Thrift stores are great places to shop for the raw materials to craft great gifts! This past Christmas season, I took a few trips to my local Goodwill. There you will find the castoffs from households that can yield great fodder for unique ideas.
If you need a hostess gift, try bejeweling salad servers, or any serving spoon. Pick up old necklaces, or bags of beads, tarnished but serviceable serving spoons or pieces, some wire from the hardware store. Begin by polishing the pieces to a nice shine, string some beads through the wire, and begin wrapping the ends, securing larger beads with jewelers glue, to hold in place. You are reviving old and tired and making new and fab!