Some people cringe at the thought of a gift coming from a thrift store, but with a little diligence and creativity, amazing things can be found or created. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Think of the thrift store as a frugal fabric store. Many crafts that require fabric become expensive to give as gifts if you shop at your local fabric store. Thrift stores have a bountiful array of fabric to use in your projects. Wedding gowns and prom dresses yield expensive satins, taffetas and lace that can be remade into everything from Christmas ornaments to stuffed bears. Other gifts to be made from your newly found frugal fabric store are doll clothes, crazy quilts, braided rag rugs and decorative cushions. One good washing, and you have an abundant frugal source for fabric!
Don’t forget tablecloths. Rare is the tablecloth that can’t yield up some beautiful and useable fabric. Cut the cloth down to a smaller size (cutting away damage or stains) and hem it for a table-topper tablecloth. Cut apart and hem for cloth napkins. Use a holiday tablecloth to make a holiday apron.
Coffee mugs and teacups with saucers. Don’t look for a set, look for the odd and unique. A beautiful mug with cocoa or a beautiful china teacup with gourmet tea wrapped in cellophane is a good way to round out those often needed small gifts.
Blankets and odd pillows. Remembering someone’s pet is often a surprise to the recipient. Make a pet bed from blankets and odd pillows. Fido will appreciate it.
Old suitcases. Grab an old suitcase and head on back over the frugal fabric side of the thrift store to fill your suitcase up with the most outlandish and fun clothing you can find. Stop at the jewelry counter as well. Don’t forget shoes, purses and some hats. You have just created the ultimate children’s dress-up kit that can’t be bought anywhere else!
Tin containers. Give these tins a new life with some paint or decoupage, and fill with everything from baked goods to crayons and paper for a child.
Baskets. If you’ve priced baskets at your local craft store or big box retailer, you’re already aware that the basket can cost more than the gift you had planned to put in it. Thrift stores are usually loaded with baskets of all shapes and sizes, so choose one or several to make up some gift baskets. In fact, put the mug you bought above and a bag of coffee beans with some chocolate dipped spoons (buy those spoons while you’re at the thrift store!) in one of your new baskets, and you have a gift basket that would cost $35.00 or more at a gift shop!
These are only a few suggestions of items routinely found in most thrift stores, however don’t overlook the potential of the unusual item as a possible gift component. Creativity and some patience to shop thrift stores regularly are all you need to recycle items into thoughtful gifts.