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Shop till you find your prop


As most food bloggers will be able to tell you; the need for props can become an obsessive thing… I know I suffer from it in a major way (ask Tom, he will immediately confirm this fact to you!) so I am always on the lookout for cheap finds. Thought I’d share some tips with you on where to find good props that cost next to nothing.

  1. Second hand stores (do you call them thrift stores?); you can find real treasures there for virtually nothing. Cutlery, glasses, lone plates
  2. Markets; for fabrics there is no better source then a market. Since you only need about a meter or so of most fabrics your dollars will go a long way there if you look for bargains.
  3. Fleamarkets; if you can see past all the junk, you will definitely be able to find a good deal there
  4. My stylist has this trick of ordering a sample of – for instance – bathroom tiles. If you need small surfaces that can work really well.
  5. DIY stores; you can buy cheap cuts of wood there and paint them yourself in whatever color you want and in whatever style you want to. Doesn’t cost a thing…
  6. Supermarkets; our supermarket has regular offers for cute bowls and plates. See the stack of bowls in front (bottom left picture)? Those bowls where only 2 euro each. Not bad for bowls that pretty!
  7. Grandparents/parents; you’d be surprised at the treasures that can be found close to home. Have a snoop around the kitchen of your grandparents and if you see something funky, ancient or fabulous ask if they still use it. if so you can borrow; if not you can take…:)(obviously if allowed!)
  8. Garbage; ok this is maybe a weird one but over here people call the garbage guys for larger pieces of furniture and such (tables, chair etc.) That is then picked up on a particular day in the week at which point all the ‘junk’ is put outside by the sidewalk. If you look around you can find amazing wooden surfaces there for free. A friend of mine found the best table ever, between the junk… Absolutely free. Just don’t be embarrassed when people look at you funny

Let me know if you have another fantastic way to get your props for as little as possible. I buy expensive ones too but I cannot afford to do that all the time!


About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer


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  • I too am a magpie collector of pretty vintage props, and having just just moved into my brand new HUGE kitchen, years worth of treasures are now out and on display! Swoon 🙂
    Janie x

  • Hi Simone. I find it really difficult to find good wooden surfaces here in NL. Do you have any particular store you buy yours from? And as far as old pieces of wood, where do you get those? I can’t find anything anywhere 🙁

    • It is very hard indeed Magda. I got a few good pieces but they tend to be ridiculously expensive. There is a store of sort in Eemnes that sells old wooden materials and I got a few pieces there but like I said, very expensive.
      The easiest thing to do would be to make your own, by painting them. I got some old chopping boards from Tom’s grandma and I found some things in the odd store but it’s hit and miss really… ;(

  • My pictures are pretty minimalist, so props haven’t played that big of a role. However, I’m thinking about changing things up for at least some of the pictures. Good tips — I need to check out those thrift shops. I’m already a regular at the DIY stores!

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Hi. My name is Simone and I believe you can change your life by eating the right foods. I am a certified holistic nutritional coach, food photographer, recipe developer and story teller.

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Travel calendar 2018

March: Blankenberge, Belgium
April: 3 weeks roadtrip through East USA
May: Turkey
May: Germany
June: Germany
September: Newcastle