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Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

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Gifts That Cost Nothing

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

Solutions: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Pocket Pack Baking Kits

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

Supplies

  • 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
Supplies

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

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.

Materials:

  • 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

Instructions:

  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

Tip: Frugal Christmas Gifts

Frugal Christmas Gifts

As money is tight I have made my own Christmas presents for friends and neighbours. I made bird feeders (1 kg wild bird seed £1. A block of lard 38p - string I had already) Some I shaped myself, others, I got the kids to collect pinecones and put the lard over them and rolled in the seeds.

The cinnamon decorations I bought a bag of cinnamon sticks (£2.50 - reduced!), cut on in half (they were 20 cm long|) and hot glued the two together and added ribbon for hanging.

Frugal Christmas Gifts

The other decorations I made; I printed music sheets from the internet, I was hoping to find some in charity shops, rolled them up loosly, and added ribbon the hang them. These too will be used for present along with the bird feeder and cinnamon sticks.

Source: Bird feeder from Super Scrimpers TV program

By

Tip: Look For Giveaway Dishes For Food Gifts

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

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

Article: My Frugal Life - Homemade Christmas Gifts

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

Christmas Book

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

Instructions:

  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!

By Christine Weber

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.

On the backside of each recipe, I put a photo of someone in the family. When you looked at the recipe page entitled "Stew", for example, the picture on the left was a picture of all the grandchildren entitled the "Smith Stew" (but I used our last name).

I put all the pages in page protector sheets I bought at Costco. I put all the pages in a binder that you can remove or add pages as needed. I designed the cover, side binding and the backside of the binder with appropriate graphics, title and year. I didn't have a hole punch, so went to Office Max. They have a place where you can use paper cutter, copier, hole punch, etc.

After all the gifts had been opened, my children sat for hours looking through the book at the recipes and the "old" pictures they had forgotten about.

It was truly a labor of love. It took 2 months writing and editing, working it around my life.

I hope this gives someone an idea they can use.

By Eletha

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

Tip: Easy Computer Christmas Gifts

Easy Computer Christmas Gifts

Easy Computer Christmas Gifts

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. I am going to try and include gifts that an adult can make and gifts that children with a little computer knowledge can make by themselves. With times what they are and believe me I know times are tough, these could be wonderful gifts that will teach more about the true meaning of Christmas. If you get started now, you should be able to complete these in now time at all and have the satisfaction of knowing that your ready for Christmas early.

Recipes

Why not write down all of your favorite recipes for a new bride or grandma's favorites for all the nieces and nephews. You can include all those great family pictures of grandma or your son when he was little. Google recipe cards on the Internet and you will find that there are many that you can download and print. Copy the recipes on to the card and punch a hole in the corner and you have a flip-able recipe book. You could also make a book by typing out the recipes in a good word processor and print them and out and put them in a three ring binder. You could also make a custom cookbook for your children or grandkids by goggling children's recipes and copy and paste them into your word processor. Decorate the front with your child's name.

Bookmarks

For those book lovers in the family you can make bookmarks. Google bookmarks and you will find lots that you can copy and print. This would be an easy craft for young children to make for their parents or friends. Have them mount the bookmarks on colored construction paper and the let them have at it with glue and glitter or ribbons and lace.

Calling Cards

Children's calling cards are all the rage right now. Back in the day people would leave these at a home where they were visiting. Find a template for business cards on the Internet compatible with your word processor. If you have Microsoft Publisher on your computer you are all set. On the Internet there are many free sites to get you started with a cute graphic. Google free Disney graphics and you will find a bunch. Put in a cute graphic and add your child's name, address and phone number. Teens love to pass these out to their friends and little children will love to have these for setting up a play date. Just right the time on the back and your child's friend will know when to come and play.

Stationary

Stationary is another great gift to give children the love of writing letters. To make it easy on myself and because printing on odd size sheets of paper can be difficult, I just make stationary on 81/2 by 11 inch paper. I use colored paper, which can be bought at Walmart cheaply. I put a graphic centered in the middle of the page and the underneath I print their name, address. Phone number and email. This gives a child a sense of pride when witting to their grandparents or a pen pal. I have also decorated these with dried flowers stickers and pictures that I scanned and used as a graphic. They don't have a pen pal? Hook them up with a cousin or relative out of state. It is real fun waiting for a letter to arrive in the mailbox opposed to instant gratification of an instant message.

Life Story

If you are a grand parent reading this why not write out a story from your childhood. This is a gift that will endure. If for a young child use small simple sentences. You probably could write the whole story in 10 sentences and then use pictures from your past to put above them. Or write them an original story. Print the story with your printer put on Landscape and there will be plenty of room to put in pictures. You can also put in a column down the center that will divide the pages for you. Make sure that you make it so that the lines are printable so you have a line on which to cut your book apart. You can then laminate it with clear contact paper to make it more durable for children. You could also make out a family tree using the child at the top and work their way down. Don't forget to add birth dates and other information this could be the beginning of a love of genealogy. Not to mention a family heirloom. This is also a gift that a teenager could make with a little help with the information. Some genealogy websites also have trees that you can print out and then fill in, if your child is not artistically inclined.

Lego Plans

On the Lego website, you can find directions for building all sorts of different things with Lego's why not print these out and put them in a three ring binder so that your young architect can have new things to build with his Lego's.

Calendars

Calendars are also a great gift especially if you turn your kids loose with a digital camera. Let the kids take the pictures and you put them together in a great family calendar.

Coloring Books

Homemade color books are another great idea for kid to kid Christmas gifts. Just print out lots of coloring pages and put into a three ring binder. Even the smallest child can be taught to print out pages.

Hope this helps with your Christmas!

By Debra Frick

Tip: Sound Recordings for Christmas Greetings

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. How nice it would be to hear a little one singing a Christmas carol and saying greetings to his/her - grandmother, say!

By pamphyila from L.A., CA

Tip: Christmas Food for My Diet Restricted Aunt

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

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

Tip: Cookie Cutter Poem and Gift

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

Tip: Presents from the Kids

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

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 4x5.5 inches. Trim raw edges with decorative scissors. Decorate bags by gluing or sewing cinnamon sticks, buttons, flowers, lace, bows, whatever you desire, let your imagination go wild. Insert gift item and tie closed with decorative ribbon.

I made gourmet flavored coffee creamers and put 8 ounces in a plastic baggie and printed labels with directions and placed on the plastic baggie. Then I printed labels with the name of what was inside the gift bag and placed on the outside of the gift bag. I then placed the plastic baggie inside and tied them closed with elastic metallic gift ribbon. These made really cute gifts, stocking stuffers, etc. I made them to sell at a craft show for $3.50 each and they went like crazy. I made chocolate candycane (cocoa and peppermint extract), holiday spice (pumpkin pie spice), and cinnamon roll (vanilla and cinnamon).

What ones I have left, will go in my gift baskets I give for Christmas. Enjoy!

By Cheryl from Peebles, OH

Tip: Inexpensive Gifts for Friends

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!)

Materials:

  • 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.

Instructions:

  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

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

Tip: Making Dinners for Busy People

I took 6 months off to be with my daughter who was going through cancer treatments. My friends were just great. They invited me for meals. So what I did was I cooked up a turkey, dressing, gravy, veggies, and mashed potatoes and delivered dinners mid week to friends who were working and enjoyed not having to come home and cook dinner. I put all the meals into disposable containers, so no dishes either. That was my pre-Christmas gift to them.

By Theresa

103 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas

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


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Questions

Here are questions related to Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas.

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


Most Recent Answer

By wanda [1]12/01/2011

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!

Question: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

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


Most Recent Answer

By Veronica [10]12/09/2010

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

Question: Frugal Homemade Gift Ideas

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


Most Recent Answer

By Lee [4]11/13/2010

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.

Question: Frugal Gifts For Neighbors

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


Most Recent Answer

By fishbone10/29/2009

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!

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!

Sharon

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


Most Recent Answer

By kdcottingham10/22/2012

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.