In these tough economic times, many people decide to cut back on gift giving, be it for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. Cutting back does not need to mean disappointing,  as you can do some very creative gift giving that will impress and delight and no one would feel slighted.

Garage sales, estate sales, and yard sales are excellent places to find not only unique gifts, but unique gift presentations as well.   All it takes is a little bit of creativity and thought, and you would be amazed at your finds and your recipient will be impressed with how clever and personalized your gifts are.

With several holidays and event times approaching,  such as  Father’s Day, Graduation, etc. here are some ideas and insight into how you can take recycled items and dazzle and delight friends and loved ones with your wit and style by shopping  garage sale style. Plus you will be contributing to the health of the earth by recycling and gifting green.

Think about the person you want to give a gift to. Make a list of things that interest them, be it sports, politics, travel, movies, gardening, history, cars, , etc.  Be as specific as you can in your list.  You may have three items on the list and you may have ten.  Take the list with you.  Now, attend a garage sale or two or three.  Look for related items to things on the list. Let me give you an example.  Let’s suppose your gift recipient is an avid fly fisherman, loves baseball and enjoys planting flowers.   Be on the lookout for anything to do with fish, maybe some feathers that could adorn a package , fish vases or plates,  books on fishing, fish mugs or cups, etc .    For baseball, you may find an antique baseball mitt, a baseball, caps, items with baseballs on them, books on baseball, etc.  For gardening, you can look for gardening tools, gloves, watering cans,  books on gardening, etc.   When you have sourced some items, you can look for a large basket. There are baskets at almost every garage sale I have attended and they make for wonderful gift presentations, especially when you have multiple smaller items.  Get some fancy tissue paper and put it in the basket with your assorted goodies.

Or if you have some larger items, find a great old trunk at a sale, and put some gifts in there. Another way to go is to find a small item or two as a token gift and use a gift certificate or tickets to an event and package them in an interesting way.  For example, place baseball tickets inside a baseball mitt or in a basket.  Place a garden shop gift certificate inside a unique planter found at a sale or in a watering can adorned with a bow.

I often see a large array of old-fashioned tins at many a garage sale.  These make great containers for gifting as well.   You can bake or buy sweets and present them in the tin or gather a small item or two of interest from the list and present them in the tin with tissue paper, garnished with a bow.

For a romantic gift, look for anything with hearts on them and then use your creativity and the list to fashion together a romantic gift.   Baskets are also wonderful displays for romantic gifts.  There are often beautiful crystal, stem wear and other such items at garage sales. What a lovely gift to have two beautiful crystal champagne glasses, a bottle of Champagne and an invitation to a favorite restaurant in a lovely basket adorned with a nice bow.  Or place some body lotions in a basket, along with a certificate that you make yourself that entitles your honey to a massage given by you? Or, if you are not as adventurous, give a massage, facial, manicure or other gift certificate packaged in a lovely antique box, tin, tray or other type of container usually seen in great supply at garage sales.

For a more sentimental gift, scout for interesting picture or painting frames and make a collage of photographs of your Dad’s favorite things.  With gifting, it is really the thought that counts, not the dollars spent.

So, gift, recycle, have fun, make merry! Happy saling! You can find more information about all things garage sale at