Repurposed Gifts of Love

Adorning red, white, and pink, as February 14th comes around, every American celebrates their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a significant other, best friends, or family, the holiday celebrates the special people in your life. And what better way to showcase our appreciation than with chocolates, flowers, teddy bears, and cards? But, let’s be honest, once March rolls around, has anyone actually kept the cheap, pink teddy bear that every CVS sells? How about the cheesy heart mugs?

 Though they are cute for the month of February, most of the popular items given as gifts during the holiday end up deep inside a closet or outright in the garbage. A highly commercialized day, companies build a false narrative convincing consumers that only cheap, pink junk makes the perfect gift for the special people in their lives. Contributing to unnecessary pollution in production and even more consumer waste, the average gifts found in stores during Valentine’s Day are less than favorable. Save the landfills from Valentine’s Day consumer carnage and instead make or buy something more meaningful from local thrift and antique stores. Not only can you love the people in your life, but you can also love the planet. Down below are some ideas for repurposed gifts of love!

  1. Flowers

Simple, delicate, elegant—flowers are always a great gift to give to a significant other during Valentine’s Day. Elevate this classic gift by adding funky jars and even vintage Coca-Cola bottles! Found at any thrift or antique store, vintage glass bottles and jars can act as unique, fun displays for pretty flowers. You can even take it a step further and arrange significant others’ favorite flowers yourself in vestibules that adorn inside jokes or colors they enjoy. 

  1. Trinket holders

What do walnut shaped boxes and vintage corn cans have in common? They can serve as eccentric, interesting Valentine’s Day gifts! Found in abundance, antique and thrift stores contain weird and colorful bowls, plates, and old cans that can be great trinket dishes or pencil holders. You can simply just give your loved one a trinket dish or add some elegant earrings and cool rings that can also be found at many second-hand stores.

  1. Ordinary boxes

Some of the most heartfelt, meaningful gifts reference happy memories spent with your special person. Using an old shoe or wooden box found at a thrift store, make a memory box filled with photos and things that remind you of special moments. This can make up one of the most memorable gifts. Very personalized, you can decorate your memory box simply or go all out with glitter, stickers, construction paper, washi tape, and anything else you can think of. Make it personalized for your special person!

  1. Vintage Books

For those who enjoy reading, annotating a book can be the perfect, heartfelt gift for Valentine’s Day. Pick out a favorite book with interesting, vintage covers from most thrift or antique stores and fill them with inside jokes and things that remind you of them. You may decorate them with different colored pens, stickers, glitter, pictures, or just a single ballpoint pen. This gift, though it might take longer to make, is one that your significant other is sure to cherish.

Tips for book annotating: 

  1. Photo frames

Some of the best gifts are the most simple. The most effortless, but meaningful gift can be a picture of a cherished moment spent together. Paired with an elegant or funny picture frame found in a thrift or antique store, this gift is the perfect one for Valentine’s Day and one your significant other is sure to love.

  1. Cards

With kind words and eloquent phrases, cards are the perfect way to express your love to the special people in your life. Add a more personalized touch with a handmade card. Though they can be made with traditional craft supplies (cardstock, glitter, markers, and stickers), collages made from items found at a vintage store can make an artsy gift. Easily found at antique stores, vintage postcards, magazines, and photos are the perfect materials for a unique card. Feel free to add your own photos too!

Tips for how to make a collage: 

  1. Embroider patterns 

What’s cooler than a fashionable article of clothing? A personalized, one of a kind article of clothing! Easily learnable and executable, an embroidered sweater or shirt makes the perfect gift for your special someone. Including flowers, hearts, or special interests are all sure fire ways to make a cherished gift on Valentine’s day.

Tutorials for embroidered hearts: 

Tutorials for embroidered flowers: 

Antique/thrift stores in the area: 


60 S San Tomas Aquino Rd, Campbell, CA 95008 


5285 Prospect Rd, San Jose, CA 95129


1125 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129

Montebello Road: 

2045 S Bascom Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

Carol’s Antique Gallery: 

14455 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

Briarwood Thrift Shop:

1885 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95128

Happy Dragon Thrift Shop:

245 W Main St, Los Gatos, CA 95030

American Cancer Society Discovery Shop:

39 E Main St, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Raising Nine:

25 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030