Whoever said that something had to be expensive in order for it to be meaningful never knew the joy of a handmade gift! Not only are these types of presents rich with sentimental value, they also capture the spirit of the holidays with their simplicity and personal nature.
A handcrafted gift is truly special because it showcases the talent and creativity of your friends, family members, and even yourself. In fact, for under five dollars, you can create the following five fantastic gifts and still have enough money left over to ring in the New Year.
Here are some ideas for you Do-It-Yourself Dudes and Divas:
- Knit or Crochet a Scarf. Anyone in a cold climate will appreciate this type of gift. Practical and customizable, you can’t go wrong with a scarf. Yarn can be picked up rather inexpensively at thrift stores, yard sales, and the clearance department at your favorite arts and craft shop. Just remember to get started on your project early so you’ll have enough time to finish it before the holidays arrive.
- Create a Gift-In-a-Jar. From soup mixes to brownies, a lot can be said about these inventive gifts. First you take a Mason Jar and fill it with the appropriate dry ingredients one layer at a time. Then you secure the lid, attach a tag with the recipe printed on it, and wrap it up. How easy is that? This gives the recipients of the gift the opportunity to try foods straight from your very own kitchen.
- A Photograph Enclosed in a Hand Decorated Frame is Picture Perfect. Wooden frames are sold at the dollar store. Pick one up and embellish it with seashells, colored glass, Scrabble tiles, patterned paper or rubber stamps. Stick a picture in the frame and wrap it in a silk scarf. Talk about impressive and inexpensive!
- Write Down Your Favorite Memories of the Individual You Are Giving the Gift To. Purchase a blank book or journal and a nice set of pens. Create a list within the first few pages that highlights the things you love and remember about the person. These types of gifts are well-received because they are so personal. You can add stickers, maps, photographs and other types of ephemera for cheap. Just look through your desk drawers for inspiration.
- Make Chocolate Covered Spoons and Place Them in a Coffee Mug. Melt different types of chocolate and add nuts, toffee, or crushed peppermint to the pan. Coat plastic spoons with the mixture and lay them on a sheet of wax paper. The mixture will harden and can be stirred into a warm beverage to give it more flavor. Coffee cups can be picked up for a dollar in nearly every store in the country. Add a variety of chocolate covered spoons to the cup, wrap it in cellophane, and give with gusto.
A great gift doesn’t have to be covered in gold to be considered valuable. In fact, some of the best gifts come directly from the heart. Put on your creative hat and decide what types of talents you possess and then get busy making gifts. People will appreciate the time and effort you put into their presents and your budget will be no worse off because you curbed the urge to buy expensive items for everyone on your gift list.
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.
Cookies are great idea @Sandy. You can make them in any occasion/celebration. One more trick though in order for you to save on your ingredients or materials; buy them after the holidays when the prices are super low. ;)
You forgot making cookies! A few cookies in some nice colored cellophane with a ribbon is frugal and nice.
I love the coffee spoons idea! Lots of creative flavor options available, and even younger kids can do this with minimal assistance.
As a fellow Gen-Xer, I'd be tempted to give them with a small book of T. S. Eliot poems, though. ;)