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6 stocking stuffers under $6

If you are on the hunt for stocking stuffers, we’ve got solutions that keep the costs down and the excitement up.

Here are six of our favorite stocking stuffers for under $6 that you can find at your local Goodwill. With St. Nick’s coming up Dec. 6, it’s another good reason to stop by your favorite thrift store.

Animal slippers: Little ones won’t want to take these cute creatures off their feet. Pick from owl, duck, dog and other designs. They all feature nonskid rubber grips on the bottom. $3.99

Gel stickers: Dress up any window in the house with holiday messages and themes or seasonal penguins, dogs, cats and more. Take them off and reuse them when you’re done. $1.99

Fuzzy socks: Don’t worry about the temperature with these fuzzy socks that will have you feeling warm and cozy no matter if you are inside by the fire or outside shoveling. They are irresistible with their red, white and green winter patterns that will last long after the presents have been unwrapped. $2.99

Dog toys: Don’t forget your favorite furry family members with these plush dog toys that squeak and entertain. In fun shapes and colors, your pooch will be feeling festive this season, too. $1.99-$2.99

Decorative wood sayings: These chunky wood blocks wrapped in a jute bow easily will find a home on a shelf, desk, table or counter. With warm wishes for the season, they are perfect for moms, grandmas and college students alike.

Building blocks: These small Citiblox kits come in four designs, with each option making three different toys — guaranteed to keep little ones busy. Suitable for children 6 and older, they are educational and entertaining. $3.99

If you are looking for a do-it-yourself project this holiday season, check out this painted glitter village house how-to: goodwillncw.org/goodfinds/diy-holiday-glitter-houses.

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

White elephant game ideas

When it comes to white elephant gifts, Goodwill is THE place to find the best ones!

We all know of a white elephant gift exchange as a party game where amusing and sometimes impractical gifts are exchanged during festivities, but where did the idea originate? According to The History Guy, it comes from Siam, now Thailand, where the king would gift a real white elephant to those he wished to ruin, hoping that the maintenance costs would financially ruin the new owners. In more recent history, P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus purchased a white elephant for his circus, which was highly anticipated by spectators. However, viewers were unimpressed as expectations were not met, and the white elephant became a symbol of a burdensome possession.

Today we celebrate white elephant exchange as a way to entertain. Here are four ideas on how to make a game out of your white elephant gift exchange. If you prefer to stick to the traditional concept, we’ve you covered, too.

Left-Right Stories

While everyone sits in a circle holding a gift, someone reads a Christmas-themed story that includes the words “left” and “right” several times each. The whiteelephantrules.com has a few story options. Every time the guests hear “left” in the story, they pass their gift to the left; every time they hear “right,” they pass it to the right. At the end of the story, everyone gets to unwrap the gift they are holding.

Dice Game

Everyone grabs a gift and sits in a circle. Choose someone to go first. That person gets a die. If you add more gifts, increase the number of dice — two gifts two dice, etc. Participants roll the die and take the action based on the corresponding number. The game ends when all gifts are opened. See the full list of rules at playpartyplan.com.

Bingo

You’ll need bingo cards for this one. If you need a reminder of the rules, find them here. Start by putting all the gifts on a table. Once a person calls “Bingo” they get to pick one of the gifts and open it. The next person to get bingo has two choices — choose an unwrapped gift or steal a gift from someone who opened one already. If a person gets bingo a second time, they have the option to steal a gift. Play continues until all gifts have been claimed.

Drawing Game

Everyone needs a piece of paper and something to draw with. Have guests close their eyes and draw what the host calls out. For example, instruct guests to draw Santa’s sleigh in the middle of the paper. Then to the left of the sleigh, draw a pine tree and so one. Check out this example from morningchores.com. Once you are done with all the steps, calculate the points. The person with the most points gets to choose first. You then can use the traditional rules for the rest.

Thrift shopping is one of the best ways to search for a unique item while staying under budget and reducing your impact this holiday season. Find a local Goodwill and turn one person’s donation into the most prized white elephant treasure.

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

Fashionista: Thinking thrift for monochromatic pink

I don’t know why, but I always thought of soft pink as an early spring color, but I’m rethinking this and embracing pastels for any season.

On a recent Goodwill thrifting trip, I was on a mission to pull together a monochromatic pink look for late fall as it transitions to winter.

The first piece is this draw-dropping moto jacket with faux fur. You know I love my boa feathers! I’m feeling that same vibe with this jacket. The sheen of this jacket makes it a standout. I already can hear my sisters, “You did NOT get that at Goodwill?” Oh, yes, I did! This GW Fashionista thrifts all her fabulous finds.

I found the comfy, warm sweater I needed to wear underneath the outer layer with this angora-like turtleneck. It’s as soft as can be and washes wonderfully. It’s shorter in the front and longer in the back, which provides so many options on what to wear with it.

I found the perfect thing with this incredible pair of pink jeans. I’ve never seen this color before and am so drawn to them. To pull the outfit together, I found these pretty pale pink suede shoes with a crisscross strap.

So, GW shoppers, get out there and find your pink look! You will be blushing about the savings.

Cost breakdown: Jessica Simpson faux fur moto jacket, $14.99; Minkpink white fuzzy sweater, $4.49 with 50% off color tag of the week; Aeropostale high-waisted pink jeans, $4.49 with 50% off color tag of the week; Christian Siriano strapped suede shoes, $6.99.

Think pink and have fun thrifting!

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

Fashionista: Shopping Goodwill for favorite color combination

Some pairings are just meant to be – peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, aged cheddar with a great wine. When it comes to apparel pairings, I can’t get enough of black and white and those fun beachy colors turquoise and coral. But my all-time favorite would have to be kelly green and navy. When I’m at Goodwill, I always gravitate toward it.

I purchased this peacoat at Goodwill several years ago and always get compliments when I wear it. When I spotted this kelly green and navy chevron blouse, I knew it was meant to be. Not only does it coordinate beautifully with my coat, but the chevron pattern automatically offers a slimming effect by giving you a long, lean look.

Kelly green and navy are cool colors and so easy to pull together. How about a pair of green ankle pants and a navy top? Or start small with a necklace similar to the one I’m featuring here. The green beads play off the extra fun detail of the blue tassels.

I found this new-to-me pair of jeans and never turn a high waist. I’m hoping this trend sticks around for a while. I stay away from low rise as much as I can and pass on ripped jeans, too, because I don’t want to look like I’m trying to hard. High-rise, classic straight-legged jeans will be your friend and stay in your wardrobe because they are classic.

Speaking of classy, to wrap up the look I found this caramel-colored bag with the cute detail of the toggle. Perfection!

So what’s your favorite color pairing? Whatever the color, GW has you covered. Have fun thrifting!

Cost breakdown: Old Navy peacoat, $12.99; The Limited chevron blouse, $4.49 with 50% off color tag of the week; Harper and Liv jeans, $8.99; necklace, $2.99.

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

3 DIY thrifted gift ideas

By Sophie Leppanen

As the weather gets frosty, it’s the perfect time start preparing for the holiday season ahead. With the shortages and unpredictable shipping times anticipated this year, consider making your own gifts for loved ones on your list with thrifted materials from Goodwill NCW that are always in supply.

We’ve got 3 trendy gift ideas that you can make for a fraction of what they’d cost new. Plus, your loved ones are sure to appreciate the special touch you put into their one-of-a-kind gift.

Snowy glass jars

Light up someone’s heart with a snowy glass jar that holds a cozy candle. Lit snowy glass jars are perfect for nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, as well as a warm touch to any entranceway. Best yet, with its neutral winter theme, this is a gift that can be used through February. Find glass jars, fake winter greenery and battery-operated candles at your local Goodwill. With these instructions and your inner creativity, it’s going to turn out great!

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/557039047669273938/

Festive hanging mittens

There is something oh-so-dear about hanging mittens. Gift a loved one another option to wreaths with this cute idea. They’re perfect for front doors, windows or as an alternative to stockings over the fireplace. Goodwill has mittens, sweaters that you can easily sew into mittens, winter greenery and materials for bows or items whose bows you can reuse. Follow these video instructions and nail it!

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/392868767504558872/

Embroidered lavender sachets

A lavender sachet is a gift that will flood the recipient with memories of warmer days! All you need to do is sew simple cloth sachets, stuff them with dried lavender buds and embroider a pretty design onto the sachet face.

This gift is perfect for bathrooms, nightstands, linen drawers and wooden chests. Check out Goodwill’s cloth napkins and placemats for budget-friendly sources of fabric to use for this project. Try to find a breathable natural fiber with tight-knit stitching to hold the lavender buds (think linen, cotton and burlap). If you need a homemade gift idea where you can make many at once, this project is for you. You can order dried lavender in bulk and sew many triangular sachets in very little time.

Happy holiday gifting, thriftanista! You’ve got this

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/557039047669273966/

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

DIY Book Page Wreath

Creating a fun, unique wreath as part of your home or holiday decor is easy with just a few simple items. In this do-it-yourself article, we will walk you through the steps of how you can make this DIY book page wreath with supplies you can find at your local Goodwill.

Supplies needed:
● Books to disassemble
● Old record
● Hot glue gun
● X-Acto knife
● Paper trimmer (optional)

Step 1: For this book page wreath, we found a thrifted book that had some interesting characteristics such as embellished chapter cover pages. The font of the book also was appealing, so we chose this one to use for our wreath.

Step 2: Using an X-Acto knife, cut along the edges of the pages as close to the binding as possible. The goal is to try and make even-sized page cuttings, which will help to keep the wreath more even and circular in shape. (Optional: Use a paper trimmer with measurements to ensure straight edges.)

Step 3: Once you have your pages cut out, select a few different sizes of page heights. This will be important as we build out the wreath to have a tiered look.

Step 4: Roll each piece of paper into a tapered cone. Glue the open edge to the cone using a hot glue gun.

Step 5: Once all of the cones are created, hot glue a base layer of the largest cones to the record, with the tapered end in the center of the record and the open end facing outward, similar to petals on a flower. Continue until the entire record is filled. Begin gluing a second layer of cones. Add as many layers as you would like to give your wreath dimension. As you move up in layers, use smaller size cones.

The center of the record is a perfect location to hang the wreath from. Make one wreath or multiple wreaths to spruce up your decor!


Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

Thrifted artificial Christmas trees are real deal at Goodwill

This time of year, it’s like our very own festival of trees celebration in our Goodwill NCW retail stores and training centers. Come check out our indoor tree farm and find the perfect artificial Christmas trees for your home.

Our 27 Goodwill NCW stores offer a variety of trees in an assortment of styles and sizes, beginning with table-top versions starting at $4.99 and growing in size from there, including ones with functioning lights — white, multi-color and decorative bulbs. (Test them for yourself at our electrical station.)

Each is unique and can transform your home — inside or out. Think of thrifted Christmas trees when you are looking for a primary tree for a family or living room or as a secondary tree for a finished basement or one for the work or home office A small one for a children’s room can add a festive touch or put a few on a porch as a cozy welcome to family and friends.

Decorated with ornaments, tree skirts, toppers and garland, this traditional holiday custom is the centerpiece of the festivities.

No storage? No problem! Just donate your thrift store tree to any of our 27 Goodwill stores and training centers once the season has passed.

Goodwill thrift store tip: Don’t forget about our 50% off color-of-the-week tags! Look for the featured color of the week — purple, green, blue, yellow, pink — and save half off your item. Artificial Christmas trees are included!

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

3 simple, budget-friendly ways to dress up Thanksgiving table

Every Thanksgiving table demands a centerpiece, and while the turkey gets plenty of attention, we want a look that is warm and welcoming long after the dishes have been cleared.

Here are three centerpiece ideas under $20 that featured thrifted décor and start with a neutral table runner As you gather together with grateful hearts, you can raise a glass and toast the extra savings in your pocket.

Tray with décor

Wood trays are all the rage. Rather than using it as a serving tray or as a charcuterie board, make it the container for your decorations for a more laidback look. Top your tray with a folded cloth napkin or towel that features the colors you want to spotlight. In this case, we chose an orange, brown and white plaid pattern for a casual theme. With the addition of a grapevine wreath, decorated mason jar with faux florals, a candle to add height and a small pumpkin that complements the colors, you’re all set. Balance it out with a glass pumpkin candleholder on each side.

Harvest time

This Thanksgiving centerpiece is designed around similar color tones. In this case, we went with gold and started with a gorgeous taper candleholder that not only will add a touch of light to the meal but also adds a harvest feel. When thinking in terms of table centerpieces and layout, go with an odd number. With that in mind, we topped it off with two sizeable pumpkins to create a true focal point.

Fall basket

Thrift stores have baskets in all shapes and sizes. Baskets make easy centerpieces because you can fill them with a variety of items, including real mini pumpkins and gourds. In our look, we took a fabric, fall-themed basket and filled it with floral stems from Goodwill and placed two decorated pumpkins on either side and a small pumpkin on the plate to carry the theme throughout the table.

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

Fall door décor ideas

Whether you keep your fall door décor simple with a couple of pumpkins and plants or go all out with a full porch display, decorating your entryway in a warm and inviting way makes visitors feel welcome.

Decorating for fall can become expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Visit your local Goodwill for inspiration for DIY materials to create your own or find that perfect premade, thrifted treasure to hang on your door.

If you are looking to change up your door décor for autumn or Halloween, here are seven door décor ideas you’ll fall in love with.

Fall and Halloween wreath ideas

Wreaths: Wreath bases and forms can be made from different items, including reshaped wire, a picture frame or even a pool noodle so be sure to check the entire store. Once you have your base, be on the lookout for fall elements such as artificial leaves, faux flowers and pumpkins and shirts. For Halloween-inspired items look for spiders, bats and spider webbing or anything spooky.

Sweater sleeve wreath: This DIY wreath is made from a sweater, cutting strips of fabric to cover the wreath form. Once you are finished it can be used as is or you embellish it with ribbon or fall-inspired accents. For step-by-step instructions, check out Thrifted Nest’s blog. You also could use a scarf or flannel for a unique twist.

Bundt cake pan wreath: Turn a thrifted Bundt pan into a wreath by keeping the color as is or paint it the color you want. Add flower, leaves, ribbon or any fall-themed items you can find. Here’s an example of one you can try.

Skull and bones wreath: Paint your wreath base ivory to match the bone theme and some leaves black to create contrast. Attach the skull and leaves to the bottom of the wreath and place hands and other bones around the wreath. Another way to style it is to place the hands on the inside and the skull in the middle, making it look like the skeleton is trying to escape.

Spider wreath: Add a spooky touch to an already made wreath by stretching spider webbing around it and adding spiders or one big one to hang down from the wreath.

Beyond the wreath

Garland door sides or topper: Who doesn’t love a house with flawless curb appeal! Add some fall garland around the door, pillars or railings to create the ultimate warm welcome.

Hang a fall basket: Instead of a wreath, hang a basket instead from the door and fill it with flowers, corn, mini pumpkins and leaves. Change it out for every season.

Keep out decorations: Turn your entrance into a graveyard for Halloween by adding a “keep out” sign, placing cobwebs all over, hanging ghosts and scattering skeleton bones and tombstones around.

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

DIY Potato Print Napkins

Brighten up your table with some fun, personalized napkins. Try creating your own DIY Potato Print Napkins with items sourced from your local Goodwill NCW.

Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Napkins
  • 2-3 russet potatoes
  • Fabric paint
  • Cutting board and knives

Step 1: Cut your potatoes. Carefully use the knife to cut your potato in half. Then, take time to cut patterns into the open side of the potato — lines, squares, circles or whatever you like.

Step 2: Prep fabric paint and start potato printing. Use a palette or plate to place an even amount of fabric paint down to be transferred to your napkin. We suggest using a brush to sweep over the paint to make a nice, thin layer.

Dip your patterned potato into the paint and begin printing, making sure to use even pressure.

Reapply paint between each print to ensure even coverage and a good print.

You can choose to make your potato prints in a pattern or get creative with a more abstract design.

Follow the directions on your fabric paint for proper drying time.

Step 3: Enjoy your unique napkins. Sustainably shopping this holiday season? These DIY Potato Print Napkins make a fun, unique gift!

Whether you love thrifting for the thrill of the hunt, to feel good about helping others or to help keep items out of the landfills, you’ll find 1,000s of new items daily.

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