Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home made & Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas from the Web

I have been researching frugal Christmas gift ideas this year and have found some great ideas of varying skill levels:

1. Chocolate liquor/infused vodkas
Okay, this is not the most frugal of ideas (especially in Canada where they tax liquor sky high)but, if you purchased a large quantity of inexpensive vodka and separated into several gifts this certainly would be a much appreciated and original Christmas gift for your friends and family. On chocolate plus vodka and two weeks of time = chocolate liquor. See here for full article. If you prefer other infused types of vodka (my personal favorite would be orange infused) see the guide how to infuse vodka Start now and have them ready in plenty of time for Christmas.

2. Cookie cutter candles
These cute little candles seem relatively fast and easy to assemble and could be mass produced in no time, even for the most craft-challenged. I think this idea could be one of the best family style gift options out there. See the website for instructions. All you need is honeycomb wax sheets and wicks from a craft store and you can use your own cookie cutters. I certainly would not go buy cookie cutters for this project. If you want a larger variety of candles, borrow cookie cutters from friends or family.

3. Bath Salts
Make coloured and scented bath salts for your spa lover in the family (or makes a great addition to a spa gift basket). Epsom salt can be purchased relatively cheaply in large quantities at any drug store along with food colouring and perfume you already own to make an inexpensive gift. Use glass containers (canning jars, martini glasses) to package the gift, available inexpensively at any thrift store. Find full instructions here at

4. Pet Snuggle Blanket
If you know how to sew here is a unique idea for the small dog lover in the family, a Pet snuggle blanket. This definitely is one of the cutest ideas I have come across. See for instructions. This project appears relatively simple, just purchase some fleece and away you go, likely completed over an afternoon. I have an Aunt who would go gaga over this gift for her tiny spoiled pooch.

5. The gift of frozen cookie dough
Make up and freeze batches of cookie dough and give to your baking challenged gift recipients. This would make an excellent hostess gift. See for instructions. All they have to do is unthaw and wa la - cookies!

6. Make a tea cup bird feeder
For the bird lover in the family this is a really creative bird feeder. Shop your local thrift store or garage sale for a cute teacup and saucer and be sure to include a bag of birdseed with your gift. Find instructions at

7. Grinch Poop
Under the gag gift category fill a jar with green jelly beans and label it Grinch Poop. For full instructions and other gag gift ideas see

Here are some ideas of my own gift ideas that should meet with any frugal giver's pocketbook:

1. The gift of jam. Last Christmas I asked for the gift of home made blackberry jam from my pensioner mother. This gift was easy for her to give as she has an unlimited supply of blackberries on her doorstep every summer and has the skills and equipment to can. I received 6 jars of the best blackberry jam ever.

2. The gift that keeps on giving. Plants are a wonderful green gift idea. Even better, give a live herb plant that not only looks great, can contribute to the recipients pantry. Rosemary is one of my favorites and is especially easy to keep alive. Aloe vera plants are easily separated from the mother plant and a compliment to any frugal household in the healing department.

3. Dried herbs. If you are so lucky as to have a green thumb and grow herbs consider drying and giving small packets of herbs in baby jars to the cooking enthusiast in your family.

4. If you know someone who is barely making ends meet then probably they are little to no luxuries permitted on their budget. Make up a basket of small luxuries like special teas, canned oysters, special spices, bubble bath, microwave popcorn, and candles. Make sure to make it cater to the recipient's needs.

5. The gift of food and wine. If you raise beef, poultry, make sausage, fish, make wine or garden you could easily plan out your Christmas giving in the summer. I don't know of any frugal household who would not appreciate some form of groceries for Christmas.

Take out the stress and leave the credit cards at home, Christmas is not about consumerism but is about giving and sharing.

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