Thursday, 12 February 2015

Five Sweet $5 Valentine's Gifts

Cute 3D Card $2 @ Reject Shop

I set myself a little challenge - five cute Valentine's Day gifts for $5 each. I've had success with $5 gifts in the past so it didn't seem to much of an ask. I didn't mean to give myself a headache, I thought it would be easier than it proved to be...

I knew it could be done with sweet and stylish results. I was determined not to let it degenerate into something cheap and nasty. 

Firstly, I did what I always do and headed to the Op Shop. When your budget is tight (and with a $5 limit it's hard to get much tighter!) thrifting is the way to go. Here's a selection of the cute things I found:

I spied this ceramic brooch under the counter. $4. Woo hoo! I attached it to a chain, I love that it's kind of oversized (okay, it's actually a whopper!) and the heart makes it the perfect Valentine's Day piece! It came with the maker's card and her Etsy shop details. She's a Katoomba-based jewellery maker with some really lovely pieces. You will have to pay more than $5 (average price is $39 per piece) but I'm the only one sticking to this ludicrously minimal amount of cash, so you should definitely take a look!
Check out Mrs Peterson Pottery.


Then I found this pristine picture book complete with sealed cd inside the back cover - for $4!! The illustrations are so lovely (worth framing!) and any child of the 70s (hello!) can sing the song whether a BJ fan or not! I must admit to having a small BJ thing going at some stage in my high school years…
I have a friend who just visited New York at Christmas time. I'm going to give her this book and if she wants to give it to her husband (or herself!) for Valentines Day I'll be even more pleased! 


All of these vessels plus the tray were under $5 each. The white one is vintage Wedgwood so I was pretty happy with it. The silver jug is a great shape and works just as well as a vase as it would as a milk jug for high tea. The little red ceramic bowl is a french-inspired design that I've seen in homewares shops before. I added some pot pouree but now I'm thinking heart shaped cookies would also look pretty good.
Give one or give a few - little bowls and vases are perfect for storing bits and bobs, rings or flowers. Frankly the more the merrier!


Then in my quest for $5 treasures, I tried the supermarket chain Aldi and found these totally gorgeous potted roses. They were originally priced at $5.99 so I was prepared to fudge it a little. At the counter it scanned for $2.99 so no fudging was required. I call that a win!!


Then I tried DAISO where everything is, that's right, $2.80. There were a couple of heart shaped bowls that weren't too bad. And the little tea light glasses were totally cute. I guess the thing is, when you've managed to find vintage Wedgwood at the op shop for under $5, Daiso looks a little, um, cheap. And I am trying to keep this classy. So if in doubt, stick with their notebooks, which are totally sweet and good value for money. Japanese stationary is definitely a WIN! The floral pegs are lovely and I bought those straight away because you can never have too many floral printed pegs, for bunting and pinboards..


The Reject Shop is always good for bargain, but I was a little disappointed that nothing stylish seemed to be on offer for Valentines..

All I could find with my budget fixed tight, were these kind of cute Jelly Cup Pigs (you can sense my desperation) that were on special for $2 and then these little bird and butterfly wooden hanging things for $5. When the Wonka Big Boxes of Rainbow Nerds caught my eye I knew it was seriously time to get out..




Cards:

Do you have a place where you know you can get great cards for a good price? I discovered a chain of tobacconists years ago were stocking supplies of English and European printed cards and selling them for $1 and $2 each. Over the years I've bought stacks from them (yes Mum, propping up the evil empire I know, um sorry about that) and used them for every occasion, including as invitations for my Swish Soiree a couple of years ago. Actually that card range by ZoZo the Magic Queen are still my favourite, and would work perfectly for Valentine's Day too. Don't just send them, frame them! They're so sparkly and snazzy and I just love them!

Here's a selection of what I found.



Other gift ideas for $5 and under:

  • Chocolates - a little boring maybe, but pretty much universally liked! Try little tins or boxes (Lindt and Ferrero Rocher have some nice gift packs) that are stocked this time of year in the supermarket. Better still buy a bag of your Valentine's favourite sweets and put them into a nice jar (I keep the french Bonne Maman jam jars with their red and white lids just for things like this!). Tie a ribbon around the lid and it's practically a home-made gift!
  • Try a plant nursery for a little pots of colour (sometimes 3 for $5 is on offer) - pansies are always gorgeous or even a little fern - wrap in brown paper and tied with a bow - will look wonderful on somebodys desk.
  •  Make cupcakes - gorgeous cake wrappers can be found in $2 shops for $2 (!) and you can ice them in rainbow colours or in pink, red and white for a traditional heart-felt gift. Add a card with a quote such as: Romance is the Icing, but Love is the Cake - Julia Child.
  • Cookie Cutters - birds, hearts, crowns, moustaches.. put a few in a bag and a heart-shaped tag saying: "People Who Love to Eat Are Always the Best People. Julia Child" or, my personal fave: "When You're Down and Feeling Worse, Keep a Cookie In Your Purse."
Love this Houzz Story for more ideas: Easy Valentine's Day Touches (Even the Unromantics Can Do)

So I'm hoping you're a little inspired to buy or make someone you care about a little $5 something, or even shout yourself (cause that's funner)? Tell me what $5 got you!

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