Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Charity Shop Christmas buying

I was dithering tonight about whether or not to post this. You all know by now I love thrifting, was there anything that original or interesting that I was going to say or show? But I just did a bit of catching up on blog reading whilst dithering, and Magpie Monday over at Me and My Shadow has got me all fired up, in a good way I should add. Yes, of course I should post this! Charity Shops are amazing places to go and find inspiration for Christmas buying and that's definitely worth saying again and again. Magpie Monday makes the case brilliantly for spending some of our gift buying budgets there and has some great ideas on how to incorporate Charity Shop buys into your Christmas this year. It's definitely worth a read, I especially love the wrapping ideas and the tea cup bird feeders.

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.

 Next up, another basket, turned into a mini hamper of cake decorating goodies. As well as decorating their nails, the girls love to decorate cakes! I'm not about to tell you that the cake decorating bits and pieces were all miraculously found in a Charity Shop, but I did find 2 beautiful, bright folky aprons in one...

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.'


  1. Oh my goodness, I love those aprons!!! Just adorable. Great gift ideas my friend, I think your girls are going to love them. You know if I found the right piece for the right person I would definitely gift from the thrift shop.

    And I have to say I love your friend Emma's idea, that is wonderful, and I think would be such a lovely gesture to make. No workplace for the hubby or I, but you can bet we will pick up some socks to share this holiday season. xo

  2. I love those aprons and the baking basket - so awesome! And the nail polishes ... they'll be a huge hit!
    I adore charity shops, we have one little second hand place in our town where I get fabrics, clothing bits and bobs etc (pickings can be slim lol)
    My only sadness is that there aren't more nearby so charity shopping is a bit of a rarity. I used to love going to town with my mum (in the UK) and going to all the charity shops. It was 'our thing' I guess.
    I do use 'Trade Me' which is NZ's equivalent to Ebay for masses of stuff. My view is why pay for new if you can save 50% and get something pre-loved!

  3. Lovely ideas my teen would like the baking hamper what A fab idea. I am popping over from Magpie Monday

  4. Oh those are lovely ideas - how did you burn the girls names into the spoons - my two would get a huge kick out of having spoons with their names on but I don't have a clue how to do it - do I need something special?

  5. Yes! Thrifting is so fabulous! Says your fellow thrift addict blog friend!

  6. I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get round - hectic month here!

    I love your post so much, thanks so much for linking up.

    Your gift bundles are wonderful, I bet they went down brilliantly, I adore those aprons, their very cool!

    New Magpie Monday linky open today if you fancy joining in, would love to see you again. x


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