The Holidays on a Budget: Make Your Own Homemade Gifts

Do you remember making reindeer ornaments out of wooden clothes pins in elementary school? All those homemade gifts used to make your mom and dad so proud. Why take away the fun of a homemade gift just because you’re grown up now?

There are many things you can make yourself that will impress your closest family members and friends even more than something you can buy from a store.

Get Artistic!
Are you good at drawing, painting, or sculpting? Make homemade presents using your artistic muse! Put your artwork in a nice frame and wrap it up. If money is not an object, you could look into taking a blown glass making class at your local art studio, then make handmade blown glass ornaments for everyone on Santa’s list. How about painting? Check out a Wine & Canvas party. They teach you how to paint a beautiful canvas, and bonus! Have a night out with a few friends so they can do some painting too!

Get in the Kitchen!
If you are a whiz in the kitchen, one of the easiest and tastiest presents can come in the form of a meal or treat. Layer the dry ingredients for brownies, cookies, or chili in a big glass jar. Cover the top with a piece of pretty seasonal piece of printed fabric and a ribbon, with the recipe attached to it.

Here’s a recipe for chocolate chip cookies!

Put into a jar:

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • * Chocolate chips
  • Instructions for the Tag:
    1 cup butter or margarine softened
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly blend together the butter or margarine, the egg, and the vanilla. Empty jar of cookie mix into the butter mixture. Mix until completely blended. Drop teaspoons full of batter about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

    How about oatmeal cookies?

    Put into a jar:

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 2 cups oats

  • * Raisins

  • * = as many as you wish

    Instructions for the tag:
    3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl; thoroughly blend. Add the butter or margarine, the egg, and the vanilla. Mix until completely blended. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet.

    For diabetic family members, just replace sugar with their favorite sugar substitute, and use whole grain flour. Remind them to use skim-milk in the recipe.

    Then add a tag to the jar with the recipe to mix and bake.

    Or, check out this great vegan friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe!

    If a eatable treat isn't on their list, you can still use some simple, common kitchen ingredients to make some awesome, homemade gifts, like a sugar scrub! It's easy - and such a treat for a man or woman! Check out these 6 Sugar Scrub Recipes to read just how easy it really is!

    Get Crafty!

    Holiday Potpourri Centerpiece:

    Get a clear vase at your local crafts store. Buy a bag of fragrant potpourri (I like vanilla), and a string of 100 Christmas lights, colored or plain white. Layer the lights and potpourri in the vase until it’s full. Let the plug dangle out over the top of the vase. Tie a piece of printed fabric over the opening with a ribbon, leaving the plug trailing out under it. Plug it in, and you have a lovely sweet-smelling homemade gift.

    How about Homemade Laundry Detergent? Or Homemade finger paints? For children or adults in your life, a homemade gift is sure to make them smile!

    Get Creative!
    Do you have a hobby that would translate into an easily made gift? Maybe you know how to knit or crochet, and could make scarves for friends and family members. Maybe you are good at woodworking? Try making a spice rack or something else clever or handy as gifts.

    Get Musical!
    Maybe this holiday, you’d like to give the gift of music. Make a mixed tape or CD as a gift to friends and family members. Break out your favorite holiday music to use, and make a compilation of just Christmas music. Or if use an online music service, burn the songs you paid for onto CDs for friends and family members. Make sure to check with the site’s rules and music copyright laws before you start burning though.

    Get Poetic!
    Do you have a family member or friend who loves to read? Buy a nice journal from a stationary or book store. You can write all their favorite poems in it with a calligraphy pen. Or make up a short story with an inspirational message and dedicate the story to them.

    Get Sentimental!
    Remember all those family photos you have stuffed away in boxes in the closet? Time to break them out! You can use double prints to make collages and scrapbooks for your loved ones. Or go to a craft store and buy a simple craft frame. Get buttons, jewels, and other decorations to glue on your homemade frame. Then put a nice photo in it, sure to inspire happy memories from the past.

    No matter what you choose to give as gifts this year, remember it’s not the money you spend, but the thought that counts!

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