Shopping at flea markets and yard sales is a great way to get inexpensive items that you can use to decorate your kitchen. In addition to being light on the budget, oftentimes you will find unique items that add a special interest to your kitchen and can even act as conversation pieces. Here are 5 things to look for that you can use to add unique decorative flair to your kitchen.

1. Vintage linens. Vintage linens are unique in the way that they were printed, the colors they use and even the subject matter. You can look for table cloths and dishtowels from days gone by that will add charm to any kitchen. Use the table cloths on your table, and hang the dishtowels from your stove and cabinet handles to make a unique display.

2. Vintage canister sets. Old canister sets are quirky and unique. Some of them, like the old Jadite sets are actually quite valuable. You can buy most of the tin canister sets from the 50s and 60s for under $20 and they'll add a unique decorative touch to your countertop.

3. Salt and pepper shakers. Adding a collection of salt and pepper shakers that you display on shelves or even on your countertop can be a great way to add some kitsch to the kitchen. Look for whimsical sets, or sets that match your particular kitchen theme. These can be fun to collect over the years as you can always be on the lookout for something to add to your collection.

4. Vintage hankies. While you might not think of hankies as something you could use in the kitchen, they can actually make a great valance that is interesting and unique. What you want to do is collect a bunch of hankies that have similar colors or themes. Perhaps a set of hankies that have embroidered flowers or plain white ones with fancy lace edges ( also known as bridal hankies). Then fold them over in quarters and attached them to each other, overlapping them a bit. Now you can sew the channel in them so that they can fit on a curtain rod and be used as a unique valance.

5. Mismatched tureen covers. Go to any yard sale of flea market and you're bound to find a bevy of beautiful old porcelain and china covers that have no matching bottoms. While these might seem useless, they actually have great decorative appeal. Hang them in plate racks on the wall in groupings and you've got a beautiful display that will remind you of days gone by. But the best part is that you can pick them up very cheap!

When you shop at yard sales and flea markets, always have an eye out for unique decorative items that you like. If you can buy them cheap enough then why not take them home and figure out how you can fit them into your decorating scheme? This way of decorating is not only inexpensive but it's a lot of fun too!