Christmas in this economy? If there’s ever been a time to normalize secondhand gifts, it’s now. Not only can thrift shopping be a cute and fun excursion to do with your girlfriends during the holiday season or a soothing self-care activity to do on a Sunday afternoon solo, but it’s also incredibly practical (and sustainable to boot). Although you’re going to have to begin your holiday shopping a little bit earlier this year in order to have enough time to plan your list, find your favorite thrift stores, and sift through the discard in order to get to the gems, it’s well worth the effort.
Now, your mind doesn't immediately need to go to crafty DIY projects mirroring those that would return in your middle school backpack. All the "it girls" are thrifting these days and TikTok has expanded our creativity when it comes to secondhand gift ideas which means our Goodwill shopping spree has suddenly become much more elevated.
Throw on a festive sweater, grab a peppermint mocha, and get your list ready. Let’s go over 12 thrifted gift ideas to be on the hunt for now!
Make a DIY Candle from a Thrifted Piece of Glassware
Store-bought candles are so last year! Show you care with a DIY candle made with their favorite scent in a glass they can repurpose when it’s done burning. You can even dress up your candle with some dried orange slices, a cinnamon stick, or a pine cone on top. The biggest warning with this is to make sure that the glassware you choose is heat resistant!
Find an Antique Frame and Get Creative
Frame a photo of you and your gift recipient or something they love! This can be their kids, your kids (if you’re giving a frame to your parents or in-laws), their pet, a trip they loved, or any number of things. Make their memories more permanent than an Instagram post. We promise they’ll appreciate it.
Romanticize Their Morning with a Forgotten Tea Set
Teacups are a thrift store staple, and there’s nothing prettier when you’re trying to romanticize your morning routine! Grab a beautiful teacup in their favorite color, a loose leaf tea strainer, and add a tea assortment and honey from a local farm, and you’ve got a beautifully thoughtful gift set.
Or, if they are more of a coffee person, you can do pretty much the same idea with a cute mug (or textured glass if they enjoy iced coffee), your favorite K-cups, and a syrup flavor like gingerbread or peppermint to hone in on the holiday season.
Elevate Happy Hour with Some Bar Staples
Alternatively, if you want to highlight their favorite cocktail of choice, you can find some really unique wine, martini, and margarita glasses at your local thrift store for cheap! Add some minis from the liquor store and a homemade mixer, and you’re all set.
Create an Aesthetic Baking Kit
Baking supplies abound! Thrift stores are always full of old cookbooks, discarded rolling pins, wooden spatulas and spoons, dish towels, and cutting boards. Grab these items and assemble them in a mixing bowl for the perfect finishing touch!
Find Their New Favorite Novel
Spend the afternoon in a secondhand book store and seek out a novel you know they’ll love, or gift them one that you’ve read and adored! Add a thrifted bookmark or make your own if you feel so inclined.
Bake a Home-Cooked Meal in a Thrifted Dish
What’s your favorite holiday recipe? Spend the day at home baking and basking in the cozy vibes while whipping up a baked good or dinner (casserole, enchiladas, sliders – the options are endless) in a thrifted dish. Some of the cutest secondhand dishes are cheaper than ugly tin foil pans anyway!
Add to Their Ornament Collection
What says Happy Holidays better than a new ornament? Skip the cheap, overpriced ornament sets this year! Sometimes, the most well-made ornaments find their way onto thrift store shelves. Bonus points if you can keep their aesthetic in mind so it fits in perfectly with their red and green or minimalist neutral theme.
Paint a Pair of Taper Candles
Grab a pair of plain old candlesticks and some paint, and spend the evening getting crafty instead of doom-scrolling social media! Not only will your gift recipient have a pretty conversation piece for their dining room, but you’ll also have an excuse to embrace your feminine energy and create something beautiful.
Make a Jewelry Holder with a Discarded Shell
Whether that’s your leftover oyster shells from lunch or a beautiful seashell you find washed up on the beach, you can turn either one into a one-of-a-kind jewelry holder. With a little DIY magic, you can handpaint it or decoupage it using tissue paper and mod podge to showcase an intricate design. This is perfect for your friend who just got engaged and needs a spot to place her ring!
Package Any Type of Gift Set in a Gorgeous Basket
Using a basket instead of a gift bag and assembling it with items that are color coordinated or in line with a particular theme is the easiest way to ensure that you’ll have the most memorable gift to hand out this year! Plus, like our next tip, it’s much less wasteful than buying single-use gift bags.
Skip the Wrapping Paper in lieu of Something Useable
Why spend your hard-earned money on single-use paper (that’s usually wildly overpriced) when you can use a thrifted scarf or kitchen towel instead to wrap your gifts? Not only will it look much more beautiful and unique, but it’s also super practical!
Now that you’ve got plenty of ideas for thoughtful and creative gifts to give to those on your Christmas list, it’s time to get thrifting. Remember, there’s no Prime shipping with this strategy!
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