From a Reader's Request - 1998
I am looking for some ideas for homemade Christmas gifts for men. We really need to cut down on Christmas spending this year, so my plan thus far is to make everyone a fancy homemade caramel apple (like you see for $15 at Saks at Xmas) and the women will get homemade stationery that I'm hand-stamping with some pretty design. But I've got 2 dads, a step-dad and two teen-aged brother-in-laws I need something else for. I'd like to keep it at $5 to $7.
Anyone have any ideas for me out there? Thanks!
Here are the answers we received:
Food for Men
The men in my family always enjoy food! I have given them lots of homemade foods: jelly, bread, caramel corn, chocolate covered peanuts, etc., and this year plan to make different flavors of beef jerky. I've never made that, but got recipes from books in our local library that sound delicious, and easy to make too, using the oven! I'd be happy to send the recipes if you'd like.
Homemade Christmas gifts for men:
Try a box of pretzel logs dipped in melted caramel and rolled in nuts, skor bar bits, sprinkles, etc. This looks more substantial than a caramel apple and will be enjoyed a bit longer. The cost is roughly the same. Tins of cookies, fudge and homemade candy are always welcome gifts, too.
Maybe one of the men on your list would appreciate one of the following:
For the cook: a potted herb plant - you can start them from seed now and they'll be ready by Christmas.
For the golfer: hand painted golf tees. For a gag: fill a jar with beans and label "cowboy bubble bath".
I have learned from experience that not all men truly appreciate a gift that is hand made. If you want to stay in your budget, consider gift certificates to a local movie theater or print up a homemade gift certificate good for an afternoon out with you - your treat, of course. This could be a picnic lunch, day at the zoo, whatever. Hope this helps!
How about giving some of the great FREEWARE that's available for downloading here on the Internet as various sites (ex: ZDNet, Softseek.com, Rocketdownload, etc.) For the younger ones you could give 'freeware games' or for older :) give any that you know might interest them.
Gift Packages for Men
Last year I did gift packages for my Dad, Step-Dad and all four brothers consisting of a gallon size ZipLock bag of homemade caramel corn, three doz. cookies (various kinds) and a 1 pound bag of pistachios (these I bought) I wrapped these all in neat decorative cellophane bags w/pretty ribbon and put them in a gift bag. Everyone was delighted! Best yet if you have to mail the gifts they are light and don't cost you an arm and leg to send. Total cost of gift was about $7 including bags and ribbon. Hope this helps.
An idea for inexpensive Christmas gifts for men is homemade candy. You could invest about $10 in a couple of molds and different flavored chocolate at your local craft store, and make enough candy for MANY gifts! They even sell cute little gift boxes around the holiday seasons. No man in my family has ever complained about this gift yet!! It is very simple to learn, and the shop where you'll buy the supplies will also carry some easy-to-follow instructional booklets. (HINT: You could get started now and freeze your candies until Christmas)
Not sure what kind of men are in your family but in my family when I was in seminary and had very little money I went and purchased some canning jars with lids and filled them up with a couple of different things. In one jar I mixed up Swiss Style Mocha, In another jar I mixed up a spiced Cocoa Mix. And in a third jar I made up my infamous recipe for pancake minus the liquid ingredients. I listed who I gave what to so the next year I could switch present so in a three year cycle they each received something different.
I have the recipes for them if anyone is interested in using this as gifts. The men did take the gifts home and with their wife's help consumed what was in the jar. I know this because after the second year I received their empty jars as a gift so I did not have to keep buying jars.
I too have to cut back on Christmas expenses this year and decided to make a few homemade gifts. I found an unpainted wooden bird feeder in a local Discount Store craft department and I'm going to paint it and decorate it (I already have the paints), then package it up with a bag of bird food and give it to my father for Christmas.
Dear Santa Reader: Last year I made beef jerky for the men in my family. It was such a big hit that they are expecting it again this year. To cut costs, I made beef jerky with lean hamburger. Extra hint: Make enough to share with anyone who lives with you because it smells great while baking!
All the men in my life just LOVE homemade beef (or turkey) jerky. A couple of big pieces of meat will make enough for the men in your family, and keep you within your budget, especially if you can shop at a Warehouse type store (like Costco). Or how about a small plastic toolbox (I have bought them for as little as $5) filled with a bag of homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies? Everyone can use another toolbox!
Debra, Santa Rosa
Sew a "Quillow". It is a special pillow with a blanket folded up inside. The blanket folds out and the pillow pocket is an ideal pocket for cold feet. Go to any crafts store for more details. I made one for my husband and he loves it!
THE REST OF THE GIFT IDEAS WERE SENT IN BY ALICE
I quit my job two years ago to home school my children. Money was a problem. For Christmas gift giving I am forwarding you my list from last year. Hope it helps. My two children and I did everyone's last year for under $100.00 and that was less than 1/4 what it normally cost for us. As an added bonus I got to spend time with my children and they learned a lot of measuring and heart felt gift giving. Most of these I got from several hours searching on the net, some was forwarded from other home school moms. I have listed the source if I know it.
Cup Candle Holder
Purchase clear plastic cups (8 oz.). In a small margarine tub pour white glue and dilute with water. Tear red and green tissue paper into small pieces. With a paintbrush let children paint the glue mixture onto the outside of the plastic cup then put tissue pieces on top of glue. Have them cover the entire cup. Let dry. Now a tea light candle can be placed inside and when lit shows the Christmas colors beautifully.
Melt chocolate chips and oil together over low heat (about 1 min. in microwave). Have your child dip each marshmallow into the chocolate (so about half of it is covered), then dip and roll in the sprinkles. Place on a cookie sheet to harden. Give away as gifts (if you know anyone who actually might enjoy eating something like this!) or enjoy yourselves.
Power Outage Kit
Yesterday I made a few *free* gifts for family and friends. This is what I did.
If you like, the pockets can be filled with extra batteries, candles, matches, and of course you could even place the flashlights in the loops. I made one loop smaller so I can place a 2-AA battery flashlight next to our 2-D flashlight in the holder. One pair of jeans makes 2 holders. (I like the one that ends up with the pocket containing the 'change pocket'---this is the perfect size pocket for extra matches!)
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The knitlist has links to free necktie patterns to knit. They are a little more difficult than a scarf, however. You can make a long neckscarf by just knitting in garter stitch (the warmest stitch). Doesn't take much yarn to make a scarf. Also, you can use your yarn to crochet a little bag (very open) and put in a bar of soap and attach a long handle for soap on a rope. The bag can be opened and reused with another bar of soap. Also a ribbed watch cap is easy and cheap, not requiring much yarn. If you have some old placemats, you can make a rolled tool holder to put spanners in by stitching pockets on two quilted placemats together. Or actually anything else that you feel like making an organizer for.
hey i need an idea for my boyfriend. we've been together for about 2 years and i dunno what to get him for christmas. he likes the color red and he like dale jr things but i got him dale jr stuff fo rhis birthday and now i dont knwo what to get him
I have the same problem- homemade gifts for men... hmmm. I have one idea that I'll probably use this winter. You can make a simple and useful hat with a chunk of fleece material very easily. I will make mine out of hunter orange because my brother hunts and my boyfriend runs in the hills where the hunters are!
1) You need approximately 1 1/2 x 2 ft. of fleece material for each hat. For the style I'll make, I will also need a few inches of cord and a hold bead. (You know, those things on hoods that pinch the cord in place).
2) Cut a piece of fleece big enough to go over a person's head and long enough to cover a persons head, plus a few extra inches for seams and some space in the hat for the head.
3) Hem the top and bottom. I like to make the brim hem extra wide, like 2-3 inches so it keeps the ears warm. The top brim should be at least an inch thick.
4) Sew the piece into a tube.
5) Cut a hole in the top hem and run the cord through. String the bead and tie off the cord. You want the cord long enough so you can open the top all the way. Hide the knot in the hem.
TA DA! You have a hat that can be used as a hat or a neck warmer/ scarf- that is ultra manly of course. This could work for women too, and with some fleece ribbons sewn to the brim it could even be a bag too!
For an even simpler hat, skip the hem at the top and the cord. Instead, tie the top into a granny knot and cut the top end into strips for punky joker look. Young kids love this too. Good luck. It's all I got dude.
I am looking for a recipe for Cowboy Bubble bath. It is a "gift in a jar" and has the dry ingredients for making a delicious bean soup with dried red beans, garlic salt, dried onions and seasonings.You put the dry ingredients into a jar and only have to add canned tomatoes and a few other things. ( which can be sent along with it). Can ya'll please help me out? I'd be very grateful.
glasbel AT hotmail.com
I am thinking ahead to male family members and their birthdays and I would love the Recipe for the Cowboy bubble Bath if anyone can share it. I think it will be a cute thoughtful present. I recently became unemployed and interested in all thrifty ideas. Thank you all...
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