Let’s talk about unique upcycled gifts! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, how many times have you heard that? How many times have you been out holiday shopping and have just been stumped on what to buy? It seriously happens to me every.darn.year! Then I find myself buying something, just to buy something and that’s just not good gift giving. Instead of buying to “check that person off your list”, buy or make something that’s been upcycled and is totally a one of a kind!
Why Unique Upcycled Gifts?
Well, why not? Ok, kind of kidding but seriously, why not give something a new life? Amazon is great, don’t get me wrong, we make good use of our Prime account but I think of Amazon like I think of Toys R Us. You’ve got to know exactly what you’re looking for when you go into that store or you’ll turn out like me. Totally overwhelmed and leave within 5 minutes or you’ll get lost and never come out. I’ve been intrigued by upcycling for years now and simply love looking at all the products people create from previously used items. I could spend hours on Etsy looking at all the unique upcycled gifts people have created. The best part about an upcycled gift, it’s truly unique!
Photo credit: Cody Bauchman – luanded.com
I learned about this first upcycler in a Facebook group I belong to. Cody had posted a photo along with her question and it totally caught my eye. Who wouldn’t love looking at these quirky, fun, cute Mon-stors every day? These Mon-stors are made from fabric that has either been salvaged from used clothing or bought at a thrift store. Check out Lu & Ed to see all her amazing Mon-stors. I can’t think of any child that wouldn’t want one of these. I only wish I had found her earlier.
Photo credit – Erin Jamieson – Raggedy Tags Customs
No sense in letting kids have all the fun! We all have articles of clothing that we’ve grown attached to over the years and just can’t bear to part with. For me, it’s a few sweatshirts from college that have holes in them and fraying sleeves. I’ve finally put them away and promised my husband I wouldn’t wear them anymore but I just can’t get rid of them. This skirt really caught my eye, mostly because a dear friend of mine is a Colorado fanatic and when I saw the C logo, I think of her. I think she would absolutely love this skirt. Talk about unique upcycled gifts, these are created and made by Erin Jamieson of Raggedy Tags Customs.
Photo credit – Stacey Jo Roe – Reed Street Studio
You may recall my post about upcycling bottle caps, if you haven’t read it, you can find it here. I thought I was so crafty and fancy, using all these bottle caps, check me out! Well, clearly I’m an amateur. A blogger friend of mine has a cousin, who has a friend, who has a mom, who has a…..no not really. My friend’s cousin, Stacey Jo Roe, is an artist and makes some amazing bottle cap art, in addition to kiln fired jewelry. Her shop is Reed Street Studio, you can find her here.
If you are in the market for some baby or toddler clothes, Joyaltee has some very unique and cute outfits for the smaller set. I love the story behind this business. Alix wanted to stay at home with her little ones so she married her love of sewing and her lifelong love of upcycling to create these outfits. She gathers her materials from previously worn garments and turns them into adorable, unique clothing for babies and toddlers.
Another website I came across in my search is Hipstyle. They have all sorts of cool upcycled products from apparel to home decor items to jewelry to bags and accessories and much more. On the main page, you can choose a material and the search returns all items containing that material. None of the materials are purchased from stores or manufacturers so all pieces are truly unique. If you’re stumped on a gift, I’m willing to bet that you’ll find a few things that will be perfect. They have a whole section just about gifts. You’re sure to find a unique upcycled gift anywhere on their page.
Homemade Upcycled Gifts
If you’re low on funds or want to make something yourself, I found a few things that you can put together in no time. I’m not much of a creator. Creative blood does not run through my veins. One thing I am pretty good out is “Pinteresting”. I could spend hours on Pinterest looking at all the upcycled things people create. I’m also good at saving old clothes and junk and sometimes, I’m even good at following directions to turn said junk into something pretty cool. So grab your box of junk and let’s upcycle together!
Upcycling Sweaters and Jeans
These Treat Bags from A Homemade Living would be great to use as gift bags for any occasion, just change up the color of the bow.
These Hand Warmers by Craftberry Bush are a great gift for any wintertime holiday. You probably already have all the supplies on hand so if it’s already cold, you won’t have to leave the house.
Mittens! Everyone always needs more mittens because they are so easily lost. This tutorial from Feathering My Nest makes it look so easy. Surely I could pull this off. I know my daughter would love to turn some of her old sweaters into mittens and give them to her friends. The other day she was watching a video on YouTube and the next thing I knew, she had made a reversible stuffed toy!
Giving wine as a gift? I love these wine bags by My Soulful Home. Made from old jeans, they look super easy to make and could be dressed up for any occasion. If you were part of a dinner club or a group like that, wouldn’t it be fun each time you met, for someone to bring a bottle of wine and the giver marks the bag somehow so you could keep track of how many times it had been reused?
If you’ve got a bunch of wine corks laying around, like I do, Rita May from May Days has an idea that can help you out. These Wine Cork Memo Strips are a fantastic gift, they are easy to make, don’t take up much space and are a fun wall decor item. I’m a huge list maker, the problem is, my lists always get misplaced. If I had a few of these placed strategically through the house, I might actually get some things accomplished!
Giving a unique gift doesn’t have to be super difficult. Gift cards are a fantastic invention, however, studies show roughly $1Billion in gift cards go unused each year. Don’t waste your money. If nothing on this list caught your eye, think about what’s important to your gift recipient. Is the recipient passionate about a particular charity? Why not give a gift that supports that charity? If they happen to love dogs or the environment, I’ve got you covered with this post about dual duty gifts.
If you don’t have all the materials on hand, take a trip to the thrift store. Surely you can find a Goodwill or secondhand shop in your neck of the woods. If you see a juicer while you’re there, could you pick it up for me? I’m in the market for one and always hear of people finding expensive small kitchen appliances at thrift stores for like pennies on the dollar.
Are you an upcycler? Do you follow directions like me or are you a creator?
I’d love to see pictures of your finished products. Post them on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram.