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Thrifted Christmas Gift Ideas Your Friends will Love

As promised today I’m sharing some thrifted Christmas gift ideas for your friends & family!

I mentioned last month in my post about styling thrifted Christmas decor that I also had some creative ways to use thrifted items as gifts for your friends and family, and today is the day!

I’m going to show you a few gifts I’ve gathered up for this year, and share some of my general tips for what to keep an eye out for when you’re out thrifting!

I think being gift-minded and attentive all year long really pays off when it comes to this time of the year and you’re in the home-stretch before Christmas arrives and it’s time to exchange gifts.

Who Are These Gifts For?:

These types of assembled gifts might not work as well for those in your immediate family who often have needs or requests for specific items, but they’re great for other people that surround you such as your:

  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Teachers
  • Cousins
  • Parents

Think of thrifted Christmas gift hunting as a treasure hunt of sorts!

You never know what exactly you’ll find, but if you keep the people in mind that you would like to gift to, and their hobbies and likes, you’ll be amazed what you can find over the course of the year to group together into a valuable gift that is sure to bring them joy.

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

Where do I find these treasures?:

Not all of my thrifted treasures come from thrifting; some are from discount stores, some are bought at retail with coupons, some from garage sales or antique malls. It’s the combination of items from these places that seems to work the best!

Knowing that you can upcycle some items, and group things together with other pieces will help make a great gift out of what was originally very simple individual pieces.

Thrifted Christmas Gift Idea Tips:

Before I jump into the specific gifts I gathered up, I wanted to share a few general rules about the best way to group together gifts from thrifted items.

| Keep your recipient in mind. Knowing things about them including their hobbies and passions makes it easy to assemble a gift that they’ll love.

| Choose a theme or genre for your gift and group together like items to make it cohesive.

| Pick a color theme and stick with it.

| Wrap and/or present the gift in a beautiful way.

Now Let’s hop to the items I found and how I grouped and wrapped them!

This Year’s Thrifted Christmas Gifts:

I found a lovely set of wintery pine cone mugs at an antique store in Snohomish Washington during my Behind the Scenes Decor Group meet up last month, and both this great $3 bag of Christmas Festival Tea and this metal tin of European cookies for $2 at a discount grocery store near my home.

I grouped all of those together for a warm and cozy winter snack box for my Sister in law and Brother in law.

I got this cute knit hat for around $2 at a yard sale, and decided to use a pom-pom I had on hand still from last year’s DIY Pom-Pom Garland to add a cute detail at the top. It only took a few minutes to sew it on.

I also had a bag of hand-me-down jingle bells from my Mother in law that I upcycled into a cute DIY rattle wreath to make a grouped gift for my 1 yr old niece.

I simply strung the bells onto some 18 gauge dark green floral wire I had already, and looped and twisted the ends together to secure it. I hid the ends as best as possible against the wire itself, and then secured it with multiple layers of ribbon as well to cover the spot as well as add some cute charm.

With supervision this will be a great sensory toy for my niece!

These crocheted doilies were $3, and I personally love using them as dish cloths! They’re much prettier than most of the alternatives, and they have decent abrasion for getting a good clean.

I grouped them together with a bottle of Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Concentrate cleaner. I use this same concentrate, but in the lavender scent and a large jar like this can last me a few years! I chose this geranium scent because it reminds me of my mom (it’s the scent she used to use), and the color also looked lovely with the dish cloths.

This gift will be for my sister in law who is working on setting up a new home.

Next I found this “heirloom tomato” soy candle that smells exactly like its name for $5 at the thrift store. It was originally wrapped in cyclophane with raffia to hold it closed, but that look seemed a bit dated for me. I decided to remove that before gifting it to my father in law.

He was a great gardener and has not been able to do as much lately due to his health. I hope this smell brings him some great memories of his own wonderful tomatoes!

In addition to the candle, I included this neat vintage can label that I got for $8 at the antique store during my Snohomish trip. He also likes antiques, so this is what I call the “vintage garden” gift.

Next I found some pieces (styrofoam stones covered in faux moss and a carpet square cut in the shape of a pond) that inspired me to re-create a gift that we received when my children were young. We called it our “Habitat Box” and it was a one of our favorite gifts for over a decade! I’m excited to be able to gift a similar one to my own nieces and nephew.

The habitat box is a plastic lidded bin that includes plastic animals, and various nature inspired pieces to be used for building fun homes and play spaces for the animals.

I found a $10 bag of animals, and grouped that together with the faux moss stones, glass gems and smooth sea glass, some tiny wooden rounds, and holiday picks that were on clearance at Joanns for trees and bushes.

You can let your own imagination run wild as you pick out the elements for children to enjoy, and you can opt between realistic and over the top imaginary and fun. Land animals or water animals, forest or meadow. No matter what you come up with, it’s SURE to be a slam dunk, just like it was in our home.

My next discoveries were some pieces to put together for my 10 year old niece.

The first was a $3 pack of stationery/scrap book papers in beautiful designs that remind me of Miss mustard Seed. I think my niece will enjoy using these for writing notes. I tied the bundle together with a beautiful scarlet red ribbon.

I also found this cute Pier 1 picture frame that was originally $12 for $5 at goodwill. I printed a picture of my niece with my daughter from my daughter’s graduation party this summer to put in the frame.

I also found this cheerful little snowman ornament that reminded me of her. When she was little she used to love singing the songs from “Frozen” (incorrectly, I might add, but in the very cutest way) while in the back of my car, so this reminded me of her. I’m going to use it to tie to the ribbon on top of her present.

Another grouped gift I pulled together is for a good friend of mine who is an excellent gardener!

I found this brand new garden journal for only $1 at a garage sale (they retail for $20), and grouped it together with another lovely can label art piece.

I added a cute scrolled taper candle that I found for $1 that also reminded me of her, because she often lends me her brass candle stick holders for parties and events!

I topped the present off with a cute sprig of faux flowers and tied it all together with about four passes of bakers twine.

I always suggest doing multiple passes and spreading them out to help make them look more substantial.

And the last gift for today is this darling rolling pin I found for $3!

I’m going to group it together with some homemade DIY Gingerbread scented playdough. I found the recipe here from Sweet Sugar Belle.

This will be a gift for another niece and nephew. I used this same DIY playdough for a similar gift before that I assembled with some fun vintage cookie cutters.

Final Christmas Gift Tip:

My last tip for this week is to get a large roll, or rolls of coordinating paper to use for your whole family. (Whether you need one or many depends on the size of your family and gift volume.)

I’ve found that by picking paper I love, and making sure we have enough on hand for when my kids need to do their own wrapping, it helps keep the look under the tree cohesive and intentional.

Earlier this year I found this large roll of beautiful plaid paper in the free box at a garage sale, and it has become this year’s standard.

I also got these cute wreaths decals for just $0.25 that I hot glued onto my white gift tags for an extra vintage touch.

I hope these tips and examples have been helpful for you as you finish up your own Christmas gifting this holiday season!

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