Shopping for Props on a Budget

The Art Department is important when producing professional videos. The creative use of props and set design will greatly affect the production value of your finished product. However, shopping and purchasing props and set design elements can get expensive very quick. Here are a few tips on how to shop for great props, and still stay under budget.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 1.36.18 PMThe first tip to shop props on a budget is to visit your nearest thrift shop. Thrift shops are a gold mine for finding unique, beautiful and useful props. If your script calls for a specific prop, for example, a vintage briefcase or wall art of San Diego, you can use thrift shops as a resource to find your needs. Thrift shops are great because they provide high quality items, marked at low prices. If you have time to sift through each aisle, you’re sure to find many treasures, useful as props for your next video production. The trick is to create a list, and stay focused on exactly what you’re looking for. The best thrift shops we’ve found in San Diego are Salvation Army, Amvets, and GoodWill.

The second tip to shop props on a budget is the use of Craigslist. If you go to SanDiego.Craigslist.Org, you’ll find many posts under “For Sale.” Categories for sale in this section include antiques, household, furniture and crafts. In addition, the great part about using Craigslist as your go-to prop shop is the “Free” section. You’ll be surprised with the assortment of items found in this category, which include free furniture, auto parts, Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 1.36.52 PMdishwashers, plants and more.

If you still can’t find that specific prop, try swap meets. There are many locations for you to visit in San Diego, including Kobey’s Swap Meet at Sports Arena and the Spring Valley Swap Meet. Typically these events are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and offer a wide variety of items that may be useful to decorate your production set for filming.

Overall, save money on your budget and find the best props to dress your set by using thrift shops, Craigslist and swaps as your go-to prop shops.



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