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I am looking for mass gift giving ideas, on a budget. I am planning on going to the hospital on Base to visit veterans for Christmas. I want to take small gifts to give to those we visit. I need ideas for a lot of gifts to be given to the Veterans there.
Navy Wiffle from Las Vegas, NV
Get in touch with some veteran organizations by phone and explain to them that you would like to give the vets a small gift when you visit them in the hospital. I believe they will be able to financially help you in your endeavors.
Some time ago, my husband (who is a vet of the Korean Conflict) was approached by a stranger while in our local Wal-mart. The gentleman shook my husband's hand and thanked him for his service to our great country. The man then handed my husband a tiny American flag pin. It's almost like a lapel pin, with a "frog" for a fastener. My husband treasures this small item that couldn't have cost this gentleman more than a few pennies.
Perhaps your local Veterans' Affairs office or American Legion will know how to obtain these items.
God Bless you! I loved the idea of the flag pin! And I would think even candy bars, homemade cards of thanks for service, and even hugs would mean so much to any veteran! It's more the gift of time and the thought of thanking them that matters!
Please let us know what you decided and please share your experience with the veterans with us :-)
Go to a walmart, k-mart or other chain store and get puzzle books, there are all kinds. t will give them something to do. My husband likes the word ones.
How about going to a Christian bookstore and purchasing some bookmarks. These would be inexpensive & you might get a discount by buying in bulk. These would be truly a God sent gift & such a help in time of need, both for their books, magazines, and for their souls, and uplifting of their spirits. What a great job you're going to be doing, my hat off to you! May God bless you for your efforts.
I love the ideas so far. I don't have any idea how much they cost but for all that reading a magnified glass could be nice.
I'm a newspaper carrier and get many tips and gifts at Christmas time. I like to put some little handmade gift in the thank you notes but I've run out of ideas. This year I gave candy cane horses. I have between 550 and 600 customers. I need to get started right away! I need some ideas!
M. Donna from Dayton, OH
A small calendar card (approx credit card size)? These are handy to keep in a wallet or purse.
How about making some personalized wraps that you wrap around miniature hershey candy bars? There is a site called www.alenkasprintables.com that has free printables that you can use; there are even bookmarks that you could print off if you would like to go with bookmarks like Jojo suggested. You could buy clear shelf lining paper and "laminate" your bookmarks. Maybe you could get personalized pencils, I had some made at www.orientaltrading.com and they were pretty reasonable; they even have some shaped liked candy canes.
people love magnets! i printed them with graphics and sayings combinations or just sayings. also bookmarks printed on heavy weight cardstock about 2"x8" also ribbon bookmarks..they are so cool!! if you want to check with the administrator of this wonderful site I could email you my crafts (on word documents)
You know, you really DON'T have to BACK gifts, because the gifts they gave to YOU are for what you have ALREADY DONE FOR THEM. A nice little card will suffice in my opinion, otherwise you'll be crafting until Easter! lol You must be doing an
excellent job, so just learn to accept graciously because you must be worth it. Keep up the good work. God bless and keep you. : )
I need to make 20-60 small gifts for my families for Christmas. Any inexpensive ideas? It's all for ages 10 and up. Can anyone give me any ideas?
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I need to make 20-60 small gifts for my families for Christmas. Any inexpensive ideas?
It's all for ages 10 and up. Can anyone give me any ideas?
How about making Christmas tree ornaments? Last year I went to a craft store and bought
glass balls that had a cap and hanger on the top of them. I bought some acrylic paints
in the little bottles, also. First you rinse out the balls with a solution of 1 part
vinegar to 3 parts water and let dry. Then you pour a little paint down the inside of
the ball and twirl the ball to get the paint to run around the ball. Add another color
and do again. I liked using about 3 colors, one of which was a gold or silver (it adds
sparkle to the ball). Don't add too much paint or twirl too much, your colors will run
together. When the inside is covered, place the ball upside down on a Styrofoam cup so
all extra paint can drip out. Let it stay there for up to a week, to dry. Put your cap
and hanger back on and add a gold or silver ribbon to the top. This Christmas ball
ornament turns out to be very pretty and each one is unique. It costs about 50 cents to
$1 for the ball and on top of that is the paint depending how many colors of paint you
need to buy.
My daughter gave one each to the family she babysat for and each person in our
extended family received one also last Christmas. Everyone loved them. We brought
enough along for the number of people we were giving one to and let them choose the ball
ornament they liked and wanted. (11/08/2004)
You can buy the satin Christmas balls in bulk and also several different kinds and
colors of sequins. Using straight pins, pin the sequins onto the balls. Each one will
be unique with different sequins and designs. I also use ribbon on mine too and usually
buy the thin ribbon. The best thing to do is to buy this stuff after the holidays when
it marked down to 75% off. (11/08/2004)
I am on a small income and like to give Christmas presents for my family so what I do is
go to Wal-mart and buy the little cross stitch ornaments. You can easily learn how to
cross stitch by following the directions, they turn out really cute and are about 1.00 so
they are cheap also, and it is a gift they can use next year for the tree. (11/08/2004)
I have a large family. I usually visit dollar stores (where everything's a dollar). A
lot of the items these stores have are very nice. Last year I got some potpourri and
square candle holders (I was able to get 3 for a dollar). I filled the holders with the
potpourri and covered it with plastic wrap.
For men I usually buy some screw drivers and hammers (for some reason they can't ever
remember where they put them last, best if it's a bright color!). For the younger kids
I'd buy a few (2 or more) items and put them into a box (if not breakable the bigger the
box the better). Such as activity books, pens, figurines, memo pads, etc. I also
sometimes get candy canes that have candy in them, but (I'm big on a kid not having too
much candy) I will only leave about half of the candy in them and add some cars for the
boys and nail polish for the girls. For teens it's a bit harder and luckily I haven't
had that problem. I usually have a friend go with me (who happens to be 17). She's
usually really good at finding something everyone will like if I'm not sure what to get.
I go a bit out on a limb for her at Christmas, LOL. It's only fair. I have found most
teen girls enjoy bath beads and salts, and cubes; also lotions. Most teen boys enjoy
anything that they can take apart later on (I've only had to buy for one teen boy, so
far, so I'm not much help there).
In some places it's hard to find a true dollar store, some are more like a 5 and dime,
but they all seam to be cheap and have many wonderful items that (unless the person goes
to them also) most people won't even know the difference. (The only place I found that
wasn't a true dollar store the most I paid was $2.25 for something.)
We took glass balls and painted each of our family members name on the ball. You can use
colored or clear ones, but the colored ones are nicer. They all just love them.
One year, I found these inexpensive wine glasses (probably from Dollar Store or
Shopper's Choice) and bought some glossy paint in small bottles. I painted these glasses
in gold, silver, green, and red colors in all different patterns and such. Then I bought
some cheap votive candles at WalMart and used the glasses as candle holders. It was
really fun to make and the glasses were really unique! By the way, I'm 15. (11/12/2004)
You could make little baskets out of newspaper or just regular paper, design it, and
just put candy (or odds and ends) in it. Sometimes, schools have cut outs (dye cuts?) I
think they're called of different shapes and they may even have one of a basket you can
fold together. You could just go the old fashioned way and do a family picture,
personalize it with a poem you wrote of the person (Sue, S=sweet, U=unbelievable,
My mother and her sisters used to make each gifts for each other at Christmas time. One
year my aunt made our family Christmas ornaments. She took Styrofoam balls and cut them
in half. She put glue on the back of the ball half and wrapped a pretty silky material
around the back (rounded side) of the ball and brought the edges around to the front
(flat side) of the ball. The edges were glued in place. She then took pretty hat pins
and placed glass beads on the pin then stuck the pins into the rounded side of the ball.
She did this all over in various designs. On the front of the half ball she had placed
a photo of each of us and glued it to cover the edges of the material that had
overlapped. She then used rick-rack to glue around the top edge of the picture to make
a border. She bought those small screw eye-hole screws to place on the top of the
ornament and then used elastic as the ornament hanger. My ornament even had a tassel
placed on the bottom of it. This is still one of my most treasured ornaments and I place
it on my tree every year! (11/27/2004)
I am working 2 full time jobs and have absolutely no time, so this is what I did this
year. (Someone I work with saw this at a craft sale. I would only do this for people who
really know you and won't be offended with such a simple thing.) I gave a big Hershey's
chocolate bar with a note on it that said, "A night or two ago, we thought we'd make a
treat. For all our special friends, a Christmas treat to eat. Our intentions were top
notch, but our schedules wouldn't budge. Hence, here's this year's edition of homemade
Christmas fudge!!! (a poem to the tune of Jingle Bells). Anyway, simple and
inexpensive, but everyone thought it was a really cute idea! (12/20/2004)
I give all of my friends gift boxes. Last year I bought the decorated fold up boxes (10
for $3) and some tissue paper. I ordered 2 year planners and a note pad from Oriental
Trading Company for 50 and 10 cents each and inserted a $5 gift certificate to a local
theater. I also included a couple bags of microwave popcorn, a box of Cracker Jacks,
Goldfish crackers, and about $1 worth of candy (miniature Snickers, M&Ms, etc). I
always try to keep the gift under $10. This year it came out to be about $8 per person.
(I also give this to my friends children). (02/05/2005)
I just made gum drop tree ornaments. Take a Styrofoam ball and use a hot glue gun, then
take mini gum drops and glue them on. Add a ribbon on top so you can hang on the
Christmas tree. They are very cute and look great. Also, a very cheap idea is to make a
set of six and put in box wrapped up. This is a great homemade idea that can be used
each year. (12/09/2005)
My grandma used to take her old costume jewelry (necklaces, earrings, broaches, etc.) and
take them apart and pin them onto the satin balls. She added ribbon and even a doll from
the shoulders up, which sounds really odd, but looked really great! She died before I
was born and they are still around. My mom even gave me some for my tree after I got
married and moved out on my own. (12/13/2005)
museum visit, science center exploration. Decorate the "coupon" with the theme of the
These idea's are all lower cost things.
By Jennifer from MI
I took old jam jars washed them out and put all the dry ingredients for hot chocolate
layer by layer. I even gave them a little twist by adding special ingredients to make
them different. I bought cheap Christmas mugs at the Dollar Tree. I also included
biscotti and plastic white chocolate covered spoons. I am 15. (10/18/2006)
I also like to make Christmas ornaments. I get the old-fashioned clothespins, not the
spring-loaded kind, but the ones that look like 2 little legs. You can buy them in a bag
in the craft department at Wal-mart. You'll need 2 clothespins for each ornament, brown,
black, and red acrylic paint, and wiggly eyes. You will also need gold elastic thread to
use for hangers. I have my husband drill small holes through one of the clothespin legs
"sides". I paint the clothespins brown, allow to dry, and glue them at the round point
where the "legs" of one are up and the other are down. The one with the holes drilled
through should be on top and the legs should be pointed up. This will be your head.
Glue on wiggly eyes, paint on a red nose, and a black smile, thread your thread through
the holes and tie, and voila! You have a Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer ornament for the
One year I bought Jiffy brownie mixes, they were under .50 and put them in a decorated
bag, tied curly ribbon around the top and used my scrapbooking supplies to make little
cards that I attached that said, "Poinsettias are red, Christmas is sweet, I'm stressed
out. Make your own darn treat." I handed them out to neighbor and coworkers, everyone
loved them. (11/19/2006)
I don't remember where I saw this idea, but I thought it was cute. Take a wire kitchen
whisk, put Hersey Kisses inside the whisk, tie a bunch of curling ribbon to the top, and
a little note: We whisk you a Merry Christmas! (or you could say, "We whisk you a Merry
Hey. I made this for my little nieces and they love em and it's really easy and cheap.
you can buy the empty glass ornaments that opens up, at the craft store and then just
fill them in with little things like candy and chocolate. If your ornament is big enough
you can buy little toys and jewelry. (12/04/2006)
A great idea hit me while I was scrolling through everyone's posts. I'm going to pick up
several inexpensive plastic coin purses from the dollar store, and decorate them with
old magazine clippings. I have piles of old magazines that aren't getting used any
longer! I work in the music industry, so I will cut out names and pictures of bands,
etc. and glue them on the coin purse. (Obviously you could do this with any old
magazine, depending on what the person you're giving the purse to likes.) Then I will
finish it with a thin layer of clear glue across the pictures so that they won't easily
peel. Haven't decided what to do for men yet. (12/10/2006)
I know craft stores like Michael's sometimes have Chinese food take-out boxes in winter
themed patterns, they are really cute. You can fill them with home made cookies or fill
them with tinsel and use them to hold a small gift or an ornament. (12/14/2006)
I have a gift basket business and I love to find bargains at Tuesday Morning, Dollar
Tree, Ross, Michael's and more and then customize a gift basket for a lucky recipient. I
just did 4 matching baskets for breast cancer patients at a local church in DFW area of
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What I've done a couple of times and really love is you go to a dollar store and buy 3-
10 full sized chocolate bars and make something up to go with the name of each chocolate
bar to compliment the person. It's worked really well in the past. Or you can buy the
chocolate and make a story using the names. (11/15/2007)
I'm going to put my favorite holiday recipes in a mini photo album to give to my
extended family. The photo albums can be purchased at the dollar store and the recipes
printed on the computer. (11/18/2007)
One year I bought scratch off tickets and attached a card that said, "Just wanted to you
to know I feel "lucky" to have you in my life. Merry Christmas." I tied it to the ticket
with a Christmas ribbon. (12/08/2007)
Buy a couple of bars of good quality chocolate, melt down and pour into novelty ice cube
trays (I've got ones of pin up girls-very saucy!), push out when the chocolate is set
and you've got some really cute chocolates. You can also add flavouring/liqueur, etc.
during the melting to make them a bit fancier!
Also, try infusing a big bottle of vodka with fruits then decant into little pretty
Last year I made my sister-in-law a card that said, "Have a super Christmas" attached on
top of some canned soups. (10/27/2008)
Having a newborn I was trying to do something that was thoughtful and still budget
friendly for the rest of my husband's and my own family. I have come up with the idea to
make the double sided fleece blankets. All you do is cut the fleece to size and then cut
strips all around the edges of the pieces of material then tie them together. Also,
include a small "IOU coupon" like for my friend Meghan it says "Two free coffee drinks
anytime you want. Hope you enjoy." Hope it helps. (12/10/2008)
By Chloe's Mom
Buy clay: make figurines, put wire through the top bake them /leave them to dry for a
day. Hang them up voila. Add what else you'd like. (12/11/2008)
All of the above are awesome ideas! One of my favorite gifts to make though is a paper
box. You can buy tons of awesome kinds of craft paper at a craft store for about .30
cents apiece. Then just find a cool and easy template for a creative paper box online
(try this link: www.paperandmore.com/articles/box_templates/index.html) and make it out
of either the craft paper or some sturdy cardstock-type paper. Fill it with some cute
gifts like cheap earrings, small lotions, or nail polishes, chocolates, etc. for girls
or women. For boys maybe some candy of some type and keychains, or I don't know what
else whatever you can find. Hope that helps!