Black Friday and I are not the best of friends. Maybe it stemmed from that awful, awful experience last year when I more or less lost an entire night’s worth of sleep being shuffled from fitting room line to checkout line to the next fitting room line to the next checkout line. Lines, lines, lines, people, people, people. Yuuuuuuck. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bargain. What I don’t love is my time being wasted. And let’s not lie, buyer’s remorse is a real thing… especially when you’re shelling out dollars after dollars on one single night. Friends, instead of stressing ourselves into mall madness, let’s do something different.
Let’s thrift our gifts. Yep. Let’s do our wallets and our community (and our wonderful gift recipients) some good. Thrifting gifts not only allows us to give back to some wonderful ministries and organizations, but also allows us to buy some more meaningful, unique, one of a kind finds. Some of the little things I’ve thrifted have been my friends’ and families’ favorites. Why? Because you’re not going to find these kinds of items in a department store. Vintage pieces are the definition of one of a kind. Plus, there’s something really cool about owning something that’s history is a bit of a mystery. Imagining an object’s original home, the many hands it’s passed through and what events it’s lived through just adds to the appeal.
Thrift novices, fear not. I know that walking into an unknown store filled with endless amounts of items from houseware to underwear and everything in between can be overwhelming. Questioning where to begin or what to look for is not unordinary. Take a breath. Here’s a beginners guide of just some of the amazing gifts you could give:
- Coffee Mugs & Glassware
- Frames, Embroidery Hoops & Kitchy Paintings
- Vintage Wrapping Paper
- Film Cameras
- Notebooks, Cards & Other Papergoods
- One of a Kind Accessories
- Decorative Plates
- Knick-Knacks To Spray Paint
- Jewelry Boxes
See what I mean? Everything under the sun can be thrifted and gifted. From useful to humorous, you’re sure to find something good! Some tips to remember when buying from thrift stores:
- Make sure to wash, dust and sanitize all glassware and kitchenware items, as well as earrings, just in case. Don’t run the risk of getting sick or an infection.
- Some thrift stores don’t always have bathrooms. So go before you shop or check ahead!
- Many places have special deals on a certain day of the week. Call ahead and save your wallet even more dollars and cents!
- Unless mentioned on a tag, always ask about the condition and usage of all electronic items.
- If you love the shape of a knick-knack but aren’t too keen on the colors, spray paint is your best friend! So many times I’ve found cute little bookends that just don’t do it in the color department. After spray painting them gold, I was in love.
- Try to think of items outside of their original purpose. Old pins can be repurposed into hairclips. Teapots can be made into plant holders. You get the idea!
Giving back is so important. When it comes time to do some spring cleaning, make sure to donate your goods back into the organizations you’ve been shopping in. Thrifting has slowly become one of my favorite hobbies. The thrill of finding a worn, kitchy, nearly perfect gift for as inexpensive as can be is exhilarating! Anyone else know this feeling? Any other helpful thrift tips to share with our newbies? I’d love to hear!
A special thank you to Jubilee and Blue Mountain thrift stores for allowing me to capture a few pictures their products! For central PA residents, these are two of my favorite thrift stores in the Lebanon Valley area. Not only are their stores totally affordable and stock full of vintage finds, but their stores are organized, clean and welcoming. I couldn’t recommend them more!