danish kitchenware collection | Mollie Makes 57 | In Color Order

Fabric designer Jeni Baker is inspired by the colours and patterns of mid-century kitchenware

I got serious about vintage kitchenware when I moved into my first apartment in college, in 2009. I found my first piece of vintage Pyrex that summer, which led to my interest in Danish enamelware. www.incolororder.com

9. Makeup

Vintage make up and vantiy products collection | Mollie MAkes 45 | Sue Renaud

Make up, toiletries and vanity products of the past hold a special allure for Sue Renaud

I’ve been collecting my whole life. I used to collect cat figurines, then as a teenager I grew to love lights – I had strobe lights, a lava lamp and even had a traffic light in my bedroom at one point. I remember spending days at different flea markets and thrift shops with my sister, mother and grandmother. This is how I developed my love of vintage items. www.lifesembelishments.etsy.com

10. Ceramic swans

Ceramic swan collection | Mollie Makes 49 | The Flower Appreciation Society

Ellie and Anna from The Flower Appreciation Society explain why their favourite vases flock together

We happened upon a lovely pale yellow swan in a charity shop for 50p, and thought it would be an interesting shape to fill with flowers. And it was – we now have a 50-strong herd! www.theflowerappreciationsociety.co.uk

11. Records

Vintage records Vinyl collection | Mollie Makes 41 | Skunk Boy

 Katie Shelton on why she’ll always prefer buying and collecting music the old-fashioned way 

I’ve been collecting records for years now. Digging through the dollar bin of old (and mostly scratched) records at the local music shop was always a favourite date night activity of mine. Since then it’s evolved into a collection that’s now a big part of my life – my husband and I own over 400 records between us. www.skunkboyblog.com

12. Birds

Vintage bird ceramic collection | Mollie Makes 52

Veteran collector Laurie Romanaggi loves the whimsy of ceramic birds – just one of her hundreds of collections

I’ve been collecting birds for around 15 years. I have 53 in total now. Their whimsy appeals to me, and I try to only pick them up if they have a certain charm about them. Chips don’t matter to me – I see them as part of life. www.magpieethel.typepad.com

13. Vintage dresses

Vintage clothes collection | Mollie Makes 50 | Esme and the Laneway

Marianne Rutherford from Esme and the Laneway is enthralled by Edwardiana and the 1930s

I love the way people dressed in the past, especially the 1930s and the early Ziegfeld Follies girls. My best finds are a suede Alaia skirt from a charity shop, a lace 1950s pale mint green dress and a beautiful, silk, 1930s kimono that I wear as a dressing gown. www.esmeandthelaneway.com

14. Cacti

Cacti collection | Mollie Makes 56 | Poppy and Fern

Rachel Pruett’s cacti and succulents inspire her beautiful hand embroidery

My grandmother instilled an appreciation for plants in me at a young age – she has an amazing ability to make them flourish, and owned an extensive cacti collection. I inherited a few from her when I got married and that’s where the love affair with their strange, beautiful shapes started. www.poppyandfern.com

15. Maps

Vintage maps collection | Mollie Makes 44 | girl and bird

Annah Legg of Girl and Bird loves the romance of vintage maps

My collection is constantly changing as I’m always sourcing specific maps for custom orders, but at the last count there were over 250. Maps look best displayed, so I recommend collecting a few special locations and layering them up on a wall. Washi tape is good for displaying them without causing damage. Use already-torn maps to wrap presents. www.girlandbird.com

16. Scarves

Vintage scarves collection | Mollie Makes 51 | Bad Hair Day Scarves

Rachele Teresi can’t get enough of the bursts of colour these thrifted finds bring

I remember seeing my mother in headscarves in the 80s. As little girls, my sister and I slept in foam curlers wrapped up in a big silk scarf the night before our communion or a wedding. I rediscovered them as an adult after seeing some cute bloggers pairing them with peter pan collars, cat eye glasses and top knots.

Growing a collection of your own? We’d love to see! Take a pic and share your collection with us on Instagram and Twitter using #molliemakes. xx

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