Holiday Gift Guide: Last Minute Gifts You Can Buy at the Thrift Shop

Posted On Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Filed Under: shopping, Thrift Stores

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t done any holiday shopping. I know, I know. Christmas is just a week away {eek!}. But you’re not totally out of luck. While the malls may be ridiculously crowded and your online delivery might not arrive on time, the thrift shop is your perfect solution for any last minute holiday gifts.

Yes, some people aren’t into thrifting and might not want clothes from the secondhand store, but we all know you can thrift way more than just clothes! Check out seven gifts you can find at your local thrift shop. I guarantee the recipient will love the uniqueness and your wallet won’t have to suffer.

Picture Frames how-to-make-a-wall-gallery-thrift-store-picture-frames

Large and/or ornate picture frames can be crazy expensive, but they’re in abundance and super affordable at thrift stores! Buy a few mismatched frames for a gallery wall or even a basic frame for the recipient who can use it in a DIY protect.

In addition to a frame, how about an actual picture? You might come across gorgeous artwork anyone would love to decorate their home with or you may find a piece of “art” that’s off the wall. It could be an 80s movie or celeb poster or anything you know the recipient would absolutely get a kick out of. One of the great things about thrift shopping is you’ll come across one-of-a-kind, quirky pieces {like this photo I recently found!} that are instant conversation starters or at least make you chuckle.



I love to read, but I thrift most of my books instead of going to an actual bookstore or ordering online. From fairly recent reads {“The Namesake”} to one of my fave pre-teen books {“The Face on the Milk Carton”} to classics from Baldwin and Morrison, I’ve thrifted more than 60 or 70 percent of the reads on my bookshelf. Buy a few books and wrap a ribbon around them for a sweet, thoughtful gift. I also like to write a nice message inside.

When’s the last time you went to the record store? I’m guessing it’s been a while. However, if you know a music head who loves vinyl, they’d so appreciate you copping a few albums for them. While some record stores up the prices in vinyl, you can find some for less than a dollar at the thrift shop. And old magazines are also a serious win! My friend found this 70s Playboy with Darine Stern, the first black woman to appear solo on the cover of the magazine. Everyone can appreciate a good blast from the past.

Glassware/Kitchen Goods

vintage-teapot-thrift-store-teapot-how-to-thrift-home-decor Whether it’s a beautiful vase or a dish set, glassware tends to be in abundance in the home decor section. I found three gorgeous wine glasses at Goodwill and I placed them around my bathroom sink to store beauty samples. Also, this summer I stumbled upon several unique tea pots that were less than $5 each. A good friend of mine loves a spot of tea, so I bought two of them for her birthday!

Lamps/ Desk Accessories/Tchotchkes
Buying furniture for someone can be personal and not to mention, expensive. But a few home decor accents are always welcome. From adorable desk accessories to a funky lamp, the thrift shop always has these gems. They’re the perfect finishing touches for someone who just recently moved into a house or apartment.


I find that even people who are skittish about thrift shopping {eww, who wants to wear someone else’s clothes!?}, tend to not be as strict with accessories. A bold necklace, earrings or watch will definitely wow them and make a serious statement without requiring you to spend a ton. I scored these earrings from the Salvation Army a few years ago and they were the best $10 I’ve spent in a while. Accessories are the absolute easiest to clean and I even have a chapter in my thrift shopping book on how to sanitize them.

Of course with any item you thrift, you want to be sure it’s in great condition, cleaned and wiped down {washing the glassware, jewelry cleaner for the accessories, etc.}. And you can get creative with how you wrap your gift. If you’re not the best at gift wrapping, check out this Buzzfeed story I recently pinned {27 Ways to Make Lazy Gift Wrapping Look Like a DIY Masterpiece}.

Have you finished all of your shopping? Do you thrift your holiday gifts? Are there certain gift-able items you always find at the thrift shop?

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