Friday, October 1, 2010

Holidays the Frugal Way: Part 1 Gifts: Homemade Presents

Ahh the simpler times when homemade gifts were the norm and your 11 year old didn't expect an ipod and a cellphone for Christmas (or birthday!). How I wish homemade gifts would make a triumphant return as "THE" gift to give. But why can't it? If that's what we make it then that's what it is!

One problem though...most of the homemade gift ideas that you come across are well..kind of cheesy. I am for semi-homemade when I choose this route. So here's a list of some cute ideas that are totally give-able!

Movie Night basket- We do this almost every year. An idea I stole from my friend Dawn when she gave one to us! Grab a basket/bucket/container of any kind. Personalize it if you can using paint pens, decals, etc. Fill with a few bags of unpopped pop corn, boxes of movie theater style candy ($1 at most stores), a drink or two (catch the 2 liters on sale!), a $5 movie(grab these on Black Friday!) and a blanket if you want to add something extra (snag these on Black Friday or just use a yard of fleece) Depending on size $10+

Jewelery- With so much on the market and the variety of beads, it would be easy to make necklaces, bracelets and even eyeglass holders for the ladies in your family. Perfect for tween girls. Depending on what you decide to make $10+ but would make many gifts!

Coffee mugs-The last few years I have taken Molly to make personalized coffee mugs for her grandmothers. She decorates them herself and we always put the year. Then we grab one or two of the sample size specialty coffees and put in all in a gift bag with some creamer. Under $15

Photo books- Check out every photo site you can. Many times you get freebies for signing up like a photobook! I think these are perfect gifts for Grandparents or great-Grandparents who you may not see often. Shutterfly, Snapfish, Kodak, York to name a few.

Sewing-How I wish I had time to do this (it's on my to do list eventually!) but sew something! From simple  hemmed dish towels, pillow cases, sack dresses to a quilt. You choose the complexity! Right now Walmart has some adorable do it your self kits to make dresses, quilts, purses and more. Everything is included, already cut and easy instructs and most were available for under $15.

Cook- If you love to cook or have someone on your list that does you can't go wrong with food!

  • Make a cookbook using notecards and photo album or a 3 ring binder and page protectors.
  • There are a million food in a jar (or some variation)  recipes! Click here to see my favorites
  • Anything canned! Jams, jellies, etc.
Garden- Have a garden lover? Make stepping stones! Some plaster, a tin pie pan and anything you want to decorate the stone with like glass marbles. Cheap, cute and great for kids to make for grandparents!

Cricut- If you have a Cricut machine (or know someone who does that would be willing to let you use theirs) there is a never ending plethora of gifts to be made! Personalized t-shirts, bags, mugs, notecard sets. The list could go on forever! You can also make the popular vinyl wall stickers! This would be my # 1 choice!


I'll keep adding more ideas as I find them!

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