Cheerful holiday music is playing in store, wrapping paper’s lining the check-out areas and the shopping line-ups have begun – December 25th is upon us.
Last year I really didn’t have to think about gifts much as I decided to make home made food [spice/seasoning] rubs in decorative fabric topped jars for all my loved ones. This year I want to shake it up and do something a tad different.
“There is something about a homemade or original [one of a kind] gift that is just so nice & personal. The occasional gift card is handy at times as well or donating to a charity on behalf of someone.”
What does shake it up mean to me? This year I want to shower most people with recycled gifts!
If you are raising an eyebrow to this – that is okay. What do I say to this? In recent years recycling gift bags has become all the rage, I cannot remember the last time I got a gift bag with the To: and From: sticker still on it. I don’t think this is just me…people are giving used gift bags, it is just about time that used gifts follow.
This year I am bringing used gifts back on the radar. Looking for that one and only idea for someone you care about? Look no further – here are the top used gifts that will put a smile on someone’s face.
1. Jewellery Box: A vintage jewellery box can add certain something to the top of any dresser and they really aren’t that hard to come by. Visit your local consignment store and take a peak. Most ladies [& gents] love the jewellery/accessories! Who doesn’t need more storage or organization in their lives? Raise the bar and add/place a new or gently used locket (in gold or silver) with their initials on it inside. Or better yet a vintage engagement ring!
Tips: When searching find something that has pull out wide drawers (good for laying necklaces flat) or those taller doors that allow you to actually hang things up. Lift off the top and check for some box slots for smaller pieces. Consider the décor in his/her bedroom. What colour of furniture do they have? Try and match it a little.
2. Flask: Does your man or woman like the hard stuff? A hip (stays by leg and is thin) or hunting (kept in side of the belt or a pouch and is rounder) flask with some ornate details or even some interesting engraving would be a rad gift. Some of the older flasks are simply captivating. Even if they don’t want to drink out of it they could still use it as a stunning solid silver showpiece. Note: When poking around make sure you note the condition of the flask and keep in mind that some older flasks may contain lead (pewter) – just be aware.
Tips: Consider if they want a discreet flask – make sure it is smaller if they would want to take a swig here or there. Remember some flasks come with a funnel for an easy fill – check for one. Some popular names in the seasoned flask making business are:
- Brook and Son
- William Leuchars
- Sampson Mordan
- Atkin Brothers
- Thomas Ingleton
- James Dixon and Sons
3. Homemade Handmade Quilts: People freaking adore handmade things! Quilts will never go out of style. Everyone knows that person that is always cold. This would make the perfect gift for them and it will stay in the family – I assure you. If you find a quilt make sure the stitching is in good shape and there are no stains, holes or tears.
Tips: Handmade and machine-made patchwork – it may be hard to notice the difference between the two. Best thing to do is ask when you are buying -when it was made or if they know who made it. Look for signs of aging and older fabric patterns.
4. Vintage Christmas Ornaments: It is so fun to open up that big ornament safe keeping box that was stored away in the basement just to find that twenty year old ornament that has lived through as many holidays seasons as you have. Some are crafty creations while others may of been purchased many years ago. Think of one of your friends childhood memories and seek out the old school original tree ornament. Make it a Snoopy or Porky Pig Christmas.
Tips: Make sure it still has the hole to hang it by ex. so you can put a hook through it or new piece of string. Check for any chips or cracking.
5. A Personalized Stocking: A different Christmas idea is to find a stocking that has made in through the years and sew your friends name on it. Fill it with some goodies and voila. Or better yet fill it with the animal you were planning to surprise them with Ex. the new kitty or puppy you adopted.
6. Get Playful with Playing Cards: For the cottage goer or game enthusiast – why not grab a classic set of playing cards. Not only are these quite collectible they are very practical. The pin-up model/girl ones are really awesome.
Tips: Make sure the entire deck is there and the cards are free of staining, water damage and burn marks.
7. Perfume/Fragrance Bottles: After looking at the bottles from previous years I must say we have gone a bit backwards. The perfume bottles used to be super glamorous. They had more glitz and just looked like they would make your nightstand or make-up counter shine. You can take these bottles and refill them with room spray/deodorizer you purchase in a way less sexy bottle. Everyone can always use room spray so why not make the bottle a little more distinguished and disguised.
Tips: Clean that sucker out and make sure the old scent is long gone. Look for any metal discolourization. Go for the ones with the squeeze ball they are elegant.
8. Vintage Bicycle Basket: If you look around you I am sure you would say you have at least one close friend that is into riding bikes. For those that need a bit more storage or cargo space consider buying them a used woven basket. Schwinn made a ton of really fantastic ones that would suit many bikes. Carrier racks are always helpful. If you friend ain’t into weaving why not try a dashing metal design?
Tips: Consider the style and shape of their bike when choosing the basket. May be good to do a little undercover consulting.
9. Cook Books: Used cook books are easy and find and are way cheaper to buy. Know your friend or family members favourite cuisine? Why not get them a used book or two. Then pick out a few of the best sounding recipes and purchase the groceries to make the items. Wander over to their place around the holidays and surprise them with some long lasting reads and dinner for that night.
10. Coffee Beans: I have always been a ground coffee kind of gal but can definitely appreciate why someone would love the full bean approach. Vintage wall mounted coffee grinders are not the easiest thing to find but they are a worthwhile find for the coffee loving lover or friend.
Before you start your shopping expedition don’t forget to read my recent articles on Second-hand Gift Giving: Is It Okay to Give a Used Gift? and Tip of the Week – Second Hand Clothing Shop (in Store) Like a Pro if you prefer to go the clothing and accessory route.