If you’re one of the many Americans that spent a little too much on Black Friday, you’re probably worn a little thin in the pocket, but at least you’ve got the important presents. However, what are you going to do for that really nice coworker that always brings you a cup of coffee, the friendly neighbor, or that friend that stays in touch while their in college?
The answer has always been to gift small, but meaningful. And these days, it’s hard to balance the meaningful, with the cost-friendly.
There are so many “unique” items in various retail outlets, boutiques, online stores, but you can craft many of these yourself! Here’s a brief summary of “Hot” gifts that are perfect for that special small gift, and won’t make your wallet any smaller:
1. Origami. It’s amazing how a small, decorative piece of paper and some careful folding can create such an artistic statement. With the help of the world wide web, you can create something more than just creased paper, you can create an inexpensive gift with an artistic flair. Use websites like Folding Trees, or do an internet search on Origami Tutorials. You can craft anything from beautiful gift boxes and ornaments, to hair accessories, even an Origami Cthulhu! A beautiful gift for a coworker’s desk would be a small, nicely decorated jar with various Origami Lucky Stars in it. You can find thousands of Origami tutorials on YouTube. Hint: You can cut up thin weight scrapbooking paper to make several origami that match.
2. Baked Goods. It’s always neighborly to bring a plate of treats or something sweet to a Holiday Party. Got a finicky friend or family member? Make an extra large batch of their favorite treat, give them half, and then split the other half into smaller gifts for coworkers. Buy some inexpensive Christmas/Holiday themed plates from Dollar Tree, and wrap clear wrap around some cookies presented on a Christmas plate. Add a red ribbon, and you’ve got an instant gift!
3. Gifts for the four-legged friends. Got an older neighbor with a pet that always waves when you pass by? Present them with a couple of “Free Dog Walk” coupons printed from your computer. Get creative and add some clip art or use fancy computer paper. Did your best friend just get a new puppy, or adopt a cat? Go online and look for “Homemade Pet Recipes”. You can make several savory recipes at home for dogs and cats, using very basic ingredients from the cupboard. Even the popular website AllRecipes.com has their own section for Pet Recipes. Click here to start exploring.
4. Recycled T-shirt Rosettes. Did you receive a lame T-shirt for Christmas or Hannukah last year? Upcycle it into a few Fabric Rosettes, or turn it into a Christmas ornament. The latest internet craze is Recycled T-shirt Rosettes. Using a Hot glue gun, 1.5 inch cotton T-shirt strips, and some felt, you can create pretty, inexpensive T-shirt Rosettes. Combine them to make unique Christmas ornaments, decorate the center of a Christmas card, or add a pinback or barrette to make a lovely romantic accessory.
5. Upcycle and Re-Gift! If you’ve got several single skeins of wool, silk, or blended yarns laying around in a terrible color, upcycle them into beautiful over-dyed yarn and give to friends. Using vegetables, natural items found in your own yard, or drink powder mix, you can create lovely hand-dyed yarn in as little as one day. The renowned knitting website, Knitty.com, features an article on dyeing with Kool-Aid (found here), or you can check out a great tutorial from Lionbrand here for dyeing using natural dyes from edible items in your home. Your knitting and crocheting friends will be delighted to receive their own uniquely hand-dyed yarns as a gift.
Hopefully these suggestions will inspire you to look around your home and get creative with the small gifts this year on your list. Don’t be overwhelmed this Holiday season, create some Holiday Joy using inspiration and supplies available in your own home. You’ll be able to gift to all the special people on your list, and you’ll be proud of yourself for saving money while creatively crafting for the Holidays.