Reinvent your giving
Exchanging gifts may be a lot different this holiday season, like everything else. So, it’s time to get creative with your gift-giving!
In this example, an old egg carton has been repurposed as a protective little treat box for homemade chocolates or other treats, then gussied up with wrapping paper and ribbon scraps.
Fair trade products
Buying "fair trade" products helps ensure that farmers and makers around the world earn a living wage. These decorative birds made in Haiti are an example. Many area retailers carry a few fair trade products, from food to clothing to home décor. Some stores located in our area carry a fairly large selection. You can also shop from them online. Those stores include:
- Fair Trade Winds external link
- Giraffe external link
- Hands of the World external link
- PCC Natural Markets external link
- Ten Thousand Villages external link
- Theo Chocolate external link
We made this eyeglasses case from two upcycled toilet paper rolls and repurposed fabric. No sewing involved! Visit the Homework external link blog for step-by-step instructions to make your own.
Local/Global food gift basket
If you and your friends have gotten hooked on the popular Vietnamese báhn mì sandwiches like we have, this makes a fun, original and tasty gift. The many Seattle-area Vietnamese restaurants and delis that sell báhn mì sandwiches inspired this basket, which we created from local, fresh ingredients including a baguette, pickled and fresh veggies and Vietnamese sandwich meat. Think farmers markets for the veggies and a thrift store for the basket!
Keep old t-shirts and turn them into a repurposed produce bag with this tutorial from Delia Creates external link . Perfect for the farmers market lover in your family.
We found these colorful tiles at Ballard Reuse external link that make a great coaster set on their own. Just add some felt squares to each bottom corner to protect your furniture.
Want a heartfelt gift that isn't the usual picture in a frame? Use leftover tiles from a remodeling project or find them at a salvaged building material shop such as the Ballard Reuse external link . Then check out the Crunchy Betty blog external link for instructions on how to use your photo collection to transform the tiles into keepsakes.
Salvaged building material stores are also full of old knobs and pieces of molding that can be used to make coat or bag racks for friends or family. In this case, we took a piece of old fir crown molding from Second Use external link in Seattle and added an eclectic mix of cabinet and drawer knobs. It's as easy as measuring, marking, drilling the holes, then screwing each knob into place. Give the gift of organization!
Wine cork trivet
Turn leftover wine corks into trivets using wood glue.
Bake your favorite holiday treat, then try this great idea from "a thousand words" blog (external) to keep them fresh and festive. Materials include empty potato chip containers, scrap paper or fabric, and reusable ribbon.
We made these pocket hand warmers from an old fleece coat. Cut the desired shape, fill with rice and sew together. Place in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds to heat them up.
"Experience gifts" reduce waste and support local businesses. This holiday season, a great example of a practical experience gift is a gift card or certificate to a restaurant that offers take-out.
The pictured example, from the Find Joy in the Journey external link blog, is for a "Year of Dates" for your significant other. Create an envelope for every month, with each one providing an experience idea, a gift card, or a coupon to try a new activity.