Money is tight for many people these days and as a single female in my late 20’s I have mastered the art of gift giving on a tight budget. I am the queen of dollar store finds and can pretty much find a way to make the simplest thing be a very special and unique gift for anyone on my holiday list.
This blog is to give those of you out there who have a long shopping list and little funds. Another great thing about these gifts are that they are special because you can put your own twist on them and people really appreciate homemade gifts. Grab the kids or a group of friends and put on some festive tunes and make it a fun group activity too!
I will break the gift categories down by age group and what I find to be popular from my own personal gifting experience.
For the kids (ages 2-4):
Kids at this age are pretty easy, they already have TONS of toys, they’re outgrowing clothes by the day and they probably already own every kids movie known to man. I find with this age group (girls and boys) you can never go wrong with crayons and coloring books. Also, if they have a favorite movie or TV character you can make them a special tree ornament with that character.
For Example, my 2 year old niece is obsessed with the movie Tangled. Her birthday just passed and I made noise makers out of one of the characters Pascal using cutout sheet foam from the craft store for $0.50, white card stock, some glue, and black permanent marker.
TIP: Replace the noisemaker with a candy cane and tie a ribbon to hang on the tree.
A lot of people think it’s impersonal to give a child a gift card but honestly, they love being able to go into a store and pick out their own toys, art supplies, etc. A simple $5 gift card to the dollar store allows kids to go in and have the ability to get a few different things that they really want. Money is fun for them too. If you give a kid $5 they will think they hit the lottery and have a field day!
TIP: Instead of just giving them a card or gift box with money or a gift card, make the delivery of it even more magical for them! Make a snow globe gift card holder. All you need is a recycled jar of some sort, hot glue gun, glitter, water, (optional) holiday embellishments.
Glue a strip on the lid of your jar to stand up your gift card. LET IT DRY COMPLETELY. *Optional*If you have any holiday embellishments (mini sleigh bells, ornaments, etc.) you can glue a couple around the card for decoration.
Pour some glitter into your jar then fill it with water.
Put the top on your jar and finish off with a decorative ribbon.
You can do the gift card and money thing for this age group too. You might wanna go a bit higher maybe the $10 range and if you have a Five Below near you, you’ve hit the teenage jackpot! Most teens these days are big technology lovers and five below has tons of tech accessories for super cheap. They are also a great place to get stuff for college dorm rooms and school and craft supplies so it’s pretty awesome. I was in there today actually spent $15 and got presents for my 12 year old cousin, my roommate, two co-workers, and a little something for my dog, and I am sure they are all going to love what I got them. (Especially my dog.)
Ages 21+: This is a pretty open range so have fun with it!
A popular one among friends and family members are the personalized photo candle holders. These ones are super easy, and cost next to nothing. I love giving these because they’re so special. You can get the basic clear glass candle holders from your local dollar store, WalMart, or even thrift store. You will also need some vellum (parchment) paper, a print out of your photo and modge podge *Hint* a cheap alternative to expensive store bought modge podge is mixing Elmer’s glue and a bit of water.
Print out your photo onto vellum paper.
Modge podge onto straight glass candle holders.
When dry, put candle in and light.
For that person on my list that I’ve used all my resources for and made them everything I could think of and ran out of ideas but I know they like to kick back and enjoy a nice cold beer after a long day, I’ll go to the local pub and spend $7 and grab a 6-pack and make them some festive Reinbeers! All you need is some googly-eyes, glue, brown pipe cleaners, and red cotton-pom balls. *Optional* Red, black, & yellow construction paper (to decorate the box as Santa’s outfit) & cotton balls to line the box.
This one is good to give to your girlfriends, sisters, co-workers, anyone who needs a bit of pampering this holiday. It’s relatively cheap, dollar stores are really stepping up their game these days so most of the stuff you might be able to find there. If you aren’t able to find the items at the dollar store – don’t worry, the best part about this gift is that you’re wrapping it in a mason jar so everything is travel size! Go to your local drug store or WalMart or Target and hit the travel size isle and go nuts – everything should be $1 – $2 tops!
What you will need:
Recycled Glass mason-like jars, 1 warm fuzzy pair of socks, bath salts or bubble bath, hand lotion, and lip balm. Finish it off with a decorative bow and a cute gift tag.