Ace Props and Events, Petersham

The problem with the venue we’ve chosen for Archie’s 21st is that it’s an enormous space.  And I don’t want the party to be held in a room that echoes and feels like everyone’s in a chasm.  In order to try and fill the space, I’ve been out and about trying to source props.

The clown who welcomes you at the entrance

The clown who welcomes you at the entrance

That’s the other complication – the 21st has a theme and so anything brought into the venue needs to suit that theme.

The shopfront

The shopfront

Sourcing props can be exhausting.  As a novice in the event-planning department, I’ve wasted a lot of time running into a lot of dead-ends.  But recently I found Ace Props and Events and they have been such a breath of fresh air that I thought I would share my experience with you.

The entrance

The entrance

Archie trying out an original WWI gas mask

Archie trying out an original WWI gas mask

I found out about Ace Props and Events when another party-hire company was completely dismissive of me and despite me driving up to their premises with all the seats folded down in my people-mover ready for action, the woman behind the counter appeared not to want to sell me anything.  She said she had nothing we were after and gave me a slip of paper with the details of Ace Props and Events.  ‘Go to them’, she said, ‘They’ll have everything you need’.

The entrance to the store is almost overwhelming

The entrance to the store is almost overwhelming

I unfolded the bubble wrap and found this drummer

I unfolded the bubble wrap and found this drummer

I was fairly reluctant because Ace Props and Events is nearly an hour away from where I live and in a part of Sydney I’ve never ventured – I hate unfamiliar territory.  But when I phoned the shop, Anthony answered the phone and was so friendly and super-helpful that I decided I could make the journey over the bridge to collect what I needed from his store.

Two headless women in a bathtub

Two headless women in a bathtub

Something for everyone

Something for everyone

And you don’t just have to physically visit the store to see if they have what you need.  Anthony will email you photos of suitable props with a price list so before making the trek you can see if the store has in stock, the things you need.

Anyone need a chaise lounge

Anyone need a chaise lounge?

Fake!

Fake!

Anthony (Ant) and his wife are from South Africa.  Ant started working at the store 12 years ago and after six years, he bought the business.  He appears to be a jack-of-all-trades and builds, repairs and sources any kind of prop you would need for your event.  His wife does the book-work but is also extremely able-bodied and is able to heave props all around the store and into your car.  Adding to their team is Nugget, their terribly enthusiastic and friendly dog who will greet you at the door then offer you a stick to throw at him – warning:  one throw is not enough; Nugget will want you to throw sticks for the entire duration of your visit.

Super-friendly and ready to chase you around the store

Super-friendly and ready to chase you around the store

Ace Props does a lot of business with theatre companies but supplying props for corporate events and private functions is also a major part of their business.  I went there earlier this week.  As Ant knew I was coming, he saved me a car space right outside their shopfront.  On seeing my car, he said, ‘There’s no way this prop will fit in your car; I’ll strap it to your roof.

Slipped in between two columns

Slipped in between two columns

I found Ant to be so super-helpful and he and his wife are just a delight to deal with.  If you have any prop needs, I’d recommend you deal with Ace Props.  Just wandering around their store is a fascinating experience and Archie said to Ant, ‘I could stay here for a week, and probably still not discover all you have’.

Coffins!  A popular choice?

Coffins! A popular choice?

Ace Props and Events:  301-303 Trafalgar Street, Petersham NsW 2049

Ph:  02 9560 1941

Who remembers these old phone desks?  My mother-in-law had one in the hallway near the front door and she'd sit on the seat and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

Who remembers these old phone desks? My mother-in-law had one in the hallway near the front door and she’d sit on the seat and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

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Comments

  1. What a heavenly store you’ve found. My event brain was going into overdrive, I want it all. :) If you need a hand with where to place props, tables, dance floor etc to ensure the venue flows & not everyone congregates in one place, more than happy to help. Wishing you a wonderful evening.

  2. No photo of anything strapped to the roof of your car?

    I’m in love with Ant, the wife and Nugget – what a happy environment to work in. If I needed props in Sydney I know where I’d go.

    • I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of my car burdened with the props. My excuse is that it was pouring with rain, I had been held up an hour, and I was now late to collect Alfie from school.

  3. Not fair – what’s the theme????! I want to know what was too big for the car it had to be strapped to the roof.

  4. Great customer service and everything you need. Perfect. Can’t wait to see what you and Archie hauled out of this prop store.

  5. I want Nugget! What a fantastic place! I was diggin’ that clown, he was pretty cool! Can’t wait to find out what you came up with!! :) xo

  6. I wish I was throwing a party (and lived in Australia) so I could visit and snoop around. I love that drummer and am really looking forward to the great reveal.

  7. What a great place! So excited to see what you got but even more excited for the party!

  8. OMgosh,
    that store is really weird and wonkily wonderful.
    post lots of photos of the party, please. Xx

  9. Oh my goodness, you are going all out for this one. Can’t wait to see more!

  10. But what did you get? what did you get??

  11. C’mon love, Petersham surely isn’t an hour from where you live – according to Google, it’s a 22min drive (33 in peak hour)! You need to come over the bridge to play more often. :)

    These guys sound great, good to know about them! If you’re over this way again, pop into Reverse Garbage as well – I’m pretty sure I saw similar mannequins there a year ago – but the stock is forever changing, so it’s always a bit of an adventure.

    • In my defence, I had to travel from Chatswood and we had sheet rain and trouble with directions so it took me a lot longer than it should have. On the way back, somehow I missed the bit where you end up on the Anzac Bridge and I instead was shunted into Balmain. Had to turn around and get back on track. Does google take into account school zones? I went through about six. I’ll see if I fare better when I have to return the goods!

  12. What a fabulous play store. Your are amazing, your kids are so fortunate to have a Mom like you. Looking forward to learning about the theme.

  13. You go all out when you do something, don’t you!! Archie is going to have the most fun 21st party ever. Looks like you have found just the place too! What a cranked up place, and you will no doubt find gems. I wish I could come with you – I could play fetch with that sweeheart whole day :)

  14. I am so jelly this place sounds incredible! I can’t wait to hear about the party :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  15. What an amazing place! And good on you for giving them a positive write up – it sounds like there could be many people in Sydney struggling to find what they want for party props. I can’t wait to see the final deck out for the 21st!

  16. Now that is just too cool!! I didn’t even know there was such a shop to be found. :-)

  17. What a great shop for a themed party. I love themed parties its a real ice breaker from the get go. Can’t wait to see what you bought.

  18. G’day! Sounds like you have your work cut out for you Charlie, but sounds like HEAPS of fun and will look forward to what is picked for the party!
    Cheers! Joanne

  19. What a totally cool place! I’ve had to source props for photoshoots before and at first thought it was a dream job (with all that shopping) but there is an awful lot of schlepping! And it’s so tiring. It sounds like you found the perfect resource; Archie is a very lucky fellow!
    BTW, your pics are showing up sideways on my iPhone and they are cut off in half so that I can’t even scroll to see the entire pic.

  20. What an incredible place! And I am impressed by the major organizing you are doing for this party!!

  21. This 21st B-day party is going to be a hoot! I hope for sure your brought home the headless ladies in the bathtub. LOL or at least Nugget as he would surely keep your guest entertained.

  22. Exciting! I can’t wait to hear all about Archie’s 21st bash and see the pictures! :)

  23. I don’t know this place. I only know the the one in Marrickville that i suspect you may have gone to. Sounds like they have it all. cant wait to see what the theme is

  24. If the space is really big, how about a few pop-up tents? Each one or two person tent could contain treats, themed: sweet, savoury, spicy, meaty, veggie …
    With low-voltage lighting they’d glow from inside out, creating shadows of the occupants.

  25. Sounds like quite a place! Glad you were able to find your props, it’s so much more wonderful to deal with nice people. I don’t understand why people have to be unsavoury in the first place. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  26. Charlotte says:

    Wow, I live SUPER close to here but have never been in the store – always been intrigued! Could you comment on the hire prices? I have considered it for previous parties but had no idea what to expect. Thanks! :)

    • Hi Charlotte, I didn’t check the prices on any of the other items. You’re best to contact them with what you have in mind and then they’ll email you a quote.

  27. What an amazing looking place. I’m not sure id be disciplined enough to be let loose there. Great that you found all the things you need. GG

  28. It was fun to go inside and see the props and treasures, Charlie. There are stores of this type all over Los Angeles, which makes sense due to the industry, but I’ve never been inside one. They have the most interesting merchandise in the windows or displayed in the parking lots and I’ve always thought it would be fun to stop and walk around. I just can’t wait to see details from this party. Have you considered hiring someone to be your photographer? You’re going to be so busy that day and it might be good to have some help with documenting. We are all so curious, you know! LOL!

  29. I would love to just browse around their warehouse with no party in mind. It would be fascinating dreaming about the parties one could throw with this or that piece. i cannot wait to learn what you’ve selected, Charlie, and see the venue decorated.

  30. Wow hahaha never knew these shops actually existed where you can go and get props for parties :) Seems like Archie had an awesome time looking! Cna’t wait to see and read about his 21st birthday party!

  31. wow, what a fun outing! I would have spent a whole day in there! And yes – that chaise has my name on it ;)

  32. Ah, what a cool store… Must be so much fun to wander around and look at all the treasures. I bet he has some amazing stuff tucked away in the back which everyone’s forgotten about too!

  33. What a great place to just explore- even without an event to plan for! Xox

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  1. […] for you’.  You wouldn’t want that woman running your business.  She told me to go to Ace Props and I’m very glad she did.  I phoned Ace Props and asked if they had anything, anything at […]

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