HOLIDAY GIFTS don’t have to be brand new. Neither do they have to be electronic or expensive. Pick sustainable options this season by shopping at one of Seattle’s salvage stores.
Don’t worry; you’re not going to have to buy someone some big slabs of building materials. These spots have much more to offer. If you are into DIY, pick something that needs a little love and restore it to the condition it deserves. Or, find something vintage and quirky to make sure your gift stands out.
Part of an afternoon in Second Use Building Materials in Sodo turned up more than enough options. Here are some of the ideas outreach coordinator Mary Anne Carter and I came up with, in order of price.
For the collector: These adorable little antique glass bottles have such charm. They come in all sorts of sizes and colors that you don’t see these days. Buy an assortment for a loved one who likes little vases and containers. They run between $2 and $4 each.
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For the do-it-yourselfer: Skeleton keys. Oh, the possibilities. You may not know exactly what to do with these (if you do, more power to you), but you likely know that one friend who would just love to create something with them. Maybe a necklace. A stylish hair clip? Some new drawer pulls? Second Use has a basket of these keys for $5 each.
For the handy one: They don’t make toolboxes like they used to. Second Use has many to choose from, big and small. A bright cherry red one for $22 caught my eye, but maybe your guy or gal is more into a vintage metal look. Either way, they’re cool, useful and unique.
For the teenager: In our quest for small gifts, we found these great signs. One says “Drug Free Zone” and another “Weapons Free Zone.” I can just see them perfectly fitting the right person’s bedroom. Each sign sells for $40.
For the traveler: Remember those big maps that teachers pull down at the front of the classroom during lessons? Well, when those schools are refurbished or taken down, the maps have to go somewhere. Luckily, many hit salvage stores, rather than the landfill. These make great wall art for the avid traveler. The selection varies, but many have dated political references and old country names. Prices are between $50 and $65.
For more ideas: Second Use will be holding a free handmade market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 13. Local artists will set up shop, selling their handmade gifts.