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2007 Frugal Holiday "Challenge" - Page 4

post #61 of 328
Im still thinking about this year but last year I found a few old records ($1) of my parents favorite or kinda favorite bands and framed them. I found $5 record album frames at Michaels. Using their 40% coupon in the circular is even extra savings.
I made a few gift baskets with vintage postcards ($5 for a pack of 30 and split them up amongst the baskets) recycled old candles and made new ones, bought a pack of $1 store glycerin soap and melted it down to make my own soaps. I used cookie cutters as a mold and added EO & dried flowers to the melted soap as well. In my grandmas I added a few balls of yarn I found at the thrift. I also made my own bath salts with sea salt, EOs and dried flowers/herbs.
For the men in our family I made our own meat rubs. I reused old altoid tins and decorated them. We also printed up the recipe for the rub along with several others rub recipes and BBQ tips on index cards and laminated them. Put hole punch in the corner and added a keyring for homemade recipe book. I personalized each page with a cute drawing of a grill, beer bottle, wine glass or corn cob ect. what ever that person liked as far as food.
For friends we made our own mixed CDs and handmade the covers (I love to collage). We also made our own 1inch buttons for them and screen printed our own post cards.
For the grandmas, we found a great deal on aprons (99cents ikea) and put the kids hand prints on the aprons and added a saying. Something like Grandmas little cooks or helpers or something, I forgot but DD made a matching one for her to use while at grandmas.
post #62 of 328
Just scored two cool stocking stuffers for DS1 and one for my DD for a total of $3!

I got them each a large wooden, hand-carved train/conductor whistle for $1 each, and I also got DS1 a "Go Fish" card game set for $1. It's Crayola brand, and they are nice, thick, sturdy cards that come in a box.

So far I've spent $4.76 on Christmas. DD has two stocking stuffers, and DS1 has three. Pretty amazing!
post #63 of 328
Originally Posted by hip_mama View Post
For the grandmas, we found a great deal on aprons (99cents ikea) and put the kids hand prints on the aprons and added a saying.
What a great idea -- I am totally doing this for all the grandmas and great-grandmas. That's five gifts for $5 (assuming I can find cheap aprons)! Thanks so much!
post #64 of 328
post #65 of 328

We celebrate Hanukkah, so that's 8 gifts for each child. (They are usually small, and something they need. PJ's, gloves, books, etc.)

Anyway, loving all the ideals.
post #66 of 328
Haven't read through the posts yet but I wanted to say I'm in!! We have a long list of people to buy for so I can totally use this! lol My list is: (not including my son and DH)

18 yr old sister
9 yr old brother
20 yr old step-brother
20 yr old step-brothers girlfriend
18 yr old step-brother
12 yr old brother
7 yr old brother
5 yr old brother
3 yr old sister
1 yr old twin brothers
Mother in law
Father in law
Sister in law (23)
Brother in law (20)
Nephew (1 in Sept)
DH's best friends 2 little girls (1 and 4 months right now)
My dad's parents
3 family members from my dad's side when we draw names

Right now I know that I'm doing bath items (baby wash *I have a ton of coupons lol* and bath toys) for all the babies. My 3 yr old sister is getting cheap nail polish, hair clips, etc she's all girl! lol
SIL and brother's girl friend will get BBW stuff during the Semi-Annual sale. :-)

Thats all I got so far. LOL I can make gifts for my moms family and dads family but DH's family has to be store bought. *rolls eyes and groans*
post #67 of 328
Joining......am still thinking of what to do for the holidays. Have a few ideas I am brainstorming.
post #68 of 328

subbing, will post later.
post #69 of 328
I've decided that im going to take this ladies art and run with her ideas. Mostly for the women I have to give gifts for and DD too. Im not going to copy but am really inspired.
She does some awesome "sitting poppet ladies" that are really cool. In this months cloth paper scissors there is a step by step how to.

Heres one of her poppet ladies
I think for my mom and MIL im going to do a series of their faces from when they were younger till recently. ITs very easy to put together. Go to your book store read the section on the how to.
post #70 of 328
I'm in. We are trying to keep christmas simple and fun, so far I found: wooden cherries for dd (which one?).

My list:
5yr old dd
3yr old dd
Mom, Dad
and 5 other gifts which we will draw names for.

Now for ideas....
baby is easy- soft cloth or wooden teether, new jammies and a book

Usually I have ideas but this year is a blank.
post #71 of 328
Also subbing.

I saw something today that gave me an idea: a tissue paper flower kit. The Discovery store was selling it for $20, but all it was was precut tissue paper in assorted colors, green pipe cleaners, precut green tissue paper leaves, and a little vase. Oh, and directions, but really, 5 minutes of hands-on time with the giftee would take care of that!

I'm totally doing this for our 5-year old niece!
post #72 of 328
I've started working on socks for the kids and dh. They may end up being for next christmas with how slow a knitter I am. I have already found a few things though. A new book for ds#1, 2 dolls for dd, lots of fabric too to make different items.
post #73 of 328
There are all kinds of freebies on the net; I used to love to hunt them down, I never thought of using them as stocking stuffers! What a good idea!

last year I made lavender rice pillows, lavender e.o. spray and pumpkin bread. This year I am starting to make jams with all the fresh fruit thats around, and I'll be putting some up for gifts.
I also made dd a no sew tutu which only took we about an hour to make, soo easy, and I just used old fabric and ribbons I had.
Potted plants are a nice gift you can find some nice pots at a garage sale and transplant or start them from seeds in time to have something nicely growing by then.
Keeping an eye out now for sales is a great idea. I did that last year and ds got a wooden pirate ship set for less than half the original price, but I had to buy it in July and hide it in the closet for months!!

Oh, also the trading post here is a great place to score nice cheap toys!
post #74 of 328
post #75 of 328
post #76 of 328
Just scored a bunch of wooden train track pieces and wooden trains. ALong with the find came a bridge and a bunch of wooden trees, animals and people.
$3 at the thrift!
Im going to make a small train table for him out of found scraps/pieces of wood. This will be for his b-day tho. Its in August.
post #77 of 328
I love all the ideas. I have some wine I made a couple years ago that I will probably give to some friends. And I total forgot about the lavendar rice packs I made a couple years ago. I think I will have to make more of those this year, expecially since my pair of socks I am knitting me are taking so many months to make!

post #78 of 328
Okay, you got me!

I have been a maker for several years now. I'll share my tips...

Let's just say I have a serious canning problem, er, um, I mean Hobby, yeah, that's it! But the baby is hampering that this year, and last year was hard to. Who wants to stand in front of a stove for 8 hours over boiling water when preggo? Oh, the ankles!

Anyway, I take my preserves & pickles and make gift baskets. I've actually started giving less, since I have a sneaking suspicion my IL's just empty them out and give me the jars back, but I can't be sure.

So, I buy cheap baskets. I also make herbed vinegars or sherries and oil. I just bought (last year at ollies) the Betty Crocker Ultimate Holiday Cookbook, let's see if I can find it on amazon....hmm none of those look right, I'll check tonight. Anyway, it has additional recipes I made last year for things like chocolate covered pretzels & candy canes & spoons. As well as mocha mixes and others. Things it seemed to me were more likely to be consumed quickly than left to be wasted in the jar and tossed out. (I'm sure they did it!)

I also scour dollar stores & TJ Maxx & border's for things to add to the basket Like:

Chinese Yo Yos
Tiny cookbooks (good to go with things like spreads or herb rubs)
Magnetic Shopping list pads
Cheap holiday CD's (scored a bunch at the dollar store)
Picture frames (we have a nice photo printer, so we can put them in cheap frames)

I arrange them nicely and hand them out, one per family. Very cheap. I'd say, all in all, about $20 each basket including preserves, book, CD, yo yo, frame, pic, and the basket! (That's for the big family basket, little basket for friends, probably like $5 to $10 - and it's spread out over the year, not all at once!)

In previous years, we have had calendars made. The year we went cross country, we made about 15 with the pics we took. We got a deal at Staples for what amounted to about $11 each. Now that I have a good printer, though, I can make them at home. I can "borrow" binding material from work, or you could probably get them bound for a dollar or two each. With the kiddo, who doesn't need more pics of our cute little man?

Oh, I've recently picked up crocheting again, so I plan on making some scarves or something.

But with my *mad* lay out & design skillz this year for father's day I made a memorable book for DH. You can buy board books at the craft store, and make them into whatever you want. I made a book called "The story of me & my daddy" with lots of pics of the first 6 mos of DS & DH fun times together. I was thinking about doing this for the family, and giving it to grandparents, or having them professionally printed. Found a great site to do it for not too expensive...they look really nice. I'll find the link and post it...

So, that's my plan. Of course, with DS, we'll get him something special. Plus it was my promise to him that he would never get the combo xmas/bday present that plagues all december babies (myself included). I want to try to cut down on his plastic toys and convince the fam to stop buying him crap.

Okay, that's it for now!
post #79 of 328
I wanted to pass on a great site for some stocking stuffer freebies;

Also a great place for cheap toys is shopgoodwill.com usually people dont bid on the wooden things because they dont treasure them like we do!
post #80 of 328
Just wanted to say that our fam. does the "four somethings",too! I really love it.
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