The place to start if you want to save a lot of money over Christmas is my e book which I made free for everyone recently. This is basically a guide to making all or most of your Christmas presents very cheaply plus how to get organized and choose things that people are going to love. It is available here.
The crafts are all in the craft section and I will be adding fresh ideas as well.
Being October there is still time to make so many gifts. Apart from having a debt free Christmas I think making things gives you a joy filled Christmas. I know I can give to many more people this way.
And we are trying to get ahead financially, build an emergency fund, build up the pantry and other savings. Why not slash your Christmas budget and re direct the funds to an area that could really use it?
When I talk about inexpensive Christmas presents I am talking about under $2 gifts and under $5 gifts. And for $10 you can give an over the top luxury gift!
I like to have spare presents for people I don't know, unexpected visitors or if I am invited somewhere a small gift I can take. One of my favourite for these is a supply of pretty soaps. I do these most years. I buy Dove soap in pink for $1 each at our local cheap shop. A boxed soap is easier to wrap neatly.
On the weekend during the football I wrapped twenty I had saved up. I add a ribbon and bow, a buckle or tie on a small ornament. They end up around $2 each. Making a large batch of something helps add to your gift cupboard. We still have birthdays and other times we need gifts on hand.
Also I have been working on wash cloths. Happily they go together well...
Even giving them in sets it is still working out around $5 for a soap and wash cloth.
These are lovely paired up with other things I've made ie a powder puff and powder or a bottle of Hollywood Bubble bath. Also in a parcel these soaps will scent the whole package so it smells beautiful on opening. You can choose a colour scheme if you know someones bathroom colours or just their favourite colours.
During the year I crochet cotton wash cloths. They can be used as face cloths or as dish cloths. Use any stitch you know in knit or crochet and 100% cotton. These also work out a couple of dollars each. I learned this bobble stitch on you tube.
Another $2 or under gift is covering little notebooks. I watch for small books with cardboard covers. (not plastic) and make them into pretty little notebooks. These are helpful as I post a lot of gifts.
In recent posts I have shown all the kitchen towels I make from old linens plus crochet edgings around purchased kitchen towels. An alternative to the crochet edgings is to stitch on a trim or braid. There is a post on adding edgings to glam things up. Easy!
The other day I posted about making packs of cards into gifts and adding a pen or small gift to that. These are a fantastic gift, look lovely and a pack of six is going to still cost less than $5 all up.
Some presents are free like these chopping boards. Andy cut them out for me from wood we found. I used these to sit cooked treats on and wrapped it all up in cellophane...
Other times I find supplies in an op shop. The yard for this blanket cost $2! So this whole gift was $2... it just took my time during winter. It was large knee rug size and so soft!
Every few years I make powder puffs plus the powder to go with it. They cost less than $1 to make. You can also go wild and make them in any colour ie leopard print! lilac, pink, blue, red or whatever you want! They seem so luxurious. You can scent them as well...
I started making these as I love powder puffs and looked for one. They were either terrible or fabulous and the fabulous ones were up to fifty dollars! I've made batches of them ever since.
Another year I made pretty cottons into pillowcases. Some fabric I used was from sheets and doona covers, left overs and I bought a little bit. Each one had three or more prints and I did a crochet edging...
These all would have come in under $5 each. An alternative would be to make these up and sew a strip of velvet ribbon around the edge, a fabric frill or soft lace.
Other times I do an edge around towels, hand towels or face washers and a little embroidery...
There are heaps crafts in the crafts section as well. If any of them are useful ideas for you then I am really pleased but I say use your skills and also materials that you have. If you have a cupboard full of fabrics use that supply. If you have supplies but can't think what to make... or have a skill and can't think what to make I will be glad to try and come up with suggestions. Haunting lovely stores for ideas is something I love to do!
Part two next week will be about cooking as gifts. The recipes are easy and it is all about the packaging! Most of them will be under $2 per gift.
Part three will be about the trick of repackaging. You do not need to be crafty. This is about taking basic items and restyling them to be fabulous... you will see!
Part four will be inexpensive ways to wrap, cards and tags.
I really hope that it can be the best Christmas ever but without the price tag. I am certain you have other areas that could use with an injection of funds. Sit down and calculate what you normally spend and see if you can save money this year and re direct the money to where it is needed. Christmas should be a wonderful family celebration and sharing with others not a financial or emotional strain. Making lots of presents means we can give to so many others. We visit a nursing home and I am able to give small gifts out. I could never do this if I was buying everything.
See you next Monday with easy gifts for Christmas from the kitchen. xxx