“It’s the thought that counts” is usually a cop-out for someone giving a cheap gift. But with these ideas, you can create an inexpensive but still meaningful present for anyone on your Christmas list.
1. Wine cork snowflake
Here’s a great way to re-gift those wine corks you have lying around your house. Paula Skulina from Sweet Pea came up with a fun, easy-to-make ornament using wine corks, glitter, and ribbon.
2. Homemade Christmas potpourri
Ever wish you could bottle up those magical Christmastime scents? You actually can—and give it as a gift (or keep it for yourself). Choose one of these fun smelling “recipes” and put the ingredients in a mason jar as a gift. When your recipients add the contents to a pot of water on a low simmer, their houses will smell like Christmas.
3. Refurbished picture frames
Turn a cheap purchase into a memorable Christmas present. Buy old frames from the dollar store or a garage sale (the more intricate the designs, the better) and give them a fresh coat of brightly colored paint. Be sure to put a cute photo of the two of you inside.
4. Photo collage tray
Want to gift a more inventive photo display? Editors at The Family Handyman came up with this creative way to show off fun photos. They decorated a white wood tray with photos and stickers and covered their designs with an acrylic piece. Make it more special by adding mementos like movie stubs or quotes from the recipient’s favorite TV show.
5. Sand art brownie mix
This DIY gift not only looks pretty, but it tastes delicious. Layer the brownie ingredients in a mason jar and add a festive gift tag. All the recipient will need to do is add eggs, canola oil, and vanilla to prepare tasty brownies. Get the recipe from Taste of Home. Want more delicious ideas for presents?
6. Pom pom keychain
Know someone who always loses their keys? This keychain from Laurel Stavros at A Bubbly Life will prevent that from ever happening again. Wrap yarn around cardboard until you get the size you want. Slide it off the cardboard, tie an extra-long string around it, and then cut the ball of yarn to make a pom pom. Tie it to a keychain, and voila!
7. Cloth wall clock
A gift that’s as practical as it is fashionable, this homemade clock from Fabric Paper Glue can be any color, pattern, or design that you wish. You will need access to a power drill, but don’t let that intimidate you. The whole project can be completed in just five steps.
8. Homemade gumdrops
Gumdrops are one of the most festive Christmas treats, and now you can make them in your own kitchen, thanks to this recipe from Taste of Home. They’re perfect for any friend or relative with a sweet tooth. Gift them in a fun holiday tin or mini picnic basket.
9. DIY cell phone cover
Cell phone covers can be pricey, and many of the more reasonably priced ones only come in solid, boring colors. But with this clever idea from blogger Katie Adams, you can turn any ordinary cell phone cover into a work of art with some washi tape and decoupage.
10. Boozy hot chocolate mix
There’s nothing like a nice warm cup of hot chocolate to put anyone in the Christmas spirit—especially if that cocoa is made with spirits. Layer all the dry ingredients from this Taste of Home recipe in a mason jar, and tie a small bottle of Kahlua or Baileys to the jar with a festive ribbon. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic twist on this wintery classic.
11. Homemade lemon body scrub
If you’re lucky enough to not be hosting the holiday party you’re going to this year, you don’t have to go through the effort and stress that your hosts put into the big event. Thank them for their hard work with a relaxing, rejuvenating body scrub. Mix a half cup each of Epsom salt, sugar, and coconut oil. Then add one tablespoon honey and five drops of quality lemon essential oil.
12. Good mornin’ pancake mix
There’s one gift that no one thinks to ask for but is universally adored: the gift of breakfast. And this pancake mix doesn’t make your average pancakes. The orange peels, raisins, and cinnamon give the batch a touch of special festive spice that the cook in your family is sure to appreciate. Put the raisins and almonds in one bag and the rest of the dry ingredients in a second bag, and tie them up with a holiday ribbon.
13. The craftsman’s Christmas tree
Want to be a little more crafty with your gift? Show off your woodworking skills by building your own a Christmas tree. Use nails or a manual staple gun designed for wood-on-wood projects to tier the “branches” onto a sturdy wooden plank that will act as the trunk. Mount it onto a base and paint on a festive Christmas message.
14. Festive yarn tree
These simple crafts from The Family Handyman are perfect Christmas gifts for friends and perfect decorations for you. Wrap leftover yarn around a foam cone and secure it with tacky glue or a low-temperature glue gun. Make it more festive with multiple colors of yarn or adding pins and charms as ornaments.
15. Gingerbread spice jelly
As surprising as it may seem, jelly is always on people’s minds around the holidays (after all, Santa’s belly does shake like a bowl full of the stuff). But the “go-to” flavors of strawberry and grape are better suited for warmer seasons. This tried-and-true gingerbread spice jelly is sure to become a holiday favorite once you give out jars as presents this Christmas. Even novice cooks won’t have a problem making a batch.
16. Glittery holiday message bottles
Give your friends a festive sparkle this Christmas with these decorative wine bottles. All it takes is some paint, Modge Pog, and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. Get the instructions from Annie at Through the Yellow Door, but feel free to put a different message on the bottles or use a different color combination, like red and green or silver and blue.
17. DIY terrarium
A terrarium is basically a small garden that lives inside a transparent container, making it a fun addition to any plant lover’s collection or the perfect “starter’s kit” for anyone trying to make their thumbs greener. Get all the instructions you need from The Family Handyman, from what kind of container you should use, what plants to include, and how to arrange your display. Want more gift-giving inspiration?
This cute Santa Claus card is really easy to make. The red cap and pink face are stripes of paper glued onto a card or gift bag. The fur hat and beard are made in the following way: take some watercolour paper (it’s got more texture than normal printing paper for extra effect. You can buy this paper in any stationery shop) and just tear it into strips to create the jagged edges. Stick them onto the card, on top of the red and pink stripes. Then draw two squiggles — for the mouth and nose, and two dots for the eyes.
Another simple idea is to use the image of Christmas fairy lights. All you need to draw is the cord, and then simply dip your fingertips in some paint, and voila! — the little lights are as good as done already. By the way, drawing such cards can be lots of fun for your children as well, including even toddlers.
You can add the extra dimension to this funny snowman card by putting small cardboard circles between the bigger ones. Better yet, if you happen to have some double-sided sticky tape, then you won’t need to do even that.
We bet that every house has a dusty box full of a variety of old buttons. It’s time to dig them out — they’re finally going to come in handy. In particular, they can make your Christmas cards truly elegant. You can, for example, make a button snowman and Christmas toys with them.
Multi-colored Christmas trees
These lovely Christmas trees can be made out of scraps of wallpaper, pieces of colored paper, clippings from fashion magazines, or special scrapbooking paper with prints.
Lovely little felt postcards
These elegant cards can be easily made from brightly colored felt, which is sold in handicraft stores.
Another Santa Claus
Feel like creating something really cool this Christmas? Try these Santa Claus cut-out cards. We’re especially fond of the one on the left. To make it, you’ll need to cut the beard, mustache and glasses out of white paper and stick them on to a colored background with glue or double-sided tape.
The main trick here is to make the snow flakes look 3D. To achieve that effect, stick the snowflakes onto small pieces of cardboard before attaching them to the card.
Remember the Christmas lights? Reindeers are just as easy to make using your fingerprints. Just dip a finger in paint, and draw the remaining parts. Children will be happy to take part in the process, too.
Adding Christmassy details to a family photo will turn the picture into a stylish postcard. You can do that it in one of the many mobile apps for image editing. For example, here.
Your photo — an alternative approach
If you’re not the type to mess around with apps, you can just stick your photo on a piece of construction paper (or simply print it out).
Cards with gifts on them are easy to make from scraps of colored paper and threads or ribbons.
Potato print cards
You’ll get this cute print if you dip half of potato in gouache paint. All you will need to do after that is paint on the remaining parts once the paint is dry. Oh, and by the way, these can be easily made with your children’s help.
A bear in a sweater
All you need to do here is cut out the shape of the bear, and then paint simple patterns and doodles with a regular or felt-tip pen, the likes of which you usually draw in your address book when talking on the phone.
Incredibly stylish and quick-to-make cards can be created from old newspapers.
A branch from the Christmas tree
The Christmas spirit (and aroma) can be added to the card by simply attaching a pine twig. Buttons come in handy here, too.
Black, red and white minimalism
In order to create these delightful cards, you will only need a black pen, red buttons and… a good template.
One of the main Christmas symbols, these bauble cards can be made out of colored paper, fabric or felt, all which we’re already well familiar with. Cut-out cards look especially attractive — you simply need to cut out a circle on the front side and draw patterns or stick a piece of fabric or paper on the inside page.