Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

I am a college student who is crazy about Christmas, but I can't afford to buy everyone nice gifts this year. Does anyone have any suggestions for elegant homemade gifts as well as small gifts for coworkers? Thank you so very much.

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By bnw1447 from NC

Answers:

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Lots of ideas, start with clearance sales right now! Stock up on summer stuff to use as gift baskets. For example; flip flops, sunblock, and sunglasses would be great wrapped in a beach towel. Take pictures of yourself and the recipient of your gift and put it in a dollar store frame that you've customized.

Bake! Brownie mixes and cookies can be had cheap with coupons, then bag and bow a little of each to everyone. Buy a few coffee mugs at the dollar store and stuff each one with cocoa mix/tea/coffee and chocolates. You know those photo boxes people pay big money for? You can make those with shoe boxes and fabric. Get creative, did you know you can get old wall paper books for free from paint stores? Make some shadow boxes. (09/17/2009)

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By Tannac

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

If you can bake, then go ahead and bake some cookies, cakes, breads, etc. People do not have time to bake, and they will appreciate that you do!

How about cuttings from plants? If you have any plants or know anyone who does, you can take cuttings from them and replant in nice containers. You could get really great containers cheap at the dollar store and clearance racks.

If you sew, how about eyeglass cases, shopping bags, little wallets, etc. You can go to a discount store and get fabric for $1.00/yard. Or you could go to rummage or yard sales for clothing to take apart for the fabric. On the last day of rummage sales, they usually sell the clothes for $1.00/bag.

Shop yard sales for different containers to put homemade beauty products. There are plenty of websites for homemade beauty products. Then package them up in nice bottles found at the yard sales.

I hope this helps. (09/18/2009)

By pcheflm

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Try making Baklava, there are many different recipes online. A friend of mine who is from Syria taught me how to make hers years ago, and when I made baklava for Christmas presents, from then on, EVERYONE wanted baklava again and again. Just make a pan or two, each pan made about 80 tasty morsels, and I covered cardboard rounds with foil, individual ones and pizza size ones. Baklava is cut into diamonds, and 5 on an individual one, makes it look like a star, and the bigger pizza size for family size, just make the star bigger. Cover them with clear wrap, and decorate. . .bow, ribbon, or even just put a small sprig of artificial holly or similar inside with the baklava, and it's decorated.

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If you try it, and it really isn't that hard to make, it takes some time though, and possibly the first time, you may need someone to help with the fillo, but, the next time, it's easy. There are also recipes for making individual baklava rolls, where one sheet of fillo makes a roll, and each roll makes 5 baklava pieces. A couple of rolls would make a nice present too.

Around here, just one small piece of baklava at a grocery deli is over a $1 now. Once people realize that it is baklava, you will suddenly be known as the family baklava maker from then on! Twenty years ago, my friend who made the baklava, people would buy a whole pan worth of baklava for $60 even back then, and she sold many of them. (09/18/2009)

By Kas2

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Buy inexpensive mugs and fill them with homemade hot chocolate recipes (fabulous ones can be found on the Internet) or "brownie-in-a-mug" recipes that the recipient can make whenever convenient. The mugs can also be filled with chocolate "hugs" and "kisses" and decorated with personalized tags. Or, how about making little gift boxes out of old greeting cards (instructions online), and then fill them with $5 gift cards from McDonald's or Blockbuster? The possibilities are endless for showing love without being expensive! (09/21/2009)

By caseye

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Hi. Something I have made that is very inexpensive is to use those ivy bowls and make really elegant candle holders out of them. I cut pictures out of magazines, napkins, paper towels, tissue paper, gift wrap. I use images that are something the person is interested in; cats, sports, flowers, Winnie the pooh.

Water down some Elmer's or other regular glue. Brush some on the inside of the bowl, and arrange the pictures you've cut out on the inside. When you have them as you want, brush glue on the back of them. Then, using some tissue paper that will go with colors of the pics, or just white, tear into small pieces and glue over entire area on the inside, then coat it with the glue as well.

You can tie a ribbon, lace, raffia, whatever around the neck of it to finish it off. Then when it's dry, put a tea light candle in there. Make sure you tell them to only use the tea light, then you don't have that much flame, and don't have to worry about burning the tissue paper and pics, or the black soot you can get from other candles.
I also have glued silk rose leaves around the outside, and that is very pretty and elegant. I have made a lot of these, and they really put off a nice, soft glow. We've used them to decorate at weddings, receptions, or just at home!

I'll try to attach a pic so you can see. If they don't come through, feel free to email me for them. Well, in the preview, I see the pic. It didn't come out very well, but you get the idea! dellajo55 AT yahoo.com. Have fun whatever you come up with! (09/21/2009)

By dellajo

RE: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Ditto to the poster who mentioned yard sales as an idea for Christmas shopping; the trick here is to, a) frequent the garage sales in the higher-end neighborhoods; there seem to be lots more of them lately as the economy is hitting even that side of the tracks, LOL:) You'll often find hardly (or never) used, nicer items at a fraction of the cost store-bought. B) Think Christmas all-year-long. I have various relatives who collect different things: one likes Precious Moments figurines, another, any kind of giraffe figurine. If you make mental notes of the kinds of things your gift list recipients have a soft spot for--you can keep on the lookout with gifting in mind and snap up items throughout the year; less stress on the psyche and the pocketbook when you do your shopping over twelve months instead of that December mad rush. (09/21/2009)


By PupperMom

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

I made hot cocoa envelopes one year for my kid's school staff. Go to:
http://www.alenkasprintables.com/hotchocolate.shtml

You can get a box of 10 Swiss Miss packets at Wal-Mart for about a buck. It's a cute and frugal gift and one that can be used and enjoyed. (09/22/2009)

By Debbie52

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

One year I made drink mixes and cookie mixes for everyone, but I kind of "dressed them up" a little. I used clear plastic decorator icing bags, Wilton sells these in jumbo sized boxes in the craft stores and even in Wally's craft dept., (although I think they are smaller sizes at Wally's). Anyway, I made hot chocolate recipes in white chocolate or milk chocolate flavors, poured them into the icing bags, added marshmallows and tied them off with decorative ribbons. Then I did the same thing with cookie mixes (omitting, but listing, the wet ingredients). Next I got tins from Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift stores. I placed the drink mixes into a mug, then put the mug in the tin. Then I placed the cookie mix (along with mixing and baking instructions) on top of the drink mixes, put the lid on and applied a handmade gift tag to the outside...no need to wrap because the tin had a cute Christmas design! I also bought some unfinished wooden trays at the craft store (about $4 each), decoupaged pictures of flowers (cut from magazines) or scrapbook stickers (according to the interest of the recipient), and put them all over the tray. I then used a paint pen to "personalize" the tray, then applied a few coats of polyurethane to the tray (let dry between coats). Have fun with whatever you do!

God Bless, Sheila

You can use the following drink mixes that were posted way down in the bottom of the feedback here, or do a search for "homemade drink mixes" or something.

Coffee and Tea Mix Recipes:

The first batch of recipes are from the message board at Crafts Niche on AOL. These mixing and serving directions only apply until you get to the dotted divider line.

To prepare the following coffee recipes: mix in food processor or blender until you have a fine powder. For all the coffee recipes except the cafe' au lait, use 1 to 2 spoonfuls to one mug of hot water (to desired taste).

Bavarian Mint:
2/3 cup instant coffee
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. dried mint leaves
2/3 cup nondairy creamer
(you might have to turn the mint leaves into powder - not sure about this)

Cafe' L'Orange:
2/3 cup instant coffee
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. dried crushed orange peel
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Cafe' Mocha:
2/3 cup instant coffee
3 TBS. unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup nondairy creamer
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

Cinnamon and Spice:
2/3 cup instant coffee
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice

Toffee Coffee:
1 cup instant coffee
1 cup nondairy creamer
1 cup brown sugar

Cafe' Vienna:
1 cup instant coffee
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cafe' Orange Cappuccino:
1 cup instant coffee
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. dry orange peel

Swiss Mocha:
1 cup instant coffee
1 cup sugar
2 cups nonfat dry milk
4 tsp. cocoa powder

Cafe' Vienna Mix:
1 cup instant coffee
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups nondairy creamer
1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk
4 TBS. cocoa

Cafe' Au Latte':
1 11 oz jar nondairy creamer
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup instant coffee
Dash of salt
(use 1/4 cup mix to 2/3 cup hot water for the cafe' au lait)

The next four are from a book I have and I've made them all - they're good:

Night Cap Coffee:
2/3 cup nondairy powdered coffee creamer
1/3 cup instant coffee
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom (I've made this - I'd use less)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Use one heaping TBS. to 1 cup hot water.

Chocolate Malt Coffee Creamer:
2 cups instant hot cocoa mix
2/3 cup nondairy powdered coffee creamer
2/3 cup malted mil mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(I've made this one - I like less hot cocoa powder and more malted milk powder). Use to desired taste.

Raspberry Cocoa Mix (Cherry would be good too):
3 cups instant hot cocoa powder
1 pkg. unsweetened raspberry Kool-aid (0.13 oz size)
Use 2 heaping TBS. to 1 cup hot water.

Forget- Me- Not Tea (hot or cold):
1 15 oz jar orange tang-type mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened tea mix
1/2 cup sweetened lemonade mix
1 package cherry Kool-aid (0.14 oz, unsweetened)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
To serve, stir 2 heaping tablespoons of tea mix into 8 oz. hot or cold water.

TEAS-from AOL craft niche message boards:

Russian tea:
1 cup instant tea mix (unsweetened and no lemon)
2 cups dry tang powder
1 pkg. lemonade, unsweetened powder
1 cup sugar
1 TBS. nutmeg
1 TBS. allspice
1 TBS. cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together and store in air tight container. To use, place 1-2 rounded teaspoons of dry mix to 1 mug of hot water. (You can use a shot of whiskey or spirits for hot toddy.)

Russian tea -Utah Style:
2 cups tang powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweetened lemonade powder (country time)
Mix together and store in cupboard in an airtight container. When ready to use, add 3 Tbsp. mix to 1 cup hot water. (09/22/2009)

By GrammySheila

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

I love the "paper-white" flower idea and would love to do this for teachers and friends. However, I can't find the bulbs for less than $1.00 each unless I buy a huge lot? Any other ideas of where I can find these? (10/26/2009)

By bubblegumbrooke

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