Vintage Gift Ideas

This is the worst time of year for the constant bombardment of ads on TV, online, pretty much everywhere to spend all your hard earned cash, mostly on the large brands and chain stores in the high street. However, buying vintage is often cheaper, and it’s the uniqueness of the gift that I think makes it that much more special and thoughtful.

Over the years, we’ve bought many a vintage gift for friends and family including an enamel Lyons Cakes sign (like the one we currently have for sale), although as it was a few years ago now, it was an absolute bargain. We’ve bought TG Green Cornishware for a collector in the family, other kitchenalia, vintage pictures and posters, the list goes on.

Here are some more ideas:

Filling old jars with sweets or chocolates (or even just dressing up a jam jar). I did this for my nephews a couple of years ago. The jar can then be reused for storing other items or to use again in the kitchen.

Making lavender bags with vintage material. Last year I did this with some samples from a local fabric shop, but bought some vintage brooches to pin to them to make them more special as below.


Vintage or secondhand books – if they’re in good condition, why not buy vintage or secondhand. Abebooks is a good source for second hand books.

Framing pictures – we’ve often found friends and family have old pictures or photos that have never been framed. Framing can be expensive, particularly if the picture is large, but you can buy ready made frames quite easily and source vintage picture frames in junk or antique shops. This is a vintage print we’ve had framed, that we’re giving to our niece, aptly named Iris.

vintage picture

Vintage glassware/china – decanters, glasses, old soda siphons are easily found and accompanied with a favourite tipple, can make a lovely gift. The same can be said for vintage tea and coffee pots, cups and mugs, accompanied with some loose tea or ground coffee. One of my best bargains has been a vintage Poole Pottery coffee pot found at a car boot sale for £1, it’s in great condition and matches some other Poole pottery I have. A coffee pot like this would make a great gift, as below.


The list is endless really, and as big as your imagination! There are plenty of vintage fairs on at this time of year, and if you really don’t have time to get out, try online, on Ebay or Etsy.

For other ideas, particularly on upcycling items for gifts, this post on Nigel’s Eco Store will also give you some ideas: Fill your house for free: Max McMurdo’s top 3 Christmas upcycling ideas

Buying vintage is easy, more thoughtful, more eco friendly and you can be sure nobody else will be receiving the same gift!