I'm an 18 year old college freshman, and I'm really worried about gifts this year. I know that, living in a dorm room or small apartment, getting stupid wasteful gifts isn't practical. I want to get some girls [and guys] I'm friends with small, cheap, and meaningful gifts that they can use and love. I'm looking at between 5-10 girls and 5 guys. Please remember that most of these people live in small rooms or apartments so we don't have room for random junk. What is something creative? Thanks!
By maddie from Normal, IL
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This isn't really creative or unique but I would think shower gel/body wash would be welcome. Sometimes you can also find inexpensive day planners. A funky looking mug with a couple packets of hot cocoa mix in it.
Last year we found Cds of relaxation music at the dollar store. Hubby gave them to everyone at the office & they loved them. Or how about Xmas music? I bet they haven't started on their own collections.
I'd buy them all a $5 dollar movie or food or drink gift card and then suggest that you all (or groups of) go out and enjoy it together.
Go to a store like Big Lots or Dollar Store and get inexpensive mugs (to match each "personality"), then search online (or ThrifyFun!) for a mug "cake" recipe. You put all the ingredients in the mug, your friends add water, then they microwave all for a homemade, warm treat, and they get to keep the mug afterward! I've done this several times, and everyone loves the idea. Good luck!
Right now, calendars in just about any subject you can imagine are at the Dollar Tree, Michaels and Big Lots for just 1.00 to 2.00. Even if you want something a bit fancier, the ones at Walmart are only 4.97. You can get things from Gary Patterson's Cats to Maxines to Hot Rods to just about any sport your friends are into.
Can't do better than that, huh?
How about getting pictures of you and each of them or group pictures, especially at parties or events? They will treasure these as time goes on.
Well, I'm 34 and due to economic downturn I am making Gratitude Journals for those close people in my life. I bought composition books at our local 'Dollar Tree' (where everything in the store costs only $1) and plan to cover the front and back cardboard covers with pretty/attractive scrapbook paper. I have a stamp that actually says "Gratitude Journal" on it, so I am going to stamp this on a coordinating piece of paper and then secure it to the face of the journal.
I'm a practical thinker, and don't know many college students who don't constantly need quarters for the laundromat. If you're dividing one roll of quarters between two people, it would probably be cute if you cut net bags and tied them with thin ribbon. You should be able to find fine net at any sewing-supply store like JoAnn Fabric, or the sewing-supply area at Wal-mart or your fave department store. Merry Christmas!
I second the idea for mugs, heavy-duty ones. I've gotten some at Big Lots and at outlet stores, etc. I'm thinking 1$ to 1.25 per).
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I know it's early, but I was wondering about Christmas gifts just for my friends. Something inexpensive. I am thinking about maybe 5 or 6 people.
By Chloe from Seattle
If you like to sew, make some lap quilts. I picked my best friend's favorite colors (orange and black) and made her a lap quilt. She lives thousands of miles away. It takes time to make a quilts, but it was fun. I also think making necklaces or bath salts would be fun. (04/04/2010)
This will depend on how much you want to spend. When Bath and Body Works has a sale there have been times that I have stocked up on their body wash, anti-bacterial hand soap, and body lotion and made up gift bags of these items. Some times the hand soap is on sale for about $3.00 a bottle and the body wash and body lotions will be on sale 3 for something or buy 2 get 1 free, etc. Depending on the person I am giving it to, sometimes I only give one of the items. It just kind of depends on the person.
You can make throws out of two layers of polar fleece, cut fringes in them and tie them together, no sewing required. You will be able to find complete directions for making these, by Googling tie blankets. You could also buy a rose bowl and fill it almost full with potpourri and cover with a crochet looking doily that hangs a little ways over the edge, and weave ribbon through it that coordinates with the potpourri to tie the doily on. You should be able to find most of the necessities for these in almost any dollar store or thrift store. (04/04/2010)
I just learned to knit and now I can make all kinds of cool gifts, scarves, hats, socks, washcloths, place mats, pillows, etc. You can learn to knit by watching videos on YouTube. And the supplies are pretty cheap and it's so much fun! I take my knitting with me everywhere. Look in thrift stores for knitting needles and yarn. You'll spend 50 cents or a dollar on them, compared to full prices which start around $3 and up to $8.
Oh, I also get free patterns online for all my projects at lionbrand.com or from books at the library. Your friends would cherish a gift you made for them. (04/07/2010)
By Lee Taylor
Sorry, I really have no imagination. I'm a practical thinker.
In these days of skyrocketing gas prices, a gas gift card in any denomination would surely be welcome. We got a $5 Speedway card at Christmas, and even that small amount helped.
Just about every store and restaurant has gift cards and coupons. You know your friends' preferences far better than we do. (04/08/2010)
There's an idea I posted a while back - crossword puzzles. If you have someone that likes crossword puzzles, and doesn't get the paper cut them out of the newspaper, the puzzles and the answers. Glue the puzzle and answer back to back.
One woman mentioned that she liked the idea and would bake cookies to add to the crosswords, and someone mentioned tea. I believe to share the cookies and tea and crosswords with her friend when they visit. (04/08/2010)
Once when I was working long hours in a small office where there were 6 of us, we chose to each bake 6 dozen cookies and wrap them in separate containers, a dozen for each of us. It was so much easier to bake just one or two kinds of cookies. After the exchange, we each had a nice assortment of different kinds of cookies and candies for the holidays. We enjoyed it so much, that we did the cookie exchange every year, partly as a gift to ourselves. It meant we each had cookies for family and visitors with little fuss.
Another thing we did, was that each of us made something to eat and we had ourselves a little office party at lunch. One person made the entree, one made a side dish, another a desert, another bought plates, cups, etc., one brought drinks. We had a great time that was less stressful or expensive than eating out.
While small gifts are nice, we all decided that we didn't need another trinket to dust. Friendship or anything to relieve stress and save time (which we were all short of, especially during the holidays) meant more to us. (04/09/2010)
This past Christmas I made a scrapbook/cookbook for a friend who went away to college. It took me awhile, but I got it done in time. (I guess I should add she moved into an apartment not on campus.) I went to Hobby Lobby and got everything for it while on 50% off sales, the stickers papers, even the book and page protectors everything!
I used old cooking magazines to get the recipes, I picked practical stuff for a college student to make. She loves to bake so I used a lot of baking recipes.
I got a book that was small so I was able to quarter 12x12 scrap book pages so that saved some money, because I didn't have to buy as many papers. (04/10/2010)