Thrift gift: Princess kit

When it comes time to shop for kids’ gifts, I’ll admit it … toy aisles at big-box stores freak me out. Not only is the assortment overwhelming as all get-out, it’s often questionable in quality. I always waste far too long deliberating, and I leave the store feeling spent. Not the ideal way to get in a celebratory mood, right? In an effort to make my kid-gift-giving more personal, when it came time to celebrate a friend’s daughter’s sixth birthday, I decided to give thrifting a gift a go. Seeing as the birthday girl is a HUGE fan of girly, princess-y things, it didn’t take me long to figure out what to give her: a princess dress up kit!

With that idea in mind, I hit up the nearest Goodwill and got to browsing. I started by looking for a dress, and I practically squealed when I found a sequined pageant-style frock in just the right size.

From there, I hit the jewelry section to find a cheapie necklace that would match. (I couldn’t resist getting a pair of light clip-on earrings too, as I have such fond memories of playing with my Grandma’s.) From there, I grabbed a silky, fringed scarf and a pair of 99-cent woven fans – found randomly in the basket aisle. To finish off the kit, I happened upon some glow-in-the-dark wands and a pair of little sunglasses (because what princess doesn’t love her privacy?).

When it was all said and done, the entire present cost me a little more than $15. Not too bad for a one-of-a-kind gift! There are no rules when it comes to putting together the perfect dress-up kit, but here are a few ideas to get your imagination rolling. The same concept can be applied for a princess party or sleep-over, too. Just stock up on a bunch of dresses and accessories, and you’ll be all set!

Dresses
Be sure to check both the kids’ and women’s sections. Older girls may love dressing up in vintage maxi dresses!

Costume jewelry
Beaded necklaces, bangle bracelets, clip-on earrings, sparkly cocktail rings and stretchy bracelets are all great picks. Just make sure what you pick is easy for little hands to put on.

Accessories
Scarves, fans, gloves, hats, tiaras, glasses and slippers are all fun to dress up in.

Extras
Most Goodwill stores stock a few new toys and party favors, so keep an eye out for fun extras, like the glow-in-the-dark wands I discovered.

Bonus points
Thrift a basket to present your gift in! My friends who are parents appreciate getting gifts AND storage, all in one!