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Originally Posted By: onepoormomma
My kids and I are finding ceramic tiles super cheap (umm...9 cents cheap) and are going to personalize them, put sticky felt feet on the bottom, and voila! trivets for gift giving:?) Who wouldn't want a trivet?


What a GREAT idea! I can sure use this idea.

If I were talented like Judy I would do the aprons. I am just now learning to sew and I don't think that I am good enough yet to attempt aprons. LOL

However, I CAN stick feet onto tiles.

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Hey, I was just going to start a topic on here... he he he. You can tell that I am not in here often.

 

Here's what I came up with for my family's Christmas gifts:

 

potpourri sachets

soap

candles

reusable shopping bags

photo album with old family photos

skin cream

personalized holiday napkins

recipe book

homemade stationary

chocolates

flavored cooking oil

flavored brandy

cookies

homemade beer

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Oh thats a good one MD. The album of old photos is a thought. DH has some old photo albums from his dad and stuff that can't be replaced and no one else has a copy of. I've thought before about getting them all restored and copied and making him a new album full of them. Great idea thanks!

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Oh..for families with computers, you can do what we did for a family Christmas gift. You can make a slide show of all the old family photos you scan into the computer then put them on a thumb drive. We did this and packaged them in small bags which we decorated with mini prints of some of the old photos, and with scrap booking charms that said "Family" and "love." These gifts were a huge hit because they didn't take up any room! The cost is just the cost of the thumb drive and the packaging..and quicker to do than a whole scrap book. The little bags I put them in looked so nice we hung them on the Christmas tree and then after gifts were all opened, I was able to take them down and hand them out to the surprised recipients.

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I was just getting ready to post this very thing on my blog. smile

 

...

 

Every summer I try to pick up nice baskets or tins at yard sales and then fill them with homemade things.

 

Sometimes I paint the tins on the outsides, I just rough up the outside with a little sandpaper and clear coat it before and after. Never paint the inside if it's meant for food smile

 

And then fill them with things I make myself. Candies, breads, cookies, teas, bath salts or scrubs, soaps, candles, little handmade pillows, sachets, little purses and bags, handmade napkins, little painted things, juju dolls, handmade jewelry, hairsticks, handmade incense, prayer beads, handmade painted bookmarks, sun dangles, muffins, little cakes, painted blocks, herbed things, like salves and balms, butters, vinegars, oils, herbed honey, herbed sugars ....

 

I'm a single work at home Mom and I homeschool and homestead so actual money is very hard to come by. In the summer I try to find sheets and materials at yard sales or the like to use for sewing. Old basket and tins to turn into gifts, candles and soaps to melt down and remake, lovely bottles to fill with the oils and vinegars, little jars and so on and so on.

 

If the people have a pet they really love I add little handmade simple cat toys or pet beds smile

 

Whatever I can and have the time for. Sometimes throughout the year, if I'm making cat toys or little purses, I make an extra one or two to put back for gifts later. That helps a lot as well.

 

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For my coworkers and some family members, I made Christmas ornaments out of white wool felt. they're little doves, and I stitched them with yellow embroidery floss and blue beads for eyes.

 

http://www.livingcrafts.com/

 

I got the pattern from Living Crafts magazine (my favorite natural craft magazine).

 

I'm also making little tealights out of walnut shell halves, wicking and beeswax. They're really pretty.

 

Finally, I also give out Saint Lucia breads. One batch of dough can make one huge wreath or two 1.5lb or three 1-lb braids. I use a kitchen scale to divide the dough evenly when I make braids.

 

St. Lucia Bread

 

1/4 cup water, to 110 degrees F

1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp) yeast

pinch of sugar

Let these sit together for five minutes or until foamy

 

3/4 cup whole milk, scalded

a few grains of saffron, crushed (optional - or can use 2 drops yellow food coloring or nothing)

let these sit for five minutes

 

1 tsp cardamom

3/4 tsp salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup sugar

 

Blend the above in a large bowl with the milk and yeast/water.

 

Mix in:

 

4 cups of flour

 

one cup at a time and knead until smooth and elastic. This takes a while. (I use the dough hook of my kitchen aid to mix on low for 7 minutes). Add up to another cup of flour during kneading if the bread seems to need it. Har har. Dough will be somewhat sticky.

 

Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl for about an hour or until doubled. Punch down, divide into thirds.* Roll each third out to a really long rope (maybe 20 inches). Braid the ropes, then form into a wreath. Let rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm place or until almost doubled.

 

Brush with an egg wash (egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk or cream) or half and half, and sprinkle with raw sugar (optional). Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and bake another 10-15 or until golden brown and it looks cooked.

 

When cooled sufficiently, drizzle with a glaze made from 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tbsp milk (optional).

 

* This recipe makes one large wreath that can easily serve a crowd. Or you can divide the dough in two before proceeding and make two straight braided breads that will *generously* serve 8 (you can make one and give one). Or, you can measure out the dough in 1.5 to 2 oz portions, roll each portion into a rope and form into a knot, a spiral, an S, an X or a variety of other traditional Swedish shapes (makes about 24-30 buns). I use my kitchen scale for dividing dough – it is much more precise and yields more uniform braids.

 

 

 

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In the past Iv made pet quilts. They are just like normal bed patchwork quilts, but made pet size, so small ones for cats and slightly bigger ones for dogs. If you do them on the sewing machine you can make one up in a day. The pets just love them.

 

You can also knit mouse toys for cats then fill them with cat nip (a plant they like).

 

For next year I will be doing cross stitch of their pets (Iv got a programme that converts photos to cross stitch patterns).

 

If your going to a wedding, not only take some photos of the day, but also collect some confettie (or cheat and get an extra little packet), and keep the paper with the hymns on, and also any napkins given away at the meal. Once the photos have been printed make up an album with them in, plus all the goodies youv collected. It makes a very personal collection for the couple.

 

Iv done baskets full of sewing kits (cotton threads, needles, buttons, zips, poppers etc).

 

 

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Rita made me a lovely round, flannel pet bed filled with rice and lavender buds. You microwave it two minutes Fold a towel in 1/2 on it and the Chihuahua keeps warm there.

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I have a sister who was diagnosed at age 52 with diabetes. The doctor thought that she had probably had it for at least 10 and didn't realize it. As a result, she is legally blind and has had difficulty adjusting to her new life. She had always loved crafting and now finds that she is unable to do a lot of the things that she used to. Last Christmas, she made fleece throws for everyone in my family. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, you purchase two large pieces of polar fleece fabric and you make/cut tabs going all around each piece at similar intervals. Then you tie the two pieces of fabric together using the tabs.

 

Everyone in our house loves them because she was able to choose patterns that held special appeal for each of us. My husband is a big Steeler fan, so one side of his throw is bright yellow and the other is official Steeler logo fabric. For me, she chose a cute snowman designed fabric. Here is a link to more information about how to make them. The instructions are for baby blankets, but you can make them any size that you want. If you stick with the standard sizes that the fleece come in, these can be made without any sewing.

 

http://www.allkindsofbabystuff.com/

Edited by themartianchick

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I love these older threads! It reminds me of friends I haven't heard from in awhile! I wonder what some of you are doing now?

 

Anyway, I came across this site today and thought of this thread!

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/11/13/a-do-it-yourself-christmas-34-great-gifts-you-can-make-yourself/

 

Happy Crafting all!

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I found these ideas somewhere on the internet, a couple of years ago... shrug.gif and thought that quite a few of them were not only 'doable' but, very good!

 

 

Bread Cloths

How about some cross stitched bread cloths? There are many Christmas/Hanukkah designs out there just for this purpose. Not too hard to find especially in your local library. Another thing would be to simply purchase some pre-quilted material in designs of the season and edge them with a ruffle or some lace and give place mats with matching napkins.

 

 

Just Time and Imagination

For years now I have made homemade gifts for my friends and relatives. I really didn't have a lot of $ to put into them, just some time and careful planning. A few of the things I have done in the past are: Painted sweatshirts, cross stitched items like t-shirts, sweats, etc and also matted and framed in an inexpensive frame. I have for many years fixed tins w/ cookies, fudge, and other tasty treats in them for friends and family also. Baked breads with the colored plastic wrap, tied w/ ribbons is also an easy idea and it smells good too. Pictures of you framed make a nice present to grandparents since they don't have to go and buy a new frame for your new picture. There are several good ideas about making Christmas gifts around. You just really to take the time and imagination to come up with some of them. I hope this helps some.

 

 

Use Magazines for Inspiration

It's amazing that we spend so much time in a library and forget all the information available. You may want to go back to the library and search for relevant books and periodicals. Or find someone that subscribes to Martha Stewart's Living, Sunset, or other home/hobby magazines (your library may carry some). These usually have great and inexpensive projects (Living usually has great projects that can be done much cheaper than as done in the mag.).

 

 

Homemade Christmas Cards

I just got finished making a set of Christmas cards for my grandmother to send. She's already excited!

 

A pack of white card stock (250 sheets) is about $7 at Office Depot. I used an Angel holding a star and ribbon stamp (pretty expensive, about $14) and a tree stamp (I don't remember how much) and a few other odds and ends (like colored pencils.) But the stamps are re-useable, and one sheet of card stock makes two cards (one sheet of card stock can also be used to make the envelope in which to send your card). One pack of card stock could theoretically make about 150 cards (75 sheets) and 175 envelopes. (I may have the price or number of sheets wrong since it's been a while since I bought this stuff.)

 

 

Another thing I make for my family and coworkers -- and this is not cheap but may be cheaper than buying something -- is to make candy every year. People just go nuts over homemade chocolate covered cherries (I found the recipe in my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.) Truffles are made with chocolate and whipping cream and people really like those, also.

 

 

Special Spoons

This is in response to the recent college grad who is looking for inexpensive home-made gifts for the Holidays. Buy a package of plastic spoons, preferably in festive colors. Dip them in chocolate (melted chocolate chips work well) and shake off the excess. Place them on wax paper and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy. After they dry, wrap them in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. Put a few spoons in a coffee mug along with some individual hot cocoa or coffee packets and you have a great gift for those chilly nights!

 

 

Personalized Stationary

My favorite gift to make is stationary. On white paper, I create a design that wouldn't interfere with letter writing: borders, names, corner highlights. Then I take it to a local copy shop & have them run off copies on a paper that has matching envelopes. Some copy shops will charge you for the prices of the copies only (3-4 cents) if you supply your own paper. The paper can be bought by the ream at a bulk office supply store pretty inexpensively. I mix & match several designs or colors, bundle in groups of 20 (don't forget extra plain paper for back pages) & tie with a pretty ribbon with dried flowers.

 

 

Cup of Joy

Hi. I live in Hoboken, NJ - an expensive yuppie enclave just across the river from NYC. There are lots of funky, overpriced stores in my neighborhood that cater to the "lots of disposable income" young professionals in the area. Once, I spotted a simple idea that had a hefty price tag - $12 - that I knew I could make at home cheaply and easily. The item is a candle in an antique tea cup. I scour the garage sales (and my mom's cabinets) for cheap but interesting tea cups. I then melt down old candle ends or any type of wax I can find (paraffin can be costly) and - optional - add a little scented oil like lemon grass or grapefruit. I put a wick in - really cheap by the yard from the craft store and for about $1, I have a nice gift with a little tag attached to the handle.

 

 

A Spicy Alternative

Check the library for recipes for homemade spice mixes, vinegars and mustards. All are EASY to make, don't cost a lot (it might seem like they do - you buy one of this and one of that - but end up making a LOT of this and a LOT of that for lots of gifts), and people really enjoy receiving them. Either save and reuse bottles and jars at home, ask friends to save them, or find them at yard sales and thrift stores. To make these really special include a recipe for each spice mix or vinegar.

 

 

Ceramics

I suggest taking a ceramics class where you take something that is already cast, and paint it yourself. You don't have to invest in a lot of supplies, and it's fun to take something and personalize it for a gift.

 

 

Basket Filled with Love

I suggest buying (a) straw basket(s) at a yard sale or flea market and deciding on a theme for the particular person- whatever would be appropriate for that person- and filling the basket with either different fruits or other foods (i.e.-herbal teas, cookies, etc). You could make your own homemade cookies and include the recipe in the basket. Or, you could fill the basket with something other than food stuff. An example would be a framed picture of you and your friend who you're giving it to. Another idea is to give 'IOUs' for different services such as a car wash, child care service, a massage, a manicure, etc.

 

 

'Can' Do It !!

I saw this concept in a magazine and at a craft show. Take a clean, dry can from soup or canned vegetables. Using craft acrylic paints and your imagination, paint the cans for the holidays. This is a great project for kids too. Right now my family is working on painting jack-o-lanterns: simply paint a can orange, let it dry, repeat if needed, and then use black to make the face. Fill the can with candy, tissue paper, pencils, etc. We're also working on snowmen and I plan on painting the top part black and putting paper around the black for the rim of Mr. Snowman's top hat. The larger cans could be filled with baked goods, fudge, etc. I've seen some that are painted with a design then spatter-painted which looks quite neat. This is a nice way to recycle cans into something useful and fun. I'm thinking that candy canes will look nice for the holidays.

 

 

Another similar idea is to buy the smallest terra-cotta plant pots from the store, paint them, and put small votive candles in them. Silver and gold stars are nice for a holiday theme but you could do whatever suits your fancy. I'm sure you could use larger pots with pillar candles for a bigger centerpiece.

 

 

Beauty Gifts

Marsha and Dani B. need to check out the book Natural Beauty for All Seasons by Janice Cox. The Book tells how to make homemade bath salts and beauty products.

 

One of my favorites is Candy Cane Bath Salts:

 

* 2 cups Epsom salts

* ½ c. sea salt

* 4-6 drops peppermint oil

* 2-3 drops red food coloring.

 

Place one cup of Epsom and 1/4 cup sea salt in a bowl or re-sealable plastic bag. Add 2-3 drops peppermint oil.

 

Place the remaining ingredients in a second bowl. Mix all ingredients well. Layer the red and white salts in a clear bottle or jar. Half liter Naya ™ water bottles work well because they have the stripes. Tie with a ribbon and some small candy canes. This makes a great holiday gift for friends.

 

 

If you are a good cook, try home made cookies. I make cookies for gift giving. I put them in cellophane bags that are decorated with holiday print. Most craft stores carry those bags.

 

 

Flavored Oils and Vinegars

The solution is as close as your kitchen. Every year, I make huge batches of flavored oils and vinegars. Fruit flavored vinegars, such as raspberry, blueberry & cranberry are my favorites. I've also made basil, hot pepper, rosemary and garlic, but I prefer to use the herbs and spices in oils.

 

For either one, the process is simple. For the vinegars, I use plain white vinegar. (Cheap, at $3.29 a gallon at my local grocery store.) Frozen berries are cheaper most of the year and work wonderfully. Steep the berries or herbs in the vinegar for about a week at room temperature, in a dark place. Strain, and bottle in an attractive bottle. A few berries or a sprig of the herb you used added to the finished vinegar is a nice touch. I use a good quality olive oil for the oils. (A fairly good bargain, at $10.00 a gallon.) Check sources you might not normally think of for good prices on fresh herbs. I buy huge bags of fresh basil from a Vietnamese grocery store for 79 cents each! If you cannot find well priced fresh herbs, dried will do, just use a smaller quantity. Prepare in the same manner as for vinegar. However, when you strain and re-bottle the oils, don't add any fresh herbs, as they can spoil at room temperature.

 

Besides salads, and marinades, flavored oils have many other surprising uses. Garlic flavored olive oil, for instance, is heavenly on baked potatoes.

 

 

I also make wonderful scented ornaments & gift tags with the following dough:

 

Cinnamon Spice Craft Dough

 

* 1 cup apple sauce

* 1 cup cinnamon

* 1 teaspoon nutmeg

* 1 teaspoon cloves

 

Mix until the dough has the consistency of play dough, adding more apple sauce or cinnamon as needed. (Incidentally, I buy cinnamon at the dollar store for 50 cents a bottle.) Roll flat, dusting counter and rolling pin with cinnamon if dough sticks. Cut out shapes with knife or cookie cutter. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging. Dry at room temperature for 5-7 days, turning over at the end of the third day to ensure even drying. They dry even quicker in a food dryer, and give your house a wonderful smell!

 

 

Plants

Take clippings from a hearty plant like an ivy and start them in a tin or inexpensive flower pot. (I like the General Foods International Coffee™ tins) Make sure you cut with at least a 1" stem and that there is at least 1 leaf to sustain the clipping until it forms roots. Keep the soil moist until rooted.

 

Everyone should appreciate a plant, especially if it's a hearty one. Wandering Jew, Spider plant, Philodendron, Pothos, and most ivy can withstand some neglect, even if your recipient doesn't have a "green thumb."

 

 

Paper-mache Bowls

My family spent a creative fortnight several years ago making paper-mache bowls which we painted in bright acrylics from the local art supply shop and spray varnished. We then filled them with homemade sweets, Xmas mince pies, chutney and herb vinegars wrapped them in cellophane and tied them with raffia, gold ribbon etc.

 

 

Creative Frames

What about framed pictures? We have a couple of stores where I pick up nice wooden or clip frames cheaply. I collect these frames (all standard photo sizes) and send them off with pictures of family/friends that I've taken during our last get together. This way I know the picture won"t just get tucked in a drawer and they'll have a special keepsake of our adventures together.

 

A side tip - if the frame is a plain wood and you want to dress it up some, pop out the glass and spray paint it (I use gold or copper colors).

 

One other tip is to shop the $ stores to see if there are any "substantial" item such as - safety goggles, work gloves, kitchen products, baby safety items, books, fancy pens/pencils, chocolate, craft items ... If you know the taste of the recipient you can put together a nice bag. box, bucket of "theme" items e.g. new home, toolbox starter, new baby, chocolate lovers surprise, home spa weekend

 

 

Special Oils

Make home made vinegars and olive oils with used bottles (wine, coolers; any kind of bottle) Use herbs you grow ore buy fresh or dried at the store buy large olive oil at bulk stores as Costco. Wash bottles dishwasher soak off labels make your own label. Small bottles stretch the budget do not buy bottles recycle. Red small Chile peppers look great experiment look at the gourmet bottles in the store and use the same herbs they use.

 

 

Cruise Craft Stores for Ideas

I had the same idea that you two have for gift making. It's a cheaper and more personal way to give gifts to those you cherish. Anyway, what I have been doing is going to craft stores and getting ideas. You can make everything from beadwork, knitting, crocheting, fake floral arranging, cross stitching on plastic canvas, making candles, etc.

 

 

Simple Solutions

These are some that I have come up with:

 

1. Make your favorite homemade cookie mix and pack in Mason™ jars, seal, and attach recipe. I think this would be great for teachers and friends who drop by unexpected with a gift.

 

2. Fix a large box of items such as dishwashing liquid, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. that you have gotten for almost nothing using double coupons and sales together. These items are items that every household needs and will use over the year. I plan on making this type box for my parents and my brothers family. I will put at least 10 to 12 of each item in the box so that the items will last all year. I'm sure they will think of me each time they need soap, toothpaste, etc.

 

 

"Aren't They Cute?"

My small nephews (3 and 5) get their pictures taken a lot by the grandparents and the rest of us. So, as part of their Christmas presents, I purchased two small photo albums and put several pictures of them inside (from babyhood to present). They were delighted to have their "own" albums that they can add to as they get older.

 

 

An Evening 'In'

Here's an idea I came up with when in a similar situation. I bought vouchers/gift certificates from my local Blockbuster video (or other large chain video rental store) and put them in baskets with movie size candy and microwave popcorn. I bought the popcorn from Smart N Final and the movie size candy from a discount pharmacy. The baskets were picked up from yard sales and thrift stores. Wrap it all up with plastic wrap and a nice bow and you have a gift for a whole family for under $5.00 if you shop for bargains.

 

 

It Says "Welcome"

Here's an idea! I gave these as gifts to teachers, etc. one year. Purchase sisal door mats at discount store for about $2.00. Weave ribbon around outer edge. In one corner make arrangement out of greenery, small Christmas ornaments, etc. and tie a bow.

 

 

Kitchen or Crafts

Baked items are always popular well received gifts..but the more unique the food, the better. Search through some cookbooks for candies or cookies that are off the chocolate chip/sugar/peanut butter beaten path and have fun experimenting with new recipes! (Just be sure to taste test first!)

 

 

Another hit....buy inexpensive T-shirts or sweatshirts at a discount store or craft store for around $3-$5 a shirt along with some fabric paints and customize a shirt for your loved one perhaps with a "This TShirt came from XXX University" or even wording referencing an inside joke with that person!!!

 

 

Cookies!

What wrong with something as simple as homemade baskets of cookies. Get your baskets from yard sales, tuck in mugs(one for each member of the family) another yard sale item or dollar store. And in each mug place a flavored tea and envelope of cocoa. Choose three or four really good cookie recipes and start baking. When its time to assemble your baskets that when the fun begins, get colored plastic wrap, Reynolds™ make a very nice one, use coupons to buy all ingredients and wrap. You'll find these gifts to be very rewarding and quite thrifty to make. Everyone loves cookies, and for cookies are not your thing, a loaf of pumpkin bread would be just as nice, and even cheaper to prepare, freezes well, and there are lots of pumpkins around this time of year.

 

 

Nostalgia Baskets

Last year I made "Nostalgia Baskets" for my siblings, containing three varieties of cookies our Grandmother used to bake, including copies of her cookie recipes. On the recipe sheets, I added a few of my memories about our Grandmother, the times when she served those particular cookies, etc. I gift-wrapped the cookies and recipes in attractive baskets that could be used by the recipients for other items after the holidays. The "Nostalgia Baskets" were a real hit!

 

 

Another delicious idea is to prepare homemade chocolate-covered cherries. Use a recipe for Soft Center Fondant or Basic Fondant, which can be found in the Candies/Confections chapter in most slightly older cookbooks (i.e. Joy of Cooking). (Fondant is a cooked mixture of water, sugar and/or corn syrup.) Soak maraschino cherries in Tawny Port wine (Taylors™ is good) overnight, leaving the stems on the cherries. Purchase Chocolate specifically designated for dipping, as well as some paper candy "cups" and small white cardboard boxes to fill with the completed chocolate-covered cherries. The dipping chocolate, candy papers and boxes can usually be found at stores that sell cake decorating supplies (such as Michael's, MJ Designs, etc.) or gourmet cooking supplies. When ready to assemble these confections, wrap enough fondant around the cherry to enclose it, then holding the cherry by its stem, dip the cherry into the dipping chocolate, completely coating it in chocolate. Place on waxed paper til chocolate has cooled and hardened. Place each completed confection in a candy paper cup and fill boxes with them. Gift wrap the boxes, and you have a very unusual gift to give. (Note: by leaving the stems on the cherries, your gift recipients will know they have a handmade treat!)

 

 

From Stationary to Keychains

This is in response to the roommates wanting ideas for inexpensive gifts... There are TONS of inexpensive gifts you can make, some ideas are: make stationary with your computer. You can buy a disk that has tons of clipart on it for around $10 and you can make decorated stationary for pennies! People love it because it is different and it is homemade! I made ALL my christmas gifts last year...some of the ones I made were: Victorian Christmas balls (ornaments), (I just bought clear plastic balls..about $4 for 6 of them) and covered them with lace, trim, tassels, etc. They were gorgeous!....I also made keychains for some of the younger teenagers who were just getting their first cars and such. I also made Victorian picture frames...just cheap (Dollar Store) frames which are plain and you decorate with flowers, lace, ribbon etc. I only decorated 2 corners (otherwise they tended to look "overdone").

 

 

Limited Travel

One that I used myself when we were limited to a $10 gift limit. What I did was got a box covered it with pictures from travel agencies of our local area. Got a gift certificate from a gas company. Now this took some talking with the guy as they don't usually do that. But now I added it to a nice card and gave them a trip. Included was local tours and bike tours and museums etc. This was about ten years ago when $10 of gas would get you some where.

 

 

A Flavorful Gift

CHOCOLATE SPOONS

Get some good quality plastic spoons to start with-no flimsy cheap stuff! Try using gold or silver ones, clear is OK too. Also find some good quality chocolate and different extracts/liquers to make the spoons different flavors/colors. There is no end to the flavors you can come up with! Melt chocolate till it is liquid, watch out that it doesn't scorch...you can do this in the microwave. Add extract or liquor of choice (almond extract, Frangelica, peppermint, anise, Kaluah etc). Then just dip the spoon into the chocolate ...and lay the spoons with their handles over the edge of a wax paper lined cookie sheet till set. You can drizzle white chocolate in a design over dark or milk chocolate...or dip ½ of spoon in dark and ½ in white..best flavors mocha, mint, plain, raspberry...Don't just dip lightly you want a nice puddle in the spoon part and part way up the handle.

 

I wrap these in clear plastic bags tied with raffia and a tag stating the flavor.

 

Other things you can dip into chocolate and put in gift baskets:

salted Pringles™ (dip only half),

chocolate chip cookies (dip only half)

use a clean new small paint brush and paint the mixture on the back side of freshly washed, patted dry leaves (rose, camellia work well). after chocolate has dried gently peel off the leaf and enjoy your chocolate leaf.

 

 

CANDIED TEA STIRRERS

vegetable cooking spray

34 pieces fruit flavored hard candy--crushed--lemon, cinnamon etc

2 TBS light corn syrup

heavy weight plastic spoons

 

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Spray with cooking spray. In a small heavy saucepan combine crushed candies and corn syrup and melt over low eat stirring frequently.

 

Spoon candy into bowl of each spoon. Place spoons on prepared cookie sheet with handles on rims and spoons level. Allow to harden. Store in air tight container.

 

 

 

POSTED BY NANA

 

 

 

 

 

I've collected lots of baskets...lots of different sizes and shapes. I've used them for gifts to everyone rather than buy paper bags that get thrown out. Friends love to see me coming (smile) 'cause they know it's filled with goodies tailor made for them! I've collected scarves & costume jewelry to use instead of bows, t-cups, etc., and then started from there building their "basket". One of our husband friends got his birthday basket with scrubbies (nice to crochet them), homemade glycerine soap, aftershave, a bottle of beer & a "cheap card" made on our computer. So much fun!!!

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**Cat points to Philbe** WE HAVE US ANOTHER CREATIVE ONE!!! :woohoo:

 

 

:happy0203:

 

 

:hug3:

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Well it looks like I am going to have more time on my hands than I planned so I am going to get started on gift baskets. I am going to hitting a lot of thrift stores and yard sales in the next few weeks/months. So glad this thread got bumped and there are so many new ideas! YAY!!

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This is soooo fun! I'm currently working on a basket for a couple friend of ours. They have a c-class that they travel alot in, and she was looking for a set of 4 place mats. I found a set of 4 at a yard sale for $1.00 , and yep...I'm up to my basket-loving stuff! Knowing how she loves a "different cup every morning" for her coffee, I found a couple of cuties in my cup collection, have the place mats folded and pulled to make a "fan" and have added the cups with a bag of coffee from my "food saver collection" (enough coffee for 2 pots) and then I'll probably add some other little goodies for both of them. They're planning to have us to dinner at their lovely farm, and I plan to come armed with "their basket". Yippee!!! Cost of "their basket"...$1 for the mats. The rest has come from my collections and storage items.

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Put together another one of my "gift baskets" for a friend today and boy was she surprised! Used a silk scarf as basket liner, put in 2 matching tea cups and 2 packs of green tea. Then added a small jar of dehydrated orange slices and a packet of peppermint foot rub that was given to me as a sample at a festival. Created my card from my pc with directions to have a relaxing cup of tea with a floating orange slice and then she and her husband could give each other a foot rub. Bonding!? LOL (I love these animated graphics!)

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A gift idea I got from Jo, (and expaned on a little) is if you ave young nieces or nephews that are far away that you and other family members dont see very often, make a photo album with family pictures in it for the kid to look at. You can include names and pictures of things each family member likes. That way they are familliar with your face and the rest of the families faces. You can use bright colours and scrapbooking stuff to make these, just make them durable to stand up to a kids rough handling.

 

So if cousin lars likes horses, his picture would have a horse on the same page. Or if he loved doughnuts a picture of that, or the page could be his or her favourite colour.

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I'm working on some Prayer Shawls for a few of my friends that really are having some problems. I won't wait until Christmas because I feel they need them now. I hope they turn out pretty, but anyway they're done with love and prayers.

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Vacume sealing 1# bags of powdered sugar (I received a 50# bag!) and re-sealing them into one huge mylar bag...but, I'm going to save back a few of the 1# bags and put them into one of my "gift baskets" along with a bag of instant hot chocolate, a sealed bag of instant coffee, a sealed bag of powdered milk, and my recipe for home made capacinno. I'll also pick up some of the microwave hot cups from WM to go along with it, and a homemade card from my pc. Didn't get any Thanksgiving baskets made...maybe next year!? Now...back to re-packaging the powdered sugar!

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Cinnamon Spice Craft Dough

 

* 1 cup apple sauce

* 1 cup cinnamon

* 1 teaspoon nutmeg

* 1 teaspoon cloves

 

Mix until the dough has the consistency of play dough, adding more apple sauce or cinnamon as needed. (Incidentally, I buy cinnamon at the dollar store for 50 cents a bottle.) Roll flat, dusting counter and rolling pin with cinnamon if dough sticks. Cut out shapes with knife or cookie cutter. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging. Dry at room temperature for 5-7 days, turning over at the end of the third day to ensure even drying. They dry even quicker in a food dryer, and give your house a wonderful smell!

 

 

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Cool idea! I just found a large jar of expired applesauce in the back of the cupboard! These will look really cute on my baskets filled with homemade jam!

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Astounded! When leaving Big Lots this weekend (searching for antlers for Abby...smile) and after checking out, I saw 1/2 gallon jars with pretty gingham wrapped over the canning lids, and then the rings were screwed down over that...how pretty! And they were full of Christmas candies. I've done put that on my to-do list for Christmas gifts!

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Philbe, I do this with my jams. I get various colors of cheap fabric from Wal-Mart, cut them out into circles, put them over the lid and then loosely screw down the band. I put an assortment into dollar store baskets, wrap it up with cellophane and ribbon and I have a pretty little gift basket for very little $$$.

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Thanks Andrea...I've done baskets for years, but love the idea of doing jars...so quick and very economical (since we're on a fixed income)! Love it!

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