By contributing writer Kristen
Over the last few years it has become very trendy to be frugal. The economy fell, and people just need to make do with what they have. Since the start of Pinterest, revamping old items, thrifting, and putting together homemade gifts has become even more popular!
If you are thrifty or have a true need to thrift, your family and close friends shouldn’t mind if you gift them something that is second hand. But if you put a little thought and effort into your gift, you can make used items look new and much more unique than something that can be bought brand new at the store.
How to Gift a Used Item
Buy Nice Things
Second hand shopping can take time. Don’t just go to a garage sale or a second hand shop and buy anything you see. Make sure that everything you are buying looks nice. For example, don’t buy an old platter with a chip in it. Examine everything carefully and make sure you know who you want to give it to before you purchase it. Many second hand stores don’t accept returns.
Count the Pieces
Once when I bought a Mr Potato Head set for my son at a garage sale, we got home and found it was missing vital pieces. Thrift stores and garage sales are a fantastic way to buy nice toys your your kids. I always see many gently used board games, puzzles, books and other toy sets. Try looking up the toy on your phone while you are shopping to see everything that is supposed to be included in the set. It is important to know that the child you are giving these gifts to will be able to use them.
Remove Sale Stickers
Use Goo Gone to take the thrift store or garage sale sticker off the item you are planning on gifting. It will just look better.
Iron Used Books
Whether you are gifting books to your own children, someone else’s child, or another adult, it is nice to make items look as new and presentable as possible. Try ironing wrinkles out of used books before you gift them, unless the gift is supposed to be nostalgic.
Clean Old Toys
If you purchase used toys with marks on them, clean them up before giving them away. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can get almost every mark off an old toy, but test it first to be sure it doesn’t scratch the surface.
Add Used Items to a Gift Basket
Include used items in a cute gift basket, and the recipient won’t even think about the items being second hand. An example of including a thrifted item in a themed gift is this Tea Party in a Box that was featured on The Happy Housewife’s Homemade Christmas gifts last year.
Refurbish an Old Item
There are countless examples of how to refurbish items everywhere you go online. You can dress up an old frame, add fabric flowers to a high quality second hand blouse, turn old sweaters into a pillow or coffee cozy, and so much more! When you refurbish a second hand item into something new and cute, the recipient will be so happy to receive a gift with so much thought put into it, they won’t even realize that you might have gotten the material second hand.
Shrink Wrap Items
Spend Time Wrapping Gifts
Most thrifted items do not come in brand new boxes. Find cute ways to wrap these gifts, thus making them look good when the recipient opens them. A good example of this is the Book of the Month Club gift that was featured on The Happy Housewife’s Homemade Christmas gifts last year. The books given were used, but the gift that was presented was very attractive.
Find Nostalgic Items
I keep finding my favorite children’s books from the 80’s that I want my son to have. My younger brother likes to pick out old records and listen to them on his record player. Finding items that might be special to people’s pasts can make fantastic gifts! Keep a look out for things that can have great meaning to the people you care about.