Thursday, December 12, 2013

You Giving Thrifted Gifts? A Thrifted and Thrifty Gifts Discussion + Gift Wrap Ideas

I thrift throughout the year to amass a pile of gifts for my friends and family. I can finally wrap the bundle taking up closet space! Yay! I'm so embedded in the thrifted gift ilk that it's easy to forget many would baulk at the thought of a filthy thrifted gift. (I read a comment from a woman who said she would cry all day if she got a gift from the thrift store!) What camp are you in? Here are some tips for presenting thrifted gifts that will convert even the most hardcore thrift store...hater? (Really these people exist? So strange.)
1) Make a Gift Set: Combine items to make a useful gift package; like a vintage cook book with cooking utensils and vintage tea towels. I recently gave my niece a vintage owl instant collection for her birthday, she loved it!

2) Present it Beautifully: Be creative with your presentation. Fill a vintage thrifted purse with candy and other smaller gifts or fill a vintage planter with festive flowers. With lovely presentation most will not suspect a gift's humble origins. 

3) If They Don't Like it, Make New Friends. Renounce Your Family Name: I kid! (Or DO I?!)

4) Remember Some Thrifter's Rebuttals: I loved your Thrifter's Rebuttals responses. My favorites: "Remember the hotel sheets you sleep on and restaurant utensils you use have been used by thousands of people." Sorry folks, we do not live in a bleached sanitary world. We're not supposed to.

5) Always Give Something Thoughtful: Always present your pal with something they'll actually like and use or display! There's no point in gifting someone something that will just be donated, given away, or sit unloved for eternity. Better No Gift than a Crap Gift!

(By the way, I just marked down items in my Etsy shop if you're still hunting down unique affordable gifts. Now's the time to get it by Christmas! My fav is this antique toy/Endshamelessplug)

What are your rules for thrifty gift giving? Are you thrifting for Christmas gifts this year? My nieces have specifically requested animal books, off to the thrifts I go to hunt some down!
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50 comments:

  1. Haha to #3! But in all seriousness though - I think a thrifted gift requires even more thought than something picked up at target or a department store. Anyone can just grab something off the shelf there, but a lot more time and effort goes into choosing a vintage gift that's perfect for someone. Darn thrift haters!

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    1. I think with thought nearly every friend out there can appreciate a thrifted gift. You may have to paint the item, think hard about it but with creativity you can please all.

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    2. Oh and like you said it can be so much more thoughtful than grabbing items from retail shelves.

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  2. Oh I wouldn't mind if someone gift me something thrifted that I can use at home. :) Something unique would be lovely. Much better than buying something that is mass produced.

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    1. Yes indeed, love useful goodies I can use at home. Always looking for things like that for friends and myself while I'm out and about.

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  3. I love giving and getting thrifted gifts! Luckily I've raised two thrifty kids who love it too.....I shop all year round with an eye out for their favorite things.

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    1. My neices and nephews were turned on to thrifting my mom and I. They love it :D

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  4. Seriously someone would cry all day if their gift was thrifted? How utterly selfish and self-centred that is! Absolutely I'm ok with thrifted gift giving. The kids are getting some thrifted and vintage goodies and I'm on the final hunt for something special for hubby, a set of anodised cups. My tip for buying for someone like him (who isn't as big of a vintage lover as me) is to buy in the best or never used condition you can. Thankfully hubby wants a set but condition will be key in finding them and giving them.

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    1. I read the quote here, you can do a control(or command) + F search for "cry" and find it to read the whole thing, haha. http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/12/10/ask-the-readers-is-it-okay-to-buy-a-christmas-gift-from-a-thrift-store/

      My dad is the same way, usually likes new stuff. He would like stuff like vintage tin cars with some wear, though. He's a fellow toy nerd :)

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  5. Thrifted is fine by me. Better to use up what is already out there than continue to despoil the planet with needless industrial waste. The 'cry all day' comment is fascinating me.

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    1. Yeeep. You must not have many problems if you can cry all day over a thrifted gift. Full comment:

      i have to disagree with the majority of commenters here… i guess i’m spoiled but i would be horrified if someone gave me used thrift-shop purses and would probably spend the rest of the day crying (i get a little too upset over poorly-chosen gifts sometimes). my first thought would be if money is that tight that you’re gift shopping in thrift stores instead of proper stores, why couldn’t you have gotten something less expensive but new?

      used purses and hand-me-downs are one thing if they’re in the family- mom to daughter, sister to sister, but i would be very unthrilled if someone gifted me a thrift store bag, used for who knows how long by some stranger. it would go right back to salvation army the next day, no question about it.

      this is also clothing & accessories-centric. refurb ipods and vintage records can be great gifts, but dusty old purses from the salvation army would make me very unhappy. i know this makes me sound spoiled and awful, but i’m just being honest.

      in my very small defense: i never buy used gifts for friends & family, unless it’s something like vintage records. i regularly pass over less-expensive used items in amazon to buy them shrink-wrapped and new for other people. i have no problem with buying used items for myself, but if it’s a big holiday gift i try and buy new whenever humanely possible.

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    2. To each their own of course. I too find it fascinating because I'm a lifelong thrifter and forget that people who would never use thrifted gifts exist.

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  6. my witch of a mother buys herself big expensive must be seen xmas gifts and puts a card on them from me . we are forbidden to buy her gifts because we couldnt afford anything she would want ...so it makes her very easy to shop for!!!

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    1. Renounce thy Family Name! Haha, I kid. I'm lucky my mom only wants thrifted, vintage, and handmade gifts. But at least your mom's easy to shop for, no hunting at all!

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  7. My Mum and I both give each other second hand books as gifts. Most of my gifts are thrifted or handmade. I like your idea of making your own gift set, that's a very thoughtful style of gift,

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  8. Great post. I feel nervous about giving thrifted gifts only because of the reaction I may get from some family members. Don't get me wrong...I DO sometimes give thrifted gifts but have gotten teased/harassed by certain family members. My family holidays are stressful either way.

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    1. Remember the rebuttals ;) But yes, you also shouldn't force a thrifted gift on someone if they don't want it. I get new things now and then for friends and family.

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  9. Yep, you are right, beautiful presentation goes a long way to making a thrifted item more acceptable. Also, with people I know might be a bit iffy about it, I tell them I got it in an "antiques shop". Somehow that is more palatable ;)

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    1. I thought of that one, haha. Same difference, pretty much since we're obviously going to clean it up nicely before it's presented.

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  10. Great post - so funny and crazy that someone would cry all day if they got a thrifted gift! Crikey!!
    I think thrifted gifts are A-OK. xx

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  11. I try to make a point of buying at least one used/thrifted/upcycled gift for each person I shop for. Sometimes I find something at a thrift store in the spring that becomes the inspiration for a whole gift-giving experience come Christmastime. For example, I found an awesome Mickey Mouse-shaped serving dish that was in perfect condition for only $2 last May. I snatched it up and scoured online for some other awesome additions...I ended up getting a Disney World Chefs cookbook and Mickey-themed measuring spoons and cups for less that $5 each, and now my Disney-Addict mom is getting a super cool Cooking with Mickey gift basket. If I had bought all of these items new, it could have cost me well over $50...plus, I had the fun of putting it together myself, instead of just running into the Disney Store and grabbing something off the shelf. I feel like as long as you're remaining tasteful and thoughtful, any gift is appreciated.

    My grandmother is a thrifter too, but not in the right way. She buys things just because they're on sale, in bulk, without any thought to a person's personal style or even size. She then fills huge gift bags with smoky-smelling clothes and accessories, sometimes one item of which is usable. Most are hopelessly outsized or undersized, broken, ripped, or just plain hideous. That is NOT the way to do a thrifted gift!

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    1. Yes indeed, your grandma's way is the way to turn someone off from it! I do a method similar to yours, always keeping an eye out while I'm hunting and often branching off a find to make themed gifts. I hate thoughtless gift giving, people I know have gifted things they 1) admitted wouldn't work 2) admitted the person didn't need and 3) admitted the person might not even LIKE just so they'd have a present! Total waste of money on their end and now that person just has junk they have to feel guilty about donating later. Boo! I'd rather have a homemade cookie for Christmas than an ugly and expensive designer thing I wouldn't want or need.

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  12. Gave out thrifted christmas ornaments last night at the office christmas party, and everyone loved them. they kept asking me if i made them, and i finally told them they were "thrifted", and they all thought that was great. it doesn't need to be new, expensive; it just needs to be thoughtful.

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    1. Oh and the thrifted ornaments, great gift-giving idea!

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  13. I agree with you, Van. I would much rather get a gift I can use and/or love than something that I will need to return or end up donating because I have no use for it. The dollar amount doesn't matter; it's whether or not I'll like it. Having said all this, I have yet to have the courage to give someone a thrifted gift. For my family, that is out of the question. I wouldn't mind getting a thrifted gift, and I have gotten them from friends in the past, but giving them is another thing and depends on the recipient.

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    1. Thrifted gifts won't work for everyone, I'm lucky that with creative presentation it will work for everyone I know personally, I've known of others that it just won't do for.

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  14. This is a great discussion. I agree on so many levels with what others are saying. Thrifting, or what my friends and I call "junking," is a lifestyle for me, and all my friends and family know it. It's how, no matter what my financial circumstances have been during points in my life of financial difficulty, I have still been able to participate in gift giving at all. And, right or wrong, if it's good enough for me and my family, then it's got to be good enough for others I know and love and for whom I would buy gifts anyway. I've known people who spend more on other people's children, for example, than they do their own because they feel pressure to give more than they can afford. That takes all the fun out of gift giving, and, you know, it's supposed to a meaningful experience on both sides of the equation. Great post and ideas!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kimberly!

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  15. practically all the storage space under my bed is filled with christmas presents that I have collected throughout the year for my mum and sister from op shops. I can't wait to have that storage space again haha.

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    1. Same here exactly. Except its my closet :)

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  16. Great post! I give thrifted gifts all the time, though if asked I'll sometimes say I got them at an antique store. For some reason this seems to be a more acceptable place for non-thrifting friends and family, even though I'm sure half of the merchandise in them came from thrift stores! I'm always thoughtful though, and only give them things that I know they like or collect. It's a great way to give nice gifts when you're on a tight budget.

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    1. I can't see myself stopping with thrifted gifts anytime soon. That and consumables like food are always received.

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  17. I gave a lot of thrifted gifts this year, and they were all well-received; a stack of old Star Trek books for my trekkie daughter, another pile of Mad Magazine books for my 21 year old son, a half-dozen really cool character ties for the daughter who wears ties to work, several boho-chic necklaces for my bling-loving mother, and the piece de resistance, 3 original unopened Star Trek models for my geeky model assembling brother! Everyone loved the thoughtfulness and we had a lot of laughs about my frugality and the great prices I paid for awesome stuff!

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  18. what amazing gifts these would make!! Thanks so much to create recommendations to, you're so creative! I'll be trying this out at some aspect :-)

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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