One of my most treasured gifts I ever received as a kid came from my Nana. It was so simple in the idea, but required thought and at least a little planning. I was probably about nine or ten, a good age that I could handle sewing needles responsibly. My mom only sewed the occasional button, but my Nana had a sewing machine & used it! For my birthday, my Nana gave me a card box with the top wrapped in wrapping paper. In it, were scraps of fabric, needles, a few patches, a thimble, some ribbon, thread, buttons, etc, all nicely arranged in tiny jelly jars or plastic equivalent. I felt like I had hit paydirt! My Nana couldn’t have nailed it any better. A gift in a salvaged box, covered in wrapping paper, with items leftover from her sewing projects in saved containers was my holy grail. The other kids could keep their Atari, or Barbie sports car, because when something on that broke, I would have all the right skills and items to continue to make my own fun (well, it was fun to me). My Nana gave me something better than any shiny, toy store bought item – I knew she was actually hearing my kid enthusiasm to learn, and she gave me the ability to make & do on my own. I still have the box & while some of the contents have changed, a few of the originals are still there.
What’s been the best, recycled or thrift-giving gift you’ve received?