- Arts and Design
Inexpensive Christmas Gifts
C'mon-make those gifts! Handmade gifts and more
Here I'm sharing my secrets for inexpensive Christmas gifts. Most cost only pennies or nothing at all. You'll find ideas such as how to make Personalized Bookmarks, Pasta Angels, Pen Caddies, Envelopes, Puzzles and lots more.
Speaking for myself, sometimes Christmas coincides with low budget or no budget! That's when creativity and resourcefulness kick in - those are the keys to making it through the Christmas season while on a tight budget.
Let your creativity take over.
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"Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself.''
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Not that I don't like a nice pair of earrings every now and then.
A personalized touch
The most important thing
Have you ever heard of MTGTTP? Well, probably not since I coined the phrase just moments ago. It represents Match The Gift To The Person. It's really important to do this when you are making gifts for people. You're trading expense for personalization that comes from homemade items. It is the part of homemade gifts that make them extra special and it will give your gift that memorable heart-felt spark that no other gift can give.
Here's a picture of a pillow where I used MTGTTP to it's fullest extent. I tell more about this personalized gift later in this article.
Another example: when you scroll down you'll find an idea for making envelopes. Not terribly exciting on the surface, but what if you make pink ballerina printed envelopes for a foo foo ballerina? Or use faux antique paper to make envelopes for your grandmother? By using scrapbooking paper, it is easy to MTGTTP when making envelopes.
And what if you added someone's name to an ordinary gift? If you make bookmarks for example (bookmark article will be added here shortly) add the recipient's name to the bookmark. Or better yet, instead of adding the name "Sarah" to a bookmark, add the name "Aunt Sarah". These little touches will move people's hearts.
~ Craft ideas ~
The best way to use the craft ideas listed here is to choose one idea per year (for Christmas for example) and make multiples for all of your friends and extended families. That's what we do in our family and I'm going to post pictures of those past projects throughout this article. Enjoy!
Make Pasta Angels
Make Handmade Puzzles
Make Envelopes as Gifts
Make Personalized Bookmarks
Make Pen Holder Cans
Make Homemade personalized pillows
A very special pillow (pictured above)
I wanted to make this gift as special as possible for my grandmother. I got the idea to use the word Grandmother as a sort of acronym. I thought of all sorts of words, but I really wanted specialized words that were words that described her personally. I thought about all the things she enjoyed and used those words on the pillow.
Let me tell you, this pillow now sits in a place of honor in my grandmother's home. She shows it to everyone who visits her house! Relatives tell me, "Grandma showed me that pillow you made for her."
Two awesome books to spark your creativity for gift making
More than 200 homemade gift ideas. This book has a solid 100% 5 star rating. The great thing about craft books is that they usually give you a starting point for crafts. You take it from there and make it your own.
I love this book! If you are interested in expanding your homemade gifts - include wooden toys! You don't have to be a woodworker extraordinaire to make these toys.
~ Other resourceful ideas ~
This idea is a gem - don't miss it!
I only discovered book trading three years ago. If you have no money to spend AT ALL book trading can be a perfect solution. Gather up books you no longer read or need and trade them for other books at a used book store. Usually you can even trade for new books! Some folks hit yard sales etc. and buy books for pennies and then trade them. If you plan ahead this could be a super idea toward saving up a large credit for the holidays.
Check off a couple of names on your Christmas list this way. I did. I filled a carboard box with all sorts of books and took them to the best used bookstore in the world (more on that in a minute). The bookstore issued me a credit on my account and I was able to use it to purchase another stack of books as Christmas gifts. I also MTGTTP by purchasing books on a very particular subject for a special person.
Bragging on my favorite bookstore: Chamblin Book Mine in Jacksonville, Florida is the most wonderful, gigantic, overflowing, books from floor-to-ceiling, miles of used books, monstrosity of a used book store ever! People even make it part of their vacations to stop by this used bookstore because it is so huge and organized.
This book photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr
Cash in the coin jar!
It's about time
Cashing in your pennies and other change at Christmas is one more resource for Christmastime cash. Have you ever used a Coinstar Machine? They are big green machines in grocery stores and other places that look a little like an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine). I avoided them for a long time because I just wasn't sure how they worked, meanwhile continuing to fill jars with coins. I always kept the pennies separate for some reason and it was time to cash them in.
I pushed our buggy full of jars into the store and right to the Coinstar Machine. Let me say that kids LOVE the Coinstar Machine - my daughter was about to bust with excitement to help me dump the pennies into the hopper. Our resulting cash from the pennies? $60.00! That's SIX THOUSAND pennies. After it was all counted it spit out a receipt for $60!
If you're wondering how it works - it's a simple as can be. The screen prompts you for every action. Coinstar charges a fee of 8.9 percent. For me, it was worth it with the pennies. I don't usually dump my quarters in there. I use them up before they make it to the coin jar. Here's their newest promotion: "CoinstarÂ® coin counting is FREE when you turn your coins into a card or eCertificate. Choose from Amazon.comÂ®, StarbucksÂ®, JCPenneyÂ®, iTunes, LowesÂ®, and many others!" Read more about Coinstar
This work is Copyrighted by Paige Graves.