Friday, January 23, 2009


How many does it take to make a collection? Technically, two. A collection can be as specific as "teddy bear beanie babies" or as broad as "orange things." Whether you've been collecting for years, or you've just started to garner your first couple of autographed baseballs, these tips for collectors can help.

1. A collection packs more punch when displayed together instead of spread about.

2. Collecting should be a passion, not an obligation. Did you inherit your grandmother's antique button collection? Do you cherish them because you cherished her, but in all honesty the button thing just doesn't do it for you? Do yourself a favor and let it go. Collect something you have a real affinity for, like postcards, or classic American pottery.

3. Your collection can be in use. Enjoy yourself and your things. If you collect teacups, use them when you have tea or dessert. If you collect blue flow patterns, take that transferware off the shelves and enjoy it on special occasions.

4. Be selective. Resist the urge to acquire just for the sake of it. If you collect beer steins, instead of grabbing every stein you can find, wait it out and get the ones you truly admire. If you can add one or two pieces to your collection a year, that's great. Your collection should be quality, not quantity. Sometimes it's not even about the cost, it's about waiting it out and finding the ones that really appeal to you. 

5. Display, don't hide your collection. If you collect vintage wall pendants, find a way to hang them up. Build a shelf for that doll collection, or some kind of rack to display your very specific collection of long white linen vintage ladies opera gloves.

6.  If you collect something like Star Wars memorabilia, or old rock and roll albums and posters, and your collection has gotten too big to enjoy and maintain, make a decision. The collection isn't doing anybody any good boxed up and hidden away in the closet. Either go through it, and separate yourself from the items you like so that you keep and show off the items you really love. Or, go ahead and give in! Give the collection it's own room. Your family room, your home office, your guest bedroom - these can all take on a theme that showcases your hard-earned collection. 

7.  Remember: there is a difference between collecting and hording.  Consider everything - the space you have to dedicate to your collection, the money you can afford to invest, etc. If you collect antique sewing baskets, for example, dedicate one glass doored cabinet to your treasures. Everything goes in there. If there isn't room, then it's time to let go of one of your lower-end pieces to trade room for a new piece to enjoy. If you collect egg cups but over the years the eggcup collection has just grown to a crazy extent that you aren't enjoying anymore, narrow down your collection to the styles you truly enjoy, like: yellow eggcups with chickens on them, or Ironstone eggcups only, or eggcups from 1850 - 1900. When you step back and look at a collection like that, you will feel that you've really accomplished something. 

What do you collect? Take a pic of your awesome collection featuring treasures you found at Scranberry Coop and email us! Tell us about your collection, the way you display it, and anything else you'd like to share.


Anonymous said...

I have a bunch of eggcups and never thought about displaying them before. Whats wrong with me? I'm going to do it this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I collect bottle openers. And I do use them. Thanks for the article. - Jim