low cost christmas giftsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have no money to spend on gifts this year. But, I am going to be spending the holiday with a dear friend who lives in the middle of nowhere and is almost as frugal as I am.
So far, these are my ideas of what to give him..I have rice. I have big napkins and other cloth scraps. I'm going to make him a couple of rice bags that he can microwave [he has aches and pains]. I don't have any lavendar and I don't think my box of herbes de provence will really cut it. But I do have some lavendar essential oil somewhere. So, I'll be liberal with that.
I have some terra cotta pots. I will clean them. Paint the insides so they retain water better. Paint the outsides with something. Sponge? Stencil? Any ideas here? I will fill a couple with plants. He likes plants. I'll fill one with kitchen stuff he needs and I have extra. Maybe.
I will make dog cookies for his dog.
Well, those are my ideas so far. I'll see how well I get along with them. I'd like to hear other people's ideas for inexpensive, thoughtful gifts.
-- pc (email@example.com), November 23, 2001
cakes in a jar, are always good,,,when they work for me,, but make sure you make somwthing you like,, hopefully he will share :)
-- stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 24, 2001.
Have you canned or made jellies/jams? Do you have honey? Tiny jars filled w/ goodies are always good. If you have lots of scraps make a quilt--just use large squares and 'tack' instead of quilting! It's quick and easy & Besure to make one smaller for his dog!;~) I would like the clay pots with the 'moss'or white color on them-- I never scrub mine just rinse them out! I wish more of my friends/family would give me things like this..... Merry Christmas!
-- email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 24, 2001.
I have made hot pads to put hot pots on by using squares of material about 8 inches sq. Put right sides together and then sew parallel seams about an inch apart down the middle, after you have turned it right side out of course. Fill it with the scented rice and stitch up the top. Everytime a tea kettle or hot dish is placed on the pad it smells soooo good. I have used cloves and cinnamon oil. You could use the lavender. Both would smell great! With pots you can take old napkins with pretty prints. I have done one with gardening pictures on it...and then you can use glue and water mixed together and put the pictures on the pot. If you use a paint brush they go on very smoothly. Let it dry and if you have some clear spray paint use that to spray over the pictures. If not it will be ok for a while. I have also sent friends for their birthdays indoor herb gardens. I put dirt in a baggy with a twisty tie on the top and put a little packet of herb seeds stuck in the side of the pot with the dirt. My friends loved theirs. At least they said that they did:~)! Anything that you give someone that is home made is a lot better than storebought! If he/she is like my family, I like to make gift bags for them out of fabric. My oldest son reuses the gift bags to hold his marble collection, keys, and whatever he has that is otherwise floating around his room. Just make a little pillowcase and put in a drawstring cord at the top. Put the gift inside and that is two gifts in one.
-- Nan (email@example.com), November 24, 2001.
We took muslin and made little bags with drawstrings at scout camp,then the kids took those rubber stamps and decorated them. The kids loved them,they put all kinds of goodies in them,I have also sewn scraps of fabric together and cut out simple shapes for throw pillows and draft dodgers at the foot of doors,my family always seems to love homemade gifts,perhaps a tin of homemade cookies with a coupon for a free refill?Merry Christmas!
-- Julie (Nelson3@bright.net), November 24, 2001.
I was thinking of making those rice bags with some crushed up cloves or cinnamon sticks to make them smell good. If you have these available you might try it!
-- Melissa (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 24, 2001.
We have made really neat wrapping paper, using brown paper grocery bags ( or feed bags if they are plain brown paper). Cut a potato in half and carve a star or Christmas tree, etc. on cut side, dip in paint and stamp designs on the paper. Also, when we were kids, back in the '40s during the war, we saved all the funny papers and used them to wrap birthday or Christmas gifts. I remember enjoying reading the wrappings as much as the gift inside!
-- Kate henderson (email@example.com), November 24, 2001.
Here's a site showing how to make dried apple wreaths. I've never tried this before, but have seen some at craft fairs & they're quite pretty, countryish looking and smell wonderful. I plan to improvise by adding a few oranges mixed in with the apples on the hanger. I also don't plan to make a wreath, rather thread the apple/orange slices down a short piece (say 5") of wire. this way i won't have to use too many apples/oranges.
Dried Apple Crafts
-- Buk Buk (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 24, 2001.
My neighbor made some very attractive countrystyle wreaths using old barbwire they were removing from their field. They intertwined 2-3 pieces in a wreath shape and added pinecones, dried thistles and flowers. Very nice and all free materials.
-- Kate henderson (email@example.com), November 24, 2001.
Good company, is the best gift of all.
-- Kathy (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 24, 2001.
Thanks for the ideas folks! I like the cinnamon and clove idea for the rice bag. And I have those. Maybe I'll do one lavendar and one cinnamon and clove.
I've made nice wrapping papers with the grocery bags and potato stamps. Fun project. I expecially liked the way it came out with gold stars. This year I might do that and turn the paper into little lidded boxes filled with little things. I can post instructions here if anybody wants them.
-- pc (email@example.com), November 24, 2001.
PC, My family and friends always look forward to a loaf of homemade bread and a jar of jam/jelly. I have also made homemade cocoa mix and place it in mayonaise jars with a homemade bow on top. I plan on trying the cake in a jar this year. You can also give anything fresh, ie: a dozen eggs, a package of steaks from a homegrown beef or even from wild game. Homemade noodles are a great gift too, just add them into a basket or pot( terra cotta) with some bullion,an onion etc.. and a recipe for a certain kind of soup, maybe add a loaf of fresh baked bread. Hope this gives you some other ideas besides the great ones listed above. Do you have acsess to fresh evergreens? If so make a swag or a center piece using all natural thing from your yard. We did this one year, using interesting looking weeds mixed in with the greens as well as pinecones we found. Needless to say we still get requests for them, and all it cost was time and alittle gas. You can put a candle in the centerpiece but it's not required.
-- Kelle in MT (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 25, 2001.
Agree with the "gift-bag". Take a l..o..n..g piece of cloth. Sew hems on both ends. Double, then sew down the sides to make a bag (except for the bit at the top that has the seams you sewed first). Turn inside out - now all the hems are inside. Put cord through the top seams you sewed first. Do it again - this leaves double cord through the hems, and you can pull a piece out on each side for "dog ears". One of those "ears" will have the two ends - knot them together. Put presents inside.
Filling - set of needles, with needle threader. Three big cotton- reels, with white, black, and navy thread. Some of each wound onto cardboard. Set of small multi-colured threads on small spools - say 15 or 20 different colours, five metres each. Set of folding scissors. Cloth dressmakers tape-measure. Packet of buttons. Packet of iron-on fusible web for fixing hems. Small cigar tin or baggy to hold the above (except maybe the reels). Gives a compact travel sewing kit to throw in your suitcase.
Did all that one Christmas for my sons and niece and nephews. They've still got them 12 years later, although the contents have rotated several times, and the niece has a LOT more big reels in the bag now. Sons still carry the folding scissors. One lost and replaced his - which says it was a good thing for him to get - he found it sufficiently useful to replace. Still stumble across the bags from time to time around the nephew's places - don't know what's in them now, but the draw-string bags are still being used.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), November 27, 2001.