Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Every year crafters begin planning their homemade Christmas gift projects. This is a guide about homemade Christmas gifts.

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Article: My Frugal Life - Homemade Christmas Gifts

By Tanya Dawson 1

Homemade Christmas gifts? We love them in our family. My aunt always gives homemade dishcloths, etc. My parents, who are in their 70's, loved their gift last year. I went to the store, bought a couple of big boxes of Q-tips, Ivory soap, toothpaste, everything they use in the bathroom, careful to use their usual brands.

What do you buy the people who have everything? I knitted afghans for everyone, one year. Another year, I made homemade throw pillows. I always include a homemade Christmas tree decoration.

Another gift I do for my parents and did for the siblings and their spouses a couple of years, was go to the grocery store, buy 5 or 6 small packages of different cheeses I know they like and different crackers and turkey kielbasa. They loved it.

This year, I've knitted each recipient 4 dishcloths, and am in the process of finishing four kitchen handtowels that attach to the oven handle for each. I'll include dish soap, dishwasher soap also for the sister and a few other goodies as well as the homemade Christmas tree decoration. One year, my sister went to the dollar store, got a pair of hand towels for everyone and knitted fancy edging and sewed on. Beautiful!

It's not the amount of money, it's the love behind it. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season.

Tanya from Oshawa, ON

Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml

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Question: Frugal Gifts For Neighbors

By Kristie 2

I am looking for some good ideas for frugal neighbor gifts this year. I figure if anyone can help me, the thrifyfunners can! Thanks.

Kristie from Cleafield, UT

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Most Recent Answer

By fishbone 1 Flag

October 29, 2009

Some friends invited us over a couple weekends ago and we had a blast, which gave me a great frugal gift idea: Dice Games. I'm buying packets of dice and printing out what I found at: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dice-play/GamesAZ.htm They have games, tricks and interesting history

You could package it up with a bag of pretzels or some other snack and you've got a gift that gives hours of fun for a teeny tiny price!

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Question: Looking for Christmas Gifts

I am looking for homemade either food or gift ideas for our church board, pastor, and staff. I have 13 gifts to make and wanted to make some nice things that are reasonable.
Thank you so much.

Linda from PA

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Most Recent Answer

By kdcottingham 1 Flag

October 22, 2012

Last year I made homemade photo coasters. Go to any home improvement store and you can buy tiles for like 25 cents a piece. I loved the black ones. Then you print out photos on regular printer paper not photo paper a little smaller than the size of the tiles. This took a little practice to get the size right. Then you just Mod Podge it on the tiles. Give it several coats of Mod Podge (the one for outdoor use is best because it is supposedly water resistant since you will be sitting your drinks on these). Then spray it with a clear coat of acryllic. The acryllic spray is a couple of dollars and the Mod Podge is a couple of dollars (especially if you use one of those coupons the craft stores always have). I did some on white tiles and color photos and some on black tiles with black and white photos. Everyone loved them.

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Tip: Inexpensive Gifts for Friends

By Kate Ivain 2

Running short on time and money this weekend, I came up with a craft that I can make and give to many of the women in my life. It comes out beautifully and it is easy to do. Total cost for 32 gifts is $37, including wrapping. (I will probably give 2 to each person, so in my case, it is 16 gifts, but still, that's pretty good!)


  • plain glass ball ornament from craft store: 50 cents each. (I bought 32, so $16.)
  • 2 large bags of potpourri in a pretty color (mine were shades of rose): $4.97 for two at Wal Mart
  • glue gun and glue sticks ($3.00 for glue gun and 1.00 for five sticks at Joann Craft store)
  • three spools of narrow ribbon in colors to compliment potpourri (about $1.50 total at Wal Mart)
  • 4 yards of narrow ecru lace at Joann ($1.00 on spool)
  • small paper flowers in shades to compliment potpourri (mine were pink and off white)
    They come about eight to a small card at Wal Mart for 77 cents a card in the craft dept. Total for these: about $4.
  • length of narrow decorative pearl edging, found at Wal-mart in craft dept.
    Three yards at 28 cents a yard, so $1 total.

So, for under $33, enough to make 32 ornaments.


  1. Take top off the glass ball and cut the hanging string off. Replace string with ribbon to hang ornament.
  2. Fill glass ball to top with potpourri. I cut the larger pieces of potpourri with scissors. Cut or tear them unevenly for a natural look.
  3. Place a narrow band of glue on top of ornament and replace top.
  4. Glue lace around the top. I overlapped it a bit to make it look ruffled.
  5. Glue a small length of the pearls or some ribbon all around the top over the lace (along the top of the lace).
  6. Glue some paper flowers on top as well, arranging as desired.

These are easy, but require some time. The finished product is elegant and expensive looking.

To wrap mine, I bought white tissue paper for 97 cents at Wal Mart and gold curling ribbon for 97 cents. I will wrap them in the paper, tie with a ribbon, and place in Kraft style bags with Christmas motifs bought for cents each at Wal Mart. I will give each person two.

Once they are in the bags, I will punch the tops with a hole punch and thread some curling ribbon through. I will finish with gold-edge gift tags attached to the front (40 for 1.97 at Wal Mart) Total for wrapping: about $4

So, there it is. I hope this helps someone. These are an elegant, thoughtful gift.

Kateb from CT

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Question: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

I just found this site today and I'm hoping someone can help me. We are having really bad money problems this year and I don't know what to do for Christmas gifts for my children. I don't want them to wake up to nothing Christmas morning. I have a 9 year old boy, a 13 year old girl, a 18 year old boy, and a 19 year old boy. I want to make them something that they will enjoy and appreciate and something that will make them forget that we are having a hard time. Please help. Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thank you.

By Nicole

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Most Recent Answer

By wanda 2 2 Flag

December 1, 2011

I made initial pillows using the "sewing for dummies" alphabet pattern. I bought batting @ garage sales or thrift stores, then made pillows using material scraps/remnants for 15 g-kids, nieces/nephews...fun, very inexpensive (used a baby crib sheet with tweety bird - $1.00 @ a yard sale for material). I am a beginner at sewing, this project was pretty easy. Good luck to you and yours! Merry Christmas!

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Question: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

By Lindsay 1

I want to make some homemade Christmas gifts. I don't know what to do and I don't want to spend money. I do not know how to knit or sew. What can I make? Thank you.

By Lindsay

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Most Recent Answer

By Veronica 10 114 Flag

December 9, 2010

Check out www.thetoymaker.com for beautiful, unique, and FREE paper toys and giftbags you can print out.

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Coffee-Mate Container Snowman

By Harlean 142 427

Turn your empty Coffee-Mate into a unique gift by adding a box of hot chocolate and marshallows.

finished snowman hot chocolate gift

Approximate Time: 45 minutes to an hour

Yield: 1 container makes 1 gift


  • Coffee-mate container
  • orange craft foam
  • black pom poms small for eyes and larger for buttons
  • red pipe cleaner for scarf
  • mini marshmallows
  • box of hot chocolate
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • ribbon for bow


  1. This is a snowman made from a Coffee-mate container.
  2. Start by peeling off the plastic from the container to reveal the clear glass container.
  3. container with and without label
  4. Purchase some small black pom poms and some medium sized pom poms at a local craft store. I also purchased a sheet of orange craft foam. The pom poms will be used for the eyes and buttons; the orange craft foam can be used to cut out triangles for the nose; and the red pipe cleaner is used around the neck of the creamer container to represent a scarf. You could also use a strip of fabric if you prefer.
  5. supplies
  6. I used a hot glue gun to position and glue the pom poms and nose into place. No need to glue the red pipe cleaner, simply twist the pipe cleaner around the neck area of the creamer container or tie your strip of fabric if this is what you have chosen to use.
  7. Once your snowman has been assembled, you can use small marshmallows to fill your snowman and purchase a box of hot chocolate packages and about 12-15 inches of a 2" ribbon to prepare your assembled gift.
  8. snowman container snowman, marshmallows, chocolate mix
  9. I wrapped the box of hot chocolate in Xmas wrapping, filled the snowman with the small marshmallows, and placed the snowman on top of wrapped box of chocolate. Tie your ribbon around both package and snowman and tie bow in front. Your cute snowman gift is now ready to bring smiles to your friends and neighbors!
  10. finished gift

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Santa Soap

Santa decorated soap.Make this quickie for a child using, kids' bubble bath or spray foam. For a teacher, use hand soap or hand sanitizer.

Time to Make: 10 minutes
Cost: About $3.


  • 1 bottle bubble bath, spray foam, shower gel, or liquid hand soap
  • 1 red hand towel or wash cloth (single hand towels in red are easier to find)
  • 1 white bath mesh sponge
  • 3 rubber bands, red is best
  • ribbon scraps for trim and tag
  • 1 red pom pom
  • 1 scrap red card stock
  • black marker, tape, tacky glue


  1. Attach mesh sponge to front of bottle, about half way down, with rubber band as shown for Santa's "beard."
  2. For his hat, fold hand towel in half and wrap around top of bottle, placing the fringe at the top and leaving about 3 inches below for Santa's face. Secure to bottle with second rubber band as shown in photo.
  3. Gather fringe and secure with third rubber band.
  4. Draw eyes on bottle and attach pom pom for nose with tacky glue.
  5. Attach wide ribbon to cover rubber band on bottom of hat with masking tape.
  6. Cut out a gift tag and punch a whole in the top. Write: "North Pole Brand Santa Soap".
  7. Tie thin ribbon over rubber band on top of hat, leaving 4-inch tails. Attach tag and tie a bow.

By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA

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Pocket Pack Baking Kits

By Cindy B. 2

A dish towel, spoon, sprinkles, and a purchased (or homemade) cookie or cake mix is just about all you need to make the fun Pocket Pack baking kits for the whole family to enjoy. And there is no sewing or gluing! Cost is less than $5. Nice teacher or hostess gift. Pocket Pack Baking Kits

Approximate Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 Christmas dish towel (linen is best)
  • 1 cookie (or cake) mix
  • cookie cutter or foil star cupcake pans
  • wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • yarn or ribbon
  • sprinkles
  • writing gel

Instructions For Cookie Kit

  1. Using a dish towel with a design similar to the one shown, open towel and place cookie mix on the inside.
  2. Fold bottom two-thirds up over mix to meet Rudolph's head to make pocket.
  3. Fold excess neatly and secure along edge of pocket. Tie in Back.
  4. Tie yarn to top of kit around "antlers."
  5. Place cookie cutter, spoon, sprinkles, etc. in pocket.

Instructions For Cupcake Kit

  1. Remove cake mix from box. (Cut instructions from back of box and include in kit).
  2. Tape foil pans to back of cake mix bag, leaving top of cake mix bag free.
  3. Place inside dish towel.
  4. Fold bottom two-thirds up to snowman's middle to form pocket. Secure with yarn and tie in back.
  5. Tie yarn around snowman's neck. Finish with bow.
  6. Place spatula, writing gel, and sprinkles in pockets.
  7. This project would also work well with a Santa applique on the towel and a brownie mix could be used in place of the cake mix.

By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA

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Tip: Look For Giveaway Dishes For Food Gifts

By Jane Jacoby 2

For giving cake, cookies or candy at Christmas, to new neighbors or a sick friend, I look a garage sales, Goodwill or sales at retail stores for containers. Today at the General Dollar Store, they had their summer dinnerware on sale for half price. I got eight nice sized, bright colored dinner plates for a total of $2.50. They will make great plates for the rum cakes I give away at Christmas and look so much better than just a paper plate.

By Jane from Piqua, OH

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Tip: Christmas Food for My Diet Restricted Aunt

By Margie 11

I have a very elderly aunt, who is diabetic, and a very strict vegetarian. She also refuses to eat onions or garlic. Christmas was a real stumper for me until I came up with the idea to can some things for her when I did my own canning.

I make her vegetable soup without her hated onion and garlic, also a sort of Italian sauce. I use my own organic veggies and make her tomato juice, green beans, pumpkin, beets, carrots, etc all without salt or sugar. I also make up fruits and even some pie fillings using fructose (this is "not" the high fructose corn syrup), which is fruit sugar and her doctor allows in her diet. I also include a jar of homemade noodles and often times a jar of the layered dry soup.

She talks about the couple of dozen jars of food I make her all year. She especially loves the fact that I told her that I think of her every time I plant something to can and how much fun it is.

By Margie M. from Mount Vernon, OH

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Tip: Fleece Blankets for the Winter

Fleece blankets are great, but costly if the quality is good. Now the fabric stores have their fleece on sale-mostly 50% off. 4 yards will be a good size and will cover the top (only) of a queen bed. We have one on the bed and with a bedspread or other cover on top, it never has fallen off and we don't miss the fact that it doesn't go down the sides. They are good to wrap up in and watch tv also.

Fleece doesn't ravel, so you need only get the store to cut all 4 sides straight. You can cut the sides for fringe or sew designs on if desired. For fringe, just cut 1 inch wide as long a length desired all the way around and that's all.

This is a good gift as well as useful in your home. And if you live in a very cold climate, put 1 or 2 in the car in case of problems that might cause you to be stranded with no working heater.

Wash in cold water, alone or only with other fleece to prevent early pilling and use only powder detergent. Never put an iron on it, it will melt and leave a mess on the iron.

By Jeane in TX

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Question: Frugal Homemade Gift Ideas

By Krystal 13 7

I am a very tight budget for Christmas and birthday gifts. I find making something homemade is the best anyway because you put time and effort into it. I am looking for some frugal gift ideas that I could make for loved ones like family and my fiance. Thanks.

By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario

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Most Recent Answer

By Lee 6 111 Flag

November 13, 2010

Home made jelly buy the pectin follow the direction for jelly, but instead of fresh juice buy the frozen canned mix and use the amount called for. So for about $20.00 you can get about 24 jars. Everyone like jelly. Cover the lids with some fabric.

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Tip: Start Holiday Crafts Now

Start any holiday (Halloween through Christmas) crafting now, especially if you do craft shows or just for gifts. This way you won't be stuck at the last minute trying to finish gifts. At the very least, make a list of crafts and items needed. Some can be probably found at yard sales or clearance sections.

By Carol from Massachusetts

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Tip: Cookie Cutter Poem and Gift

By Arlene 2 2

Buy several cookie cutters and attach the following poem to them:

I made a plate of cookies;
And ate just 1 or 2;
But I started feeling guilty;
Because they were for you;
I went into a panic,
and ordered on the phone
This brand new cookie cutter
So you can make your very own!

Merry Christmas

By marg44 from Lipscomb, Tx

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Christmas Book

Christine Webber

Covered book as Christmas gift.In essence, a handmade book covered in beautiful seasonal paper. This book provides a lovely place to record Christmas memories, lists, and recipes. It can be large or small, depending on your needs.

Materials and Equipment:

  • a large garbage bag or several sheets of newspaper
  • craft glue
  • glue spreader or foam brush (choose a larger size if making a larger book)
  • a lid from a used plastic container (such as a yogurt container)
  • ribbon
  • a blank canvas-covered book (available at craft or art supply centers)
  • several pieces of decorative paper (slightly larger than the cover of your book)
  • a piece of corrugated cardboard (slightly larger than the cover of your book)
  • a beautiful Christmas card or embellished placard (smaller than the size of your book)
  • a ruler or straight edge
  • scissors or Xacto knife cutting tool
  • a thick piece of cardboard or plywood as a cutting surface


  1. Before you start, clear the table and cover it with newspaper or a large garbage bag to avoid getting glue on the table.
  2. Place all your supplies on the table in front of you. The first step in this project is to decorate the cover of the book. Before cutting your papers, layer them over the cover to get a sense of which papers you want to use in your cover design. I like to place corrugated cardboard on the cover first to provide a backdrop with three-dimensional visual interest. Next, I layer one or two other lighter pieces of patterned paper over the cardboard. Then I add an embellished placard from a craft store or a pretty Christmas card I received last year and couldn't bear to throw away. (Refer to photo.)
  3. Once you have decided on your design, cut the paper and cardboard (if you are using it) to the sizes you need.
  4. Pour a small puddle of glue onto the plastic container lid.
  5. Spread a thin layer of glue on the back of the piece of paper that will be undermost in your design. Press the paper firmly over the cover of the book, smoothing out any wrinkles as you go. Allow this layer to dry completely.
  6. Repeat step five for each piece of paper you have incorporated into your design.
  7. Glue or stick on the embellishment of your choice. Allow to dry.
  8. Repeat your paper design on the back of the book or simply glue on a sheet of paper that matches one that you used on the front. Allow to dry. You can also opt to leave the back uncovered.
  9. Tie a festive ribbon around the book and start scribbling that holiday gift list!

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Tip: Pot Of Gold Christmas Gift

By carol 3 67

A nice Christmas gift is to make a pot of gold usually found at the end of rainbows! This is a good present for people who are difficult to buy for.

Take a gold container (paper, plastic, glass, anything gold), fill with chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil, (the sort they sell at Christmas wrapped in gold foil in net bags), or any chocolate or candy wrapped in gold. Then tuck in a few scratch cards or lottery tickets or real gold currency, wrap in cellophane and add a gold gift bow or ribbon.

By Carol from England

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Tip: Presents from the Kids

By Katja Kulhanek 2 1

I started a tradition 8 years ago for my son's first Christmas. Every year we make a Christmas gift for the grandparents and great-grandparents and aunts and uncles. The first year he was 9 months old and we made handprint pillows. 3 years later our second son came along and he joined in on the fun! Last year our baby girl joined the "team" and joined in on the tradition. Every year the kids look forward to the tradition, as do the family members who receive these treasured gifts. We also make this craft for at home and it has a special designated area each Christmas.

By Katja from Kountze, TX

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Tip: Christmas Gifts from My Kitchen

This Christmas, gifts to friends will be from my kitchen. Homemade jams, home canned spaghetti sauce for my pasta loving friends, and chicken soup to get them through the cold and flu season!

By bobbieg

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Tip: Homemade Christmas Gifts

One year I typed all the recipes I had used since my children were little, one recipe per page. I decorated each page to match the theme of the recipe with graphics and borders....

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Tip: Making Dinners for Busy People


I took 6 months off to be with my daughter who was going through cancer treatments. My friends invited me for meals. So I cooked dinners mid week for friends who were working.

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Tip: Frugal Christmas Gifts

By sbuttons67 5 7

As money is tight I have made my own Christmas presents for friends and neighbours. I made bird feeders. Some I shaped myself, others, I got the kids to collect pinecones and put the lard over them and rolled in the seeds.

Frugal Christmas Gifts

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Button Love Christmas Present

By Teri M 23

This cute framed button art is the perfect gift for a loved one this holiday season. Made with items easily found at most dollar stores.

Button Heart in picture Frame

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Thread Christmas Tree

small spools of thread used to make a tree shapeMake a cute and easy thread Christmas tree for mom or grandma.

Approximate Time: 30 minutes


  • tiny threads (1 got 100 for $1.00)
  • hot glue or low temp glue
  • cardboard
  • scissors


Very easy for kids to make.

  1. Take cardboard and cut into triangle to look like a tree.
  2. Proceed to hot glue/low temp glue thread rolls to cardboard. (You can use Elmers glue, but then you can not remove to use. The hot glue will be able to come off, although I didn't pull any off yet). If using glue gun, supervisor any kids using it or use low temp gun. Simple and cute for anyone who sews or Grandmas will love it.

I used one pack of 100 to make the tree. You can make smaller tree and use less.

By crafter from MA

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Tip: Giving Baked Gifts

Some of the most popular gifts I have ever given are the baked kind! Most people enjoy having something special to eat for the holidays. This is especially popular with the elderly or shut-in people...

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Tip: Homemade Gifts Bring Greater Appreciation

I have found that homemade gifts for Christmas or birthdays tend to not only be cheaper, but they are appreciated more because the recipient knows you took special time and effort to do something just for them. By Robin

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Tip: A Meal As A Christmas Gift

I love to cook, so for Christmas I will buy ground beef and potatoes when they are on sale and make up meat loaf ahead and freeze it. Then the day before Christmas I make up my favorite mashed potato recipe and put them in a pyrex casserole dish and present the meat loaf and mashed potatoes as a gift.

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103 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas

Here's a link for some some quick and easy gift ideas that are both clever and "punny".

  View This Page

This page is not on ThriftyFun, but we had to share it. Be sure to come back and rate it.

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Homemade Christmas Presents for Adults

This is a guide about homemade Christmas presents for adults. Christmas is a wonderful time to give homemade gifts to children and adults alike.

preparing gingerbread cookies as a gift

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Tip: Easy Computer Christmas Gifts

Debra Frick

Why not try something different for Christmas this year? Why not make this your very own make it yourself Christmas. There are several different things that you can make on your computer that will be lasting gifts for your friends and family, and they will know that you took the time to really give of yourself.

Easy Computer Christmas Gifts

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Tip: Sound Recordings for Christmas Greetings

By pam munro 522 790

Nowadays most computers have tiny sound recorders and CD burning software isn't expensive. So you can record holiday greetings and burn it on a CD to send to relatives and friends.

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Tip: Homemade Gift Ideas and Packaging

For small gifts, hot chocolate mixes, coffee creamers, etc., take inexpensive felt sheets 8x11 and cut in half longways. You have two pieces 4x11. Sew or glue sides together (I sewed them), resulting in a bag that is 4x5 1/2.

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Question: Homemade Christmas Presents

I've just moved to my first home and money is a little tight. Could anyone give me tips how to make my Christmas gifts this year. I don't have a lot of money to spend, but I would like my presents to look nice.

My (fairly large!) family are very generous at Christmas and I want to give something that looks good, but costs the minimum. I am interested in quick, simple and easy ideas. Please help!


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Crafts ChristmasMarch 30, 2012
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