How was your weekend? I took off a little early last Friday and kicked off mine with some thrift shopping. It had been awhile since I had ducked into my favorite stores. I especially love thrifting this time of year because it’s the season of giving, gathering, and entertaining! It’s a fun & inexpensive way to cross things off the list. Whether you’re hosting and need additional glassware or serveware, are setting a tablescape, or are looking for unique gift ideas, I wanted to share some of my go-to holiday thrifting items with you. Click through for some tips & tricks, and to see what I typically hunt for during the month of December, when it comes to thrift shopping!
I always keep my eyes peeled for very specific things this time of year. I’m typically looking for either entertaining items or unique gifts. If I’m hosting, I’ll jot down a list of quantities needed and what type of items I need to fill in any gaps I may have when entertaining or serving dinner. For example, a few years back- I decided to serve festive cocktails and was hosting quite a few friends for the holidays. Rather than buying cheap plastic cups, I really had my heart set on glassware I could use year-after-year. I wanted all of my glassware to match and stumbled across 20+ matching coupes that were perfect for our party. I snagged the entire set for under $15! I never would have had the budget to buy 20 nice cocktail glasses, had I not found them thrifting.
If you’re hosting, gathering, or gifting this season (and need a fun excuse to go thrift shopping), I hope these lists are fun and helpful in brainstorming practical & beautiful things that may come in handy and save you money!
HOSTING & ENTERTAINING ITEMS
- Place Settings (Dishes, Plates, Flatware, Chargers, etc)
- Vintage Silver
- Vases or Pedestals for Centerpieces
- Holiday or Seasonal Decor
- Cloth or Cocktail Napkins
- Vintage Ribbon
- Candleholders & Taper Candles
During one of my previous thrift trips, I stumbled upon an entire cabinet filled with vintage silver (pictured above). These are the types of heirloom items that would be perfect for a fancy holiday dinner or tablescape! They just need a little polish and love. Let’s move onto thrifted gift ideas…
THRIFTED GIFT IDEAS
- Vintage Artwork
- Marble Objects
- A Vintage Vase Filled with Florals
- Glassware Sets
- Copper Pots & Pans
- Vintage Rolling Pins or Baking Items
- Fashion Items- like Vintage Bags & Jewelry
- Unique Books
- A Vintage Frame with a Favorite Photo
- Interesting Decor Objects (Sculptural Busts, Magnifying Glass, Ginger Jar, etc)
When it comes to thrifting gifts, keep in mind what feels special or personal to the recipient. For example, the book above ticked all the boxes for me… it’s linen bound, has beautiful embossed gold leaf typography, is in great condition, and the subject matter is perfect for my friend, Laurie Anne, who is an artist that resides in Phoenix. It’s a book she would really appreciate it and I bought it with her mind.
Often times I’ll find something that sparks a pair or a set… something old and something new. One year I found a beautiful coffee mug set and paired it with a bag of local sipping chocolate. That turned out to be a really thoughtful & appreciated gift- and it cost me less than $20. Sometimes the creativity of thrifting for gifts helps to spark ideas in general. Just go into the store without an agenda and see what feels inspiring! Of course, striking out is bound to happen at times, but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and it always seems like well-spent “me time”- even during the hustle & bustle of the holidays. It’s a fun challenge and a chance to escape my everyday routine.
Ready to see some holiday finds I spied during my thrifting trip a few days ago? Here are a few examples if you’re hosting! These hand-painted crimson bordered plates would be ideal for a holiday tablescape. There were a TON of them, too… so if I were hosting a large group, I definitely would’ve snagged these.
Glassware gets me every time. These martini glasses were heavy, had beautiful seasonal etchings on them, and there was a full set of eight. At seventy-five cents per glass, that is such a great deal! This was at my local DI (which is Utah’s equivalent to Goodwill).
I also look for place settings and serveware I can use for multiple occasions, holidays, or set at the table year round. I found some gold rimmed dishes that felt extra classic & special- in a variety of sizes.
I think it goes without saying, you have to look past the grime sometimes. In many situations, it can be a major turnoff, but after running these through the dishwasher- they’d look really gorgeous and bright.
Do you enjoy thrifting during the holiday season? I know it’s a busy (and sometimes stressful) time of year, so I feel like most people either love or hate it during the holiday season. For me, it has always been a good reminder to slow down, take a break, and do something I enjoy, despite the busy season. I always try to find a couple thrifted gifts or entertaining items each December. What is your most prized thrifted holiday decor, entertaining item, or gift you’ve given? I think mine is still my beautiful deer (see them in this post)! I’ve yet to top those. I found an EXACT matching pair over the weekend, and my sister snagged them! It’s kind of fun that we have matching sets now. Here’s to a lovely week ahead!
PeggiDecember 6, 2021 at 4:49 am
Good morning! How wonderful that you squeezed in some fun during such a busy time! You know thrifting is one of my favorite pastimes. All of my dishes, serving pieces, glassware and flatware…everything for entertaining is thrifted. For this year’s Thanksgiving table, I scored a large set of crystal water and wine goblets (35 in total!) for $12 and a dozen crisp white napkins for less than a dollar each. I also have a set of 8 solid brass chargers still tissue-wrapped in their Macy’s box. This time of year I seem to have luck finding vintage candles and ribbon. I recently grabbed two pairs of beautiful green bayberry tapers in original packaging. And what’s better than finding a perfectly unique vintage gift? You’ve just got to have an open mind…and keep your eyes peeled all year! Speaking of gifts (to myself!🤣) my Tuesday Made box arrived SO quickly! Every item is amazing and was expertly packed. Thank you! Here’s to a great week! (I think we have snow in the forecast…🥶😕)
SarahDecember 6, 2021 at 7:24 pm
Hi Peggi! It was such a fun Friday afternoon. I’m tempted to make it a weekly ritual. Haha! I’ve been on the hunt for books, baskets, and accessories to fill the built-ins in my home office (exciting!!). I LOVE that everything you have for entertaining is thrifted. That’s the dream! Crystal water and wine goblets?! Those sound amazing. The glassware section is always my favorite. I’m jealous of your chargers. I bet those are gorgeous! I was actually hunting for candles and didn’t find a single one, but usually that’s how it goes… whatever that specific item is, it never shows up when you need it most. Lol! I can’t complain though- I came home with some cool finds. I love hearing that your Tuesday Made package arrived safely to you! YAY! Thank you again for being such a great friend and for supporting my little shop :) I appreciate you!! Bring on the snow. We’re ready over here- especially the dogs. Woohoo! Have a great week. xox
KariDecember 6, 2021 at 11:31 am
I enjoy thrifting year round. And it helps to be specific- and to be open eyed as well, I keep a list of wants in my phone, as well as the number and dimensions of Candlewick crystal I inherited from my MIL, so I can add to their diminished number. I received more water glasses last Christmas and just found 2 coupes last week. Happy Hunting!
SarahDecember 6, 2021 at 7:20 pm
Me too, Kari! Such a great tip to keep helpful measurements and info on your phone. I try to do that, too! Glassware is always my favorite section :) It sounds like you’ve been lucky in that department lately as well! Have a happy holiday season! xo
Danna LDecember 6, 2021 at 12:32 pm
Sarah your thrifting skills and luck are so good! I enjoy seeing what you find. I would love the gold plates. Laurie Ann will love the book. I like your idea of thrifting for unique gifts. I’ve only thrifted for myself.
I am actually looking for a silver champagne bucket like I have for my mom. She has wanted one for awhile.
Speaking of hosting and entertaining. I did not realize until the day before Thanksgiving that we only had 4 salad plates. Needless to say, I made a quick purchase the day after to get another set.
Now that I have more time on my hands, I have stopped in a few thrift stores in a couple of little towns near me. My recent score was a brass gallery picture light. I cannot wait for my mom to take it to an electrical store have it rewired for me.
Hope you weekend was relaxing with all the busy things going on. I am in frantic mode trying to finish up our holiday cards. I am so proud of myself when we get the pictures done but the cards itself can be so frustrating. Hugs dear friend.
SarahDecember 6, 2021 at 7:19 pm
Thank you, Danna! It was nice to take off a little early last week and go shopping. I enjoyed it :) What an amazing gift idea… the silver champagne bucket. If I come across one in my area, I’ll let you know! I would gladly ship it to you if I can find one. I’ve seen so many people create beautiful floral arrangements in the vintage champagne buckets- which is a lovely idea! It’s funny how when we’re hosting, we quickly realize what we don’t have or need. I had the same thing happen to me this Thanksgiving. I realized we never bought a gravy boat. I’m going to try to thrift one before Christmas. I love that you’ve been thrifting more recently- that’s so fun! You’ll have to send photos once you have it installed someday. I’d love to see! We just took our holiday photo for our cards over the weekend, so my cards are definitely going to be late this year. I feel like I’ve been running around frantic, as well. Haha! Hang in there and have a great week! xox
Leah BlackDecember 7, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Sarah, my husband and I are building a house and we love your kitchen cabinets! Do you happen to know what the paint color is?
SarahDecember 7, 2021 at 6:40 pm
Thanks so much, Leah! You can find the info in this blog post:
BrittanyDecember 8, 2021 at 7:21 am
Loved this post! You’ve got me wanting to do some holiday thrifting. I recently bought 2 gorgeous frames for $6 total at my local Restore. I haven’t replaced the art yet, but I think I will hang them up anyway!
SarahDecember 8, 2021 at 5:58 pm
I vote yes to holiday thrifting! Happy hunting, Brittany :) Your frames sound amazing!
DawnDecember 15, 2021 at 3:58 pm
I enjoy thrifting all year. It’s not an addiction. Well, maybe it is. :) I need to get better about gifting my finds! There are things I leave in the thrift store because I don’t have space that would make great gifts for someone else.
SarahDecember 15, 2021 at 8:20 pm
Me too, Dawn! I love thrifting gifts :) Happy holidays!