Ah, it's that time of year. Time to spread love, joy, and cheer. But wait, what's this? Why, it's your wallet and to your surprise, there isn't a lot of money inside. (Okay, enough with the rhyming.)
So you're a little strapped for cash this year. Fear not, where there's a will (and some glitter and glue), there is a way. So try dusting off your arts and crafts skills and make something from the heart. All you'll need is a little imagination and some practice and also patience. Thus, here are some inexpensive homemade Christmas gifts you can make that will wow anyone and won't cause you a pretty penny.
1. Body Scrub
Who doesn’t love a good body scrub? But who wants to spend all that money for those bottles that are only half full or that dry out too quickly. Now you can make some at home with ingredients you have right at home in your kitchen. All you’ll need is some brown sugar, granulated white sugar, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, a glass jar, and a ribbon and tag. Although you can label it how you see fit. Maybe even experiment and make it a Christmas scrub and substitute the sunflower oil with peppermint oil.
2. Rice Bag Warmers
I actually have one of these rice bag warmers. One of my friends made it for me as a Christmas gift and I use it all the time. What she did was take two strips of thick fabric, and sew all the edges together, making sure to leave a hole at the top. Then she took a cup of white rice (you can do whatever amount you like) and sewed off a section after each cup, making four mini pillows sewn together.
Now the way you warm it up is by putting it in the microwave for a minute or two, however warm you would like it. And I personally like to put my rice bag at the foot of my bed and use it to warm my feet up. But you can use it to ease tense muscles in your neck, back, as well as your aching joints. You can also use it for headaches by heating it up a little and placing it on your forehead. The possibilities are endless.
3. Monogrammed Wreath
What you’ll need is a large piece of Styrofoam cut out in the shape of a letter you desire. Then wrap the letter in twine, gluing it down along the way, to keep it together. Then add whatever accents you’d like. I’d suggest something that is personal to the person you’re giving it to, but since it’s Christmas, you can add holly or add snowflakes, ornaments, etc. Make it however you like.
4. Ruffle Scarf
You’ll need an XL or XXL t-shirt, a 9’’ paper plate, scissors (of course) and a flower or pin, which is optional. Now lay the paper plate flat on the t-shirt before tracing and cutting circles on each side of the shirt. According to the website, you want to make sure you get 8 -12 circles, 4 -6 on each side. Then, cut each circle into a spiral and stretch out the pieces of fabric before laying them all together. Now all that’s left is to wear it. Again, a pin or a flower, or some sort of accent is optional.
5. Hand Print Apron
This is definitely a gift for your mother or whoever is the chef in your family. What you’ll need is a canvas apron, washable fabric paint, fabric thread that will blend with the apron, and an optional heat transfer. So the instruction says to add the embellishment first, but personally, I think you can skip this step if you like. In fact, if you get a Christmas apron and use black paint, I think it could work. But it’s just a suggestion. Then write the names on the apron, so you’ll know where the hands will go. The link says to do a heat transfer, but I personally have used paint that comes in a bottle with a pointed tip and wrote the names this way. Then have all the kids and any other members of your chef’s family, dip in paint and print their hands on the apron. Let the paint dry and present your gift.
6. Bird Nest Necklaces
These necklaces are a great gift for your mom, your grandmother, a friend, or a gift you can suggest your boyfriend make you. What you’ll need is jewelry wire, pearls or glass beads, a necklace chain, and a jump ring or clasp. First, you’ll need to string your beads to the wire. Then, wrap the wire around the beads to resemble a bird’s nest. Then wrap the wire between the space of the beads and the nest a few times. Now attach your jump ring or clasp to your necklace chain. Then loop your chain through your bird’s nest.
7. Tea Cup Lights
This gift idea really caught my eye and I’d love to have some around my house on the mantel or countertops in the kitchen. What you’ll need is teacups (of course), nested pans, partially burned candles, candle thermometer, tongs, new wicking, wick sustainers, and wooden skewers. First, you’ll need to melt some old candles in a small pan over a large pan of simmering water. Next, use the thermometer to check that the candles are at 185 degrees and remove the old wicks with the tongs. Now cut some wicking the height of your cups with an additional two inches. Next, clamp one end of the wick to a sustainer and tie the other end around a skewer. Then dip the wick and sustainer into melted wax, before removing and sticking the sustainer to the cup’s bottom. Now pour the wax into the cup, stopping a half an inch from the rim. Let the wax set for an hour. Know that there will be a well in the center when it hardens. To even that out, take a skewer and prick a circle of holes around the wick about 1/16 deep. Now pour in some more wax until ¼ inch from the rim. Then cut the wick and you’re done.
If you’re anything like me, you have too many books but not enough bookmarks. What you’ll need is some velvet ribbon, ribbon clamps, flat nose jewelry pliers, and jump rings. First, you’ll need to cut the velvet into nine-inch pieces. Then use the pliers to adhere the clamps to the ribbon. Now just add a jump ring to add on your favorite charms and other trinkets and things.
9. Sugar Cubes
I came across this gift idea while sifting through the two links at the end of this article. However, the website for this great idea was down and I googled how to make these sugar cubes. All you’ll need is water, and of course, sugar. That’s it! Now, what you need to do is combine the sugar and water until the texture is even. Make sure the substance isn’t too watery, that the mixture is moist yet crumbly. Next, take one teaspoon of the mixture and compress into the mold of your choosing. Let it sit overnight at room temperature, then remove from the mold. Be sure to store the cubes in an airtight container. The link says they will last for up to two years.
10. Wire Hanger Wreath
When I was in Kindergarten, I remember making a wreath out of wire hanger and tying scrap pieces of fabric to it. I still have it and my mom uses it every so often. In the link below, it calls for ornaments, which will be cheaper and easier, since most of us already have a collection of ornament but you can put what you want on your wreath.
First, bend the hanger into a circle. Next, use a little bit of the hot glue for the ornaments. Now unravel the top of the hanger. Then you can start applying the ornaments to the hanger. Then add garland if you so choose. For the fabric, just cut up strips of fabric and tie them around the wreath as you would tie a knot, bunching the cloths together to close any gaps, until you’ve covered the wreath.
I hope some of this was helpful. And please, share any suggestions you may have, as well as send photos. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!