For several years now, when I do an internet search for "Homemade Gift Ideas". I come to your site, and see all the great ideas, like Jar, or basket gifts etc. But even those seem to be too expensive, and not really workable for my needs.
First, I would think about cutting down the number of people you give gifts to. Are they all really necessary? Just the fact that you make them a card seems to me like a gift in itself. You seem to making this harder on yourself than it should be.
For the Christmas cards, always save the cards you receive. Cut off the front and any nice sayings from the inside. You can use these in the making of yours. Why not try making ornaments out of these too. (i.e. cut out a picture of an angel, embellish with a gold metallic pen, tie a pretty ribbon to the top). These would be a flat gift you could send.
For the kid, go with a book.
Kitchen gadgets always make good useful gifts. Pampered chef sells a handy opener (for soda and jars and 2 liter bottles), seasonal cookbook for $1, and other little gadgets that people love.
Good luck and try to enjoy the true reason of Christmas - Jesus and love! :)
I love magnets. you can make your own from photos and magnetic sheets for a personal touch. Almost everyone has a fridge or some where that they could use a magnet. It's small, flat and cost effective. For the boy, a book is a good idea as well as art supplies ie. colored pencils, markers, paints, paper, etc.
How about making them stationery? A ream of paper is about $5. and just print the top border with whatever pattern you like and choose one which looks good in black ink. Such as a title "Memo From Mari".
Magnets sound great and how about a favorite recipe (perhaps tailored to those with allergies etc. Printing one on an index card and making copies.
Depending on the time you have, the recipe card could be personalized with decorations or stickers.
When my granddaughter was leaving the country for a year, I made a little bag, it could be an envelope, Then I added a birthday candle or star to index cards. I then added a bible verse, or a memory to each one, And on one Merry Christmas. On one I wrote Happy birthday. I think I made ten cards, It could be less. This was small, weighed very little and reminded her of home. She loved it. For the little boy, colors, pencils and drawing paper are always welcome.
I agree that you need to simplify! A cute idea for a little gift to put in a card: Felt ornaments. I use cookie cutters as patterns. Simple shapes like stars or hearts work well. Cut 2 pieces of felt the same shape and sew them together using embroidery floss. Leave a little opening and put a little bit of stuffing inside (cotton balls work) and then finish sewing shut. I use a blanket stitch to do mine. A nice finished look. Add a ribbon hanger. They wouldn't add to the cost of postage because they weigh virtually nothing.
I know this isn't what you asked for :-) but I'm afraid I agree with Becky. Gifts are for family and close friends. Cards are for friends and acquaintances - in fact I have even stopped sending cards as I think bought ones are a complete rip off - I just send a very long newsy letter which people appreciate much more than a card or cheap useless gift. The fact that you spend the time to handmake cards should be a gift in itself. 300 gifts a year is insanity! If there is no one you can possible just send a card to I suggest you make gifts throughout the year as making and sending gifts under such stress negates the joy of giving. For help in organising for next year I would join Flylady (www.FlyLady.net) and plan and execute your gift making in babysteps.
Regards and good luck for this Christmas!
re the suggestion of making stationary.....if ya want to be really TW'd print at your local library. Our library allows us something like 400 printed papers a month......2 or 4 to a sheet and you have quite a bit of stationery....or recipes, or a special poem....
give a gift from the heart......find a poem and decorate it for ALL.....enjoy and don't sweat the small stuff........and if these aren't business cards, do you REALLY receive 300 gifts back from all of these people? reconsider and drastically cut the list is what I'd be doing........
i thought about this on my way to work today and remembered a little gift that will almost cost you nothing. i know you said you made bookmarks and was looking for something else but here is my bookmark suggestion. have people save you all their junk mail envelopes. cut the corners of the envelopes so you will have a little triangle shape. you can then decorate them with stickers, etc. the bookmark will slip over the corner of the page you are reading.
How wonderful you have so many that you want to share Christmas with and those that recieve your hand-made card and gift must feel very special. Keep it up as maybe some of those you send to might only get the one you send. Gifts are not meant to be given only if you get one too. As for something easy, check out the ornaments in a magazine called Scrap and Stamp on page 32 the foil ornaments. They are made by krinkled foil put over ornaments that you cut from cardstock and then use glitter crayons, they are then melted with a heat gun and the affects are wonderful. You punch a small hole and string fancy yarn for the hanger. Cheap and beautiful.
As for the little boy, a learn to read book if great, so many people lean towards videos or toys at this age and a learn to read book is what they need to get a good start at school. I hope this helps.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Jesus Christ
How about making tiny travel sewing kits, that people can keep in their wallet.
Get some thin white card and cut into credit-card sized oblongs, rounding off the corners. Cut a few nicks in both of the long sides and wind around a couple of feet of different coloured threads - I suggest black, white, cream, brown and grey. Sew a shirt button on the card and stick a needle and two pins securely through the board. Add a safety pin. Slip the whole thing into a tiny polythene bag, or the corner of one, cut to size. Better still, get some transparent A5 document display wallets and use the bottom corners to make two holders for the sewing kit.
If you can get a cheap job-lot of some tiny embroidery scissors, or folding scissors, these would make a great addition, held in place by weaving between the threads. It might even be worth contacting manufacturers, to see if they can give you a decent price for a bulk order.
for the sewing kit you can cut your card stock and fold it over and staple it like a matchbook cover and decorate the front of it. then wrap your thread around another piece of card stock and put your needle, straight pins, safety pins also on it and then stick it in the matchbook cover.
Is this a joke? If not, you need to chill out. NO ONE IN THIS WORLD actually needs a bookmark! (That's what those annoying little cards in magazines are for!) No one really needs a flat ornament either.
Or, maybe write Martha
Why don't you give a donation to a charity? They will usually give you small cards if you request them stating the charity you gave money to. You can put these cards in the Christmas cards you send out, and you know that your money is going towards a good cause.
I belong to an email group and we send 'swaps' to each other now and then, which must fit in an envelope. Generally included in mine are a holiday paper napkin, holiday confetti, tea bag, flat candy (Ghirardelli chocolates work great!), post it notes, bookmark, flat magnet, poem or saying, recipe, stickers and seed pack if it's spring or summer. I try to make it festive and fun while keeping it inexpensive and as flat and lightweight as possible.
You might do some scrapbooking to a picture or frame,maybe even a small brag book. All ages seamed to like these. Just make them personal if you can. You can just put there own name on a couple of pages,just use stickers or colorful pens.
With reference to your card query, i may have a cheap way of making cards for you. I got a load of handmade paper samples from a discount stationery store and a bumper pack of xmas table confetti. Then i cut the paper samples into small squares, glued on a snowflake or star from the confetti and stuck it on the card.
A nice healthy treat is simply dried apricots 1/2 dipped in white chocolate ...I don't even like apricots but I love them done this way.
Get a glass salt and pepper shaker and wash and dry thoroughly. Spray paint the top to coorindate with your colors. Put bath powder in the shaker and decorate the outside with buttons, lace, ribbon, etc. This makes an excellent gift for ladies or girls to pack in their suitcase or leave on dresser. Your cost is usually under $1.00.
As a small gift I made business cards. For a cook, clip art picture of a cook stirring a big pot of soup. For a high school girl interested in acting I used clip art Comedy/tragedy. It was a lot of work, but lots of fun doing it and thinking of what they would really be interested in.
I wish someone would give detailed information about bookmarks, are they printed on both sides? Do you laminate them?
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