Saturday, November 14, 2009

Inexpensive Christmas gifts

Camy here! Have you started thinking about Christmas yet?

I love Christmas. I mostly like giving gifts to my friends and family. I especially like being able to give them something they’ll really enjoy and could use.

I’m also dirt poor, so the challenge is giving a gift that’s not cheap-looking, but that’s inexpensive to make or buy.

Yarn craft

I’m big into knitting, so I like asking my friends point blank what they’d like me to make them for Christmas. I give options like a scarf, hat, mittens, fingerless gloves, bag, etc. It makes it easy for me, and it guarantees they’ll get what they want. Then I buy the yarn and make something for them.

Do you crochet or do some type of yarn craft? Why not make your gifts this year? You can also learn to knit or crochet really easily online. Believe it or not, I learned to knit from watching knitting videos. videos community learn to knit tutorials
Lion Brand website for knitting and crochet tutorials


There’s a sewing group that meets at my church who have volunteered to show me how to sew, although I haven’t taken them up on it yet. But it makes me think that if I do, I can make cute sewing projects for gifts, too. iPod or phone cases, bags, pillowcases.

If you sew, consider some cool sewing you can do for your friends or family as gifts. Pillowcases in cute fabric are always great gifts and they’re very inexpensive, too.

If you embroider, consider buying something small and embroidering the person’s name or designs on it. Regular or ribbon embroidery can really dress up something that’s otherwise very plain.


I also like making cards for people to use, because everyone could use thank you cards or birthday cards. I get stamps, colored paper, double-sided tape, and ribbon trim from the local craft store and then go to town. It’s fun because I get really creative, and it’s fast because I can make several copies of the same card really easily.

And if I make several different designs, I can give everyone one or two cards of each design, for a total of a dozen or two dozen cards as a gift. I wrap the bundle of cards in ribbon and it looks great!

If you’re creative and wise with what stamp sets you buy, each card can be as little as 25 cents each to make. There are some stamp sets that are hearts or flowers, with several stamps in the set, and you can mix and match with different colors, different paper, and different ribbon or trim to make different types of cards with the same set.

Are you a photographer? Why not develop several copies of your favorite pictures and paste them to cardstock to make fantastic blank cards to give away? You don’t even have to embellish the cards if you don’t want to, because the photos themselves make the cards special.

Sparkly stuff

Some of you do beading, and jewelry is a great gift to give. Earrings, a pendant, or a bracelet are relatively inexpensive, and you can make them in your friend’s or relative’s favorite colors.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to jewelry. You can also make cell phone charms, bookmarks (see those book thongs in Borders?), zipper pulls. Be creative!

Any other ideas?

What are you considering for inexpensive Christmas gifts this year?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her humorous contemporary romance novel, Single Sashimi, and her romantic suspense, Deadly Intent. She also runs the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels and ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for giveways!


TheLaneinVA said...

I go to Walmart and buy a box on the shatterproof ornaments (25 in a box), get some paint pens and write something on each ornament, either Merry Christmas (their name) and the year, or just their name and the year. The ornaments run around $5.50 and the pens can be a couple bucks, but once you have the pens, you don't need to buy them for a few years.

Kristy said...

My sister is awesome at baking so she'll whip up lots of cookies and cupcakes and I'll help her decorate. And everybody loves sweets!!!

Camy Tang said...

Those are great ideas! Thanks, guys!

Terra said...

I love the idea from The LaneinVA about writing in pen on ornaments. The year is especially meaningful, as I write the year on each wooden nutcracker I buy and its so fun to think "oh 2001!" "1998", etc.
I co-authored a book which has many tips on free and inexpensive ways to focus Christmas on family and giving, and why we celebrate.

Soraya said...

Baked goods are extra cute when you make a recipe card with it thats jazzed up with scrapbook materials... and I'll make the paintpen ornaments with some cute ribbon for a perky bow and add pretty hanger to top it off.
I also like giving candles (wide plain pillar candles, like with 3 wicks) I'll mod podge pictures of my friends and I, and scrapbook onto the sides, add ribbons and paper flowers, and it's cute on a coffee table or whatever.

Camy Tang said...

Terra, I love your nutcracker tradition!

Soraya--great ideas! The candles idea is especially appealing to me since so many of my friends like candles. Thanks!


DEb said...

GREAT blog....and great ideas...

Camy Tang said...

Thanks, DEb!