November 6, 2009

Inexpensive (Christmas) Gift Ideas

Want to save some money this Christmas? Try making a few gifts yourself this year! If you want to make a few things, you better get started soon are a few ideas to get you thinking!

Bible Verse Name Frame
This could be for a first or last name. Pick several verses that reflect the person or family you would like to give this to and print it off on nice paper in an appropriate font then place the printout in a frame. Dollar Tree has quite a selection for $1. Here is an example of one I have made in the past:
Family Recipe Book or Box
Put all your recipes in one place! Type them up and put them in a binder (or put them on recipe cards in a box). While you're at it make a couple copies to share with a daughter, sister, or friend. I love tried and true recipes! My sister still uses the recipe book I made for her many years ago. Which reminds me...I should really update it for her since I have found many good recipes since I put that book together.

Photo Calendar
My favorite gift for grandparents is a photo calendar. They are available online at sites like Shutterfly or Snapfish. I make mine using iPhoto on my Mac and then take the .pdf file to Office Max to print out.
Or you can just bring in 12 photos of your choice and they'll do everything for you. Last year they were about $10 each which was the lowest price I had ever paid! I usually call the week after Thanksgiving and they have some kind of special going.


Make a book for a toddler/young child by getting a blank book and writing a story yourself. If you aren't a writer, make it a book of favorites (colors, food, etc.) or educational (numbers, letters, etc.). You can get blank books at Bare Books or at a local teacher supply type store. Or join Paper Back Swap! List some books you don't want anymore and get some to give.

Can you crochet? If not, it is easy to learn! Really! Google instructions or watch You Tube if you are a visual learner!

Fleece Blanket with crochet edge
I made this as a baby gift, but it could easily be modified for anyone depending on the fleece and yarn you choose. It is a fun twist on the no sew fleece blanket. Don't want to make a blanket? Check out the Lion Brand Yarn website for free patterns. There are so many cute things to crochet. I really like the Amigurumi patterns for little animals and play food. I am making this one right now (only in blue and cream):
They don't take much yarn so if you have a few left over skeins this would be a great way to use them up! If you need a simple gift for an adult they have a pattern to crochet a towel topper. If you bought a towel with a cute design and cut it half you could make two very inexpensively and quickly.

Dishtowel Angel
This is made from a towel/washcloth/potholder set. I got this one from a friend of mine a couple years ago. You can get these matching kitchen sets at many stores. (Watch Walgreens for a sale or check the dollar store.) I haven't made one myself but here are instructions.

Potpourri Light Jar
I have made many of these and everyone loves them. A mason jar stuffed with potpourri and a short string of (20 count) lights. Let the cord hang out and cover the top with a piece of fabric cut in a circle tied with a ribbon.
Potpourri and lights are usually available at the dollar store and check thrift stores for mason jars if you don't have any on hand.

Little Wreath
I made several of these a couple years ago using dollar store (again!) wreaths. A simple ornament in the center with some fabric scraps and buttons hot glued around the wreath as well. You can make little cinnamon ornaments or use cinnamon sticks as well on these. Which are cute and make it smell nice too.

Washcloth Lolly
How about something sweet? But not to eat! I made these for a baby gift as well, but again you could use a regular size washcloth. Maybe with a cute shaped bar of soap. Which is another idea... make soap in fun shapes!Gifts in a Jar
These are always nice. I like that you use them and they are gone. No clutter! There are several recipes available online. This site has recipes for layered baking mixes, brownies, cookies and bath salts. There are also several recipes for mixes on this site with printable tags included.

Gifts in a Mug
This is a twist on the above. There are many recipes for hot chocolate or spice teas online. Put a bag or two of one of these mixes in a mug. Maybe with a plastic spoon dipped in chocolate to stir! Or how about these recipes for cake in a mug...a great gift for a single person or college student!

Dish Towel Apron
A dish towel is the perfect size to make an apron for a small child. I have made a few with a towel ( guessed it...the dollar store!) and bias tape trim but this pattern makes it easier. A larger towel would make a larger apron for an older child, teen, or adult. If the dish towel is too long for your little one fold up the bottom and make a few pockets.

We have a family tradition of giving each child an ornament every year. My mom did this for me and now I have all the ornaments from my growing up years on my own tree. Instead of buying an ornament this year...make one! The dollar store (wow...again!) usually has little cross-stitch ornament kits that are quite cute. I found a nativity scene kit a few years ago and made several. (I would post a picture but it's packed away.) Here are several free patterns. Most of these would just take an hour or two to stitch.

Can't cross-stitch? How about these?

Get a package of old style clothes pins and make a snowman or angel. These are super easy...even the kids could make them! And they are unbreakable which is the only type of ornament we had on the tree last year. :) Fill your tree with several and as you have guests throughout the Christmas season give them an ornament off your tree!
If you are feeling a bit more ambitious try these light bulb ornaments. I got the instructions out of craft magazine several years ago. They take a bit more time but are really fun! Here is a similar pattern for a snowman and a penguin. Actually I think these are cuter...I might have to make more...

Well, I hope that gives you a few ideas. If I come across any more in my internet searches I'll try and post links to share! Feel free to share any ideas you might have in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ideas! I better get to work!