21 November 2011

Homemade Holiday Gifts -- 5 Easy Ideas

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Are you looking to save money on gift-giving this coming holiday season? You are not alone. Many folks are feeling the pinch in their budget for necessities alone; the idea of spending even more on holiday gifts is daunting. Many simply don't have the funds to buy elaborate presents for family and friends this season. If you are trying to make a little go a long way, consider the following ideas for homemade gifts.

The Gift of Food

  1. Baked Goods. Do you enjoy baking? If so, then you can easily utilize your baking skills to make inexpensive and delicious gifts for family and friends. Pick one or two items and make huge batches - for instance, a loaf of your special bread or batch of muffins, the cookies you make only at holiday time that everyone raves about, or rich truffles or fudge. Be sure to keep costs down by choosing recipes that don't require items that are pricey, such nuts or olives.
  2. Jarred Recipes. Instead of presenting a gift of baked goods, fill a jar with the dry ingredients necessary for your favorite cookie, soup or brownie, print out the recipe on a card, and attach the card around the neck of the jar with ribbon or twine. Your recipient can whip up something delicious for themselves after all the holiday goodies are gone.
Decorate a Candle
Photo by Suat Eman @ Freedigitalphotos.net

DIY Crafts

  1. Craft Items. You don't have to be especially crafty to create a homemade gift. There are plenty of fairly simple crafts that even a novice could handle that would make lovely gifts. The key is to choose something you know you can do and that you also know will not take an excessive amount of time. The craft you choose should also use fairly inexpensive materials. Also, as with the baked goods, choose one or two max and make all the same for everyone on your list.
  2. Gift Baskets. This one is so simple and can be very inexpensive if you use your imagination. You can make a gift basket for almost anyone. Movie buff? Fill a basket with a classic or two (these can be purchased for very little - newer movies will cost a lot more), a packet of microwave popcorn, bottle of soda and a box of candy. Spa lover? Use a plush towel to line a basket, then fill it with goodies such as scented candles, massage oil and an eye gel mask. Bear in mind that you aren't restricted to baskets, either. A box or crate will work just as well - use whatever container is the least expensive.
  3. Framed Photos. Dig up an old photo that you think your gift recipient might appreciate and frame it for giving. It may be a picture of the two of you or a picture they have never seen. Consider also personalizing the frame, especially if you purchase an inexpensive wood or plastic frame. You could write or stencil around the framed photo to make it into a keepsake treasure that your friend or family member will enjoy for years.

DIY GIFTS: Check out these Christmas Craft Supplies from Amazon

And here's a fun Thanksgiving Placecard Craft that even the little ones can do, right at the dinner table!  Keep 'em busy! :)

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