4 thrifty, last-minute, homemade Christmas gift ideas

It’s a week before Christmas and all through my house, unfinished projects are scattered about… Well, some of them anyways…

I was scrambling for ideas for a while, but I finally came up with a few homemade gift ideas I wanted to share with you. What do these gifts have to do with gluten-free kids?  Absolutely nothing — I just can’t afford another website to post random crafty ideas on, so I’m sharing them here.  🙂  Anyhow, these gifts all cost about $1 – $3 each, and are easy enough to let your kids help.  I hope that you enjoy them and have time to try a few…

• • •   1st idea — festive mini bouquets   • • •

I have to credit my creative Mom with this idea. A few weeks ago she popped in with a little something for me….similar to this but in a smaller, crystal bud vase. It’s been sitting cheerily in my window and has made me want to make some, myself, for other people…

IMG_5558I was at Michaels yesterday and saw the same type of “spray” that she used, at 50% off ($2.50 on sale) so I grabbed a few. I cut them apart and pulled beaded wires out of the main stem and put them into these little 3″ bottles, which are actually maple syrup bottles from Cracker Barrel. Both are shown here….and, no, I’m not a hand model.  😉

IMG_5584 Last I just glued some ribbon around the bottle for some extra color. Any kind of spray, bud vase and ribbon will work.

• • •   2nd idea — votive candleholders filled with dried nature   • • •

Again, I was at Michaels and saw these red & green, dried, natural decorations on sale. I threw a few bags into my basket (on sale for $2.99 a bag) even though I wasn’t sure what to do with them yet. They looked like tiny seedpods, smooth pinecones and puffballs, but they were dyed Christmas colors. I ended up in the candleholder aisle and this idea just sort of came to me:  a clear vase to hold the dried stuff, and a votive holder that fit into the top, sealing away the dried stuff down below so it wouldn’t be flammable.

IMG_5594So I picked up 10 each of the round vase and votives (all $1 each), found some natural twine (on sale for $1.50) to go with it and went home and put them together. I strategically placed a few acorns & various pinecones (from my own collection) in the vases, and filled in around them with the red & green dried stuff. (Hint: fill up the center area as much as you can w/ some sort of filler — I used pinecones — that will make your red & green filler go further.) Supplies are shown here:

IMG_5559Then I just fit the votive holder on top of it (you could also glue it if you want it to be permanent, but maybe someone will want to change the filling someday) and tied the twine around the neck of the vase. Then I found these great, vintage-style, free gift tags that I printed in b&w from Call Me Victorian and CoreyMarie.com. This project was a piece of cake and I whipped off all 10 in an hour. I went back the next day to buy more supplies so I could make some for myself, as they are just my style.

Can’t find the red & green stuff or you’re not too into nature?  Think outside of the box: fill the large vase w/ buttons for someone into sewing, seashells for the beach lover, real holly leaves and berries, ribbons, sparkly decorations, or whatever you think the recipient would enjoy…then buy ribbon and tags that fit the styles you choose.

• • •   3rd idea — snowman decorations made from clay pots   • • •

Obviously this is not a new idea, although I have yet to see them done this way before with 3 pots stacked up, or stylized this way…

IMG_5638The pots were (again) from Michaels: $.49 — $.99 each. Not sure of the sizes, but just go there and see how three of them stack up. Just paint the pots with acrylic paint, glue them together and decorate as desired. The faces were just drawn with fine point Sharpies, but you could also just glue on buttons or paint on a simple face. I bought a spray of fake berries and holly leaves, and cut the red berries in half with an exacto for the noses. I bought a few spools of ribbon at Michaels ($.99 a roll) that fit the neck of the middle pot where I glued it on for the scarf. Otherwise it’s just buttons glued on and decorations added to the hats. Anything goes.

• • •   4th idea — soap set to scent and decorate a bathroom   • • •

I bought a 3-pack of Dial Basics Hypoallergenic soap (I like a mild clean scent) at Dollar Tree for $1. Then I just glued on (school glue) pieces of scrapbook paper that I had trimmed to size with an exacto, then hot-glued ribbon and wooden shapes (a few dollars a bag from Michaels) onto which I had painted the letters JOY. If you like scented soaps, go for it. If you want to add some kind of base for the soaps to set on, have at it!


These projects have been wrapped up in my house, but a few other stragglers remain to be finished by me or my daughters… If you happen to be one of their teachers or someone close to us, forget you ever saw this post!   🙂

Do you have any cheap and easy gift ideas to share? If so, feel free to add a link below. We can all use some go-to ideas — the more the merrier!  If you try any of the above ideas, feel free to post a picture of your final project on g-free kid’s Facebook page.
And feel free to pin away if you find any of these ideas worthy.

Merry Christmas!


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