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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now, I know I've seen other threads covering the subject before, but I thought, what better place for quick and easy access to it than the Seasonal thread?

So yeah... money's a little tight this year for me, so I'm looking for some "alternative" gifts that aren't going to break my bank. I wanna know what you do when the well is running dry, or when you just don't have the spunk to fight the mall traffic and the head-butting to get to that very last one on the shelf! (I work in the mall... the last place I want to be is... at the mall doing holiday shopping)

This is the place to post all your crafty/thrifty holiday gift ideas; whether they be homemade, semi-homemade, candle/soap making/bead threading tips, ideas for decorative, or functional gifts, instructions for re-animating Sparky's long deceased corpse to make a brand new puppy... anything ya got!

The only rules are, the total cost of your homemade gift has to come out to be less than that of that new fangled SuperMegaGigablaster9000 game console, it must take less than 2 months to complete, and preferably can be produced in mass quantities for all your loved ones... and not-so-loved ones... hey, the gift-giving competition is what the holidays are all about, right? I want my gift-giving karma kredit, dammit! hehe... Got all that? OK, go!
 

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Knitting! If you know how, it doesn't take too long to make a basic scarf, hat, or mittens, or you can get more creative.

Art is also a great option for those it applies to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiejanie View Post

Soy candle making! I've never tried it before, but I might make some for Christmas gifts this year.
I was thinking the same... just have to find a place around here that sells soy wax. I'd rather avoid having to order online this late in the game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keelin View Post

Knitting! If you know how, it doesn't take too long to make a basic scarf, hat, or mittens, or you can get more creative.

Art is also a great option for those it applies to.
Hmm... I might just have to make a nice gift for *myself*... cute mittens are getting hard to find and my favorite pair from years ago are starting to show their age. I'll have to ask my grandma to teach me to knit.
 

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Some that have worked well for me:

homemade bath salts

"cookie mix in a jar" type things..brownies, whatever

homemade goodies in a cool tin/container from the thrift shop

Tshirts or bags from the hobby shop, decorated with iron-on computer paper

homemade lip balm

soy candles

Christmas ornaments
 

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I know this may seem silly to some of you but for me it is not.

I have few things that I share in common with my mother, most of the time we just do not speak but on the subject of plants we both love plants.

So I spent my spring, summer and even now still harvesting seeds from native plants here.

So my mom will be getting a box from me with everything Purple texas sage to blue bonnets and primroses to some wild vines I do not ewven know what they are called but are members of the morning glory family.

For most friends I stick with making body scrubs and bath salts that short of thing.

Make use of the dried herbs from summer.
 

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One thing my aunt does as gifts to people is gives them a kit for a fun night. So one time she gave us each a mug (from the dollar store) with a packet of hot chocolate mix (and you can make your own of that if you're willing to test for a bit!), a small candle and a deck of cards... Another year she gave us a free movie rental coupon (from a local cheapie place), a fun bowl (again, dollar store) and a package of microwave popcorn. Sometimes really cheap small things can come together to make a thoughtful gift!
 

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Last year I made all the relatives who aren't that close, but you think you should give something to little boxes of home-made christmas pudding truffles - they took less than an afternoon, so I think you've got time!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eri02 View Post

do tell! how do you make these?
measurements for this one are personal preferance

Epson salt

sea salt

essential oil

and or dried herbs

For fizzy bath

1/3 cup baking soda

1/4 cup citric acid crystals

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

For skin soffening

3 parts epsom salt

2 part baking soda

1 part sea salt

then you can add essential oils if you like.

You can add coloring o either of those but I personaly perfer not to
 

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I've got a wedding five days after Christmas this year, so much of my gift giving will be in the form of small wedding favors. Here's what's on the list, though.

(1) soy candles -- wrapped in tulle circles with lots of curling ribbon, organza bows, and ribbon roses, these are beautiful. By buying everything in bulk, I've got less than $1.50 per candle in them

(2) hot chocolate mix -- am getting disposable plastic cake decorating bags off eBay, filling them with homemade hot chocolate mix, topping them with shaved dark chocolate, tying them with pretty ribbons, and sticking personalized labels on the front

(3) Christmas ornaments -- The ornaments themselves (crocheted and molded snowflakes) were purchased through a wholesaler for about 50 cents apiece. I'm dressing them up with ribbons, bows, and personalized notes.

(4) Baked goods -- For Christmas itself, I'm baking mini loaves of cranberry-orange bread to give to the folks who are helping wedding

(5) Sachets -- Ordered premade organza bags for 19 cents apiece and am filling them with potpourri, sewing them shut, and tying bows around them. Am also taking pre-cut organza circles, putting a scoop of dried lavender in the center, and tying them shut. Great for tossing at the departing bride and groom or taking home and tossing in a drawer.

(6) Bath goodies -- If time permits, I really want to make some snowflake shaped "bath bombs."

http://www.save-on-crafts.com/projectsbr.html and http://www.marthastewart.com/ both have a lot more projects that I would love to tackle if I weren't teaching 45 hours a week and preparing for a DYI wedding.
 

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Im either going to crochet (did I speel that right) little ornaments (the yarn cost a few bucks and you can make quite a few from it. Or I'll bake tins of cookies for friends. I think I am only buying things for 5 people. Everyone else gets homemade things (which are lots of fun to make I might add!)
 

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I did bath salts pretty much as described above. For some, I added coloring so that I could make the jar look like a candy cane (with peppermint scent).
 

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I so hope I get nigel as my Secret Santa.
 

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If you can get hold of a cheap photo frame (or build one if you're really handy like my bf, who made me one) then you're set for all sorts of cheap gifts. One year I made my Mum a picture using oil pastels that I had left over from when I was at school. One year I got a photo enlarged for about $10 and sent it in a cheap frame to my bf's Mum, one year I gave a photo of us to my Nana. One year I happened to snap the only nice photo that anyone has of my Aunty (since she doesn't usully let anyone take photos of her) and Uncle and gave that to them.

This year I sent in a smart animal story to 'Smarter than Jack' who print books full of these stories and send out a free copy to anyone who contributes. They then sell the books and donate half of the money to the SPCA. Anyway the story was about my Mum's cat and so for Christmas I'm going to be giving her the free book they sent me - free for me, priceless for her.

Last Christmas I took seeds from the chives plant that she gave to me and grew three new plants which I gave back to her for Christmas. Not only had I grown them myself, but they were from her original chives plant that she let me take when I moved out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrlin View Post

For fizzy bath

1/3 cup baking soda

1/4 cup citric acid crystals

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

For skin soffening

3 parts epsom salt

2 part baking soda

1 part sea salt

then you can add essential oils if you like.
Do you shape this into the little bath-bombs, or do they just stay as a powder?

I'm totally going to use the salt recipe as soon as I can find reasonably priced essential oils. I couldn't find any cheap flasks/bottles to put the salt in, but when I was at the $ store I found some of those big Xmas-light shaped lightbulbs which I'm going to hollow out and fill with colored bath salts. I can be so crafty on the spur of the moment!
 

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Hey guys....

One year I bought a cheap box of ball xmas ornaments and I knew that my friends like Winnie the Pooh, Mickey, etc. So I bought some cheap wrapping paper at the dollar store and you cut the paper out that you want on the ornament. Next you crumple it and cover the back with decopage glue, place on the ornament. Let dry. They loved these presents and the couldn't believe they were homemade and they told me when the holidays were over they made sure they wrapped it up so it would not get broken and put it away.

Another gift that people like is homemade shortbread (almond is the best), homemade chocolate chip cookies, fudge, etc. Most of the people that I know either a) don't have time to cook or b) can't cook without burning said food so I tend to make thier food for them.

Homemade oatmeal packets are another good gift http://www.stretcher.com/stories/00/001009e.cfm

and also granola http://www.recipezaar.com/31235.

Another good idea is maybe a cookbook of all of your favorite recipes (in my case people are always asking me for the recipe of the food I made) so they can make it themselves.

If you know people that like the Baker's Breakfast Cookie, here are some recipes to make them. You can make them with Ener-g egg replacer. http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.ph...eakfast+cookie
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
awesome, thanks for all the great ideas so far! Now I'm really starting to get the creative juices flowing (that always sounds so unwholesome...) and think I have a basic idea of what I want to do... and it involves cookies or some other baked good, so that leads me to my next round of questions: are there any tips or rules to know about freezing dough before you bake it? Are there any types of recipes or ingredients that shouldn't be frozen, or does pretty much anything go? How long can I keep it in the freezer before it will make the dough all woogly?

Working full time in retail during the holidays means lots of laaaate nights and early mornings without a day off in sight... it doesn't leave me much time for extra-curricular activities
So it would be keen if I could get the dough-mixing done here and there, and have it all in the freezer and ready to go as close to Xmas as possible to ensure that no one will be receiving coasters and paper weights instead of cookies
 
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