Recycling and upcycling are two of the biggest trends to hit us since the recession began. It harks back to the concept of ‘make do and mend’ which is a healthier attitude than the wasteful one we’ve come to adopt over the past couple of decades. In my opinion, waste should always be kept to a minimum and you should try to reuse everything you possible can so it doesn’t end up in landfill. Unfortunately, money has the power to dictate to those of us who don’t have very much dispoable cash. That is why the likes of Primark and other low priced retailers have really come into vogue – affordability.

The amount of money we have doesn’t make gift giving occasions go away so we still have the problem of  coming up with affordable  gift ideas for family and friends despite a dwindling income. That is where recycling old gifts can come in. In the past, because a lot of people I know have the same tastes as I do, I’ve been known to give something as a gift that I bought for myself but have never used. This saves you  money and also tidies up your clutter a bit!

If you’ve got something you were given as a gift and don’t think you will ever use it, why not pass it on to someone else? The only thing you need to be careful of is passing it on too close to home. It’s not advisable to pass reworkable  gift ideas  onto your sister when it was originally from your mother! Give it to a friend or someone a little bit further outside your close family and friends circle to save embarrassment. Of course, only recycle gifts that won’t be missed. Don’t get caught out if it’s something that will be asked about in the future.

If your unsuitable gift wasn’t returnable or you weren’t provided with a gift receipt, you could always swap it or sell it online. Whichever way you decide to do it you will get something you prefer out of the transaction!

If all else fails, you could make a gift out of a gift. There are thousands of craft sites online and that shirt that never really suited you can be fashioned into a beautiful corsage or cut up to make something patchwork! That string of beads that are stuffed at the back of your jewellery box could be restrung to make something more on trend.

So get your sewing needles out, have a sort out of the things you have bought/been given that you never used and use them as new gift ideas whichever way you like. In times like these it pays to be more frugal and not only is it fashionable, it’s really easy to do!

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