Bristol Saint Vintage: November 2014

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Top Tips On How to Shop Vintage and Secondhand This Christmas

Christmas is so EXCITING! Yay! Family time, no work and presents! But lets face it, it can be a little daunting and expensive to lavish friends and family with amazing gifts-
Why not step away from the high street and try a different approach? 
Shopping vintage, secondhand and handmade can be cheaper, more fun and will force you to put a little more thought into the person you're buying for!

Here are my top tips for shopping vintage, secondhand and handmade this Christmas -

 Start early

Picture credit
Now I don't mean starting in January here, but you probably wont get away with a last minute shop (all those who do all their shopping on Christmas Eve...SORRY not this year!) 
Starting now (in mid November) is perfect but obviously the earlier the better even if it's just gathering ideas.

Pinterest is your new best friend

If you're not on Pinterest, I would definitely recommend it! If you're not familiar, it's an amazing site for gathering images, tutorials and products on the net and 'pinning' them onto different 'boards'. You could easily create a board for each friend or relative to keep it all separate. You also have the option of making your boards public or private, so no worries about spoiling surprises!
A word of warning though, it gets VERY addictive!

Window Shop

It's definitely an occupational hazard of mine (and a perk, of course!) but I'm always drawn to Charity Shops, Car boots and anywhere where I might find that perfect........something! In the coming weeks, make stopping in the charity shops, part of your routine. Most charity shops bring in new stock every week and some even have their own vintage sections! You'll be surprised at what people donate. I've found some beautiful things over the past few years and you're also supporting good causes. 

If you're looking for something really specific, I'd head to Ebay. They now have the option to sign up for email notifications if something you're looking for gets listed, meaning you wont miss out!

Christmas Jumpers in the Bristol Saint Vintage online shop
If you're looking for a specific vintage or second hand clothing item (or just want some ideas), then head straight to ASOS Marketplace, the main women's and men's pages have some great edits that have been put together by the ASOS team. A lot of items also have the 'Make an Offer' function, so you can even haggle a bit! (Head to the Bristol Saint Vintage boutique here)
(Whilst you're shopping add any favourite items to your pinterest boards by clicking the 'p' symbol - making it super easy to find them again later)

Get creative!

Receiving a handmade gift can be so special! The amazing thing too, is that most of the time it's way cheaper but shh! don't tell...
This is where Pinterest comes into play again. Have a look through all those tutorials you pinned and pick something you feel confident with.

Our favourite handmade ideas

Your charity shop finds could be reworked, upcycled or altered (i'm pretty sure all these words mean the same thing!). For example a vintage teacup set could be turned into a candle, chocolate gift set or even a bird feeder a la Bristol based Cait Makes (or if you don't feel like making it yourself, head here to the Cait Makes facebook page)

Maybe you found a nice piece of clothing but it needs altering or some embellishments? Even if you have no sewing skills whatsoever, how about using some transfer paper to print a picture or slogan onto a top or a pillow case? That's the best part about it; you can find something to match your ability!
If you're more of a food lover, why not make Homemade Christmas cookies, a gingerbread house and my favourite (and easiest) 'Brownie in a Jar' or indeed anything in a jar! Check out this article for '51 ideas for Christmas gifts in a jar' haha!

And of course what's not to love about giving someone some handmade infused alcohol in a gorgeous bottle or jar with a handwritten tag?  Some amazing ideas i've come across are - 

(click for a tutorial)
Vanilla Bean Vodka (both pictured)

Basically just any flavour and any alcohol, have a go!
Want something non-alcoholic? How about Hot Spiced Apple Juice or Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
(Remember you'll need at least a couple of days for the ingredients to infuse or more depending on the recipe)

Last but not least....

As always, keep your receipts and order slips where you can. Unless you've completely reworked it or made it, it's always a great idea to do this, just incase it breaks or doesn't fit. Yes even charity shops allow returns, but make sure you check when you buy it for the individual stores' return policy :)

So good luck! I'd love to see any pictures of any gifts you've made or bought secondhand/vintage - comment below!