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No Money Gifts. Ideas for Presents that Cost No Money. Ideas for Gifts.

Updated on November 25, 2015

Make your own Gift Voucher card.

Make your own gift voucher - with a promise of something you will do instead of giving a shop bought gift.

A quick a simple to make idea.

Flower Seeds can be given as a low cost gift ...

If you buy seeds for a gift wrap them in pretty colored tissue or put them in a small box decorated with pictures cut from magazines or with clip art prints. Or you could use a small gift basket it can be one you already have. Another way is to put the packets of seed into a gift jar decorated in the way described here.

Giving the Gift of Your Time.

If you are short of money to spend on a present here are some money saving ideas that you can use or adapt to suit the occasion.

Gifts ... that cost nothing or next to nothing.

Unless you count the time and effort that you put into them.

A 'My Time Gift Coupon/voucher.'

1. Give the gift of your time.

If you are time rich but short of cash you might consider this gift idea....

you can give someone a gift card (like a gift voucher) stating inside that -

( you pick a skill you are good at and how much time you can spare)

For example...

My gift to you is that ....

I promise to spend two hours gardening for you.

or -

This gift to you is that -

I promise to wash the car five times for you.

You can buy a blank card or make up a card design on the computer. However if you are good at crafts a hand made card will make the gift more personal.

If you are not artistic there is a link further down the page for sending greetings cards for free.

Or see the idea for putting your time gift vouchers into a bottle.

Flower Image to Use for Card.

You may use this flower image to make a card for your home made gift voucher.
You may use this flower image to make a card for your home made gift voucher. | Source

Why not put your Voucher Gift Messages in a Bottle or Jar.

The way you present a gift can make all the difference. Giving your free time instead of a gift can be a thoughtful gift idea.

So here is an idea for giving a gift of the ‘you to do something for someone instead of giving them a monetary gift’ type.

Instead of offering to do one big task as a ‘give you my time gift voucher’ you can make lots of small tickets offering to do several quick an easy simple tasks.

Now - how to make the no money gift have more visual appeal.

First find a nicely shaped empty glass jar (the sort that have had jam or pickles in them often come in interesting shapes).

Make a selection of gift tickets* and put them inside the jar, put the lid back on, or from a scrap of attractive fabric cover cut out a circle of fabric to cover the top of the jar tie it in place with a piece of ribbon or with string. You can then make a stylish label to go on the front of the jar and add a nice message.

* Your time gift could be as simple as:

  • Offering to make someone’s breakfast.
  • Or a clean the car for you voucher.

Using Paper to Make Jewelry for Gifts.

With time and patience you can make beads to create a necklace or bracelets to give as gifts.

Below is an informative and helpful video on the ways and how to make paper beads and ideas on how to to decorate your paper beads.

You Can Make Beads From Paper to Make Your Own Necklace or Bracelets.

Or You Can Make Beads from Recycled Card Packaging.

Book of Photographs.

Why not put together (spare) photographs to make a book of memories for someone an old style photo album

Look through your old photographs and where you have duplicates that you can spare put them together into a photo memory book for a  gift. To do this well will take time but should not cost much money. You can include little 'snippets' such as poems or accounts of your memories of the events in the photos. This is a good idea for older family members who may say they do not want the usualthings we give as gifts.

If you do not have enough photographs to produce a personal photo book; make a collage of photos. If need be fill the gaps with pictures of something that suits the person- this could be flowers that you have drawn, photos of flowers, little poems or messages.

If you are producing book or collage this for a member of your family it could be a photo record of family events, of children or grandchildren. You may be able to put together a collection of pictures of the person's childhood. It might be a good idea to try to incorporate a theme or colour scheme to link the items together.


  Biscuits are easy to bake and the ingredients may already be in the kitchen cupboard.

Find an easy to follow biscuit or cookie recipe and bake a batch for presents.

Wrap them up in a festive way - or put them into a pretty tin... if you have some ribbon in the house add a festive decorative bow.  Add a gift tag that can be made from a cut down greetings card or a coloured piece of card slotted onto a ribbon or string.

A faster way to give a home bake gift is to make cupcakes, they can be themed for the occasion, i.e. add icing or decorations that fit your cupcake theme.


 Why not Write?

Write a poem or print out a poem; or piece of that prose writing you know the person the gift is for will like; and one that is available for you to use.

Use an attractive font or hand write it in a neat script.

Use an attractive paper or backing paper for the words.

Decorate it in some way if you think it requires it.

Put it in a frame, either one you no longer use or buy one cheaply from a charity shop.

The right words could be a 'priceless gift'.


If you have no money for gifts this year try sending a message

Write a note in a pretty card maybe enclose a nice photo and tell them why you love or care for them; tell them what it is that make them special to you. Do n't be afraid to recall happy memories if you want to.

People will understand and the words and feeling expressed in the message you send may be treasured long after a gift would have been discarded or forgotten.

Here is a way to send greetings cards free

There are birthday cards and cards for other occasions for free on this site.

A message in a card is always nice to receive especially if it has a great message inside.

If times are difficult and money is not available for gifts try to remember that those who know you and care for you, your friends and family will understand and you are more important to them than any present you might want to give them. try to write a note or card, send a photo. also you can tell them in words or in a card what makes them special to you, partners, mothers and fathers will treasure your words as much if not more than any gift. When my then boyfriend, was studying he was short of money and one Christmas and could not buy gifts, that did not change the way I felt about him, because I could understand the reason why he could not buy gifts for me. I still remember the necklace he made for me from melon seeds and at the time I admired the patience that went into drying and threading the melon seeds to make a necklace from them.

A no cost gift for someone you love -

This is an idea for a gift that costs nothing except a little bit of time and thought. It can be a romantic gift or a gift for a parent or grandparent or even for a friend.

  • Find a really nice shaped jar, it does not matter if you cannot use the top. if you have not got a suitable jar a small glass or vase will do.
  • Make a top for it, you can do this from paper or from a fabric scrap. You need to cut a circle that is bigger then the jar top, if you need something to draw around try a saucer or a tea plate for size. Cut out the circle. ( You can cut two different colored circles if you wish, one a bit bigger than the other so that it will show beneath the edge of the top one.)

Put the fabric/paper circles away to use later when, you have completed the next bit.

  • Now make sure your jar is clean, shiny and dry.
  • Start to write notes for the person whenever you can think of something they might like to read.

Ideas for the notes could be -

  • Quotes that will make them smile.
  • Reasons why they are special to you.
  • Memories - happy memories you shared.
  • Small pictures/photos they will like, maybe with a note written onto the piece of paper the picture is on. or some pictures and some notes.
  • Heart shaped cut outs on different shades of pink and red paper with love you and romantic notes on.
  • Flower shaped notes - cut them out in different sizes and then use a plain circle of paper glued in the middle to write notes or quotes or messages on.
  • Lines from songs that you know they like. Cut a long narrow strip of paper write the line from the song or book on it and then roll it up in a coil when you have finished writing on it.

Keeping adding to your collection and put them into the jar as you do so.

When you have enough of these 'notes' put the circles of fabric over the top of the jar and fasten them, by tying them in place around the neck of the jar with a piece of string or ribbon.

It might be nice to make a label for the jar and to decorate it in some way.

More Free Jar - gift ideas

If you can find the time and pieces to do this - you could decorate the outside of the jar if you wanted to.

If you can afford a few packets of seeds wrap them in pretty paper and pop them in a gift jar made in the way described above.

Decorate a jar, fill it with notes and scatter sweets in the jar too.

Make Chocolate Truffles for Gifts.

If you can knit you can make something as a gift from left over yarns.

Simple projects to make for gifts, knitting ideas for presents.

Make a pretty bracelet from buttons

A bracelet made from buttons is easy to make.

To make a bracelet from buttons -

You will need a supply of buttons with medium sized holes to thread the elastic through ( you could use large beads if the hole through the middle has a large enough gap for the elastic thread to go through).

You will also need a supply of rounded narrow elastic but it needs to be strong enough to be worn around the wrist. A needle with a large enough eye to thread the elastic through but that will pass through the holes in the buttons or beads.

Thread the beads or buttons onto the elastic, select the colors and shapes that look nice together.

When you have enough buttons threaded so that the elastic bracelet will fit over the hand and around the wrist of the person you are making it for, knot the elastic together securely.

Sew Something Simple.

If you have some spare fabric a reusable 'eco-friendly' shopping bag is an easy to make gift.

The basic shape is just to pieces of fabric cut slightly larger than you want the finished shopping bag. Two strips of fabric for handles. You neaten the top edges of the bag and join the three remaining sides ( stitch along seams twice to make them sturdy). Stitch on handles firmly. Decorate as and if you wish with whatever embellishments you have available or leave plain.

An apron is not hard to make if you use an old apron as your pattern template.

Either of these could be made from the fabric of a garment that is no longer used, such as a denim skirt for the bag, or corduroy, canvas or linen or you could use floral curtain fabric.

If you can knit a tea cosy is a really easy gift to make.

A textile bag can be decorated with fabric paints

textile painting sea horse.  You could decorate your bag with fabric paints -
textile painting sea horse. You could decorate your bag with fabric paints -

This evening bag is sewn from two small off cuts of fabric

Photo: machine embroidered bag
Photo: machine embroidered bag

Make a storage box for a gift, use free clip-art to decorate your cards or gifts

There are lots of places to find free clip art on-line and these can be used in different ways to make cards, calendars and to decorate gift boxes,

Make a storage box for a gift for someone by covering a box with brown parcel paper and then glue on suitable clip art images. Some ideas that might work well are by using flower pictures, or vintage clip art images. You can find clip art here on HubPages, just make sure you are using images that are available to use freely and not copyrighted images. This gift idea can make a nice present as it can be customized to suit the person who the gift is for. You could even print out family photos and make a photo-storage box for a friend or one of your family.

make paper flowers for cards or gifts, or decorate boxes.

Video- How to make an Instant Book...

You can make a 3D pop up Flower card...with printer paper, glue and felt pens...

Easy to make earrings as a low cost gift ...

How to make a Book or Journal.... a useful gift...

How to make your own Gift Tags


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    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 

      2 years ago from Kuwait

      Great hub! Loved reading it! ☺ Keep it up!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I try to make things for people so they treasure it more. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    • misty103 profile image


      4 years ago

      I love the truffle idea and the making beads from paper. I have actually made beads from newspaper before and it was a lot of fun.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 

      4 years ago from Northern California

      Your article gives us many creative ways to gift someone without buying a gift. It is interesting and can help many people give the gift of time and friendship. Thanks

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      4 years ago from California

      Love, love this!!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      2uesday - This is a splendid hub that you should recycle every year for readers looking for inexpensive, but thoughtful, holiday gift ideas. (You should still be reaping passive revenue from it because I actually found it through a search engine instead of searching on HP.)

      Your suggestions emphasize that giving should not mean dashing out to a store and spending money you can't afford in order to give flashy or expensive gifts, but to actually give thought to what the people you care about will enjoy and how you can provide those things without breaking the bank.

      Voted Up with a "four-star" feedback and shared,

      Regards and best of the season to you....Jaye

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I love This page....very useful,m very grateful coz now i have an idea as to what to do for My very dear friends birthday...

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      I am sorry Jeff if I am not able to solve problems at the level you were looking for. I am a craft enthusiast who likes to recycle items and I am just offering ideas for people who want ideas to make things for gifts.

      I am aware that in the UK more people are having to visit food banks this year than ever before and for those in such need my words are indeed useless.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      How about let's eat crayons for christmas to fill are tummies that's a good idea too ? How do you make something when you really got nothing ? This is not the level of advice for people who really have nothing at all ? This is for people who has the extra stuff in the house to be creative. For them it opens there eyes for ideas for christmas gifts. Different level of having nothing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I know my mum will love what shes getting this mums day thx soooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this stuff us cool for my mother!?

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      amal and jule thank you for your comments. I am pleased you found my page useful. It does have ideas for reuse and recycling as that is one of the topics I like to write about as well as craft projects. Thanks again, I hope you enjoy making some of the projects featured.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      ebsite to give our friends. it also gives us an idea for making things out of waste!!!!!!!!!!

      i love it:)

    • jule729 profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! Nice hub.

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you VibrantViews pleased you liked the ideas here for gifts that can be made easily.

    • VibrantViews profile image


      6 years ago

      GOod ideas! I'd love about anything homemade, yummy goodies like cookies.

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      That's great madisyn, mums work hard at Christmas to make everyone happy, so it is nice to let them know you care.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i know wat iam getting my mom and she will love it

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      hi Jackson, thanks for leaving a comment here. I like the idea of making someone smile with a picnic or song for them is great, it must make them feel really special and lucky and that is what the best presents do. I have had a gift where someone has drawn a picture/colored sketch of a favorite photo of mine and I treasure that as it was a thoughtful idea and looks so good it is in a frame on the wall.

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you savingkathy for the comment here. I believe that sometimes cutting costs on gifts works out well for the giver and receiver of the gift and the thought that goes into making or selecting the present makes it special.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      When I lack money around Christmas time I give my friends smiles. Someway or another I make them all smile, a full smile that will just brighten their week every time they think about whatever I've done. It might be a spontaneous picnic or I might right a song for them or something, then I tell them "You're smiling, merry christmas."

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I really enjoyed reading this hub - such great gift ideas!

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you Lina,pleased you liked this and I hope you can put the ideas here to good use.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you csinvitations I have tried to find some good ideas that are interesting and fun to make and give without people having to spending money on gifts.

    • csinvitations profile image

      Kelly R 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Wonderful ideas! :o))

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you bletchen for reading and leaving a comment here. That sounds like a clever idea. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago from uk

      I bet you start getting more traffic on this hub in the next couple of months. Especially with the economy as it is!

      Just what i was looking for cos i'm getting ready for Xmas already. Think I'm going to bake a big gingerbread house for my wife, and fill it with sweets. (and then eat most of it myself ;-))

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 

      8 years ago from the Web

      Taking out time for someone special out there is the best gift you can give anyone, and I loved your idea of baking for someone since I'm a good baker myself and thoroughly enjoy it! Voted up and rated awesome!

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you Rose it is always nice when people give a present that they have put thought and care into and making something is a good example of that. Thank you.

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 

      8 years ago

      I know I always treasure the homemade gifts the most. I'm a crafter myself and I know how long it takes to create something and how much love goes into it. Thanks for the great suggestions!

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi boxxies - you will probably find lots of ideas for bags in the sewing and crafts hubs , I will try to add a link later. thank you.

    • boxxies profile image


      8 years ago

      I very much like the idea of sewing a shopping bag for a gift.


    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Ah, that reminds me I am need of a cup of tea - it's hard work when you cannot find the right photos for the hub you are working on. thanks and bye for now itakins.

    • itakins profile image


      9 years ago from Irl


      Em!-well the tea ,in truth,was probably all consumed in the first week-there were a few minor 'coomunication'breakdowns where the gift giver claimed I had gone way over my 'allowance'-I occasionally tell him now when I fancy a cuppa,that he has yet to honour the value of his voucher-all in good fun!No nobody kept stock-though we each claim we did:)

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you Rose for reading and leaving a comment, for me Christmas in the shops starts too soon and this year's latest gadget can easily become next year's unwanted clutter. Nice to get feedback thank you.

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for all the great ideas and for reminding us what giving really is - it's not just buying the most expensive gadget out there, that's for sure!

    • 2uesday profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      itakins I love the idea of a 50 cups of tea voucher, that is commitment and it is such a lovely idea. If someone put the tea voucher into a cup and they could have a little chart to tick off each time they had made a cup of tea.

      Did you have one a week? Or get through them all in January. You made me smile again.

      One year I had a craft stall at Christmas - just one or two sessions and people bought handmade cards from me. Mine were all one offs - not a production line. I think it is the indviduality of making things to give that is special in a 'mass produced' world. Thanks for visiting - itakins.

    • itakins profile image


      9 years ago from Irl


      I was trying to encourage my kids to give each other 'promise 'vouchers,not all keen,but some might do it.One year my son gave me a voucher for 50 cups of tea-I think he may have regretted it!!These are brilliant ideas-and they do mean so much more-and great satisfaction making them too.


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