And here are a couple of my ideas for joint presents for the girls from Charity Shop buys. First up a basket of nail varnishes.
Baskets are great Charity Shop buys, they're wonderful for pulling a present together somehow, turning a few odd bits and pieces into a mini hamper, making something that little bit more special and thoughtfully presented. And Charity Shops are a great place to find them cheaply. I was really lucky here and also found all the nail varnishes in a Charity Shop. Now it's not something I would buy second hand to give to other people usually, but I know the girls will be very happy with them and will not care that they had a previous owner - especially as they're all pretty much full, and they're the best kind of varnishes - that have a very fine 'pen' in them as well as the brush, so you can draw detail on to your nails (like ladybird spots!). Most importantly if I'd been buying them at 'new' prices then they'd have got just a small handful of colours, but at Charity Shop prices they get a huge variety of colours.
I'm not a big fan, personally, of nail varnish. It's not something I ever wear. But I can appreciate the attraction for the girls (and if it encourages Venetia to stop biting her nails even better!). What I don't appreciate is the mess it sometimes involves. Both girls have been known to sneak off quietly with a pot of nail varnish and beautify themselves, usually spilling the pungent stuff over a table or windowsill (then it might drip down a radiator too) in the process. Venetia is the worst at the moment, she likes decorating conkers with nail varnish! And it's not the easiest thing to clean up. So I sewed up a very simple, quick mat to include with the basket, so that they can do any varnishing on the mat rather than any other surface. The top is a leftover piece of wipeable, pvc type fabric (passed on to me by a friend, thank you!) and I just used some wool on the back to give it a bit of weight so it lies nice and flat.
There was enough fabric to line the bottom of the basket too.
And that's what set me off putting this present together.
There are various pots of sprinkles, some edible glitter, wafers etc. And here are a few of my favourites:
Some reusable silicone mini flowerpot muffin cases (Lakeland), along with some sugar flower decorations to 'grow'. And some good old 'pop cake' moulds and sticks (Poundland bargains!). I also 'burned' the girls' names into a couple of wooden spoons.
Combining new with pre-loved is a great way to incorporate Charity Shop buys into your gifting. And all of a sudden your gift is more special for that extra bit of thought that's gone into it.
So what do you think? Would you buy somethng at a Charity Shop to then gift? Have you already this year?
PS My friend, Emma, who works for a Charity helping the homeless, recently posted this great idea, which kind of fits in with the gifts and charity theme.
'Does anyone think they can convince their work place to ditch the normal secret Santa routine, where you end up with a present you don't really need or want, and instead all donate a pair of socks to your local homeless charity? Socks are always in great need as no one gives olds socks to charities (thankfully!) but they are always needed for client out on the streets, as keeping feet warm and dry is essential.'