4 Clever gift sets made entirely out of thrift store items

Dec 1, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. ET

The key to buying gifts at a thrift store is to have a bit of vision and see beyond the plastic bags and dirt. All of these items were found at my local Savers. Here's how to find presents for four people on your gift list for less than $30.

Pretty kitchen accents for my mother-in-law

Look in the random bags

You can find amazing pieces in these bags, like silver-plated serving sets. You can usually move things around in the bag enough to take a look at the marks on the back of each piece. They may not all be quality pieces, but even if only one piece is silver plated, you're getting your money's worth.

To clean: Place in a glass container lined with aluminum foil (shiny side up). Sprinkle baking soda on the silver-plated items and pour boiling water over the them, making sure all parts are covered. Add a small amount of vinegar to speed up the process. Let them soak for about a minute, wash with dish soap and dry well.

You'll be left with gorgeous serving pieces that would make the perfect gift for the hostess in your life. All of these pieces were in the same $3.99 bag. What a gold silver mine!

Check out kitchenware shelves

Look for creamers, sugar bowls and even interesting teapots. These make great gifts for the hostess on your list because they're usually also very unique! This copper teapot was $1.99, and all it needed was a bit of cleaning. It's perfectly useable, though it's also a lovely decorative piece!

The final look:

A warm wool blanket for my homebody husband

Check tags on blankets and scarves

Blankets and scarves are a great gift for people who love to cozy up. The best tip when looking at these is to go right for the tag. You'll be amazed at how many 100 percent wool vintage blankets you'll find. This plaid one was $9.99, but easily worth about six times that.

To clean: Wash in cold water, lay flat to dry and you're done. Wrap with a thrifted belt and you have yourself a lovely package.

A complete bar set for my brother

Search through glassware

It may be hard to get a present for the newlyweds you just got a wedding present for, but think outside the registry for some old things making a trendy comeback — welcome to the bar cart. Glass carafes are usually higher up on shelves and sometimes you can even find crystal ones. These were $3.99-$4.99 each. Look in the bathroom section, too — you may find gorgeous little trays and more. I found a mirrored tray that really brought all the elements of this gift together.

To clean: All you need is a little soap and water (and maybe vinegar to get rid of any smells).

If you're lucky enough, you might even find an actual bar cart. Yes, it's been known to happen. This one was a whopping $5.99 and way too good to pass up. It may be hard to give someone an actual cart unless you know them really well, so it's OK to just stick with the accessories.

Keep an eye out for matching utensil sets

A few other things to look for — ice buckets and unique glasses. This is what really polishes off the look for a newlywed couple or the Don Draper-esque guy in your life.

The final look:

A brass mantlepiece for a gift to myself

I love to bring in cool, new things to be displayed around my house. I was looking for a "worldly" piece, and this little brass case kind of feels like it's from across the globe. Brass is abundant at most thrift stores and also happens to be a very hot home decor material at the moment. Little figurines, candlesticks and even the odd picture frame can be easily polished and gifted. I found this brass figurine as well as artwork at this thrift store.

The final look:

See more of our gift guide articles

This post was sponsored by Savers.

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