Flea markets and car boot sales aren’t just great places to pick up things for yourself and your home, they can be great for gifts for friends and family too.
I found these vintage matchboxes recently and they gave me the idea for a sweet little gift for a friend.
I had an unused candle in a glass that was in the back of a cupboard and thought it would be perfect. I looked in my fabric off-cut stash and found a piece of natural coloured linen with a pink floral motif, that picked up on the colours and subject of the illustration on the matchbox I had chosen. I used double-sided tape around the glass to hold it in place. If you use a candle that already has a label on, try scraping it off first or a little white spirit can help remove stubborn glue. (even though they’re old, please remember to take the usual safety precautions with matches and candles though!)
I then found some lilac cotton string that I had and tied it around the glass in a bow. I then wrapped the candle along with the match box in some matching, dusky coloured tissue paper and popped it in a similar coloured gift bag. It’s all very simple to do and makes a sweet little gift that looks pretty, is unique and costs next to nothing!
If you don’t have an old candle, you can pick up basic candles in glass very reasonably in a lot of general high street stores. I know John Lewis do some similar or stock up on your next trip to Ikea (I have bags of their tealights stashed in cupboards!).
When I came across these vintage matchboxes with fab floral illustrations last month, I loved them and at fifty pence each I knew they were worth buying. When I see something at a boot fair like this I usually end up buying it as you never know when you may find something like it again.
It’s perfect as I now have the basis for another three different gifts for friends! Hopefully I’ve shown that for very little you can create a personal, unique gift that your friend will love because you made it just for them.
Would it make you happy to receive something like this from a friend?
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
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