Tag Archives: budget friendly gifts

mod podge, pinterest and instagram your way to successful gifts

I contributed to an article for a local paper, about simplifying the holiday season with home made gifts, the article is pack with ideas for getting crafty and using your thinking cap to gift it up this year. I’d like to expand those ideas with a personalized flair- and I don’t mean a monogrammed sweater.

While making gifts can be stressful and time consuming for some, it can also be a stress reliever for the budget-minded gift giver. Here are a few personalized, simple ideas on how to create a memorable handmade gifts, no sewing (needles) involved this time!
A few examples from around our house…

This little love note (above) has been around awhile (Q is now 16). It’s about the size of a business card. I don’t recall how it came to be but she always has it hanging somewhere in her room. It’s a trimmed picture then added illustration with pens and markers– a daily affirmation everyone can appreciate. Why not laminate a tiny love note to be kept in a wallet or backpack– a frequent reminder of a loved one’s awesomeness.

This is a piece of salvaged wrapping paper from last Christmas, I believe M (our 12 year old) saved it and framed it herself. Simply a trimmed up picture and some kind words, it’s been on her night stand all year long.

A friend of mine made this box a few years ago- a plain wooden box (can be purchased at any local craft store), craft paint, collaged vintage-looking picture clippings, modge podge and a bit of rick rack– all coming together to create a keeper. Add some personalized pictures and words for the perfect gift.
**There enough silly/inspiring/random/funny quotes flying around Pinterest, pictures of friends on Instagram and Facebook to cover a box like this over and over again.

Another friend of mine gave this me after a trip we had taken to New York. Isn’t remembering a trip the next best thing?

One of my favorite, most useful gifts ever is this personalized yardstick, given to our family by my sister. So simple but hands down the best.

Many of the words on the back of the yard stick go back to childhood memories, living in New Hampshire and Rhode Island when we would rush to open the front door first thing in the morning- yardstick in hand- to measure the overnight snowfall. Based on the results… we would either begrudgingly put on our school clothes OR hurriedly climb back under the covers with the radio on and pray that school would be cancelled. It often was cancelled and we would collectively cheer with delight. My mom would dread the cheer and the upcoming day of chaos- the tremendous soggy, snowy mess that ensues when 6 kids are home from school for the day and at least 12 inches of fresh snow lay waiting to be played in. Of course I found this all out later, first hand, when I became a mother.

Great lines from the yardstick:
“Ahh, just a dusting”
“What, that’s it?”
“Just enough for sledding.”
“What? You call this a blizzard?”
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
“The snow cat’s broke!” (a line from Snowball Express)
“My back’s going to be so jacked up tonight…”
“Winter Wonderland!”
“Lock in the hubs”
“School has got to be closed.”
“Where are the chains?”
“Now, THIS is winter!”
“Time for a snow fort”
“It’s the Motherlode!”
“Shovel off the roof!”

One of my goals this year is to put my creative cap on and see if I can come up with something a clever as the ideas shown here. Working on it… but I can’t give anything away!

Homemade gift tags- easy teacher and neighbor gifts

I’m always intrigued by what kids come up with when put to a crafty challenge. These gift tags were the brainchild of my 12 year old. Easy, fun and fast, it’s a great budget friendly gift project that has the added bonus of fostering creativity in your kids (and yourself). Use them on gifts you give or gift them in bundles. Put all that pre-Christmas kid angst to good use!

We went through the craft supplies and dug out: card stock, rubber stamps, markers, glitter glue, a hole punch, felt and the glue gun. Also embroidery floss, yarn, ribbon, twine or other sort of string to make ties.

Make a set of colorful tags by filling an an entire page of card stock with colorful geometric shapes, add glitter glue for sparkle and dimension. When the glue is dry, cut the paper into small rectangles. Punch a hole in the corner and stamp or write “To:” and “From:” on the back. Loop the piece of string (of your choosing) through the hole and tie a knot.
With felt scraps, cut out and create any shapes you can think up- Christmas-y or otherwise. (hint: customize tags with personalized interests or letters). Glue the felt to the card stock then use markers or glitter glue to add details. When dry, finish same as above.
An perhaps the easiest- incorporate rubber stamps. If you have a large collection of rubber stamps it’s time to put them to good use! Add color, glitter or glitter glue to your hearts content. Finish the same as above.

Place an assortment of your handmade tags in bags and pair with a treat, a plant or just by themselves- a handmade gift is always the best!