Start acquiring items when you know what you need.

On a shoestring, production design becomes even more tricky. Especially for a period drama. So try and borrow or get stuff for free. If that is not possible, bargain. Always.

Car boot sales

Car boot sales can be a great way to find cheap props. One has to be careful though since unrealistic prices have become quite common when it comes to antiques. The OMNI car boot sale on Sundays is a good place to be and bargaining is the norm.


I managed to get a few props almost for half the price, just by sending the seller an offer, explaining what the item would be used for and that there is hardly any budget.

The cheeky offer.
The cheeky offer.
The kind respond.
The kind respond.

Charity Shops

It can take a while to find something of use, but great deals can be made here.

Antique Shops

To be avoided in order to safe money. Having said that, most antique shops offer to rent out items for a week for a deposit around and around 18% of the original price which almost always can be negotiated.

Buy new, age later. 

New lamp, roughly two pounds. Just sandpaper the shine off and work in aging mix of choice.

Some items, as long as the design goes with the period, are better bought new and aged with vinegar, salt, and hydrogen peroxide. Such as Paraffin lamps, which cost a fortune when antique, but only a few pounds when bought on Amazon or Ebay. Plus a new lamp is much more likely to work.

Start acquiring items when you know what you need.

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