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I thrifted all my Christmas décor and this is what happened

I thrifted all my Christmas décor and this is what happened

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I drew up a thrifting plan for Christmas, where everything except the food is pre-loved.

I drew up a thrifting plan for Christmas, where everything except the food is pre-loved.

I thrifted all my Christmas décor and this is what happened
Thrifting isn’t just an activity, it’s a state of mind. Like a photographer learning to see things through an imaginary lens, the thrifter has well-trained eyes, always finding an opportunity to purchase second-hand treasures.

December being a time of year that really embodies modern consumption, it got me thinking about how I could do Christmas differently this year. I do my best to reduce my carbon footprint where I can, but for years I’ve thought that the Christmas rush was unavoidably wasteful – new things being bought, and much of them being thrown away afterwards. But what if it didn’t have to be this way?

So I drew up a thrifting plan for Christmas, where everything except the food is pre-loved.

The Tree

I have been looking for the perfect tree for months. Every time I drive anywhere I keep my eyes peeled for potential candidates. Truth be told, I keep some gardening gloves in the car “just in case”.  

Luckily December is the time of year when the Agave trees have already made their flowers, which are now dried and would otherwise become garden waste. When I finally spotted the perfect specimen, my husband, an unsuspecting get-away driver, helped with my midnight haul (no bushes were harmed during my Christmas tree retrieval).

If you don’t live in Africa or Mexico, don’t fear, there are so many other natural options to choose from, such as driftwood and fallen forest branches. The best bit is that all of these can be turned into ash or compost and there is no need to store them. Just find a new version in 2021!

For the stand, I used an old enamel bucket filled with sand. This provides a sturdy base and the sand can be added to your garden when the festive season is over.

The Décor

Top of my list for things I definitely don’t need to purchase new – decorations! Over the last month I have curated a wee collection of tree ornaments from everywhere. To avoid my curation looking like a fruit salad, I gave myself some rules: baubles only (no tinsel or garlands) and I must stick to particular colours. My preference was blue and gold (like the complementary green and red combo, but less traditional).

I found an assortment of lovely vintage ornaments from Facebook Marketplace, friends and family (I asked if they were throwing any out), car boot sales, and charity stores.

I have many (many) empty jars and bottles that I’ve collected over the years. The smaller ones I’ve repurposed as hanging vases for the Agave tree. No need to purchase fresh blooms either as I “shopped” my garden for anything that could go into them.

The Table

I begged, borrowed, thrifted and foraged my table décor. Morning dog walks are accompanied by a pair of scissors. I stop to cut dried grasses, paying careful attention to only harvest those that have already seeded themselves.

Forget buying special centrepieces. I did a “treasure hunt” around my own home. I have a collection of glass and ceramic vessels for the dog-walking foraged blooms. I find that what works best for curating a centrepiece is a collection of vases or vessels that are similar in colour, thereby telling a cohesive aesthetic story. I chose clear glass, off-white ceramics, and brass, which all work well with the dried blond grasses I foraged and the table linen I borrowed from my mom.

For place settings I used vintage forks to display monogrammed place cards.

The Gifts

Thrifted – I have discovered more than a handful of thrifting accounts on Instagram – and the list is forever growing. What I love is that each piece from the sellers is essentially one of a kind and, by making a purchase, you are supporting a small local business as well as reducing your consumption.

How to find thrifting accounts on Instagram: Ask friends for referrals. Try searching for one or two of these accounts and click on the dropdown arrow on these pages (it’s just under the profile information) to find similar accounts. Searching hashtags like #thrifted #secondhand #sustainablehomedecor will also lead you to some gems.

Handmade – To avoid adding clutter and “things” to someone else’s home, I’m going to make some edible or useful gifts where I don’t think something thrifted is fitting.

My thrifty gift ideas:

• Seeds collected from my garden over the last 12 months

• Home-made bath salts

• Home-made linen spray

• Custom-made loose leaf herbal tea blend

• Handmade truffles (they aren’t as hard to make as you think!)

• Custom pick ‘n mix blend of gummy sweets

Wrapping

Probably one of the most wasteful parts of Christmas is wrapping paper. It’s single purpose and (most of the time) cannot be recycled. I’m using various things I have at hand at home.

• An old sheet, washed and tie dyed, cut into the appropriate size

• Handwoven dishcloths from a local producer

• Thrifted bandanas and scarves

• Vintage kitchen tins

• Fabric from the needlework drawer

• Vintage table cloths, tray liners or napkins

• Thrifted glass or ceramic jars

Wishing you a very thrifty Christmas

It is both possible and pretty to thrift your Christmas story. Pick just one part of your traditions to thrift as a start; you’ll be surprised how this will open your eyes to more areas where you can shop pre-loved.

Thrifting isn’t just an activity, it’s a state of mind. Like a photographer learning to see things through an imaginary lens, the thrifter has well-trained eyes, always finding an opportunity to purchase second-hand treasures.

December being a time of year that really embodies modern consumption, it got me thinking about how I could do Christmas differently this year. I do my best to reduce my carbon footprint where I can, but for years I’ve thought that the Christmas rush was unavoidably wasteful – new things being bought, and much of them being thrown away afterwards. But what if it didn’t have to be this way?

So I drew up a thrifting plan for Christmas, where everything except the food is pre-loved.

The Tree

I have been looking for the perfect tree for months. Every time I drive anywhere I keep my eyes peeled for potential candidates. Truth be told, I keep some gardening gloves in the car “just in case”.  

Luckily December is the time of year when the Agave trees have already made their flowers, which are now dried and would otherwise become garden waste. When I finally spotted the perfect specimen, my husband, an unsuspecting get-away driver, helped with my midnight haul (no bushes were harmed during my Christmas tree retrieval).

If you don’t live in Africa or Mexico, don’t fear, there are so many other natural options to choose from, such as driftwood and fallen forest branches. The best bit is that all of these can be turned into ash or compost and there is no need to store them. Just find a new version in 2021!

For the stand, I used an old enamel bucket filled with sand. This provides a sturdy base and the sand can be added to your garden when the festive season is over.

The Décor

Top of my list for things I definitely don’t need to purchase new – decorations! Over the last month I have curated a wee collection of tree ornaments from everywhere. To avoid my curation looking like a fruit salad, I gave myself some rules: baubles only (no tinsel or garlands) and I must stick to particular colours. My preference was blue and gold (like the complementary green and red combo, but less traditional).

I found an assortment of lovely vintage ornaments from Facebook Marketplace, friends and family (I asked if they were throwing any out), car boot sales, and charity stores.

I have many (many) empty jars and bottles that I’ve collected over the years. The smaller ones I’ve repurposed as hanging vases for the Agave tree. No need to purchase fresh blooms either as I “shopped” my garden for anything that could go into them.

The Table

I begged, borrowed, thrifted and foraged my table décor. Morning dog walks are accompanied by a pair of scissors. I stop to cut dried grasses, paying careful attention to only harvest those that have already seeded themselves.

Forget buying special centrepieces. I did a “treasure hunt” around my own home. I have a collection of glass and ceramic vessels for the dog-walking foraged blooms. I find that what works best for curating a centrepiece is a collection of vases or vessels that are similar in colour, thereby telling a cohesive aesthetic story. I chose clear glass, off-white ceramics, and brass, which all work well with the dried blond grasses I foraged and the table linen I borrowed from my mom.

For place settings I used vintage forks to display monogrammed place cards.

The Gifts

Thrifted – I have discovered more than a handful of thrifting accounts on Instagram – and the list is forever growing. What I love is that each piece from the sellers is essentially one of a kind and, by making a purchase, you are supporting a small local business as well as reducing your consumption.

How to find thrifting accounts on Instagram: Ask friends for referrals. Try searching for one or two of these accounts and click on the dropdown arrow on these pages (it’s just under the profile information) to find similar accounts. Searching hashtags like #thrifted #secondhand #sustainablehomedecor will also lead you to some gems.

Handmade – To avoid adding clutter and “things” to someone else’s home, I’m going to make some edible or useful gifts where I don’t think something thrifted is fitting.

My thrifty gift ideas:

• Seeds collected from my garden over the last 12 months

• Home-made bath salts

• Home-made linen spray

• Custom-made loose leaf herbal tea blend

• Handmade truffles (they aren’t as hard to make as you think!)

• Custom pick ‘n mix blend of gummy sweets

Wrapping

Probably one of the most wasteful parts of Christmas is wrapping paper. It’s single purpose and (most of the time) cannot be recycled. I’m using various things I have at hand at home.

• An old sheet, washed and tie dyed, cut into the appropriate size

• Handwoven dishcloths from a local producer

• Thrifted bandanas and scarves

• Vintage kitchen tins

• Fabric from the needlework drawer

• Vintage table cloths, tray liners or napkins

• Thrifted glass or ceramic jars

Wishing you a very thrifty Christmas

It is both possible and pretty to thrift your Christmas story. Pick just one part of your traditions to thrift as a start; you’ll be surprised how this will open your eyes to more areas where you can shop pre-loved.

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