Have you ever thought about shopping at your local thrift store for gifts? It might not be the first place you think of, but I promise the thrift store (also estate sales + flea markets) is a hidden gem! I always find unique things while thrifting that would make fabulous gifts. I initially released this list in 2021 but I'm updating it this year with a few more ideas.
My two tips for gifting from the thrift store are 1.) thoroughly clean anything you find before gifting and 2.) pair your find with something that's on theme and completes the gift. For example, gift your thrifted champagne coupes with a lovely bottle of champagne.
Below are a few more examples and gift-giving inspiration.
I'm not a smoker, but I do own an extremely large collection of tapered candles. A vintage tabletop lighter is not only comes in handy but it's also a great decor piece for your coffee table. Depending on the condition of the lighter you find, it might need some repairs to get it up and working again. Your local smoke shop can help you fill the lighter fluid and a specialty repair shop like Ronson Repair can help you with anything more complicated. If you'd like, gift with a set of tapered candles.
My friend Jenny actually gifted my first vinyl record. It was for a birthday and at the time I didn't have a record player. I soon invested in one and now I'm obsess with growing my collection. My favorite place to find vinyls is an estate sale. Especially if the homeowner has a great taste in music. Presenting someones their favorite artist on vinyl is such a special gift!
Click here for a link to record player that's similar to mine.
Nostalgia is defined as a sentimental longing or affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. The gift of nostalgia really shows the recipient that you know then and were truly thinking of them when you were shopping. My Mom always talk about how she loves to play cards. She also LOVES Tiffany + Co. While I can't afford a diamond bracelet, I could swing this vintage deck of mint condition playing cards sill in their velvet blue box. Any nostalgic gift that will trigger a loving memory will be a great find!
All of my champagne coupes are from the thrift store. You can find some gorgeous glassware there, at a fraction of the retail cost. Pair your thrifted champagne flutes with a bottle of champagne, and you'll have the perfect gift for that fabulously chic woman on your list! I gifted my friend Jenna a pair of thrifted coupes years ago and she pulls them out every time I come over for a cocktail.
A Glass Dish
A decorative glass dish makes the perfect bedside catch-all and a lovely gift! A vintage ashtray is also a good option for this gift. I know, I know... just be sure to give it a good cleaning with some bleach. The detailing and intricate cut glass of old ashtrays are really nice, but any decorative glass dish will do. Pair with a statement bauble or a new piece of bling for a lovely gift for the jewelry-obsessed person on your list!
I have a marble coffee table, so coasters are a must when visiting my house. I recently discovered some glass coasters whiled on a recent thrifting trip and I don't know when I didn't get a pair sooner. Again the intricate detailing on the glass is just so pretty. Pair the coasters with a coffee table book and you have a chic and elevated gift for that book collector! If you're looking for a coffee table book idea, Supreme Actresses is great and you can get a copy here.
A Silver Tray
I LOVE a good silver tray. I have one on my dresser to organize my perfumes and makeup. Pair with a new bottle of perfume or lotion and this makes a great gift.
PRO TIP: When you find silver trays in the thrift store, they usually have a nice patina. If the gift were for my friend Leah, who appreciates a good patina, I'd leave the tray as is. If the gift were for my Mom, who wants all her silver to be new and shiny, I'd have to clean it. Click here for an easy DIY way to clean a silver tray.
Brass Candlestick Holders
Brass candlesticks are so chic! I love them and honestly, you can never have too many of them. I use them for accent pieces around the home and as part of my tablescape for dinner parties. Brass candlesticks make the perfect gift for the decor-obsessed person on your list. Pair with a set of tapered candles for a jaw-dropping response. They'll love this gift!
A Glass Decanter + Glasses
A glass decanter and a set of glasses is the perfect gift for that guy on your list that appreciates the finer things in life. Pouring your alcohol into a glass decanter is an elevated and classic way to enjoy a beverage. He can use it in his home office (Mad Men-style) or on his bar cart. Pair with a bottle of his favorite dark liquor for the perfect gift.
An Evening Handbag
The thrift store is the perfect place to score a vintage evening bag. We all love purses, but how often do we buy ourselves going-out bags? PRO TIP: When thrifting for evening purses, just make sure all the beading is secure and intact and that the lining inside the purse is still in good shape. Pair with a fabulous shade of lipstick (preferably red) and you have the perfect gift for that party girl on your list!
A Pretty Planter or Vase
This is the perfect gift for the plant queen (or king) on your list! I often run into these silver planter/ vases at the thrift store. (BTW, they also make nice champagne buckets.) Pair these with a leafy plant and you're all set. PRO TIP: Since there are no holes in a planter like this, be sure to include a plastic drain bowl to catch the water. Even if you can't find one just like this, a planter or vase paired with a plant or bouquet makes a great gift. They'll think of you every time they water their plant!
A Decorative Dish
A decorative dish paired with yummy smelling soap is the perfect gift for that homebody on your list. You know that friend that loves to make her home super cozy and they have all the smell-good lotions and soaps for you to use in the guest bathroom. The blue and white dishes are the most popular, but these mini plates come in various patterns and designs. Just be sure to find something you think will fit their aesthetic. Like the glass dishes, these also make great bedside catch-alls.
Copper cookware is the covenant equipment for those who like to cook (...or so I'm told). Copper cookware can be pretty pricey. A copper colander is a great way to contribute to the collection for the chef on your list. I always see copper colanders while out thrifting. Even if you're not the best cook, we're always straining or washing something and the copper is really pretty. Gift it with some pasta and hopefully, they'll invite you over for the next night they make carbonara! YUM!!!
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