Arts & Culture, Family & Parenting, Seasonal & Current Events
By Cait Russell
Published: December 02 2014
You don't have to skimp on holiday cheer to save money - just make some great gifts at home this holiday!
Staying on a budget while shopping for the holidays can be tough, but you don't have to break the bank to get something great for everyone on your list! With the holidays right around the corner, there might be a lot of pressure to give friends and family lavish gifts to show that you care, but often, it's the smaller, more thoughtful gifts that are remembered years later. This year, when you're making your list, why not opt for some alternative
To help you stay on your budget, we've put together a few great DIY Craft ideas that are simple & fun to make, and are sure to be a hit this holiday season!
Perfect for Everyone
Bake Up Some Sweet Treats - $5 - 20
Who doesn't love a good Christmas cookie? If you're trying to save this Holiday Season, but you've got a lot of friends and coworkers you want to give gifts to, baking a big batch of your favorite Christmas Cookies, then putting them in a mason jar you've personally decorated is a great way to show you care without breaking the bank.
Hot Cocoa Ornaments - $2 - 5 per ornament
Looking for a sweet treat that will really wow? Pick up a pack of clear plastic food-safe fillable ornaments (available at craft stores), and fill them with the following: one packet of pre-mixed hot chocolate, enough chocolate chips or crushed candy canes to cover the hot chocolate later, then fill the remaining space with miniature marshmellows, and close. Once you've finished filling your ornaments, add a homemade gift tag, and bam! You've got an adorable holiday gift that's inexpensive, but looks like a million bucks!
Handmade Scarves & Mittens - $3 - 20, depending on yarn choice
When it comes to knitting or crocheting, are you a pro? Then put those skills to work this holiday season! To make your own scarf, it typically only takes 1 to 2 medium or large skeins of yarn, depending on the pattern, and if you plan ahead, you can get some high quality yarn for anywhere from $2 - $10 on sale!
For Friends & Family
Cook an Amazing Meal at Home $3 to $20, depending on meal choice
Show off your culinary skills this holiday season by cooking an amazing meal for your significant other right at home! The meal can cost as much or as little as you'd like - there are plenty of delicious dinner options that won't break the bank. Find out what his or her favorite dish is, and make it at home for a special date night that won't soon be forgotten! Bonus Idea: Make a Special Certificate to give to your giftee, good for one (or more!) Home Cooked Meal of their Choice!
Manicure in a Jar - $5 - 10
This gift is perfect for sisters, mothers and female friends if you're on a serious budget. Grab a mason jar, 1-3 inexpensive bottles of nail polish, a decorative emery board, and a travel size hand lotion (many major retailers have specialty lotions that will work perfectly on sale for the holidays), and top off with some Hershey's Kisses, or other individually wrapped candies. You can also add in other manicure supplies as well, which can be found at stores such as Target, Ulta, and CVS.
Mug or Tea Cup Decorated with Love - $3 - $5
This one is simple and fun. All you need is a plain white coffee mug or tea cup and some metallic colored sharpies (typically $1 or less at major retailers & craft stores). Once you've selected your mug, get going with your design - hearts, flowers, polka dots, and special phrases that will remind your friend of you each time they fill up their mug. Note: Only use Sharpies to decorate the OUTSIDE of the mug.
Handmade "Coupon" Books - $3 - $20
It's often said that actions speak louder than words, and if you want to show someone special you care, then making them a special "Coupon" Book filled with certificates for fun activities you can do together is a great gift! Coupons can range from a Date at a Museum, a Day at the Beach, a Home Cooked Meal, or even things like a Certificate Entitling Him or Her to do No Chores for a Week, Be King of the Remote, or other No Cost things that you can do to show you care. This is a great gift for kids to make as well, and you can customize the coupons to ANY giftee!
For the Kids
Hot Cocoa "Reindeer" Cones - $1 - 2
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. For the outside of the bag, you'll need is a clear plastic "piping" bag (in the shape of a triangle), a pair of googlie eyes, a small red pompom, one brown pipe cleaner, a rubber band, a bit of glue. For the filling, you'll need2 packs of hot cocoa mix, some crushed up candy canes, and a few small marshmellows to top it off. Start off by pouring your hot cocoa into your piping bag, followed by the crushed candy canes, then the marshmellows, and tie off securely at the top with your rubber band. Once your bag is tied off, glue the red pompom close to the tip of the bag, leaving about 1/2 inch from the bottom, and about an inch above that, glue on your googlie eyes.
To top it all off, roll your pipe cleaner around your finger to curl it, and then uncurl it slightly (leaving some of the curls), and wrap around the rubber band, to look like antlers. For an extra dose of fun, you can add a little note to the top!
DIY Pinecone Christmas Trees - $1 - 3
If your kids love crafts, then this is the perfect gift for them to make for their pals! Take an old coaster (or, for about $2, you can purchase a 4 pack of cork coasters from Michaels), and paint it white. set aside. Grab a few pinecones - these can be found outside (just make sure they're clean!) or picked up at a local craft store, and paint the tips of all of the cone green. Once the paint has dried, drizzle glue all over the pinecone, and then roll in green glitter. We recommend using a large plastic container to do this, to contain the glitter.
Once the glue & glitter has dried, you can add beads for ornaments (using old costume jewelry or leftover beads from older projects is a great way to reduce waste!), and once your ornaments have been secure, glue the base of the pinecone to your white coaster and bam! You've got an adorable Christmas Tree decoration to give this holiday.
Have a great DIY Gift Idea? Let Us Know in the Comments Below!
Photo by Fleur Suijten, via Free Images.
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