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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
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.
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.
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!)
So, for under $33, enough to make 32 ornaments.
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
This year my sister and I gathered old photos, family tree info and family stories and combined them into a book. That we had printed by online publisher LuLu. The book ran about $10 a book and is now an heirloom in our family. We ran about a dozen copies for everyone. According to mother, it is the best gift ever.
By Carole from Indiana
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....
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.
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
These sweet gifts are made by placing a cake or cookie mix package into a linen towel bag. You can add tools and decorations, such as sprinkles, to round out the gift. This is a guide about making pocket pack baking kits.
This gift idea consists of a blank book covered in seasonal paper. It is perfect for using as a journal to record holiday memories, recipes, and more. This is a guide about making a Christmas book.
A wonderful way to keep in touch at the holidays is by sending personal audio greetings to family and friends. This is a guide about sending audio Christmas greetings.
Dress up a bottle of bubble bath or spray bath foam like Santa. This makes a cute gift for the kids on your list. This is a guide about making a Santa soap.
One inexpensive way to create special gifts for friends, family, and co-workers for Christmas is to utilize your computer. There are lots of ideas to pursue, such as bookmarks, stationary, coloring books, and more. This is a guide about making Christmas gifts with your computer.
This is a guide about giving a meal as a Christmas gift. A homemade meal made with love can be a meaningful holiday gift to many different people.
Some of the best Christmas gifts come from the kitchen. Baked goods, canned foods and snacks all make great homemade gifts. Find ideas for Christmas Gifts from Your Kitchen in this guide.
Baked goods make great gifts for Christmas, birthdays and other special events. Edible gifts are not only delicious and come from the heart but can also be inexpensive.
DIY gifts are the best gifts when you are trying to be frugal. Check out these great frugal homemade gift ideas.
This is a guide about making a thread spool Christmas tree. Give the sewing crafter in your life a cute spool Christmas tree gift, to hang in their craft area.
Anyone receiving this gift of cookie cutters and cute poem is going to love it. This is a guide about making a cookie cutter poem and gift.
This is a guide about homemade Christmas presents for adults. Christmas is a wonderful time to give homemade gifts to children and adults alike.
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.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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
If you go to this website, you will find a HUGE choice of ideas: http://members. Mae/jarlinks.htm
I have a great idea...I sell Home Interiors & Gifts, with features from Better Homes and Gardens.
We have the BEST candles on the market and very affordable. Everybody likes candles and they are a hot item right now. If you are interested e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
I fill Mason jars with all the dry ingredients to make either cookies or soup. Put the recipe on a pretty card and tied it with a ribbon to the jar. it's cheap and people love it-they either have dinner or dessert at hand. Hope this helps.
Here's a small gift basket idea I used as teacher's gifts that were a big hit: I baked a dozen mini muffins and included 3 packages of hot cocoa (a box of 10 costs $1). The teacher's loved it because it was something they could enjoy and not another knick knack to dust. If you want a bigger gift, add a second flavor of muffins and add herbal tea, too.
What about things like homeade hot cocoa mix or bath salts, placed in decorative jars. You can find recipes almost anywhere. The ingredients are not very expensive, and easy to find.
If you're able to visit thrift shops or yard sales, this is something you can be working on all year, not just as it gets close to Christmas: Pick up beautiful old china dinner plates--you see a lot of nice single ones left over from sets that have long since bit the dust. Then when it gets closer to the Holidays, if you're a pretty good cookie maker--or if not like me, watch your local grocery store bakery for good deals on fancy cookies--fill each plate with a nice arrangement of fancy cookies, cover the whole thing with that clear wrapping paper (pull the paper up over the top of the plate and tie some pretty grosgrain ribbon around the excess wrapping paper sticking up over the plate). A friend of mine has given me a couple of these and I just loved it! Not only did I enjoy the yummy cookies, but now I have some really pretty plates that are fun to use for snack trays for fancy parties or even just to look at in my china hutch. (People are always asking me where I got such pretty plates!)
You can make a candleholder with candy canes. You need a red long tapered candle and about six or seven canes. Glue canes around candle with the crook part down. Tie an ribbon around and add some small xmas flower. Very cute and cheap. This makes great teachers gifts
http://www.Budget101.com has some great and inexpensive ideas for gifts.
I don't have the money to buy Christmas presents for my sisters and their children, so I go to Walmart or any store that sells crafts, I purchase crosstitch ornaments for like .97 cents, that way everyone gets a present they will always have to remember me by. The ornaments only take one hour to do and learning how to crossstitch is very easy, which you could find a website that has the instructions on it for free! My family loves them!
Make Peanut Brittle and put it in a jar. It always looks harder to make than it is. Make sure it's a dry day. And if you are feeling like making something fancier use hazelnuts or almonds in place of peanuts.
Take a look at this site.
several shops to look at especially gifts under $5 and $10 if on a budget like me.
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.
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.
No matter what you make, if you want it to look like anything, you will have to spend some money. What are your abilities and what crafts do you like to do? A lot will also depend on the ages of the recipients.
You could use the ingredients you have in your kitchen to make gifts. For example, put the dry ingredients in a zip-lock bag for making a batch of cookies or a cake or bread, etc. Then write on a small card the wet ingredients that need to be added, and the instructions for mixing and baking it. Place the card in the bag.
Or you could bake cookies, place in zip-lock baggies and freeze until Christmas.
Another idea is to write down or type 5 to 10 of your very best recipes on a piece of paper or index cards, and give those as gifts.
These days most people understand that times are tough financially for some of us, I'm sure anything you give will be appreciated.
My sister has a large family encluding grandchildren and great grandchildren. She makes all the Christmas gifts and birthday gifts. She has a very small income. She quilts and knits. Every one in her family has lovely quilted place mats, lap quilts, pot holders, toaster covers, doll quilts, table toppers and door hanger decorations. She even makes tree ornaments from small quilt blocks. She knits the most wonderful dish cloths from cotton yarn. The little kids all have novelty pillowcases from kids story book prints. Her investment is the cloth, yarn and thread which is not a lot because she buys her supplies on sale and in bulk. She begins making her gifts in January and gets the birthdays out of the way first then starts on Christmas. She enjoys it and her family, me encluded, love the gifts.
If you know how to crochet, you can make rag rugs from old t-shirts. I made one for each of my sons teachers and they loved them! They also cost me nothing except my time. go to myrecycledbags.com for easy instructions.
Some ideas that I have used are candles and cards. You can make really attractive cards from card stock, photographs and creative use of colored paper. Choosing photos of family or places you have traveled makes the gift even more special. You can purchase inexpensive candles and decorate them with photos or poems and use decoupage glue to attach them to the candle.
If you make jams, jellies or relishes, a small jar with a ribbon attached is a very personal gift. You can also make cookies, always a hit! If you don't bake, get a package of cookie mix.
There are some fantastic recipes here! some include the "clone" instant coffee recipes that I intend to make and give as Christmas gifts! www.buget101.com has all kinds of gifts in a jar; make a mix etc. Make a mix: google it; find what works for you and if you don't have jars; www.freecycle.org or local recycling; post small jars needed on craigs list; or watch for "free"; Salvation Army locally has been where I pick up all kinds of jars for 25 cents each! Yard sales, thrift stores is where I pick up unusual jars with sealed lids and keep my beans, rice, etc on display as I enjoy the look so well!
Krusteaz has a pie crust mix that is flaky and used by all pie makers; available at places bakeries by from; ours locally is called United Grocers; and it's a "cash and carry" store. Makes pie making so easy you'll wonder why you haven't made any in a while! Lemon pies, coconut cream pies, whatever; doesn't have to be "expensive" ; reminds me of when folks would give me zuccini's as they had so much of them! I would grate, freeze, and then make bread and cakes from them; and give as gifts at Christmas; you can easily make your own pumpkin filling (google it) and then make pumpkin bread! The very folks who gave me the zuccini's loved having the breads and cake in return at Christmas time!
Beans, great tips were found by me on this site this morning; adding ginger to the water when soaking; and then fresh when making prevents gasiness; another was to keep beans in refrigerated "watering" them for use again in the week to avoid having the "presoak" thing; if you have come across a bean normally not used; and really enjoy them; put some in a jar with the 2 tips!
Free book exchanges: or where you can drop books off or pick up free books locally in your area I am sure!
To make either candy cane tea; or candy cane coffee; simply blend, smash with hammer, whatever, a peppermint candy. Then add to either (loose leaf tea): to your taste!
Voila! not paying high prices! Great ideas!
You can probably make suet from things in your home if you have a bird feeding person. If a gardener, you can take cuttings from your herbs and put in smaller pots and give as gifts. I found free hanging pots one time along side the road, having passed them up 5 times, still there, I stopped. What I did was go to a local nursery where the 6 plants for $2.00 was and got some pansies which do excellent in the winter, and gave those! Already had the dirt! If you don't have planters, ask for them on freecycle or craigslist; gosh, I just took a bunch back to the nursery!
Another thing: in my area bare root starts in January. I, another time, gave a note to folks that I would give them in February about the 20th, when the strawberry plants come in. I used to get 25 for $3, probably higher now. Get the ever-bearing, put them in hanging planters and they can enjoy strawberries all spring and summer long! ($20 to $25 to buy at nurseries!)
These make great Easter and Mother's Day gifts as well. $1.00 buys a new hanging planter at the $1 store! A can of paint fusion will paint oodles and oodles of older plastic pots, it fuses together and works well on all plastic items. All kinds of inexpensive do-it-yourself for wild birds items on line.
Always look at what you do have, this is the frugal way. What DO I have that I can use for this thing? Then the imaginations come! Don't stomp them out, as being "no" folks will be thrilled you thought of them, and even more thrilled you didn't buy into the "gotta buy buy buy" mentality to boot!
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!
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Who is making their presents this Christmas? What ideas have you gathered so far?
I make an assortment of cookies and candies. I use simple, but delicious recipes. I go to the dollar store and buy gift bags to put them in. I wrap them with ribbon and a homemade tag. (10/17/2010)
I am making a lot of my Christmas gifts this year. 1 thing I am doing is I am buying a nice glass vase type thing and I am putting pebbles/rocks that look really neat in it and then I am putting a candle in it. I have a friend that does this all the time and it looks really great if you choose good colors. Have fun! (10/19/2010)
I am 'going green' for the most part, making pj's for the children and purse inserts for women friends from leftover material, and up cycling items I've found at yard sales and thrift shops all year. I also use many of the ideas from the Dollar Store website. (10/20/2010)
Personalized, for the person you want to give a gift to, note cards or stationary and/or homemade Christmas decorations that they can use year after year. (10/20/2010)
He'll like something unique like homemade gifts in a jar. You can custom style the jars and its contents. Adding a personal note (in the jar) will be a nice touch.
I need some ideas for gifts I can make either my mom or my dad or both for Xmas. Please help.
By Cedar from ATX
If you are computer savvy and your computer has a burner you can make them a CD using their own music. Last year I took all the CDs from my parents' car and ripped (that's the term for removing songs) the CDs onto the computer and then compiled and burned the songs they liked onto CDs.
Or you could put together a CD of Christmas music they like. I did that last week for my mom and our pastor.
I made a post here: thriftyfun.com. on how to burn a CD.
Editor's Note: Be sure that you purchase the music or compile it off of your own CDs to avoid copyright issues. (12/07/2009)
You could take pictures of when they were dating, first married, life in general and add them to a DVD along with music from those times, and commentary under the pics, or someone talk. This is a remarkable and most enjoyable gift anyone would love to receive. I hope you can do this. We did one and it took about 22 hours! But so worth it! Merry Christmas to you and your family. (12/13/2009)
Make up gift baskets with things they like. For instance, make a basket with music related items, say a movie and a CD, a couple of packs of popcorn, some chips, movie tickets to the latest movie; that sort of thing. Or a basket with make-up items or lotions, creams, for a woman, maybe fingernail polish, a barrette, perfume, etc. You could also add a pretty scarf or a notepad, pretty pen, or a necklace, whatever you think they would like.
For gardeners, a trowel, some seeds, garden gloves. Or for coffee lovers, small bags of gourmet coffee, a mug, some fancy creamer.
Food tins are nice too. Just make some of the quick, cake mix cookies, decorate them prettily and add them to a tin. Make several different ones and put them in those little plastic bags. Or maybe you have a fudge lover. Make some of the easy marshmallow fudge and add different things to each batch. Raisins, M&Ms, crushed Heath bars, crushed peppermint, nuts, etc.
You can buy the little plastic bags that shrink with a hair dryer, at craft stores and the tins you can find at dollar stores or places like Walmart.
If your mother sews, some fabric and a pattern, you know she would like would be nice. Get the thread and zipper, etc. that it calls for, so she has all she needs to make it. Or get her a craft pattern and all the things she needs to make it.
One of my favorite gifts last year, was from my sister in law. She gave me jars of homemade jam with little gingham fabric squares around the top, tied with raffia. It looks really cute. She also gave me a candle that smells really good, some chocolate covered pretzels, and homemade cookies. Oh, and a new cookbook. I loved all this and I bet anyone would. Jars are inexpensive and recipes for jam are really easy to make. Just look them up on the Internet.
We received a book with pictures of all the family and their favorite recipe printed underneath it. If they didn't have a recipe, they just listed their favorite foods and a recipe was printed for them. This book was printed out from the computer, but she bought the cover from a computer store or office supply place. All she had to do was assemble it. It is fun to see what each person chose.
This is just some of what my family gives each year. We don't spend much, but these are personal and a lot of fun to get. (12/14/2009)
Now back to sewing. Hope I've helped you with ideas for your presents for anytime of the year.
By Irene Martin
Okay, so like most people out there we are a little short on holiday money this year. We want to make homemade presents that are inexpensive and somewhat easy. I am at a loss. I just don't know what would be good 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?
I was just wondering if anyone has any home-made Christmas gift ideas for men, women, girls, and boys?