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Topic: CHRISTMAS! ...on a budget?  (Read 7763 times)
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008 07:53:52 PM »

Another suggestion (that I don't think anyone mentioned on this thread) would be candles.  You can get cheap parafin wax in the canning section of most grocery stores, melt it in a coffee can in a pot of boiling water, add some random candle stubs and crayons for pretty colors, essential oils for fragrance (if you have them), use a string for wick, and for a one-use mold, empty juice cartons, milk cartons, Pringles cans, etc, all work really well. 

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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008 08:06:59 PM »

We do a country christmas tree with a big homemade plaid bow at the top. So this year I was going to do plain brown paper (small rolls from the dollar store) wrapped boxes tied with twine and tea dyed "aged" tagges. I found lowes hardware has a huge roll of carpenter paper (in the paint section) it's $9 a way better deal and will do all my wrapping and then much more! Just wanted to share.
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008 06:41:42 PM »

Like others said, crafting gifts is a good way to stretch a dollar. The baked good are an awesome idea, because everyone loves baked goods!
To go along with the theme, you could get some tins at the thrift store (my thrift stores always have them for .25 each) and paint or decoupage the outside with holiday images or whatever is special to that person.

I'm trying to craft most of my presents, with the exception of my nephews  and boyfriend (who are getting video games). I'll be quilting, crocheting and embroidering like crazy for a while.

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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2008 08:31:29 AM »

I am mostly into giving an updated photo at xmas to everyone, you could decorate frames easy enough, or make a simplephoto folder to give itin or scrapbook it. or you could get your photo put on something ceramic like a mug or plate for not too dear a price.
hand painted soap is nice,you can just buy plain baby soap and paint the flat side with sealer , than acrylic than decoupage, glitter and seal with spray sealer just the top bit, people use on their wash basin from the underside, the pics last for ages. would be nice teamed with crochet washer.
keep it simple people dont need much.

paint canvas and decorate it!

goodluck cyndiq

« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2008 03:56:56 PM »

I'm back to share some more ideas I found in a magazine my mom gave me---plus some more of my own ideas. Frugal/Green Christmas [holiday for those of you who dont celebrate christmas] ideas

DECORATING, gifts, etc

1. A fake christmas tree. OR if you feel the need to actually HAVE a REAL tree... Get one that is grown from organic farms. Or get one with roots so that it can be replanted in your yard after the holidays.

2. Use super-efficient LED lights for your tree. Apparently, they are more expensive than regular lights but they burn 80-80% less energy than the regulars. Apparently, it saved as much energy in a day as a whole family used in a month! I think they would be worth the extra money, based on the energy savings...

3. Use pinecones, paper ornaments, etc. All handmade of course. Popcorn & cranberry garland. etc

4. of course. if you have a REAL tree, be sure to look up earth911.com & find a local sanitation dept that will pick up & recycle your christmas tree

5. Use real plates, napkins, cups, silverware, etc. RATHER than the disposable & more convienent ones.

6. You can make holiday gift card sets really cheap. A whole set makes a great gift. On the same note, recycle christmas cards you receive by cutting the picture part into small squares to use as gift tags next year.

7. Give time, not an actual gift. For instance. Beautifully present a coupon for babysitting/cleaning house/etc
I know MANY people who'd love that. I personally would take the house cleaning one lol. I'm pretty lazy sometimes

8. Ornaments...great gifts---can be made in MANY different ways

9. HOMEMADE soap sets---easy & cost friendly on the wallet

10. Thrift store glasses etched. super easy & can be very cheap. The initial etching cream is pretty much the most expensive thing. it lasts for many projects though.

11. decorated mirrors/etched mirrors. very inexpensive & cheap

12. rice bags

13. napkin rings/table runner/placemat set for the ones who like decorating or having dinner parties

14. reclaimed wood---painted/burned/whatever. You can easily personalize by family name, or go generic like MERRY CHRISTMAS or something. You can buy stencils especially if you weren't born a painter like bob ross lol

15. handbags, makeup bags

16. magnet sets

i had more ideas but i forgot them....
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2008 10:00:38 AM »

- I found plain hoodies at Target for $10. I stenciled a trail of stars out the pocket, around the back and into the hood. I got the idea from a AMAZING HOODIE SWAP around here somehere.

- Docotored picture frames & mirrors found at Target's $1 section.

(Big Target fan here)

- Candels made out of the mugs from my new table set. I'm not going to use them.

- Often Michaels has T-Shirts 5 for $10....Stenciled T-shirts for all.

Sweets4Ever has THE BEST mass Christmas gift ideas.


"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted."
John Lennon
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2008 03:55:08 PM »

Well here's what I'm doing for a thrifty holiday:

Nearly everyone is getting a handmade journal this year.  The material is dirt cheap and I'm stash-busting my fabric and scrapbooking supplies too. Each one is personalized according to activity (one's getting a meditation journal, another one for lists, one gets a recipe card book...) Each took about an hour or so to make. And I got a gadgety pen that matches (or I crafted to make it match) for a complete gift. (59 cents for the pen and maybe a dollar worth of supplies including paper, embellishments and glue)

Pictures are also big with immediate family with the  new grandchild and all so every one is getting a calendar with 12 photos in it. ($1 for the calendar, $2.50 for the photo's)

I made stuffed dragons for all the kids, and bears made from baby clothes for the family adults.  I used fabrics from my stash for the dragons. (so free)

I'm making re-usable grocery bags for a couple of people. (I got 6 bags and a lot of extra fabric for other projects from one full sized sheet that I got for a dollar at the thrift store.)

If you have a large yarn stash, maybe a Rapunzel scarf. Cheap and quick.

I made a dress for my child from an adult size shirt that I got from the thrift store for a dollar. If I decide to make shoes for it out of craft felt It might be 50 cents more for the material because I'd have to buy that.

My husband is getting a decorated mousepad along with his journal since he spends alot of time on his computer.  And hopefully a shirt that I will embroider.

If I'm ambitious the women might also get purses from scrap fabrics I have in the stash and I want to make my child PJ's from a 50 cent  pillowcase or two.

I'll alsi be making some candies, fudge and that sort of thing.


« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2008 10:39:50 AM »

If you have a good 'dollar'/closeout store, I'd start there.  For years, my sister has given me photos of her kids or her and her husband in an pretty frame for Xmas.  I love having those pictures and recently I gifted a bunch of people with photos and was pleasantly shocked that the frames at the closeout store (nice frames) were all about $1.10.  It's a very personal gift and doesn't seem cheap at all.  Really great for relatives who love you and miss you anyway.

Also at the local closeout store here, I've been able to get inexpensive nice candy (always tastes fine - I confess, usually one of the boxes goes into my stomach - oops).  Ferraro Rocher and the like.  Great for teacher thank yous, etc.

I also found some really pretty candles one year for $2.99 each.  I think they were supposed to be wedding favors.  Came in a box with silver wedding bells on the side.  The candle had a lid, smelled good, was in a little net bag with bells tied on.  I took the bells off, ditched the outer box and gave people the candles in the little net bag.  People loved them as they looked really nice. 

If you live near a harried relative and have the time, definitely do the babysitting thing. Give them 10 hours or something (if you like their kids of course LOL).  But I have friends who would view that as a REAL gift as they don't have a lot of money to spend on a sitter either.

Good luck.
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2008 11:34:13 AM »

My suggestion would be:  GAMES!

Since times are a little bit more challenging, people will be spending more time at home.

You could make a HUGE checkers game using plywood and come up with something creative for pieces. 

This is one of the things I'm making my husband this year.  In an attempt to save money, and to FORCE him to give me a Christmas present, I told him we are making each others presents this year.  He's a huge game addict, and let's face it, games are expensive!  So I'm basically making him a box of game supplies, and some home made games.  There's a great company called Cheap-Ass Games, that literally lets you buy their games for about $3-4, and use your own "pieces", like play money, counters, etc.  They also have some games that they let you download for FREE.  You simply print out the cards on your own card stock and paste the board down onto cardboard/wood, etc.  I found an unfinished wooden box cheap on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Painted it, and am filling it with the printed games, small velvet drawstring bags that I made from my stash for cards, dice, counters, pawns, etc, and the game boards.  I wandered around Dollar Tree and found packs of cards, dice, poker chips, chess sets, checker sets, play money, etc, each for only $1!  I've estimated that I'll spend about $9 all together, for one super impressive gift. 

As for the rest of the world, here's a good way to start.  Spend a day thinking about EVERY SINGLE CRAFT you already know how to make.  Write them down.  Keep the list going all day, or over several days and keep adding to it every time you remember something or get inspired.  Next star or highlight the items you can make with NO NEW SUPPLIES.  Then find some way to designate what you can make with a minimum/the world's cheapest supplies.  Figure out which ones that would appeal to a wide range of people, and go for those first.  Like others have already said, keep an eye out at Goodwill/Dollar Tree for simple additions that save you money.  For example, I already had Kosher salt, essential oils, soap colorant, oatmeal, and dried flowers/spices/etc.  I bought a giant bag of epsom salts for $1.78, and a box of powdered milk for $2.  That made me about 18-20 cups of milk bath and bath salts, in a variety of scents for $3.78.  BUT NOTE that I already had the slightly more expensive supply: essential oils.  So while this was cheap for me, it might not be for you.  Play to YOUR strengths and costs. 

Next, set yourself a goal.  For example, I'm trying to make one thing or project every 2 days.  Some days I manage to clean out my yarn stash and make 7 rapunzel scarves, or I might spend a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen making 20 bars of soap and 20 cups of bath salts...  and then I might not get a chance to craft again for 3 days, but I've still made progress!  It really works, I promise.  Plus you realize that there are about a million things you can make with what's laying around your house/in your stash.  Also, having old craft supplies and new recyclables, really helps.  I wrapped all my soap in brown paper bags, tied with scraps of torn fabric and kitchen twine.  They look like they came from a high end shop, but cost me next to nothing as I had nearly all my supplies.  Also, keep reading craftster!  You'll never know what someone will post a picture of that you'll think, "Hey!  I can make that, AND I have all the supplies!"   

« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2008 11:25:52 AM »

I've been saving fabric remnants from dresses and other projects I had made for my daughter over the years (she just started college).  I had been meaning to put them together to make a quilt... but I'm not quite that ambitious.

Then, I thought, she already has a nice comforter and, living in the dorm, she doesn't have a lot of free space for an extra quilt.  So, I made two quilt tops and then stitched them together to make a duvet-cover for her (I made a matching sham too). 
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