Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gifts to make

One of the ways many people suffer a budget blow out is through buying gifts. It is often thought the bigger/more expensive the better. That is not true. A well thought out gift is more meaningful and many nice gifts can be made from things you already have at home or for very cheap.

Here I have compiled a few lists of things you can give. Some require sewing, others cooking etc... But essentially there is an idea for everyone in here.

Food Gifts
You don't need to be an excellent cook to give great foodie gifts. Some times the simplest things such as microwave fudge (melt 375g chocolate with 250ml sweetened condensed milk and 2Tablespoons of butter in the microwave for 2.5 minutes, stir, repeat then pour into to tray to set. You can add nuts, smarties, jelly beans or whatever to make it interesting) make great gifts and are really easy to do.

Cupcake tower
Cookie in a jar
Treat basket e.g make some simple slices like rocky road, fudge and brownies. Cut them into pieces and place in a basket then wrap it with cellophane and ribbon.
Bread/cake/slice of the month - This is a gift that gives year round. Basically each month you bake a different bread/cake/slice and give it to them.
Jam/sauce - You can make jam easily in the microwave. Simply hull and wash 500g strawberries. Add 1.4 cup lemon juice and microwave for 1 minute. Mix in 1 cup of sugar and microwave for 20 minutes. Pour into warmed sterilized jars. Yummy sauces are similar just add a bit more juice.
BBQ or meat spices and rub mixes

Crafty Gifts
You don't need to be able to sew to make cute crafty gifts. Things like the no sew blanket (see below) are simple and can be tailored to suit different people.

Felt Santas are great at Christmas, just fill them with some lollies
Aprons aren't just for females
Dream Catchers are popular with girls and are essentially a ring covered in ribbon with a spider web weaved into the middle incorporating beads and attaching feathers. It only requires gluing and stringing a few beads.
Pencil cases or pencil rolls
Table cloths, table runners, place settings etc...
A no sew blanket This is just 2 layers of fleece which is cut and knotted together. You can get fleece in various characters now, so one side could be that and the other plain. This is something even children could make to give
Quiet book
Portable doll house
Heat packs - these are just a bag sewn filled with rice to be heated up in the microwave. You can scent them with dried lavender as well.

Service Gifts
Service gifts are excellent when you are short on money but have some time to help out. They are often worth a lot (for example a lawn mow costs around $60 or more where I live), but only require an hour or so of your time.
Beauty service - things such as a manicure, pedicure or facial which are easy enough to do are appreciated. There are many tutorials online about how to do them.
Lawn mowing or other gardening
Cleaning - most people hate the thought of cleaning their bathroom or oven, you could offer to do it a few times for them.
Cook Dinner
Baby Sitting

Garden Gifts
When looking at giving gifts from the garden growing from seed or cuttings make the gift very cheap. It takes longer to grow, but is worth it. You can approach garden centres for pots, they will only be plastic. Otherwise second hand shops and garage sales often have nice pots for cheap.
Herb pot - you could grow one herb such as rosemary or mint in a pot or try doing an Italian herb mix where you have all the herbs used such as rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram etc... Growing them from seed makes it cheap.
Bruschetta pot Grow a tomato plant with basil at the bottom
Basket of produce If you have a good vegetable or fruit garden you could give a basket of your produce
Potted colour Some flowers such as geranium grow from cuttings really easily. Grow flowers from either cuttings or seeds to make a cheap gift.

Other Random Gifts
A photo album with photos
A collection of your favourite recipes, money saving tips or any other tips
Bath bombs, bath salts, soaps, shower gels and other beauty items

I plan on making a lot of my gifts this year and the gifts range from new born babies right through to grandparents as well as for things from births to weddings and house warming's, so I will post more ideas soon.

Gifts for Guys


  1. Great post :) I'll definately be referring to this as we have a big family and a lot of gift giving. We are tghtening the belt a few notches this year, so this post is perfect, thankyou :)

  2. Awesome ideas...glad you linked some up because I've been looking for crafty gift ideas :D

  3. Great post. Wonderful ideas - thanks!

  4. I love homemade gifts, so much more thought is put into the gift than something that is mindlessly grabbed off a shelf in the shops.

  5. Thanks everyone. Glad you all feel the same.

    I plan on making a few of these, so will update links as I make them.

  6. the service gift of cleaning would be well received ;)
    very informative :) love it!

  7. One year when i had no money i made gifts for everyone in my family. It was cheap and they loved everything i made!


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