Giving gifts is a big part of the fun of Christmas, but the cost can get out of control. Homemade gifts are a great way to keep your expenses low, while giving meaningful and unique presents. Here are a few ideas for gifts you can make yourself. Baked goods.
Cookies, breads and other baked goods make great gifts. Everyone loves something delicious that they didn't have to make themselves, and they're economical to make. And you can make large batches that will provide gifts for several people at once. Bake a few different items and then fill tins, make gift baskets or just bag them up and decorate the bag.
Cocoa. Cocoa, or hot chocolate, is super-easy to put together. Fill a jar with just a few ingredients, decorate the jar, and you've got a delicious, frugal gift. The basic recipe for homemade hot chocolate is: 1/2 cup cocoa, 3 cups powdered milk, and 1 cup sugar. You can adjust the amounts for taste, and you can also add other flavors to make it more unique, such as crushed up peppermints, cinnamon, or substitute flavored powdered creamer for some of the milk.
Bath salts. Bath salts are one of those homemade gifts that seem harder to make than they are, which will, of course, make you look like a crafting diva. All you need are some epsom salts or sea salt, food coloring (if you want the salts to be colored) and a bottle of essential oil in a scent you like. Just put the salts in a bowl, mix in a few drops of the oil and a few drops of food coloring, and you're done. That's it. Put your newly fragrant salts into a decorative jar and you're ready to gift.
Crafts. Can you knit? Needlepoint? Paint? Make paper? If you know how to do any kind of craft, you can create homemade gifts that recipients will love because they will each be one-of-a-kind, made especially for each recipient. The cost is generally in time, rather than dollars, but the gifts will be treasured far more than some gift pack of perfume you bought at the store.
Personal gift certificate. So you don't know how to knit, needlepoint or paint? No problem. You can still do something someone would love - I promise. Think of some service that you can perform for your recipient and make a gift certificate for that service. Here are just a few things you can do that would be a gift to someone else: grocery shopping, babysitting, house cleaning, chauffeuring and mowing the lawn. Or get creative. Are you a good photographer? Offer to do a photo session. Are you a teenager? Offer to not act embarrassed by your parents for one full day. Create your gift certificate and when you give it, work out a date when it would be convenient for both of you to have it redeemed.
Regift a treasure. Is there something you own that someone you know loves? A print they comment on everytime they come to your house or a vase that would have sentimental value for them? Gift it. I'm not talking about just finding random things in your house to give away, like a garage sale. But if there's something you have that you know would mean a lot to someone on your list, consider passing it on.
Fantasy gift exchange. This is one of my absolute favorite ideas for homemade gifts - or just in general regarding gifts. If you're burned out by the commercialism of the season or someone in your family is having a tough time financially, and you want to just take money out of the equation completely, do it. Do a fantasy gift exchange, where there are no "real" gifts exchanged. Each person thinks of what gifts they'd give each person if money were no object--a yacht, a ride on the space shuttle, a trip to Borneo--and they write that down or find a picture that reflects the gift. Put the fantasy in an envelope, and on Christmas morning, everyone gets to open their fantasy gifts. It's a whimsical, fun experience that doesn't cost a thing but gives everyone the chance to "give" freely, without limits.
What homemade gifts do you make?
Do you make homemade gifts? Tell us what you make (and show us a picture)!
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Gift Wrapping Ideas
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