When someone says “the holiday season” most people think of the end of November to New Years. But really “the holiday season” starts at the end of September when you see pumpkins pop up in your local grocery store and scarecrows adorn your neighbor’s yard. It’s the time of year when the weather gets cooler, leaves begin changing color, and suddenly pumpkin flavor is in everything you eat or drink. But if you’re a crafter like me, “the holiday season” really starts during summer when you begin planning your fall crafts. If you’re planning to make your loved ones gifts for Christmas, you may have to begin crafting well before Halloween.
Sometimes it is a struggle to get motivated and to find the time especially when all of the holiday celebrations are filling your calendars. Right about now I am realizing it’s the first week of December and I am running out of time to make all the special holiday gifts and decorations I had planned!
This is the time of year when a procrastinating crafter goes to their nearest craft store (my personal favorite is Michaels) and frantically buys a lot more than they intended because they are in a rush to get everything done. Often times that leads to unnecessary expenses and a lot of leftovers that will likely never be used. Instead of falling into this trap, I head to my local nonprofit thrift store and browse their supplies. You will likely find many unique items with which to craft and you will spend a lot less money. Once you get what you can at the thrift store, then head over to the craft store if you need more supplies.
One of my favorite gifts to make is hand painted glassware. This includes wine glasses, water glasses, candle holders, frames, dishes, and more. If it’s glass, I’m game! I can get the glass pieces to paint from a variety of places, but thrift stores provide more unique options, making my craft truly a one of a kind gift. I save money, and the money I do spend goes to a good cause. Some of my favorite pieces ended up being the least expensive. So while you scramble to complete your handmade gifts this holiday season, consider heading to Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop for your supplies. You never know what treasure you may find!
Guest blog post by Tiffany. Tiffany made Seattle her home a few years ago, after she and her husband moved here from Southern California. She loves exploring what the PNW has to offer. She works in recruiting/HR, and is always looking for ways to inject her creativity and help those in need.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking sugar cookies. The warm, sugary, buttery smell of cookies fresh out of the oven always brings back memories of my mom, sisters, and I baking plates upon plates of cookies for our neighbors during the holidays. Of all the cookies we baked, sugar cookies were my favorite to make. Together my family and I would mix the ingredients to make the dough and after patiently waiting for them to bake in the oven and cool completely, my mom would frost them and my sisters and I would cover them in a multitude of colorful sprinkles. Every year my mom would use different cookie cutter shapes and my sisters and I would try out a variety of colored sprinkle combinations.
Since moving to the Seattle-area a few years ago, I have slowly started building up my supply of kitchen necessities. One item I haven’t bought yet, are cookie cutters, because I usually go home for the holidays and end up making cookies with my family. This year, however, I will be spending the holidays in Seattle with my boyfriend’s family. To keep the holidays feeling like the holidays and to introduce my boyfriend’s family to my family’s delicious sugar cookies, I have decided I need to get my own cookie cutters.
After looking around at local culinary stores and online, I realized that cookie cutters are expensive! I mean $5-10 for a snowflake cookie cutter?! I don’t think so. I want to make wonderful holiday memories this year, but I’m also trying to save money where I can this holiday season. To do so, I took a trip over to my local thrift shops in search of fun, funky, and retro cookie cutters.
After searching the kitchen supply isles, a few times, I found a t-rex, heart, and sweater cookie cutters that were perfect! While these aren’t particularly holiday themed shapes, they are definitely the fun and funky cutters I was looking for.
While I’m off to bake delicious sugar cookies and share my holiday traditions this year, remember to stop by Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop and see what goodies you can score to round out your holidays. With the selection changing daily, you never know what you’ll find!
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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