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Topic: Ideas to save money at the holidays  (Read 3355 times)
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stillatthetop
« on: August 30, 2014 04:18:13 PM »

I am in America, so Christmas is usually our holiday. But I know other craftsters who like to make homespun gifts for their families...gifts from the heart. I hope we can use this post to celebrate the reason for the season...LOVE.



I need to save money this year, and giving all my hard earned cash to the "cash cows" that promote crazy things are not for me. I would rather spend the dollars on items to make hand-made candles, soaps, pillows, and food goodies. Son is getting PJs. {along with a few toys}. Some of those materials will come out of my stash. (I save old candles and re-melt them  Wink)

This is not my photo...snagged somewhere off the internet, but it looks like it could be made with leftover {used and broken} sweaters, and be good to use as package toppings and tree ornaments. That way you can skip the bow...those just add to our never ending garbage dump at this time of year.

Embroidery floss to wrap the hands and ankles. Small foam ball for the head {you could add a face if you wished with fabric paint?} easy to trace and make your own pattern. Looks like it would be easy to stitch by hand, and the more handmade it looks, the better. Charming.

My gifts will be wrapped in brown paper bags. With garden twine on them. Oh, of course I will rubber stamp some fun designs  Grin

I also go to our local newspaper printing place, and for $2.00 I get an "off-roll" with lots of unprinted newsprint. It is great for making larger fabric patterns, or protecting the table when the kids do their crafts. Or at Birthday parties I bring out the markers, and they all get to draw on the 'tablecloth'  Grin

Another holiday idea for everyone is to put a white linen cloth on the table, and let all the guests sign it with  fine-line sharpie...then embroider it later for a keepsake. Great at weddings. Just ideas.

Now I would love to hear yours!

~T
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014 04:23:24 PM by stillatthetop » THIS ROCKS   Logged

NEW REQUEST: Need quilting fabric with ONLY purple, grey, green. Solids or Prints in any combination/shades, but NO OTHER COLORS ALLOWED. HELP! They are hard to find.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
stillatthetop
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2014 10:00:04 AM »

I think I should be allowed to double post here  Grin

This is a neat snag off the internet {sorry, but the sources do not always accompany the ideas, if I could give credit I would, but these are out from the depths of my computer, and long since fell off the history}

M & M's puts out holiday colors in the red, green, white variety. Those are Twix cookie bars around the outside.
M & M Mars company will also sell you specific colors to match a wedding party or other prom event, etc. I am sure they have a website for that. Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness events?

We are celebrating all holidays here, so don't feel that this is just Christmas.



I will add some Halloween here soon, too. That is my favorite holiday. I make some "wicked" finger sandwiches and Witch finger cheese straws. I have to "dig" up the recipes  Grin

~T
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NEW REQUEST: Need quilting fabric with ONLY purple, grey, green. Solids or Prints in any combination/shades, but NO OTHER COLORS ALLOWED. HELP! They are hard to find.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2014 10:40:25 AM »

Sweet!

(Those are not Twix, but KitKats. Says the diabetic... LOL)
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wendiek
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2014 12:08:25 PM »

Yes, BeaG is right, those are kitkat's! I like twix better though  Cheesy

Great ideas T!

I use the legs of old jeans of the boys to make a little "bag" for wine or so. You could print the label for it yourself. It could be a bottle with homemade lemonade or whatever too of course! Or a jar with homemade pickles, marmalade,...

A rock with a crocheted cover.
Felt Christmas ornaments.
Desk organizer made of paper boxes. Glue pretty paper or wall paper on it and you're good to go!
Sock monkeys are always fun to make and receive!
A throw pillow cover made of old pieces of jeans (yes, I love jeans  Cheesy )
A pair of legwarmers made of the arms of an old sweater.
If you have a wool sweater, felt it by washing it too hot and with soap and make a nice bag of it, a notebook cover or ...

I have so many ideas! Hope you like them!  Smiley
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stillatthetop
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2014 02:50:02 PM »

Sorry, I stand corrected in the candy aisle. Thanks for setting that straight.

I love your ideas wendiek. And I am sure other members will take note of them as well.

I love jeans, too. And often stitch things from the old ones. Aprons, purses, etc.

An addition to your paper box desk organizer idea (the post office hates me)...but the priority boxes are FREE...until you ship them, but you can use them to your advantage, and they are a nice corrugated cardboard, and clean of anything on them. And come in a variety of sizes. To use for all types of things. I do not advocate cleaning the post office out of their stock, but if you just wish a few?  Grin

I once accidentally felted a favorite sweater. It did fit me, but after I washed it, ended up the size to fit a small dog  Cheesy But sweaters are great for crafting. Especially for us who do not knit or crochet so fast, or well, or not at all. And yard sales and thrift stores are cheap places to get those.

Keep the ideas coming. I am loving the input.

~T
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NEW REQUEST: Need quilting fabric with ONLY purple, grey, green. Solids or Prints in any combination/shades, but NO OTHER COLORS ALLOWED. HELP! They are hard to find.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2016 02:22:49 PM »

Great ideas, and so practical and meaningful Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2016 06:43:38 AM »

Here is something I made for our family to enjoy:  Christmas Bingo.  I had a bunch of nametags and stickers left over - you know the generic ones that come in a pack of a hundredish but only half get used - and over the years they accumulated.  
(Similar in size to the ones on this sheet)
                                                    


The tutorial is pretty much common info for those familiar with Bingo.
I drew 25 squares on colored 8x10 paper.  Each sheet's center square was marked "FREE."  Then the stickers were put on the non-free squares, being careful to not duplicate locations on multiple sheets as best we could.  It took time to draw and to coordinate.  Everyone helped.  There were some items that we had no sticker for, so we wrote or drew the item on the square.
  

The bingo call cards were made in the same way.  Each item was put on a separate small square, then the squares were cut to separate the items.  Each call square was marked with the column where that item could be found (Example:  Holly has 2-I for second column or "I" in BINGO.)  This helped make the items easier to find.  The call cards are kept in a plastic ziplock baggie.  During the bingo game, the caller removes a call card from the baggie and sets it in a small dish to help keep track of what has/hasn't been called.  This takes up less room on the table.  More room for cookies!
                                          

We found a jigsaw puzzle at a yard sale for a dime that was missing a few pieces.   Those remaining puzzle pieces have been repurposed into bingo markers.  Pennies and buttons work well also.   There are many ways to play/win at bingo but we prefer the standard 5-in-a-row, up-down, across, or diagonally.  Prizes were little things such as candy canes or trinkets we had around the house.  

There are online sites where folks can generate bingo games, but that takes up printer ink and eliminates the craft time that our family spent making our Christmas Bingo.  Regardless of how made, Bingo has helped us create fun memories without spending beaucoup bucks.


« Last Edit: November 27, 2016 04:40:38 PM by JS » THIS ROCKS   Logged

God doesn't send people to hell.  He simply honors their choice.
steiconi
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2016 08:33:18 AM »

I've cut waaay back on gift-giving over the years.  Now my big gift for everyone is my annual ornament--a hand-crafted, non-denominational doohickey that you can put on a tree or display year-round.

This year, I was making ceramic animals--polar bear, cats, birds, a fox--using cookie cutters (I have dozens, but never make that kind of cookie, better to use for crafts!).  Unfortunately, I started too late, and they won't get fired in time (community kiln).   
So now I'm working on jointed paper dolls.  I'm doing a couple different dragons, horses, and a few reproduction people-dolls.

We usually donate the money (and time) saved to the local Boys and Girls Club and a charity that does a big holiday party for homeless kids and their families.  We've been volunteering there for 11 years--my husband plays Santa (in a costume I made for him), and I help the kids do crafts to take home.
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2016 02:39:11 PM »

steiconi that is a wonderful way to spend a holiday!  Spending time with others to make their holiday special adds so much more meaning to the holidays.  I love the gifts of the heart that everyone in this thread has made. 



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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016 03:38:45 PM »

I do an annual ornament as well.  I've posted many here, as well as some prototypes that did not quite make it into mass productions.  I have done beaded snowflakes, crocheted Santa heads, needlefelted snowmen, chainmaille ornaments, soldered recycled tin stars, bead draped ornaments, soldered microscope slide ornaments, knit gnomes, woodburned ornaments, and various variations of all of the above.  Often I will do sets for family members, or they are toppers for gifts for friends.  I am envious that you have a communal kiln - I want to try ceramic too!  I was going to do mini houses - either gingerbread or just mini houses in a pit fire this year, but did not get organized enough for that.

Hallmark used to have a warehouse sale regularly near me, so often I would go there and could pick up really cheap kraft paper wrap.  My mother is really really good at picking apart wrapping paper so that it is pristine and reuses it.  I also like to use reusable bags, cloth, or get things like tea towels or the like to wrap.

I have done food gifts that have been well received - great to make in bulk, and if there is goodies in the garden, they can be part of it - like the green tomato relish and pickles I made one year.  I have done fruit juice jellies, pepper jellies, pickles, boozy pears, zucchini relish.  Also lots of baked goods, and candies - including big breasted gingerbread women for the guys, and lumps of coal cookies one year. 

Jim and I have made gifts together before also.  He has made beautiful frames from his stash of specialty wood.  We made a business sign for his father one year - he did the cutting, routing, etc.  I burned the image on.  We reused wine bottles last year to make bird feeders - I etched the glass, and he put together the frames.  We may make some key holders or hooks too at some point - namely because I bought a LOT of shaker style pegs last year for him to make me inkers.

I like the idea of remelting wax.  I have wanted to make tea cup candles and may do so in the future. 

Some ideas I have kicked around, which I may still make in the future are things like garden ornaments using old cutlery, and tea cup bird feeders.   
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