By Meg Hoppe
My best friend and I decided that this year, we would each make our gifts for one another. So, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on thrifty Christmas gift ideas. I have been scouring the homemade gift websites, craft magazines, and craft stores to find the perfect gift idea for her.
Luckily enough for you, this means that I have an amazing list of thrifty, easy-to-make, and fun gift ideas for the last-minute giver.
Stupid Sock Creatures: These little monsters are absolutely a blast to make. In fact, my friends and I had a Stupid Sock Puppet party last year. We sat, laughed, drank some wine, and made these great little creatures. It’s definitely an activity that’s geared towards an older audience as the puppets are much more involved than sock puppets you might remember from childhood.
Aside from the book with patterns in it, most people have all of the tools needed to make the puppets. Grab some old socks, buttons, thread, a needle, scissors, a ruler and you’re set to go. Most bookstores carry the Stupid Sock Creatures book. These little guys are great gifts to give friends of all ages. They have character and are absolutely adorable. [Price: $10.00-$15.00]
Book: I am in the process of writing and illustrating a story book for a friend. The process can be a rather long one, so if you’re short on time I wouldn’t opt for this gift idea. However, if you have children, time, and are looking for a lasting and meaningful gift, I think making your own book is a great idea. There are so many ways to go about this. One of the simplest is Blurb.com. they give you a program to download that is PC/Mac compatible and all you need to drag and drop, you can see the product before you buy, and then you can order it. Typically you need to allow about 1.5-2 weeks for shipping on your book so plan ahead. Overall though, books that you create yourself whether it’s a story book, photo book, or small book of affirmations make great gifts that last forever. [Price: $15 and up]
Wordles: Can you think of a friend or family member who just loves to sit there and compliment themselves? I know that I can. Go to Wordle.net to make them a personalized “word cloud.” Essentially you think of words that remind you of that person, phrases, jokes..anything..and you plug it into this site and it comes up with a creative layout and great typography. This can make a really nice art piece if you get it printed out and framed. Makes a great and thoughtful gift. [Price: $10.00-$15.00-printing & frame]
Cards: Get creative with your Christmas cards folks. Make a collage on the front of your card, take a funny photo, add some ribbons or just plain flair. I’ve always preferred the handmade card to the store bought one, they are just better. It’s always a nice touch to any gift that you give. [Price: $5.00-$10.00]
Recipe Booklet: I make a mean cheesecake. In fact, I’ve been asked on countless occassions for my recipe. This holiday season, get together your favorite recipes [or most asked for] and compile them together in a little recipe booklet. It’s a nice way to pass some lasting gifts onto people that they can make their own in the future. [Price: $15.00-$20.00]
Secret Hollow Book: For that special boy on your list who asked for ninja throwing star, try this great secret stash box instead. It’s an all around great gift. From when he opens it and really thinks you bought him a book to when he realizes what it is and loves it. [Price: $5.00-$10.00]
Marble Magnets: These simple gifts are great stocking stuffers for people your list making their way to college or their first apartment. The magnets are so easy to do you can easily make enough for everyone on your list in no time. Check out the rest of the Not Martha site for other awesome crafty things that us Non-Marthas can easily accomplish! [Price: $10.00-$11.00]