Donate with Debbie: Thrift Store Finds for a DIY Christmas

Top off the holidays with these easy and creative DIY projects.

If you’re like us, you’ll take any excuse you can get to scour the aisles at your nearest thrift store. That’s why when December rolls around, we’re the first ones in line looking for vintage Santas, unique ornaments and one-of-kind decorations.

But don’t settle for what you find on the shelves. Grab a glue gun and scissors, and start crafting your own handmade Christmas decorations. From hacks on $100 Pottery Barn accessories, to charming mantle-worthy Christmas trees, follow our quick DIY projects below to get your home ready for the holidays.

1. Vintage teacup candles

These teacup candles are the perfect Christmas gift to make (and give) in bulk. Not only are they unique and beautiful, but they’re also handmade. Not to mention, once the wax is gone, the cups can still be used!

What you’ll need: 

Vintage teacups from the thrift store
Essential oils (for your candle’s scent) 
Pencil or chopstick 
Candle making kit

2. Ornament wreath

Ornament wreaths like this one can run over $100 in department stores—but you can DIY your own for under $10. Go for a gold-white-and-silver theme, traditional red and green or use your imagination once you hit the thrift store. Your front door will thank you.

What you’ll need:

Ornaments of varying shapes and sizes from the thrift store 
1 small wooden wreath 
Hot glue gun 

3. Gold and glitter serving tray

Many seasoned thrifters swear by second-hand serving trays and platters. And with good reason. Pop into any Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio thrift store and you could stumble upon a one-of-a-kind piece (keep an eye out for silver plating). Take your tray to the next level with this gold and glitter DIY for an upcoming Christmas party, office soiree or even to use all year long.

What you’ll need: 

Serving tray 
Gold glitter 
Glue Painter’s tape

4. Chalkboard “Joy to the World” globe

Make your own Pottery Barn-inspired chalkboard globe to add an unexpected and unique twist to your holiday decorating. The best part? After the holidays, you can keep the globe out, and replace “Joy to the World” with your favorite quote, verse or lyrics.

What you’ll need:

Globe from the thrift store 
Gold paint 
Chalkboard paint 
Paint brushes 
White pencil or chalk

5. Sweater trees

This quick DIY decoration project is a great way to get the kids involved (just make sure they aren’t wielding box cutters and hot glue guns on their own) and give that finishing touch to your holiday decorating. Take the kids to the thrift store to pick out their favorite sweaters, and get DIY-ing.

What you’ll need:

A box cutter 
Hot glue gun 
Green, red and white sweaters from your nearest thrift store
Burlap (optional)

New to Volunteers of America's thrift stores in Ohio? Find your nearest location now and get thrifting.