This is the story of my thrifted valentine. Forget about spending $50 or more on a tired old bouquet of red roses this Valentine’s Day. Go to your local thrift store and find something fabulously fresh for your sweetie. Male or female, your honey pie is sure to swoon at your excellent creative gifting abilities. And with all that money you’ll save, you’ll be able to splurge on a really nice bottle of champagne (or whatever pops your cork).
So, in honor of St. Valentine, I am compiling my list of Thrifted Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for those of you in the Bay Area searching for that perfect way to say “I Love You”. So, here goes:
1. Say It With Flowers: Rather than heading to your local florist and spending $20 on a vase, alone, try out this unique gift idea instead. Find a second-hand vase at your local thrift store. Something interesting and unique or made of crystal is always a bonus. I’ve often found some great vases at Thrift Town or Hospice Thrift Stores. Then, head to Trader Joe’s and fill your washed, recycled vase with 2 dozen colorful tulips or daffodils. Or, if you must: red roses. They’re only $9.99 there! Another clever design option is to fill the bottom of your vase with cranberries to add a little bit more interest (thanks, Hutchie!). Total Cost: Under $15
2. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend: Let’s face it, jewelry is almost always an excellent choice for your Valentine. But, instead of buying the same overpriced, boring necklace that everyone else is buying at Macy’s, try scoping out some of the different and unique jewelry they have at Helper’s Bazaar in Ghirardelli Square. You may end up with a unique brooch, ring, bracelet or necklace worn by some of San Francisco’s most storied citizens. Or, check out the glass case at your local thrift store where they keep their higher-end jewelry pieces. My thrifted Valentine recommendations are Good Stuff in El Cerrito, Nifty Thrift in Lafayette or Rainbow’s End in Walnut Creek.
3. Look for Heart Shaped Items: While perusing the aisles of your local non-profit thrift store, keep an eye out for heart-shaped items or items in the color red or pink. Usually, thrift stores set out seasonal items in one area, so just head to the Valentine’s Day section. You just never know what you are going to find! If you see a ceramic heart, for example, snag it – you can always use it to hold your present. You could cut up little pieces of nice paper and on each one write out each quality you love about your Valentine, then tuck them into the unique container you find. You could even make them a little bit steamy…
4. Find a Second-Hand Book of Poetry: Why spend $25 on a brand new book that makes Amazon richer, when you can likely find one for just a few dollars at your favorite thrift and know that you’ll be helping others in the process? Look for books of love poems or love stories, then offer to read them aloud to your sweetie.
5. Create a Personalized Gift Basket: Find an interesting shaped basket (picnic baskets are especially fun) at your favorite thrift, then head to the linen section and drape a cute dish towel over it. Hunt around for a few other items to round it out, like a book about wine, a CD of love songs or something that grabs your honey’s interest, then top it off with a bottle of champagne or other libations. For that last part, you will need to go retail.
Have a love-filled Valentine’s Day, My Thrifted Valentine!
My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet, you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay!
Each day is Valentines day
Lyrics by Rogers & Hart