Second-hand (and home-made) Christmas: Part Two

Having recently talked about the second-hand Christmas ‘trimmings’ in our house I thought I would post about the pre-loved presents I have bought (and made) this year. As you may know, from other posts, I do buy second-hand gifts but only for those people whom I think would appreciate, or not care, that it is re-used. This year my charity shop gift buying has focused on my children – interspersing pre-loved gifts with new ones.

As always I have raided the bookshelves of some of the local charity shops to give a selection to the girls.IMG_9328

My twelve year old will have the Hilary McKay and Cathy Cassidy books. I’m going to introduce the Amelia Jane books to my six year old. All these books were from the same Dorothy House shop and cost just 20p each! My eight year old is really into real life mysteries so I ordered a second-hand book for her online (which hasn’t arrived yet, uh oh!).

My eldest requested a jewellery tree and I picked this one up for £2 from the local PDSA shop:


As well as second-hand presents we have been making our own to give to neighbours, teachers and school friends.

This week I helped my eight year old make these cushions for a couple of her friends:


She also made some holly leaf decorations, sewing very carefully up the spine of each leaf:


And some bath salts, using dried rosemary and lavender from the garden:


Finally we all made these very chocolatey biscuits for neighbours:


I’ve also sneaked in a couple of extra ‘home-made’ presents for my youngest two. I’ve found some great free printable paper dolls online (via pinterest). I’ve printed them on thick card and they look very adorable:

IMG_9341Of course there were other presents that I intended to make but I feel I am running out of time. There are a couple of projects I want to work on in the New Year as we have quite a few family birthdays in January and February. In the meantime the presents are wrapped (using our recycled brown parcel paper), and waiting for Christmas Day…

Do you give second-hand presents?

As an advocate of all things second-hand is it fair that I should give my friends pre-loved gifts too? I recently purchased this  book through the charity book buying site: Green Metropolis.



It was on the recommendation of blogger Silver Bells and I was delighted to find a copy to give to my friend for her birthday. We usually buy each other books and I know she’ll love the story. I had been about to buy a copy on Amazon but when Green Metropolis was recommended I decided to purchase from the site. As it mentions in the accompanying gift slip:

“Your gift was purchased from, a company dedicated to turning read books green by encouraging its members to recycle their books…”

My purchase also included a small donation to the Dogs Trust. There are a number of charities that sellers on the site can choose to donate some of their sales to.

I still feel slightly tight as the book cost less than a full price, brand new one. But my friend is  environmentally conscious and I know she will appreciate the charitable donation, and re-usability of the gift (I hope).

In the past my second-hand present buying has been limited to my daughters (a few charity shop books at Christmas) and my husband (see here for the vinyl spin on this year’s birthday present)

However I’m still unsure what the majority of my friends and family would think if I started shopping for their birthdays exclusively at second-hand shops.

Over the past few years I have bought the Oxfam Unwrapped gift cards (especially for all the 40th and 50th birthday parties I seem to be going to at the moment).  I find these are the easiest things to get when I don’t want to give the birthday boy/girl yet another unwanted ornament.

I also keep a shelf of unopened and unused presents which my daughters have received. They do get a lot of presents from family and friends and there’s only so many craft sets a child can use. Again, I feel rather mean re-gifting these but they can also solve the last minute party present crisis.


So I’m still undecided about second-hand presents. I will see what my friend’s reaction is when she opens her gift this weekend.

What about you? Do you give second-hand, or ‘re-gift’ unwanted presents?