Lori Jean's Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas

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Lori Jean's Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas

Postby crafterwannabe » Fri May 19, 2006 11:05 pm

Jazbo made an alpha list of Lori Jean's collection of gift ideas - will be most helpful when trying to find one particular idea we remember!

Index for Lori Jean's CBT Gifts

Apron - #102
Apron treat - 76

Baby sock snowman - 62
BarBQ gift - 128
Barrette holder - 84
Baseball cap organizer - 83
Baskets - 8, 9, 28, 30, 34, 35, 73, 80, 87, 96, 122, 123
Bathroom caddy - 142
Beaded candles - 1
Beaded wine glasses - 39
Bisquick gift - 101
Books-on-tape for grandkids - 105
Breakfast in a jar - 37
Brownies - 69
Button magnets - 72

Cake mix basket - 28
Candle arrangement - 77
Candle plate - 95
Candles - 1, 77, 86, 95, 103
Candy cane bath salts - 17
Candy cane stirrers - 117
Candy kabobs - 161
CD envelope cookies - 149
Cheater pies - 51
Children's craft box - 32
Child's art kit - 49
Chocolate candy cups - 151
Chocolate-covered oreos - 165
Chocolate-filled goblets - 67
Chocolate necklace - 70
Chocolate spoons - 21
Christmas basket party - 123
Christmas crackers - 57
Christmas party in a basket - 122
Cinnamon soap - 153
Christmas spirit snack mix - 155
Cinnamon/sugar shaker - 12
Citrus sugar - 152
Clay pot candy machine - 150
Clothespin mittens - 164
Cookie/cake stand - 144
Cookie cutter fudge - 29
Cookie jar - 131
Cookie mix - 130
Cookies - 14
Couch potato basket - 34

Diabetic hot cocoa - 31
Dips, rubs, & spices - 118
Doily candy bowl - 23
Doily sachets - 7
Dollar nuts - 42
Doughs for kids - 37, 132, 148, 163
Dust pan cookies - 10

Elegant cookies - 63

Fall leaves/flower magnets - 82
Family cookie decorating kit - 3
Family night basket - 8
Faux china tray - 137
Filled peppermint candies - 166
Flashlight - 104
Fleece - 115, 120
Flower pens - 85
Frame - 143
Framed plaster masterpiece - 99
Frosted jars - 110
Fruit dip mix - 134

Giant filled lollipop - 4
Giant Hershey kiss - 40
Gift wrap ideas - 47
Gingerbread house kit - 124
Gingerbread playdough - 163
Goldfish gift - 53
Gone fishin' munch mix - 136
Goodie cup - 90
Grinch gift ideas - 59
Guest soaps - 133
Gumdrop tree - 27

Hacky sack - 139
Hand soap gift - 145
Hand towels - 44
Honey bears - 25
Hot cocoa in a mitten - 50

Ice cream lover's bucket - 35
Itlaian basket - 30

Jam jars - 2
Jars - 5, 110, 160
Jesus is the 'reisen' - 54

Kitchen safe - 74
Kool-aide playdough - 132
Kringles - 140

Lace glass plate - 138
Lace napkin rings - 156
Lace vase - 157
Lady kits - 6
Leather-like vase - 159
Lighted rag garland - 66
Lollipop washcloth basket - 96

Maple butter - 60
Marble planter pots - 114
Memory idea - 55
Mitten, gloves, socks - 61
Mock pecan pie - 36
Movie theme basket - 80
Muffin basket - 9

Napkin rings - 52
No-sew fleece - 115

Package ideas - 126
Padded hangers - 111
Paint brush holder - 129
Paula Deen's house dressing - 154
Peppermint cocoa - 112
Peppermint playdough - 148
Pet recipes - 141
Pie-filling gift - 107
Pinecone fire starters - 48
Pocket tissue holder - 93
Popcorn - 24, 26
Potholders - 64, 106, 108
Potpourri hanger - 33
Potpourri lights - 19
Pralines - 41

Quick bread idea - 162

Rainbow crayons - 20
Ranger cookies - 68
Reader gift - 89
Recipe holder stand - 113
Recipe scrapbook - 15
Remote control holder - 79, 97
Rice-filled heating pad - 109
Rope coasters - 146
Rose petal soap - 13

Scarf/tie organizer - 121
Scrunchies - 127
Season's greetings basket - 87
Senior card-playing gift - 91
Senior Christmas basket - 73
Sewing gift - 88
Sewing kit - 18
Slice & bake cookies - 116
Snowball soap - 22
Snowflake, crafterwannabe's - 65
Snowflake ornament - 158
Snowman can - 15
Snow playdough - 37
Soap - 13, 22, 133, 145
Sugar scrub - 147
Swedish heart ornament - 75

Tea cup/candied stirrers - 16
Tea cup candle - 103
Tea cup pincushion - 78
Tea lights - 71
Tea towel pillows - 94
Teen girl - 43
Teens - 55, 56
Thinking of you - 125
Trading card display case - 92
Travel tic-tac-toe game - 135
Treasure rocks for kids - 11
Triple treats - 46

Utensil holder - 119

Votive cups - 86

Wallpaper jewelry - 58
Washcloth bath sachets - 100
Whimsical gift pots - 81
Date Posted: 20:51:45 05/16/06 Tue
Author: Lori Jean
Subject: Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas~Part 1

Hi Ladies,
With so many retired gals on fixed pensions, disability, not to mention many people being out of work at this time of year, I thought it would be nice to gather up some “Inexpensive, but thoughtful” gift ideas. Some are from my own head and some I’ve taken from surfing the net, books and suggestions from others. I tried to stick with gift ideas that are easy, simple or a down-right snap to make, as well as economical and appreciated.
I do mention Wal-Mart, The Dollar Tree and Big Lots quite a bit, however, I’m not endorsing any of them, it’s just that I happen to shop there a lot and found these items available. I sure hope you can use some of these ideas! Have a blessed Christmas!
Lori Jean :^)


1. AFTER EASTER: Hit the 75% off sales. Buy plain baskets (or ones that can be painted) and grass in red, green and light blue for Christmas baskets.
2. SUMMER: Pick up Clay Pots (All sizes,) Mason Jars, and Cotton Christmas Fabric at Wal-Mart. They will have the Fabric in July at $1.00-$2.00 per yard, where the bolts are stacked on top of each other.
3. BACK TO SCHOOL: Watch Wal-Mart carefully about 1 to 2 weeks before School starts. They have unbelievably low prices on markers, crayons, paper, boxes, etc. for “art kits.” These make great Christmas gifts for your Grandchildren!
4. AFTER HALLOWEEN: Hit the 75% off candies for CHRISTMAS. Candy lasts forever and I assure you they will be just as good 2 months later, if you store them in a room without a lot of heat or in the vegetable bin in your refrigerator. I wouldn’t freeze the chocolate, as I’ve heard the sugar MIGHT crystallize, giving it a “powdered look.” If any of you have heard differently on this, please correct me. Look closely at the bags. If you can get Kisses for 75% off a bag, it’s worth it to pick out all the red and gold ones for Christmas! Any other gold/silver/red wrapped candies or REGULAR candies without the holiday wrapping would be great! This will save you a bundle come Christmas. Close to Thanksgiving, you will find Walmart Brand Chocolate Chips at a little over $1.00 a bag.
5. AFTER CHRISTMAS: If you have the “mullah” after Christmas, you can find all sorts of items for 75% off. Especially as you get closer to New Year’s day. It always amazes me when I see ladies picking up baskets full of gift wrap and gift bags. All that stuff is okay, but it all goes in the trash the following year and you can make your own gift bags with white lunch sacks and raffia. I would focus on Cookie Plates, Tins, Mason Jars, Kitchen Towels, Potholders, Placemats, lace and fabrics, Cookie Cutters, Wine Glasses, etc.~~~~
These items will be put to GOOD use the following Christmas, if you use these ideas below.
6. AFTER VALENTINES DAY: Check around and see what stores have in RED that you might use at Christmas. Examples, I found some quilted solid color placemats, round doilies and candles all in red, for 75% off. “Think Christmas!”

Idea #1~: Sparkling Beaded Candles.

I made this Candle. I only wish you could see it in person, because it just sparkles! I bought everything I needed at Wal-Mart. The cracked glass holder was $1.46, For the length I needed, beads were 75 cents. The beads come in strings and are found in the fabric section. They can be cut to your desired length. I hot glued (low temp glue gun) the string of beads carefully around the very top of the glass holder. I also bought fancy antique gold trim (which I had cut) for 50 cents. I hot glued the trim on top of the ribbon part of the beads. The scented hazelnut cream votive was 33 cents. Total cost for a lovely candle: $3.04
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 1_0002.jpg

Idea #2: “Homemade” Cheater Jam Jars (hee-hee!) and MORE!

This was very easy! I bought the Wal-Mart brand jam for $1.44 per jar. Grape jelly is cheaper, at .88 cents per jar. It’s actually very good jam. I paid a little more for the sugar-free jam by Smuckers. Sugar free is for my diabetic friends. I tore the jam label off the jar, then made my own label on sticker paper. I like the Wal-Mart jam because they don’t glue the label all the way around the jar. So, you can just take off the label and the one strip of glue they use to hold their labels on, I just take the label I made and cover it. So, you don’t have to spend hours soaking the label and peeling it off. I then laminated the label to the jar, with the peel and stick kind of laminate. The reason I laminated the label is so the moisture in the refrigerator wouldn’t wrinkle it. I used pinking shears to cut a circle out of scrap fabric. I placed the fabric circle on top of the lid with a dot of hot glue. I then tied a rubber band over the circle, to make a nice, tight ruffle. Tie a ribbon bow over the rubber band. Lastly, I hot glued a poinsettia on top. I bought a whole bag of poinsettias at Wal-Mart for $1.00. Ask about them in the fabric section. All Wal-Mart pick up the flowers that have fallen off the stem and they put them in long bags. They usually have them under the fabric counters at the end. Total cost for jam, including flower and scrap fabric on hand: Less than $2.00! Sure, buying store bought jam may be “cheating” a little, but people do enjoy it, regardless!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 1_0003.jpg
Idea # 3: Family Cookie Decorating Kit:

For this idea, you can pick up $1.00 buckets at the Dollar Tree or Big Lots. Anything you can “fill.”
This is for a cookie decorating kit, so I start by going to Wal-Mart. (surprise! LOL) Fill bucket with loosely crumbled tissue or left over Easter grass (preferably green, or clear.) Buy the Wal-Mart brand frosting for $1.00 each. Buy one tub of chocolate and one tub of vanilla. They also have festive Christmas sprinkles by Wilton for $1.96 OR pick up some colored sprinkles at the dollar store. Also, pick up a couple of dollar Christmas towels. Bake your own sugar cookies and add to the box. I use the zip lock tubs to put cookies in. They keep them from breaking. Be sure to include wide tongue depressors or plastic knives for spreading frosting on cookies. Tie curling ribbon on the spreaders.
Start by arranging the boxed Sugar cookies, frosting tubs, rolled Christmas Towels (tied with ribbon bow) and tongue depressors/plastic knives and sprinkles in bucket.
Laminate a copy of “The Night Before Christmas” or “The Birth of Baby Jesus” or Christmas Carols to sing and place it in the bucket. If you happen to belong to a music downloading site, you might want to burn a Christmas music CD to include in the bucket (Limewire has a free version!)
Use your creative mind to decorate the bucket! You can add stickers, hot glue poinsettias around the rim, tie big bows, etc.~~ Get creative! Total cost for family cookie decorating bucket: $6.96 (depending what you have on hand at home.)
Idea #4: Giant Filled Lollipops for the Kids:

You’ll need the nice heavy-duty cardboard dessert plates for this one. Like Dixie plates. Fill one plate with candy and maybe include a dollar or small prize. Place a second plate on top and staple all the way around. Make sure a dowel stick is slipped in between the plates somewhere, before stapling. Also, take into consideration the weight of the candy, when deciding what width dowel to buy. Wrap the plates with green or red cellophane, to look like a giant lollipop! Tie a bow with ribbon at the neck, making sure there is a “ruffle” hanging down. You want to make it look just like a wrapped lollipop. You can also print out some cute Christmas graphics and glue them on the plates. They show through the cellophane.
“Jodi“ was telling me that she did this one year, only she made what looked like giant pieces of wrapped candy, by putting cellophane over the plates and twisting to make a ruffle at each end. Thanks, Jodi! Oh, and “Big Kids” love these too!
Idea #5~EASY Brownie Mix “Gift in a Jar.”

Wal-Mart has their own brand of Brownie mix for .99 per box. It fits in the Quart size Mason jars perfectly! Copy directions from back of box and decorate jar! I would use the “cake-like” brownie directions they give you. Depending on what you have on hand, this gift is approx. $1.00!
Idea #6: Tiny “Lady” Kits:

For this one, you can buy cellophane Christmas bags at the Dollar Tree. They usually sell them in packages of 12. For each little ladies kit, you can fill with the following:
*Sample size hand lotions, like you find at Wal-Mart. They have really nice smelling ones, like Mango, Vanilla, Coconut, etc. for $1.50 each. Avon also sells little hand creams for $1.00 each, during November.
* .88 cent nail polish in a neutral color.
* Lip Balm
* Package of disposable nail files, you can divide up between the boxes and bundle with ribbon. $1.27
* Mini Kleenex (Print wrapper from Crafty Images!) .33 cents each.
~Other items you might want to buy and divide up: Q-tips from the Dollar store (bundle with ribbon,) Peppermint candies for breath, wet naps. Use your “frugal” imagination!

Idea #7: EASY Doily Sachets:

This is so easy! I bought 2 crocheted doily’s for $1.00 at the dollar store. They have nice ones in the craft section at Wal-Mart for $1.96 for two.
I bought inexpensive, nice smelling glycerin soap. I happened to find them at Bath & Body when they were having a sale, for $1.00 each! I folded the soap in white muslin and folded the doily in half, over the soap. I used ribbon to weave in and out of the holes, then tied in a bow at the top. I hot glued a flower (that I picked up in a Wal-Mart dollar bag) at the top of the doily.
Total cost, depending on what you have on hand: Approx. $2.50
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 1_0004.jpg

Idea #8: Family Night Bucket/Basket

I’ve seen this idea many times at Christmas, but since movie tickets are so expensive now, I thought of a cheaper way. Start out with a bucket or basket from the dollar store. Decorate how you wish. At Wal-Mart, they have movies in a big bin for $5.50 each. Pick out a nice family movie. Add to bucket, along with microwave popcorn (depending on how many are in the family,) Sam’s Choice canned sodas (They have the small cans at 6 for .99 cents.) You might also want to add some homemade cookies. Those are always appreciated! Depending on what you have on hand, the total cost is approx. $7.50 per bucket!
Idea # 9: Muffin Basket/Bucket

This is on the same idea as the other baskets, where you find your dollar bucket or container first, then decorate. You can lay a couple of dollar Christmas towels in the basket/bucket, leaving a little hanging over the edge. Fill with your favorite muffins, in individual freezer bags. That way, they can put them in the freezer or eat them now. Attach a decorative recipe card to the bucket with the recipe of the muffins you baked. You can find a lot of “gourmet muffin” recipes on the net.
Depending on what you have on hand, total cost approx. $3.00 to $6.00 per bucket. I do have a tag made by someone else that says “You’re getting “muffin” for Christmas.” If you would like the tag, please email me.
Idea # 10: Dust pan Cookies

You fill a brand new dust pan from the dollar store, with your favorite homemade cookies! Dollar stores have them in green and white. Sometimes you are lucky enough to find red during the holidays. Attach the cookie recipe you used, too. Wrap with colored cellophane. Tie with ribbon at the neck of the dust pan and add a tag with the dust pan cookies poem. Tag is also on Crafty Images. Here is the link for the poem: http://www.budget101.com/GagGift/gg4.htm

Total approx. cost, depending on what you have on hand: $1.00 to $4.00
Idea # 11: Kid’s Treasure Rocks:

Take 4 quarters and place them inside your treasure rocks before drying. Kids love this!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup used coffee grounds
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup sand
1 cup water
Food color paste, if desired
Glitter (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, and mix until the consistency of bread dough.
Drop a large spoonful of the dough onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Make a hole in the center and put in a treasure (dimes, quarters wrapped in plastic wrap, but anything can be hidden in them).
Cover hole with a bit more dough to completely hide the treasure. You can sprinkle glitter on them at this point, if desired.
Air dry 2 to 3 days until rock hard. They dry faster if you put them by a heat vent or other warm spot. They shrink somewhat as they dry, so make them large enough to allow for the shrinkage.
Makes about 8 rocks.

Idea # 12: “Christmas Cheer” Cinnamon-Sugar Shakers (For Toast):

I fill a salt shaker (with holes large enough at the top) to shake out cinnamon sugar. Attach a tag with this poem:

At this time when we fell most blessed,
Holidays can make us stressed.
So when you feel the crabbies coming near,
Sprinkle your toast with some Christmas cheer!

*Tag is also on Crafty Images.

A different saying to attach to the jar, courtesy of Jazbo:
"May your Christmas be sprinkled with laughter and love!"

In the past, I’ve used the little mason jar salt shakers at Wal-Mart. They are .46 cents each, but you might be able to find them cheaper at the dollar store. I tie ribbon/bells/tiny poinsettias around the neck and attach the “Christmas Cheer” tag to the shaker. Everyone I gave it to at work loved it! I used 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon per 1 cup sugar, but I know you could use less cinnamon. They sell cinnamon at the dollar stores in the larger, less expensive containers.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 1_0004.jpg

Idea #13: Rose Petal Soaps:

Buy silk rose petals (the kind you use at weddings) or buy them on the stem and clip them off. I’ve seen boxes of rose petals at the dollar store.
Using a pair of tweezers, dip rose petals in melted glycerin soap. Dip one at a time, shaking off the excess soap, and place the petal on waxed paper to dry. As they start to dry, gently turn them over to keep them from getting a glob of soap underneath them. I buy the regular bars of glycerin soap from Walmart and melt it. It works just as good. Store in decorated jars. Attach a tag with the following poem:

Pick a petal from my dish~
Close your eyes and make a wish.
Wash your hands and toss away~
May your wish come true today.
Idea # 14: If you want to give cookies to friends and family, but just can’t afford to buy bags of nuts and chocolate/butterscotch chips during the holidays, here are a couple of really good recipes for “frugal cookies.”

*Tip: Tired of broken cookies? Place a sheet of parchment or foil on top of your cookie sheet. When the cookies are finished baking, slide the whole sheet of foil with cookies, onto your counter to cool. Keeps your cookie sheet clean too! No more scraping cookie sheets between batches!


1 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
1~½ Cups Sugar

2~¾ Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
2. Roll dough into 1 inch balls
3. Combine ½ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
4. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake about
15 minutes or until a very light tan color. Don’t over bake!
Makes 5 Dozen Cookies.


2 Cups Butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Cups White Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
4 Eggs

3 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Salt
6 Cups Quick Oats
1~½ Cups Coconut

Drop onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325°F. Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes).
Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies
Idea # 15: Mini Recipe Scrapbooks:

*Buy the small dollar photo books with 10 pages in them. Print out your favorite “tried and true” recipes, with decorative graphics. These would make nice, thoughtful gifts for the ladies in your family. You might even want to make it a “theme,” such as all cookie recipes or all main dish recipes. Carolyn B. sent me a LOVELY scrapbook with all cake mix recipes in it (plus a few cookie ones.) I use that book more than any other dessert recipe book in the house. Plus, every time I look at it, it reminds me of all the thought and time that was put into making it.
Here is a picture of a “Cookie Book” that I made my SIL, thanks to Crafterwannabe’s inspiration!
Front Cover:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 13_004.jpg

*Tip #1: If you’ve been fortunate enough to be able to join the recipe swaps, go through your recipe cards and scan them on your scanner. You can just cut them out and they are already decorated!
* Tip #2: Some nice sites for original recipes is
http://www.recipegoldmine.com/ (When page opens, scroll towards the bottom for recipe categories.)


Idea # 16: Tea Cups with Candied Stirrers:

Scour garage sales, swap meets/flea markets, thrift stores for nice, clean tea cups and matching saucers. Place some wrapped tea bags and candied tea stirrers in the tea cup. I prefer Twinings Tea, but that’s just my personal opinion. Recipe for the candied tea stirrers is below. Wrap in colored cellophane bag and tie with a bow.

Candied Tea Stirrers:
Vegetable cooking spray (like Pam)
34 pieces of Flavored hard candy, such as lemon, orange, berry or peppermint~ crushed
2 Tablespoons Corn syrup
12 Heavyweight plastic spoons

Line a jellyroll pan with waxed paper; spray with cooking spray. In a small heavy saucepan, combine crushed candies and corn syrup over low heat. Stirring frequently, heat until candies melt. Spoon candy into bowl of each spoon. Place spoons on prepared pan with handles on rim. This will keep spoons level. Allow candy to harden. Wrap each stirrer with cellophane and tie with narrow ribbon around neck of spoon. Use spoons to give your tea some sweet flavor.
Idea # 17: Candy Cane Bath Salts:

Ingredients needed: 2 cups Epsom salts, 1/2 c. sea salt, 4-6 drops peppermint oil, 2-3 drops red food coloring.

Place one cup of Epsom and 1/4 cup sea salt in a bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add 2-3 drops peppermint oil.
Place the remaining ingredients in a second bowl. Mix all ingredients well. Layer the red and white salts in a clear bottle or Jar. Half liter Naya water bottles work well because they have the stripes. You may also use baby food jars. Tie with a ribbon and add some small candy canes.
Idea #18: Miniature Sewing Kits

Buy a package of miniature spools of thread, needles, buttons, etc.~Place in pint size Mason jars. Decorate jars/lids. Wal-Mart has a lot of bargain sewing packages (Mainstays brand) in the craft section for .88 cents each. Everything from scissors, to buttons. Dollar tree offers 50 mini spools of thread for $1.00 a package. You might also want to pre-thread some needles and stick them in a cork for a senior citizen.
Idea #19: Potpourri Lights:

Large clear glass vase or Mason jar
Strands of small twinkle Christmas lights*
Dry potpourri
White Doily

* Do not use the super bright lights as they burn too hot.
Fill the vase or jar loosely with the light strands and pour the potpourri in over the lights. Don't pack it too tightly as the air needs to circulate. Cover the top of the jar or vase with an open lace doily. Wrap rubber band around neck of jar/doily to hold. Then, tie ribbon on top of rubber band. Decorate as desired.
Idea #20: Big Rainbow Crayons for Kids:

Foil baking cups (the kind used for cupcakes)
Old broken crayons in bright colors (Search through your kids crayon box!)

Place a foil baking cup in each cup of a muffin tin. Chop the old peeled crayons into 1/4'' pieces and place them in the baking cups. Heat the crayons at 400 degrees for five minutes or until the crayon pieces just begin to melt. Remove them before the colors mix together and become "muddy". When the crayons have cooled, peel off the baking cups.
Idea #21: Chocolate Spoons in Coffee Mug:

You can pick up nice Christmas mugs anywhere from .50 cents to $1.00 each. You can buy the small coffee samples at various coffee shops. Include a coffee sample in the mug and add chocolate spoons. (Recipe below.) Wrap with colored cellophane bag and tie with bow. I have two recipes listed below for Chocolate spoons:


• Heavy duty Plastic spoons
• 6 oz. white dipping chocolate (Almond Bark or Candy Melts)
• 6 oz. dark dipping chocolate (Almond Bark or Candy Melts)
• Cookie sheet
• Waxed paper
• Two glass bowls or measuring cups
• Two small paintbrushes
• Colored plastic wrap
• Colored ribbon

Step One: Line the cookie sheet with a layer of waxed paper.
Step Two: Put the white and dark chocolate in separate bowls and melt each type of chocolate in the microwave. Microwave until the chocolate is smooth (about one or two minutes), stopping every 20 seconds to stir the mixture.
Step Three: When the chocolate is melted, dip a spoon into the bowl, covering both sides completely. Make some spoons using white chocolate and others using dark chocolate.
Step Four: Now, you can paint designs on the spoon using the contrasting chocolate color. For your dark chocolate spoons, dip the paintbrush into the white chocolate and paint lines, dots, stars, or other designs on the chocolate spoon. Do the same for the white chocolate spoons, using the other paintbrush and dark chocolate for your designs.
Step Five: Place the spoons face down on the wax paper and let them dry completely. This should take about an hour. Of course, you can speed up the process by putting them in the refrigerator.
Step Six: Cut a piece of plastic wrap (at least 8 x 6 inches) and a strand of ribbon for each chocolate spoon.
Step Seven: Wrap a sheet of plastic over each spoon, then secure it with a ribbon tied around the spoon's base.
This link will give you some idea of what they’ll look like, except the recipe varies a little: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/ ... oons.shtml

DOVE Chocolate Spoons:

Dipped-in-DOVE® Coffee Spoon

What you'll need:
1 bag DOVE® Brand PROMISES® in dark chocolate, unwrapped
16 heavy-duty plastic spoons
16 6-inch squares cellophane paper
Curling ribbon
What to do:
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Melt the DOVE® Brand PROMISES® Dark Chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the mixture as it melts. When mixture is shiny and smooth, turn off the heat.
One at a time, dip the spoon into the chocolate, and set it on the prepared baking sheet to cool and get firm.
Once firm, wrap each spoon in a sheet of cellophane tied with a ribbon.
Makes 16 spoons.

Idea # 22: Sparkling Snowball Soap:

6 Ounces unscented white soap, grated
1/4 Tsp. Egg Nog Fragrance Oil (or peppermint)
1/2 Tsp. Ultra Fine Fabric Glitter
1/2 Cup Water or Milk

Bring water to a boil and add soap and reduce heat. Mash and stir soap until water disappears and mixture becomes a sticky mass (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in fragrance oil and glitter until well blended. Reserve a little glitter for later. When soap is cool enough to handle, divide in half and form into balls with your hands. Sprinkle reserved glitter on the surface of the balls and continue to shape into snowball like soaps. Allow to air dry at least 12 hours.
Wrap individually in cellophane and tie with ribbon and a bow.
Idea #23: Doily Candy Bowls:

White crocheted doily, 4" - 6" diameter.
Small margarine container (empty)
Fabric stiffener
Narrow ribbon
Craft/white glue
Wax paper
Plastic wrap or sandwich bag
Christmas florals (optional)
Christmas candy
Turn the margarine container upside down and cover with a plastic sandwich bag.
Pour the fabric stiffener into a bowl. Dip the doily into the bowl, saturating it thoroughly. Wring out the excess back into the bowl.
NOTE: If you don't want to buy fabric stiffener, you can make your own by
boiling equal parts of sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved.
using liquid starch, OR
mixing white glue with a little water
Drape the doily over the margarine container. Press down over the sides, but let the edges flair out. Set on the wax paper and allow to dry overnight.
Thread the narrow ribbon in and out through the holes in the doily bowl. Leave both ends on the outside and tie together into a bow.
If you want, glue a Christmas floral or other decoration to the side. Fill with candy and enjoy!

Link for picture: http://www.make-stuff.com/projects/doily_bowls.html
Idea # 24: : Gourmet Popcorn in a Jar (Great gift for men!) :

Here are a few recipe for you to enjoy!


3 squares almond bark or white chocolate
2 bags microwave-popped popcorn
2 cups slim pretzel sticks
1 to 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts

Mix popcorn, pretzels and nuts in a very large bowl.
Melt the almond bark or white chocolate in the microwave and pour over ingredients in bowl. Stir well.


3 quarts popped popcorn, unsalted
1 can (6 1/2 ounce) salted mixed nuts
1 pound light brown sugar
1 cup light corn or maple syrup
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix popcorn and nuts in large buttered bowl. Combine sugar, syrup, butter or margarine, water, salt and cinnamon in saucepan. Heat slowly to the boiling point, stirring until sugar melts. Cook to hard crack stage (290-295 degrees Fahrenheit).
Pour syrup in a fine stream over popcorn and nuts. Stir until popcorn and nuts are evenly coated with syrup. Spread out on large buttered surface or waxed paper. Separate into bite-size portions with forks. Cool.
Yield: 4 1/2 quarts.


2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
14 cups popped corn
8 ounces mixed nuts

Combine first 4 ingredients and cook at high temperature, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add baking soda and remove from heat. Pour over popcorn and nuts and stir. Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
Makes 14 cups.


3 quarts freshly air-popped plain popcorn, unseasoned
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/8 teaspoon green food coloring

Arrange popcorn in a shallow baking or roasting pan. Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in sugar, salt and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Boil, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add peppermint extract and green food coloring. Pour over popcorn in baking pan and stir to mix well. Bake in a preheated 250 degree F oven for 1 hour, stirring 3 to 4 times. Cool completely and store in tightly covered containers.
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.

Pour into Jars or lined Cookie tins. If using jars, there are so many ways to decorate, giving it that “elegant” look. With Cookie tins, you can tie a bow around it like a package. Add decorative touches of your own, such as Victorian Christmas tags with gold/silver glitter on the edges, etc. ~~~Use your imagination!
Idea #25: Squeezable Honey Bears with Poem attached

This is a thoughtful gift for anyone…male or female. I was able to find some really small honey bears (the kind that come in plastic bear-shaped bottles) for .99 cents each, at the dollar store! Wrap a red ribbon around his neck and attach a tag. I’ll bet we can get one of our “poets” to come up with a cute poem! :o)
Idea #26: Jiffy Pop Popcorn

I used a Topper from www.meltmyheart.com . I’m in Melt My Heart’s Printables club.
I don’t take the original Jiffy topper off, because it has directions on it. I just cover over it. I then tied a bow with some Holly on it, around the neck of the Jiffy Pop.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... topper.jpg

Idea #27: Super Easy Gum Drop Tree

18-inch Styrofoam cone
1 bag large green gumdrops
1 bag small gumdrops, assorted colors

Secure large gumdrops to the Styrofoam form with the toothpicks.
Arrange the small gumdrops in between the large ones to hide the Styrofoam form.
The trees are pretty on mantels or arranged near gingerbread houses.
Idea #28: Doctored Cake Mix Basket/Bucket

You can buy Cake Mixes for .79 each at Wal-Mart. Buy 3 to 5 cake mixes and place in decorated Mason jars. Add a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and maybe a couple of dollar Christmas towels/pot holders to the basket. Attach recipes to use with the cake mixes. You can laminate the recipes and attach them all together with a brad OR laminate them right on the bucket. This is a wonderful link for DOCTORED CAKE MIX RECIPES:

Idea #29: Cookie Cutter Fudge:

This idea is so cute! You fill cookie cutters with chocolate or white fudge and give them as gifts. The cookie cutters with depth work the best. Here are some great links to show you what they look like and how to make them:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/rec ... ipeId=5526


http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/at_home/articl ... 67,00.html

http://busycooks.about.com/od/candyands ... tfudge.htm
Idea #30: Italian Basket:

For this idea, start out with a BIG pasta bowl from the dollar store. Add 1 pkg. Spaghetti noodles, 2 jars Wal-Mart brand spaghetti sauce ( The sauce is only $1.00 each!), a bottle of Martinelli or Welch’s sparkling non-alcoholic wine, two “dollar” wine glasses, a few chocolate candies/mints and maybe a couple of dollar towels with grapes on them, and if you can find a spaghetti server at the dollar store or Wal-Mart, that would also be great. Hint: I wrap my baskets in tulle. It’s much cheaper than cellophane per yard and looks very nice. Add a bow or plastic grapes and you have a nice Christmas gift.

*Ladies, don’t forget…you can do a lot with glitter and glue to “add” that special touch to your baskets. Trace a cookie cutter on cardstock or craft foam and spread glue fairly thick with a sponge brush. Press into glitter and you have a very nice tag to attach to your Christmas package. See the one I made below:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 16_001.jpg

Idea #31: Hot Cocoa for DIABETICS “Gift In A Jar.”Mix:

Hot Cocoa Mix
2 Cups Non-fat powdered milk
1/2 Cup Low-fat powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
10 packets of Equal sweetener

*Use 1/2 Cup diabetic cocoa mix, per mug of hot water.

Poems to add to Gift Jar, courtesy of our wonderful poets:

Being a diabetic
surely isn't fun
seeing others having treats
and knowing you'll get none.
But now that's all changing
this cocoa is for you
just add some hot water
and enjoy a cup or two.
© Sue Pitchfork 2005

A cup of hot cocoa
Is this diabetic treat
Sugar free and delicious
But chocolatey sweet
Idea #32: Potpourri Hanger (Idea from Chris!)

Take an embroidery hoop and place tulle in hoop, filled with potpourri. Loop a ribbon at the top and make a bow. Decorate by hot gluing flowers.
Idea #33: Couch Potato Basket/Bucket:

Buy a bucket or any container you can fill, from the dollar store.
Add a TV Guide (if it’s for Christmas, don’t buy the TV Guide until the week you know you’ll be giving the gift.) Add one or more of the following suggestions: microwave popcorn, candies, 2 cans of soda, homemade munchies. You might want to add a pair of warm “booty socks” to relax in. IF you want to go a little more, you can always throw in a DVD movie from the $5.50 bin at Wal-Mart OR buy a movie rental gift certificate for $5.00.
Idea #34: Ice Cream Lovers Bucket:

Buy a plastic bucket from the dollar store. Add 2 glass sundae cups (.88 each at Wal-Mart)~Then add a jar of Hot Fudge ($2.00), 1 snack size bag of peanuts (Like planters) for less than $1.00~rainbow sprinkles ($1.00 at the dollar store), a $5.00 gift certificate for a pint of ice cream at your local ice cream store or Grocery store.
Spruce up the sundae glasses by using your imagination. You might want to personalize them or decorate with ribbon.
Idea #35: Mock Pecan Pie:

Love Pecan Pie, but the pecans are too expensive for you to buy? Try this excellent recipe with walnuts!

Mock Pecan Pie
3 Eggs
¾ Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
¼ Cup Butter
1~½ Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Allspice
1 Heaping Cup Walnuts
1 Frozen Deep Dish Pie Shell, Completely Thawed (refrigerated.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat eggs, sugar and spices together.
3. Stir in corn syrup, butter and vanilla.
4. Place walnuts in bottom of pie shell (fluted around the edges) and then pour pie mixture on top. Walnuts will rise to the top during baking. Never bake pie on bottom rack in oven or it will burn.
5. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If you bake two pies at the same time, it takes about 50-60 minutes to bake. Let Cool.
Idea #36: Breakfast In A Jar:

Wal-Mart has GENUINE Maple syrup in a small bottle for $3.28 each. You can place the bottle in a paper gift bag, decorated with Raffia, along with cinnamon pancake mix in a jar. You can take the EASY way out and buy the complete pancake mix and add cinnamon to it (Wal-Mart brand) OR use the following recipe below:


3 cups flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs baking powder
4 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp salt


In a quart jar, combine all ingredients in layers, placing flour on bottom, then cinnamon in middle and other ingredients on top. Seal jar. Store in a cool, dry place up to 6 months before using. Use the following recipe when you are ready to make pancakes, or copy it onto a recipe card and attach it to your decorated jar to give as a gift:
Cinnamon Pancakes
In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup Milk, 1 Egg and 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil. With a wire whisk, blend in 1-1/3 cups Pancake Mix until moistened but still lumpy. Cook on a lightly greased griddle or skillet. Makes about 10- 5 inch pancakes.

Either way, you come out with a gift for just $5.00!
Another packaging suggestion, courtesy of Jazbo is: Place jar of pancake mix and syrup in a bowl with a spatula. You can use blueberry syrup in place of maple and add “Wishing You A Berry Merry Christmas!”
Idea #37: Snow Dough For Kids:

Children will enjoy creating snow people and animals with this play dough variation:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 TB. Vegetable oil
2 TB. Cream of tartar
Iridescent Glitter (To be added later)

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. (Do not add food coloring.) Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and sticks to the spoon. Knead in several spoonfuls of silver or iridescent glitter. Store in freezer zip lock bags.
Idea #38: Beaded Wine Glasses with Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Cider.

Pick up 4 wine glasses from the dollar store. Purchase thin gold or silver wire and various beads. You can make it a Christmas theme or to match the Kitchen. You can find all this at Wal-Mart in the craft section. After stringing the beads on the wire, coil it around the wine glass stem. You might want to add a bottle of Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Cider, wrapped with a bow. Pack the wine glasses in bubble wrap or arrange in a basket for a wonderful gift! Tip: Choose a more expensive, decorative bag of beads and alternate between the cheaper beads.
Another variation on this is to add Votive candles in the wine glasses. :^)
Idea #39: Giant Homemade Hershey Kiss:

1 lb Confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa
1/2 cup Margarine
1/4 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Chopped walnuts

Combine ingredients except vanilla and walnuts in a 2 qt casserole. Microwave on HIGH two minutes. add vanilla and walnuts. Stir. Pour into generously buttered large funnel( fasten a piece of foil over the end with a rubber band), making sure you fill the spout end. Place funnel in a tumbled or cup and set in freezer or refrigerator until set. Carefully unmold and wrap with foil creating a big "kiss". Add a streamer to the top with anything you would like to say.
Last edited by crafterwannabe on Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:05 am, edited 4 times in total.
Posts: 16585
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby crafterwannabe » Fri May 19, 2006 11:23 pm

Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas - Part 2

Date Posted: 20:53:19 05/16/06 Tue
Author: Lori Jean
Subject: Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas~Part 2

Idea #40: A Presidential Gift….George Bush’s Pralines

Place pralines in small snack size tins from the dollar store. You might even want to decorate the tins with a Patriotic theme and add little unknown facts about our former presidents. Here is a great site for this:

George Bush’s Pralines:
I know the pecans cost a little more, but considering how inexpensive the other ingredients are, it’s still a pretty inexpensive gift, if you give them in “handful size” tins.

1 lb Brown sugar
2/3 c Evaporated milk
1 c Pecans
Mix sugar and milk in large microwave-safe dish. Stir until sugar
dissolves. Add pecans. Cover with plastic wrap, making slits in the
plastic to allow steam to escape. Cook in microwave for 6 minutes. Stir and
return to microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. Candy should register 234 degrees
on candy thermometer. Beat until thick. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
Let it become firm before removing from paper. Makes 24.
Idea #41: Dollar Nuts For Kids

I did this one Christmas and everyone got the biggest kick out of it! Especially the kids! I bought some whole walnuts in the shell and pried them open carefully with a nut pick at the wide end of the nut. You want to be careful not to break the walnut shell into pieces. You have to be patient and take your time, opening it a little at a time with the pick and cracker.
I then scraped all the nut meat out and made it as clean as possible. If you choose to spray paint the shells with gold paint, do this now. If not, go on to the next step, which is folding a dollar bill into a teeny-tiny square. Place dollar bill in walnut shell and careful dot (not too much) a few dots of super glue on the edge of the shell. Seal shut. Let dry and tie a ribbon (like you would a package) on the Walnut shell. Be sure to bring your nutcracker to the Christmas party!
Idea #42: Gift For A Teen-Aged Girl:

Fill A Christmas Bag with the following items or decorate a large coffee can with Christmas wrap. Decorate. You can buy these items at Wal-Mart/Dollar store:

1. V05 Hair Shampoo and Conditioner. Great scents in strawberries and cream, peaches and cream, mango, tangerine, etc. for .88 cents per bottle at Wal-Mart!
2. Brush/comb (Dollar Tree)
3. Scrunchies, Hair ties or Barrettes
4. Small flavored lip balm or lip gloss
5. Nail file or Sample Lotion

Total Cost: Approx. $6.00
Idea #43: Fancy Hand Towels:

Buy plain, inexpensive white or colored hand towels at Walmart. Go through your crafts supplies and see what kinds of lace you’ve collected. Sew on the ends of the towels, to make a fancy gift!

Idea #44: EASY Snowman Can Filled With Your Favorite Goodies:

Take an empty coffee can with the lid on, and cover with white construction paper or white fabric. Glue black buttons on for eyes and mouth. Orange craft foam for carrot nose. Add blush to the cheeks. Top with a small child’s knit cap. Fill with your favorite homemade goodies!
Idea #45: Triple Treats For the “hard-to-buy-for Men” in your family:

I found this Idea, while surfing the net:

Last year I did gift packages for my Dad and four brothers consisting of a gallon size Zip Lock bag of homemade caramel corn, three doz. cookies (various kinds) and a 1 pound bag of pistachios (these I bought.) I wrapped these all in neat decorative cellophane bags w/pretty ribbon and put them in a gift bag. Everyone was delighted! Best yet, if you have to mail the gifts they are light and don't cost you an arm and leg to send. Total cost of gift was about $7 including bags and ribbon.

**A great packaging idea from Jazbo: Buy a child’s plastic dump truck and gather the cellophane bags in the back of the truck.**
Idea #46: Tip For USEFUL gift wrap:

Instead of throwing away money by buying expensive wrapping paper, only to see it torn to shreds and thrown in the garbage, try wrapping your gifts with cotton fabric. They sell the cheaper fabric at Wal-Mart for $1.00 a yard (where the cheaper bolts are stacked up on top of each other.) You can find many in Christmas prints right now! (July is also a great month for the Christmas prints on the cheaper bolts!) If the person happens to sew, they will be tickled! If they don’t sew, collect the cotton fabric wrap to take home and you have more fabric to make wonderful gifts for family and friends!
Also, you can find beautiful kitchen towels for .97 each. It would make a nice alternative to gift wrap and who can’t use Kitchen towels?
Idea # 47: Pine Cone Fire Starters for Fireplace:

Have a tree with pinecones or access to one? This is a nice gift for a friend with a fireplace:

Wax (you can also melt old candles for the wax)
Crayons (optional for color)
Candle scent (optional)
Candle wicks (4" lengths)
Wax paper

For ease of making fire starters, select pinecones with a flat base. Take a pinecone and one piece of wick and wrap it around the top of the pinecone, leaving a wick at the top for lighting. Place sheets of wax paper on counter near stove.
Melt wax in an old saucepan over low hear (you can also place wax in an old can, then place that in a pan of water of low-medium heat. If your wax is not colored, you can add pieces of old crayons for color. Also add candle scent at this time if wanted. Continue to stir wax ~ chopsticks work great for mixing.
Once wax has melted and is completely mixed with color and/or scent, remove from element and allow to cool for a few minutes. Holding each pinecone by the short wick on top, carefully dip into wax until completely covered. For best results, dip each pinecone several times so they are thoroughly coated. Place on wax paper to dry.
To use ~ When making fire, place pinecone on top of the kindling and light the wick. The pinecone will do the rest. Don't place unused fire starters right in front of the fire for storage, as the wax may melt if the fire is hot enough.
Gift ideas ~ Make baskets of fire starters in a wide variety of colors. At Christmas, use red, green, burgundy, white & navy. Experiment with colors, or even multi-dip for stripes.
Idea # 48: Child’s Art Kit:

Back to School sales at Wal-Mart is the perfect time to pick up items for a child’s art kit! Wal-Mart has packs of 24 Crayola crayons for .25 cents each, Crayola Markers for $1.00 a box and spiral notebooks for .19 cents! If you missed out this year, mark your calendar to hit the back to school sale at Wal-Mart next year! They generally have the best prices 1-2 weeks before the start of school. You can make wonderful art kits by picking up the plastic boxes Wal-Mart carries for .50 cents each! If you have a lot of Grandkids who are elementary school age, this is a great gift!
Idea #49: Cocoa Mittens

Wal-Mart carries chenille mittens for approx. $3.46 each (During the Fall/Winter.) What gal with cold hands wouldn’t love that gift with a pack of hot cocoa tucked inside, along with a candy cane and few Hershey kisses? If the person is Diabetic, tuck in some Sugar Free Swiss Miss Cocoa packets or Peppermint Tea.
For an added touch, print out decorative cocoa packet envelopes from a printables site - www.alenkasprintables.com
This makes a nice, inexpensive gift for your co-workers or Friends.
Idea #50: “Cheater Pie”

Mrs. Smith sells wonderful Deep Dish Apple pies for around $6.00 each. Take one home, bake it and you have a delicious gift for someone under $6.oo! Be sure to add your own “finished touches.” You can take the frozen pie out of the pie tin and put it in your own pie tin/glass pie pan, then bake it. You can also buy white pie boxes at your local craft store or party store for less than $1.50 each! Decorate the white box with your own ideas. The possibilities are endless! And “cheating or not,” who doesn’t like apple pie?!
Idea #51: Jingle Bell Napkin Rings:

You can make pretty Christmas napkin rings with gold/silver or opalescent pipe cleaners, bells OR inexpensive faceted acrylic beads in red, green, crystal or ice blue. I know they sell large bags of these beads at Walmart for $1.96 each. The “entertainer” in the family will appreciate a large set of 12 or more! *************************************************************
Idea #52: Goldfish/Beta Gift For Child or Adult:

Be sure to get mom or dad’s permission before you buy your grandkids Goldfish or a Beta! This is a wonderful idea and you can make a Goldfish bowl out of any clear vase or bowl from the dollar store. Add some seashells at the bottom or decorative rocks from the dollar store, too! Be sure to wash and rinse them WELL first! Wal-Mart charges .29 cents each for regular goldfish.
Add some Goldfish food from Wal-Mart. Oh, and of course the Goldfish! You can attach a tag on how to care for the Goldfish, including an “adoption tag” where the child has to fill out the Goldfish’s name, etc. ~All in all, depending on what you want to spend, you can get out for approx. $5.00 with this gift! Plus, you’ll hear the cheers of “Grandma’s Awesome!” from your darling Grandkids! LOL!
Idea #53: Jesus Is The “Riesen” For The Season! (Pronounced Ree-Son.)

Wal-Mart sells wonderful Riesen candies for $1.37 a bag (Where the Brach candy is hanging) and I’ve seen them at our Dollar Tree store for $1.00 a bag. Riesen candies are wrapped, chocolate covered caramels. Fill a pint sized mason jar and decorate the top with fabric, ribbon, etc. ~~Attach a tag that says, “Jesus Is The “Riesen” For The Season!” You should be able to fill two jars for this price. If you don’t have the mason jars, craft stores like Michael’s sells the small canister type jars for .99 cents each. You can also add colored Christmas stencils on the clear jars or paint them. *If you would rather not use jars, you can use baggies with toppers.
Idea #54: Old Memories for Mom/Dad/Grandparents

This idea takes a little more time, but ask different relatives if they have older photos of your mom/dad/grandparents from years ago. They might just have one you never knew existed. Copy the photo on the Kodak machine at Wal-Mart and put in an inexpensive 5x7 or 8x10 frame. Or, decorate your own frame! You might want to include a poem written just for the people in the picture. Another idea would be to make a “Three Generation” gift. Buy a small, triple frame and put a baby picture of your Mom, You and Your Child. Try to find baby pictures that are close in age. A lovely gift with some thought put into it!
Idea #55: Appreciated Gift For Teens (Boys or Girls!):

This idea is only semi-crafty, but it’s a cheap one for those “hard to figure what to give” teens! McDonald’s sells $5.00 coupon/gift certificate books. This is a gift that you can’t miss with for boys or girls! A fun way of wrapping it would be to cut a slit in an empty water bottle (with the cap on) and sliding the coupon book in. Add a tiny amount of glittery package stuffing and a few candies in the bottle. Put a “Merry Christmas” label around the bottle, so the slit can’t be seen. Add a ribbon and tag to the neck of the bottle!
Idea # 56: Christmas Crackers with Surprise:

empty toilet tissue rolls- enough for everyone at the table. It is a good idea to bring along an empty toilet roll to make sure your gift fits inside.
curling ribbon
tissue paper or Christmas wrapping paper
marker or pen
stickers (optional)

1. Start collecting empty toilet tissue rolls.
2. Use left over Christmas wrap or tissue paper to cover the outside of the tissue roll. Lay the tissue roll on the paper and make sure to leave two inches or five cm overhang on both ends of the toilet roll. Your piece of paper should be approximately 8 1/2" wide and 7" long. Since tissue paper is so thin you might want to double or triple the length.
3. Secure the paper with tape or stickers along the length of the cracker.
4. Use curling ribbon to tie closed one end of the cracker.
5. Fill the cracker with goodies. Once you have everything in the roll tie up the last end. Use scissors to curl the ribbon ends.
6. With a pen or marker write the recipient's name on the cracker. If you want you can also use stickers to decorate your cracker.

Some “surprise” ideas to put inside Christmas cracker:

Key rings
Little Girl’s toy Rhinestone Ring
Toy car
Small puzzle (taken out of the box)
4 Quarters or a dollar bill
Lip gloss
Nail polish
Sample lotions, Shampoos, etc. for the ladies (Wal-Mart)
Flavored lip balm
Nail Clipper
Look in the party section for packs of novelty toys.
Individually wrapped tea bags
Check the party section at Wal-Mart or the Dollar Tree for packs of tiny card games, whistles, etc.

Here are some links to give you an idea of what they look like:

http://www.geocities.com/kraftproject/I ... ckers.html

http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/1999/a ... ndly_pages

Idea #57: Wallpaper Jewelry:

I found this wonderful idea off the net:

You will need:

A piece of light cardboard
Craft Glue
Small detail scissors
Wax paper and heavy books
High gloss acrylic jewelry glaze
Small magnet or pin clasp

Roughly cut out a motif from the wallpaper. Glue it securely to a piece of light cardboard. Dry flat by pressing under a stack of heavy books (you can put a piece of wax paper over it to prevent sticking from any glue that might ooze out...)
When dry, trim close around motif with small. sharp detail scissors. Coat with 3 or more coats of a high gloss acrylic jewelry glaze, then glue a magnet or pin clasp to the back. They really have the appearance of costly enameled jewelry!
Idea #58: Prayer Jar

Decorate a Jar and add scripture! Here is a printable link to scriptures you can print out and cut into strips. You might want to tape each scripture to a wrapped mint or Hershey Kiss. Use your imagination for decorating ideas!
Idea #59: Fancy Maple Butter

Here’s a treat the whole family will enjoy! Give in small, decorated containers. Old margarine tubs would be great. Serve on toast, muffins or crackers. Keep refrigerated! Will last as long as butter does!

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix with electric mixer until well blended.
Yield: About 3/4 cup
Idea #60: Embellished Gloves/Mittens/Socks

You can buy mittens, gloves and socks at Wal-Mart anywhere between $2.00-$4.00 each.
Buy the tiny clear flat back stones and glue around the cuff with Aileen’s Jewel glue. The glue is flexible, so the stones won’t pop off and it dries clear and is washable! I decorated some comfy socks for my mom last year and they’ve been washed many times. I haven’t had one come off yet!
Idea #61: Peppermint Pins

Buy the flat 1~½ inch circle discs. Paint discs with a DRY sable brush, using white acrylic paint. I used Folk Art paint in “Wicker White.“ I painted both sides. I only put stripes and face on one side of the disc. I used Apple Barrel Gloss Acrylic Paint in “Real Red.” To make the stripes, I used a good DRY sable brush. I started inward and pulled the brush downwards as I got towards the edge. It should make “Triangle-like” shapes. I made approx. 7 triangles on each disc. When it was dry, I made the face using a black sharpie pen. I used the fine tip but NOT the ultra fine tip. I then put on the cheeks by using a DRY brush. For the cheeks, I used Apple Barrel acrylic paint in “Light Pink.”
After it dries, I wrapped the disc in clear cellophane and twisted the ends once. I tied the ends with white embroidery floss. You can buy floss for .25 cents at Wal-Mart.
I did “shape” the ends of the cellophane “twists” with my detail scissors by cutting the ends in a curved shape. I used regular low-temp hot glue for the pin backings. I sure hope I explained this well enough!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... d_0002.jpg

Idea #62: Baby Sock Snowmen:

White baby sock
Poly fiber fill beads or Rice
Rubber bands
Fabric or ribbon
Colored baby sock (makes two hats)
Low temp hot glue gun
Permanent markers

1. Fill the foot of a white baby sock poly fill beads OR rice. Tie shut just above the ankle with rubber band. Trim off the cuff.

2. Divide the sock ball into body and head by tying a strip of fabric or ribbon (the scarf) around the sock.

3. To make the hat, gather the colored sock together at the ankle and tie with string. Leave enough string for a hanging loop. Cut off the foot. Roll up the edge of the sock like a stocking cap. Glue or sew on the hat.

4. Next, hot glue on buttons. Draw on the eyes and mouth with black sharpie pen.
Here are is a picture link to give you some ideas for decorating your snowman:
http://www.bhg.com/bhg/slideshow/slideS ... ref=SC1393
Idea #63: “Homemade” Elegant Cookies (Hee-Hee)

Another inexpensive gift is to buy a tin of butter cookies (shortbread) and dip the cookies half way in chocolate/white chocolate candy coating. Of course, dip some of the cookies all the way, too. Sprinkle with festive Christmas sprinkles. Right now, you can get a tin of the cookies for $1.96 at Wal-Mart. As the holidays get closer, I know you can buy them for closer to $1.50 a can. You can replace the cookies back in the same decorative tin you bought them in. Cheap, easy and really good! You might also want to add a little peppermint extract in the chocolate dip. I used the Chocolate and White Chocolate almond bark they sell at Wal-mart during the holidays. Last year, when I gave them to people in small baskets, they actually thought I made them! :o)
I’ve seen this “type” of specialty cookies for sale during Christmas for as much as $10.00 per tin.
*Another yummy idea is to dip Nutter Butter Cookies or Oreo’s. Not very elegant, but still really good!
Idea #64: Gifts In A Potholder:

I saw a new twist on packaging those "Gifts in a Jar mixes.” I saw a brownie mix in a bag that had been tucked inside a pot holder glove. There was a bow tied on the "loop" part. The outside of the glove had a recipe card. You can buy the Wal-Mart brand brownie mixes for .86 cents each, and attach the directions from the back of the box. I always use the “cake-like” directions on the back because they seem to come out really well. You can use the same idea with cake mixes too!
Idea #65: Crafterwannbe’s Snowflake:

Carolyn B. sent me a wonderful “Blessings” snowflake. I made the mistake of thinking she made it by hand, but regardless, she gave me one terrific idea! Buy the larger snowflake ornaments at Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart. Use the sparkly, “furry string” yarn and twist all over the snowflake. Add the following poem:

Although a single snowflake
is all I seem to be
Please take me home
and hang me on your tree.
I’ll remind you of Christmas blessings
that come from heaven’s way
Just like the little snowflakes
upon a Winter’s day.
*Author Unknown*
Idea #66: Lighted Rag Garland

Cut or tear coordinated fabric scraps into 6" long by 1" wide. Knot/tie them onto a 4 foot string of lights. The best time to buy lights is when they are on sale after Christmas. Plan this year for next year! When finished, you can also attach hand crafted gingerbread men or snowmen, made from craft/fun foam. *Tip* Wal-Mart carries the cheaper bolts of cotton prints stacked up on top of each other for $1.00-$2.00 per yard. There are always lots of Christmas prints, but they REALLY start bringing them out in July.
Idea #67: Chocolate Filled Wine Goblets for MEN (or women!)

Since I work at a place where the females outnumber the men 60 to 3,
I wasn’t sure what to give the male co-workers. Then, I had a brainstorm and they really liked it. I found some really pretty, large cut-glass water goblets (wine glasses) at the Dollar Tree store for $1.00 each. The cut glass gave it extra “sparkle.”
I put a little bit of red “sparkly grass” at the bottom of the wine glass, then filled it with wrapped chocolates and added a couple of regular size candy canes. I had some gold and silver bows with twisty ties on them, that I picked up for 75% off the year before (they usually sell them in the gift wrap section. Several on a cardboard card) and I tied a bow on the stem of each wine glass. I also attached a tag. It was a hit with the guys!
Idea # 68: Economical and Delicious~1952 School Cafeteria Ranger Cookies

I found this recipe off the net. Someone who apparently worked in a school cafeteria submitted this recipe to the site. I baked some and boy were they yummy! They were even better the next day!. The measurements in the recipe (for chips, coconut, etc.) are so economical for such a huge batch, yet the cookie is delicious! Plus, the ingredients are just about what everyone already has “on hand.“ Here is the recipe:










Idea #69: EASY and DELICIOUS Brownies for less than 2.00 a pan!

Wal-Mart carries their own brand of box mix Brownies for .97 cents each. They also carry their own brand of Chocolate Frosting for $1.00 each.
Make the brownies, following the “cake-like” recipe on the back. Cool and frost with Chocolate Frosting. Walnuts are optional. Decorate with colored sprinkles on top, if desired. Wal-Mart also has the aluminum pans with snap-on plastic lids for gift giving. You’ll find them in housewares.
IMPORTANT TIP: When baking brownies, your toothpick should come out clean about 1.5 to 2 inches from the edge of the pan. Many gals bake dry brownies because they think the toothpick should come out clean in the middle. Not so! ALWAYS test from the edge.
Idea #70: Chocolate Necklaces

1. Slowly pull out a piece of Saran Wrap (clear or colored) on a flat surface, the length you want the necklace to be (Approx. 3 feet Long.) Please note: I use clear Saran wrap because you can see the candies. If you choose to use the colored Saran wrap, you won’t be able to see the candies.

2. Take your wrapped Chocolates (Palmer has cute ones in different Christmas shapes) and lay them down one side of the Saran Wrap, (leaving about a 1-2 inch space between chocolates,) about 2~1/2 inches from the edge of the Saran Wrap.
TIP: Using the chocolates with a flat back, such as Dove or Palmer’s Christmas chocolates in decorative Santa shapes, will be MUCH easier to roll up. Kisses have a tendency to “roll around” while rolling up the candy.

3. Fold the 2~1/2 inch edge of the saran wrap over the chocolates. You are going to "roll" them up SLOWLY, as tightly as you can.

4. Take colored or printed ribbon (I use the .44 cent rolls from Wal-Mart) and tie little bows BETWEEN the Chocolates.

5. The very last step is to wrap the two ends of the Saran Wrap together tightly and securely with clear tape, to form a necklace. Everyone loves these around the Holidays and you can present them to people as you welcome them in your home (Kind of like a Hawaiian Lei!)
Here’s a picture of a chocolate necklace using chocolate hearts:
http://jas.familyfun.go.com/crafts?page ... ftid=10287
Idea #71: “Simple” Decorated Tea Lights

In the candle section at Wal-Mart, they carry scented tea lights in packages of 9, for under $2.00 ~~My favorite is the Hazelnut Cream scent! You can also buy unscented packages of 50 for $1.97. Go to the craft section and buy some 5/8 ribbon in in a gold or silver sparkly print.
(You may already have some in your craft room at home.) You might want to pick up some ultra fine glitter, too. Wrap
“Terrifically Tacky” double- sided tape around the tea light . Then, wrap the ribbon around the tea light OR roll in glitter. Which ever way you decide to decorate the tea light. The 5/8 size ribbon is a perfect fit! You can put them back in the box and give them as a gift or bag each one in tulle with a ribbon and tag for female co-workers. *************************************************************
Idea #72: Cute Button Magnets

Okay Ladies, Go through those large old buttons you have stowed away. If you don’t have any, scour thrift stores. Clean them up, decorate them and attach a magnet to the back with E-6000 glue for some really cute frig button magnets! Use your imagination! You might want to paint them red or yellow and add black polka dots, etc. for that “Mary Engelbreit” look. Or you might want to just paint and dust them with ultra fine glitter. You can find special spray paint by Krylon that will adhere to plastics, at Walmart in the Hardware section.
Idea #73: Ideas For Senior Christmas Basket (Good ideas for your elderly parents or Grandparents!)

Start with a basket from the Dollar Tree. Here are some suggestions to fill the basket with. You don’t have to use ALL of them. Pick and Choose. Start by choosing one large or main item, then look through the list and choose some smaller items.

1. Large Print Playing Cards (Walmart) or Easy-Read Dice
2. Christmas Classics CD (Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, etc.)
3. Hot Cocoa
4. Fleece Throw Blanket
5. Gloves
6. DVD (It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Holiday Inn or another Classic.)
7. Cookies
8. Lip Balm
9. Lotion
10. Comfy Socks
11. Large Print Crossword or Word Search Puzzles (Dollar Tree has them!)
12. Puzzle (Larger Pieces.)
13. Pocket Tissues
14. Peppermint Tea
15. Nail Files
16. Pre-Threaded Sewing Needles~ Stick in Cork or tomato pin cushion for Safety
17. Magnifying Glass (Dollar Tree has them!)
18. Book Light
19. Armchair remote holder
20. Relaxing music CD (Mendelssohn is one of my favorites!)
21. Reflector tape (To mark the telephone, steps, etc.)
22. Microwavable Rice Bag for Aches and Pains.
23. Easy Grip Pens
24. Night Light
25. Extra Large Calculator (Dollar Tree has HUGE ones!)
26. Craft Kit (Depending on interest.)
27. Walker Bag
28. Easy Grip Flashlight
29. Candle Lighter (saves burnt finger tips from matches!) (Walmart)
30. Seeds for indoor plants, such as herbs.
Idea # 74: Safe for Mom, Dad or your Teen!

How about making a Kitchen Safe? It’s very EASY! All you need is a jar, dried beans, an Empty toilet tissue cardboard, and a little bit of fabric. See this link on Craftsayings for instructions and pictures:
http://www.craftsayings.com/projects/sm ... ndex.shtml
A Garage safe can be made for Dad by following the same instructions above, only adding different things such as nuts/bolts and washers. Use your imagination on this one! For Teens, make a colorful safe for them by adding colorful, sparkly package stuffing, buttons, small seashells, etc.~ Make it more interesting by adding a $5 dollar bill in the safe. :o) :D
Idea # 75: Swedish Heart Ornament

This is such an easy “Thinking of you at Christmas“ project. You can use craft foam/fun foam, printed cardstock or cardstock with scrapbooking paper glued to it.

Here is a link with pictures and instructions:
You can also find a pattern for the Swedish heart on this site:
Idea #76: Apron Treat for the Baker in the Family

Bake your favorite cookies and place in a flat, square container, such as an 8x8 aluminum foil pan. (Make sure the cookies are cold to the touch before placing cookies in zip lock bag and then in pan.) Wrap the pan with a chef’s apron ($5.00 at Wal-Mart for the “Mainstays” brand and $2.97 for the kind you decorate, in the craft section.) Place the cookie recipe in the apron pocket. Tie with a ribbon and attach cookie cutter to ribbon.
Idea # 77: Holiday Candle Arrangement For The Hostess:

Buy a glass plate at Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree. Arrange about 3 votive candles of different heights on the plate, along with a few gold/silver jingle bells, wrapped peppermint candies and strings of gold/silver beads (found in the ornament section at Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree.) You can also buy gold/silver reward stars and use sequin pins to attach to the votives. The combination of blue and silver is very nice too.
Idea #78: EASY to make Tea Cup Pin Cushion

Scour Garage sales and thrift stores throughout the year and pick up pretty, clean tea cups. Click on the link for pictures and instructions. When finished, wrap with cellophane and tie with a bow. Very pretty! Here are links with complete instructions and pictures:

http://web.archive.org/web/200212211552 ... ushion.asp


http://www.livingvictorian.com/pm/creat ... ngkit.html

Idea #79: Bedside Remote Control Holder (Made from Fabric Placemat.)

Buy a fabric placemat and fold up one end. Sew straight lines on folded end, into separate pockets.
Place opposite end of placemat between box springs and mattress of bed and you have a neat little remote caddy!
Last edited by crafterwannabe on Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Posts: 16585
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby crafterwannabe » Fri May 19, 2006 11:41 pm

Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas - Part 3

Date Posted: 20:54:58 05/16/06 Tue
Author: Lori Jean
Subject: Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas~Part 3

Idea #80: Movie Theme Baskets for MEN, Women, Teens and Kids!

Make a movie theme basket for just about anyone! First off, buy a bucket from the dollar store, along with some basket stuffing.
How about reaching into that $5.50 DVD bin at Walmart and pulling out a John Wayne movie? You can wrap it up with Cowboy Cookies for Grandpa! (Recipe below!)
Or maybe you can Find a cute love story for mom and wrap it up with a box of tissues and some Chocolate Covered Cherries (Less than $2.00 a box at Christmas!)
Some examples for kids: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, along with Green Sugar cookies OR Frosty the Snowman with Snowball Cookies!
Think of the possibilities! I know we have a lot of great minds on the board to ask about movie theme ideas!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets. Sift together the
flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light
and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually stir in the
sifted ingredients. Stir in the rolled oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded
teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking
sheets for 5 minutes before removing.

Idea #81: EASY Whimsical Pots for Pens, Candy, Trinkets, Etc.!

Paint a small terra cotta pot with red acrylic paint. On the pot part (not the rim) make polka dots with white acrylic paint by using the end of a dowel as a stamper. Glue wrapped peppermint candies around the rim of the pot with E-6000. Fill with Candy Canes or your candy of choice. Attach a tag.
You can also do this pot up in a variety of your OWN creative ideas! Such as, painting the pot ice blue and decorating with snowflake stickers and tying/gluing a silver bow on the rim. All kind of ideas!

Idea #82: Laminated Fall Leaf or Perennial Flowers Magnet Set

I found this on the net and it looked so easy to do! For this project, you’ll have to prepare a little before Christmas when the leaves are changing colors or the perennials are in bloom! (Depending on where you live.) It would be so nice to give little wrapped gift sets of fall leaves or perennials to co-workers and friends.

You will Need:
Leaves of all shapes and colors
Access to a laminator
Heavy books

For Fall Leaves:

1. Collect fresh, colorful leaves and bring them back to your home.
2. Take each leaf and carefully place them between the pages in books, to press them and make them flat so they don't curl. You can place bricks on top of the books, too.
3. Give it at least a week, so that when you check on the leaves, they are flat.
4. Then take they leaves to wherever you are going to laminate them, and do so.
5. Cut the leaves out, leaving a bit of laminate around the edge so it doesn't peel off the actual leaf. Rough up the back of the laminating plastic with sand paper or a nail file and attach magnet with E-6000 glue. Laminating leaves really brings out the color too!

For Perennials:
Use the same method as for the fall leaves, only cut off stems/leaves and place flowers or foliage flat on blotting paper or newspaper. Cover with another sheet of paper, then press in books with bricks on top (about 20 pounds worth.) Don’t use bulky, high moisture flowers, such as orchids or gardenias. Those kind of flowers don’t work well.

Idea #83: Baseball Cap Organizer For Men or Teens

This is such a great idea for Men or Teens! So Easy and best of all, Inexpensive! Here are the instructions and there is a picture, if you click on the link below.

You will need:
1 yardstick with a hole in 1 end (you may have to drill it)
Spray paint or other paint in your choice of color
6 Spring-type clothespins OR wooden knobs
E-6000 Glue

Paint the yardstick and the clothespins and let them dry.
Glue the clothespins evenly spaced onto the yardstick, 1 on each end and one in the middle. They should be parallel to the yard stick. Let dry completely.
Hang it onto the wall by placing the end with the hole over a hook or screw. Now you can keep hats organized. Just clip them on the yardstick, and they are out of the way.

TIP: I was thinking you can do this two ways. Vertically, as shown in the photo OR Horizontally with the clothespins facing downwards on one side only. You may also use wooden knobs in place of Clothespins. You might want to paint the yardstick in team colors, a favorite theme, etc.
Photo of organizer: http://familycrafts.about.com/library/p ... pic283.htm

Idea #84: EASY Little Girl’s Ribbon Barrette Holder with Ribbon Barrettes

You can make this simple barrette holder in a jiffy, along with some colorful barrettes! Complete instructions and photos below:

Easy Barrette Holder Instructions #1:
http://www.wrights.com/wrights/class/ki ... irclip.htm

Here are step by step instructions and pictures for making EASY and colorful braided barrettes:
http://www.wrights.com/wrights/class/ki ... arrett.htm

Easy Girl's Barrette Holder #2

Brass Ring
3 Grossgrain ribbons
Fabric Glue

Find a small brass ring to serve as the hanger for the ribbon holder. Then loop one end of each of the three ribbons through the center of the ring and glue to the underside of the ribbons to secure.

Once the glue has completely dried, braid the three ribbons together to form a single cord and knot the ends together at the bottom of the braid. Leave a few inches of ribbon beneath the knot to hang free. Clip your barrettes and bows. Attach a few colorful barrettes, found at the Dollar Tree.

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_jewelr ... 46,00.html

Idea #85: A Lovely Bouquet of Flower Pens (This makes great “individual gifts“ for co-workers, Church members, etc.):

You will need:

Floral Tape
Artificial flowers and various berry picks (picks optional)
Package of Pens
Small Glass Vase OR Terra Cotta Pot
Decorative marbles or small river rocks (pebbles)


Clip the flowers so there is about 1-2 inches of stem. Put a dot of hot glue on one side of the pen, near the top and press the flower's stem into the hot glue. Hold in place for about 5 seconds, or until set. Set aside to dry for about 1 minute (work on other pens during this time.) Starting at the top of the pen, wrap the pen with floral tape. Place the flower pens in a little vase filled with decorative marbles or river rocks.

Here are some sites to give you an idea of what they look like. I use these in my own office, because parents and co-workers don’t accidentally walk off with them. You can make it a Christmas poinsettia theme OR a floral theme you can use all year round.
http://flickr.com/photos/ginatrapani/se ... 057255968/
http://www.flowerpens.com/main_custom.p ... ooter_main

http://www.allthingschristmas.com/craft ... rpens.html
Idea #86: Pretty Tiny Terra Cotta Votive Holders in Gold and Silver

So easy and inexpensive! Especially if you pick up the tiny pots at Wal-Mart, during the Spring and Summer.

1. Tape over the hole at the bottom of pot with a small piece of masking tape.
2. Spray the pot with 14 Karat Gold spray paint or Silver spray paint.
3. Glue tiny flat back rhinestones around the rim of the pot with E-6000 glue.
4. Insert a votive candle.
Idea #87: “Season’s” Greetings Basket (Small)

I thought this was a cute idea for a person who likes to bake during the Holidays! First of all, pick out a small basket at the Dollar Tree and line the basket with basket stuffing. Buy about 5 or 6 of the .50 cent to $1.00 seasonings that a cook would use during the holidays. They carry the larger, cheaper bottles at the Dollar Store, Big Lots and Wal-Mart. Tie up with cellophane and a red gingham ribbon. Add a tag that says, “Season’s” Greetings! Including the basket, your purchase should run you anywhere between $5 and $7. If you’d like to do something on a smaller scale, you can buy containers of Holiday spices and wrap them individually and tie off with a bow. This would be good for your co-workers, your friendly grocery clerk, the mailman, etc.

Holiday Spice Ideas:
Cinnamon (ground)
Cinnamon Sticks
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Vanilla Extract
Peppermint Extract
Almond Extract
Additional Sayings from Jazbo for a Season's Greeting Basket...
"Seasoned with love - Happy Holidays!"
"May your Christmas be seasoned with love".
…may your Christmas be seasoned with Peace, Joy, etc
…just a little something to put some spice in your life
Idea #88: A Wonderful Gift For The “Crafty” Gal Who Sews

This isn’t exactly a “crafty idea,” but it will be a most appreciated gift for the person who loves to sew! Wal-Mart has bolts of CUTE Christmas prints stacked up on on top of the other in the fabric section. These cute cotton prints go for $1.00 to $2.00 a yard. They REALLY start putting out the Christmas prints in July, so be on the lookout! Buy a few yards and tie them neatly with a ribbon/bow. Depending on your material, you can get out for as little as $5.00 for 5 yards!
Idea #89: Great Gift For The Person Who Loves To Read!

Buy the 30 to a sheet labels and create book labels with cute graphics (on your computer,) for the person who loves to read! Example: “Please Return Book To John Smith.” This gift, along with a book light (Wal-Mart,) tea bags or cocoa and a mug, would be appreciated by the book lover!
Idea #90: Measuring “Goodie” Cup with Poem

Buy a measuring cup and fill it with your goodie of choice. Tie with cellophane and a ribbon. I have two cute poems that you can print on a recipe card to attach to the measuring cup. I’m just sorry the Author of the first poem is lost. I actually found this poem in a book with “Author Unknown” at the bottom.

Poem #1

Measure Your Life

Measure your life
By the joys that it brings,
Not by the year.
Measure it, too, by the
Smiles and the songs,
Not by the tears.
Measure your wealth by
Your friends and their love.
You’ll find that your
Measure is true.
And you’ll be rich in the
Things that count
Through the years
Ahead of you.
Author Unknown
Merry Christmas To You!

Poem #2

Recipe For A Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year:

2 heaping cups of PATIENCE
1 heart full of LOVE and GRATITUDE
1 hand full of UNDERSTANDING
1 dash of LAUGHTER
1 generous sprinkle of KINDNESS
Plenty of FAITH

Combine Patience, Love and Generosity with Understanding.
Add a dash of Laughter and sprinkle Generously with Kindness.
Add plenty of Faith and mix well. Spread over a period of a lifetime. Serve everybody you meet.
Idea #91: For a Senior Who Loves Card Games:

Buy a large print pack of playing cards and make a personalized “carrying case” for them out of fleece or felt and Velcro. You can do this easily, even if you don’t sew, by using a low-temp hot glue gun.
Idea #92: Trading Card Display Case Made From Clear CD Case

This would be a great idea for the child who collects sport trading cards or other prized cards. I know you can buy a pack of 5 clear CD cases for under $3.00, at Wal-Mart. You can make a set of cases for Christmas.

CD Case
Cardstock or Scrapbook Paper
Stickers or embellishments


Cut the paper into a square that will fit into the CD case. (You can make a template by tracing around the case.) Place your card in the center of the square and trace around it. Cut out the rectangle you traced, cutting it about 1/4 inch smaller than the line you traced (figure 1). Put a dab of glue in each corner of your square, on the opposite side of your trace lines. Open the CD case and stick your square on the inside of the clear CD case cover.

Link to picture: http://familycrafts.about.com/library/p ... opic63.htm

Idea #93: EASY Felt Pocket Tissue Holder W/ Pattern~ Great For Female Co-Workers & Friends

This project is so EASY. All you need is felt, a low-temp hot glue gun, embroidery thread, Velcro tabs and some pocket tissues. I know you can pick up the Kleenex pocket tissues at Wal-Mart for .33 cents each and they have felt in the Craft Department. I have a nice pattern with a flower appliqué that you can email me for, or go to this link for the pattern:

Idea #94: Lovely Tea Towel Pillows:

Link to directions and photos:
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_home_access ... 34,00.html

Idea #95: Pretty Candle Plate

This is an easy craft that anyone can do! Find clean, plain dessert-size plates from garage sales, swapmeets, Dollar Tree (they have glass ones) and glue clear (crystal color) flat back rhinestones around the edge with Silicone glue (E-6000.) Make sure to leave nice spaces around the edge. You have a simple, but elegant candle plate! You might want to add a scented pillar candle along with the plate.

Idea #96: Christmas Lollipop Washcloth Baskets

This is so easy, anyone can do it! I would start by buying washcloths at Wal-Mart in the bundles they sell. You can use plain white or Holiday colors (they have them closer to Christmas.) Here are the instructions:

1. Start by folding washcloth in half diagonally.

2. Roll the washcloth into a “snake.”

3. Place a round peppermint candy OR small round hand soap at the end of the “snake” and begin to roll washcloth into a spiral. The candy will be the center of the lollipop.
Stick a straight pin in cloth to hold.

4. Use Scotch permanent double-stick tape on a Popsicle stick. Attach to back of lollipop roll. Wrap a square of tulle or or cellophane around lollipop and tie with a bow. Arrange in a “bouquet” in small pot or basket of your choice, with sparkly basket filling.

Here are a couple of links to show you a “general idea” of what they look like. These particular links are pictures of the Lollipops as baby shower favors. I’ve seen them as wedding favors too. But, yours will be a Christmas theme.
This would work well to give to co-workers as individual “Merry Christmas~Thinking of you” gifts ~or~ place in a basket as favors for a Cookie Exchange Party, Christmas get-together, etc.



Idea #97: A DIFFERENT Version Of A Remote Control Holder

This was originally an idea for a CD holder, but can be easily adapted to hold remote controls! All you need is:

1. Paper Mache Box
2. Mod Podge
3. Scrapbook or wrapping paper
4. Four bells (For legs)

Here is a picture with instructions: http://www.bhg.com/bhg/story.jhtml?sssd ... otmail.com

It will help immensely, if you own or have access to a 12 inch paper trimmer. A paper trimmer (or cutting board) makes straight, clean lines.
Here is a picture of a small box with a lid that I covered with textured scrapbook paper:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 13_009.jpg


Idea #98: Four Easy and pretty Ornaments for Gift Giving!

(1) Crystal Swirl Ornament - I found this link and couldn’t believe it was only made with pipe cleaners and faceted acrylic beads. It gives very clear instructions. Anyone can do this project! I tried it and it was very easy. You could give this gift in a fancy box with a special poem attached. Great gift for your SPECIAL friends. :o)
http://www.geocities.com/kraftproject/I ... ments.html

If you don’t have access to bead stores in your area, Crafterwannabe shared a wonderful site that carries inexpensive beads and other craft items. Their shipping cost is great! $5.00 for ANY SIZE order under $100. If you spend over $100, the shipping is free. I’ve always received my orders in about 1 to 1-½ weeks. I would call instead of ordering online. You can also request a free catalog. http://www.bolekscrafts.com/

(2) Yummy Melted Lifesaver Ornaments. Makes a neat gift for Co-workers or friends:

You will need:
Heavy metal cookie cutters (I used large copper cutters and they worked great)
Vegetable spray
Life saver candies (2 bags makes about 12 ornaments)
Aluminum foil
Cookie sheet
Narrow shiny ribbon

Preheat oven to 350°. Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray the cookie cutters and aluminum foil with vegetable cooking spray. Fill the inside of the cookie cutters with a single layer of Life Savers using as many as will fit. Bake 5 to 7 minutes until candies are melted.
Remove from oven and allow candy to cool about 2 minutes. Make a hole in each with a straw to thread ribbon through for hanging then continue cooling until the cutters can be handled. Very gently pull cutters away from ornament. Thread with ribbon and hang on Christmas tree.
Pictures of ornaments: http://www.atasteofkentucky.com/christm ... aments.asp

(4) Crystal Harmony Angel:
http://www.geocities.com/kraftproject/I ... angel.html

Picture & Poem of original Jesus Tears Ornament on Craftsayings:
http://craftsayings.com/projects/holida ... ndex.shtml

Idea #99: Framed Plaster Masterpieces :o)

(This was not my project, but I found this suggestion on the net)

A box of plaster will set you back around $2-$3, which will provide you with enough plaster for many gifts. The next thing to get hold of is a candy mold (but not one that will be used for anything other than the plaster). These are around $2-$5, depending on the durability, but once you have them you can use them repeatedly. I chose a candy mold of cherubs. First, rub a little cooking oil into the mold shape, then mix the desired amount of plaster with enough water to achieve the required consistency (not runny, but not too hard to pour). Spoon the plaster into the molds and leave to set, usually half an hour is plenty. Tap the mold gently on your work bench to loosen the shapes and carefully turn out. The shapes can then be given color. Once dry, adhere shape to the backboard of the frame with E-6000 glue before carefully reassembling the frame. As mine was an angel picture, I chose gold for the plaster cherub and for the frame, and dark green for the background, giving a very elegant look. A beach theme works well too, with a shell or starfish plaster shape and a blue and yellow color scheme.
If your plaster shape doesn't fill the frame space adequately, you may like to add some journaling with a gold pen if your background is dark. *A great antiquing pen is the 18 Kt. Gold paint pen you can buy at Wal-Mart for less than $4.00. It’s made by Krylon.

Idea #100: Washcloth Bath Sachets
Go to this link for pictures and instructions:

Idea #101: Less Than $2.00 Bisquick Gift!

Gift Idea for Bisquick® Users:

Buy a box of Bisquick® You will need a large coffee can with the lid. You can also go to www.bisquick.com and print out recipes to use.
Spray the outside of the can with plastic spray (available at Walmart in the hardware section) to make it waterproof.
Cut out and glue or laminate the recipes to the can. Add Victorian roses or other gift wrap images.
Optional, Add lace or rickrack around rim.

Idea #102: Grandma’s Apron with Poem~ So Cute!

I found this idea while surfing the net. I thought it was so cute and it even comes with a poem!

Help the your children put fabric paint on their hands, and carefully place their handprint on the apron. Follow paint manufacturer's direction to set the paint so the apron will be washable. Use fabric markers to write "Best Grandma - Hands Down!" You may want to label the children's handprints with their names.
You'll need:
Cloth apron (can be purchased at Wal-Mart for $2.97)
Fabric paint and markers.
Paper plate

Include this poem with the apron gift to Grandma:

Grandma's Apron
The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came those old aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling-wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls.
In the fall it was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out on the porch and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner.
It will be a long time before anyone invents something that will replace that old-time apron that served so many purposes.
*Author of poem unknown*

Idea #103: “May Your Cup Runneth Over” Tea Cup Candle, Made From Your OLD Candles!

Give an antique-looking tea cup and saucer (available for next-to-nothing at many flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales, made from your OLD candles! Hang a note on the handle, saying something like, "May your cup runneth over with all things bright and beautiful this Christmas season!”
http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/sit ... =ns2006_m2

MORE Candle “Saying” ideas courtesy of Jazbo:

1. Let Your Light Shine Before Men.”
2. May your days be happy, your heart be light, your Christmas merry and the New Year bright!
3. May the candle's glow reflect the star, that wise men followed from afar, and may your home like that above always be aglow with love!
4. May the Light of Christmas be with you all year.

You will need:
Two nested pans (One larger than the other.)
Partially burned candles
Candy or candle thermometer
New wick
Wick Sustainer (The little metal clamp at the bottom of the wick)
Wooden skewers

1. In a small pan set over a larger pan of simmering water, melt down old candles; clip the thermometer to the upper pot, and keep temperature at about 185°. Remove old wicks with tongs.
2. Cut a piece of wick to the cup’s height plus 2 inches. Clamp one end to a wick sustainer; tie the other end around a skewer. Dip wicking and sustainer into melted wax to coat them. Remove and stick sustainer to cup’s bottom.
3. Pour in the wax, stopping 1/2 inch below the cup’s rim. Allow wax to set, about 1 hour. The candle will harden with a well in the center. To even it out, use another skewer to prick a circle of holes about 1/16 inch deep around the wick. Pour in melted wax until
surface is 1/4 inch below rim. Cut wick.

Idea #104: Inexpensive Gift For A Boy (Not A Crafty Idea, But A Good One!):

*Idea courtesy of Jazbo:

What little boy doesn’t love a flashlight? You can get some nice ones on sale at Walmart in the cooler weather. I’ve seen the combination flashlight/radio for a decent price, too. Under $10.00.

Idea #105: Books on Tape with YOUR voice for the Grandkids!

Are your grandchildren living too far away for you to see them very often? Record some books on tape for them to listen to before bedtime. You can pick up some very nice, like-new Children’s books at discount book stores, Thrift Stores, Swapmeets, garage sales, etc.~
Record your voice on tape, reading the stories. Have a little bell handy when you are recording, and ring the bell when it is time for your Grandkids to turn the page. Now Grandma can read them a bedtime story without even having to be there!

Idea #106: Cute No-Sew Potholder Pouches ~Silverware Holder, Eyeglass Holder, Candy Cane Holder and MORE!!

You can make a multitude of projects out of potholders, simply by folding them different ways! Check out the link below and Jazbo’s ideas!

* A set of potholders
* Hot glue
* Buttons, lace or trim.

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/homemade-g ... ches.shtml

Link to Pot Holder Eyeglass Case: http://www.wrights.com/wrights/class/ki ... ercase.htm

*Jazbo gave me permission to use some of her great ideas for the potholder pouch! I love her idea of a silverware holder. What a great gift that would be to make a set of these for the person who enjoys entertaining! Here are some of Jazbo’s suggestions:

These are fun & easy to make. I usually just 'fold' them in half & glue together for holding eye glasses, crochet hooks, pens & pencils, etc. If you add a fabric handle about 20", you can carry your silverware & napkin in it at picnics, potlucks, etc., so your hands will be free to carry your plate, drink, etc. just hang it over your arm.

In the shape like in the link, they make cute cornucopias for Thanksgiving: put candy, nuts, etc. in them. If you don't glue the 'point' all the way shut, you can put large scissors in them & they won't fall out for hanging on the wall, etc.

If they are square, take 2 & fold one into a triangular shape & glue together. Lay it over the 2nd one but leave the 'point' unglued. Now you can hang your flyswatter in it, with the handle of the flyswatter hanging down through the opening in the 'point'.

Idea #107: Not-So-Homemade Pie Filling Gift~ Easy and Cheap (During the Christmas Season!)

During December, Wal-Mart usually has Comstock Apple pie filling and Cherry Pie Filling for $2.00 per can. Pick up a couple, maybe even design and attach your own label over the original labels, place in a double-paper bag decorated “country style” with two holes punched at the top of the bag. Tie raffia through the holes or narrow Gingham ribbon. Attach a couple of recipes to the bag using the pie fillings. Can be cakes, pies, desserts, etc.~~ Decorate bag as you please! Cost: Less than $5.00!

Idea #108: 1-2-3 Potholder Purses …..So EASY!
Sew the button and strap in place on the potholder , press the top down and they are finished! With the basic purse as a foundation, many embellishments can be added. However, don't think this project is just for kids. It's a great technique to learn to make lots of quick, easy and fun gifts.

Click on this link for instructions and photos, courtesy of Jazbo!

Idea #109: If You Can Sew A Straight Line, Make a Rice Filled Heating Pad!

Small amount of patterned fabric of your choice (1/4 yd. would be PLENTY), prewashed and preshrunk
Small amount of white cloth, such as muslin (1/4 yd. would be PLENTY)
Straight pins
Thread to match your fabric
White thread
Ruler -or- a measuring tape and anything with a straight edge
Rice, 1 ½ cups

Link to Rice Heating Pad Picture and Instructions:

Idea #110: Frosted Jars

Wash and dry your jars thoroughly. Use clear fingernail polish to draw a design on your jar. Roll in table salt or glitter. Let dry. It’s up to you to fill the jar! :o)

Idea #111: Cute Padded, Decorative Hangers

1. To pad each hanger, wrap plastic bags evenly around it, using short strips of tape to attach them at both ends. Cover the whole hanger except for the hook.
2. Next, wrap ribbon around the plastic bag padding, starting at the base of the hook and leaving a 1-foot tail extending above it (you'll need this to tie a bow later). Overlap the ribbon enough to hide the plastic.
3. When you get back to where you started, cut the ribbon so that you have another 1-foot tail, then tie the two ends into a tight bow.
PICTURES: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/crafts?page ... ftid=11337

Idea #112: Homemade Peppermint Cocoa Recipe

3 Cups Powdered Milk
1-¼ Cups sugar
½ Cup baking cocoa
10 crushed peppermint candies
1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Mix all together in a bowl. Store in a quart size Mason jar. (Wide-Mouthed.)

Idea #113: CUTE Recipe Holder Stand or 2x2 Pocket Tic Tac Toe Game

This wonderful idea came from “Shirttails” on the Craftsayings board:

When I made my recipe holders, I bought a “sheet” of 2x2 ceramic tiles at Home Depot for $2.29. I bought the colored, plastic clothes line pins at Wal-Mart. First off, I put a line of E-6000 glue down the middle of the tile. I then positioned a clothespin to the back of the tile, so the tile is able to “stand” on its own, using the clothespin as a brace. Make sure to check if it’s balanced by standing the clothespin/tile upright. If you see it’s okay, then lay flat to dry. You can decorate the tile a couple of different ways:

With mine, I resized some graphics to fit the tile, printed them out on sticker paper, laminated the TOP, peeled the paper off the back and stuck it to the tile. HOWEVER, using the clear scrapbooking stickers would work just as well! They have a large selection at Michael’s and Walmart (If you have a large Craft Dept., like I do here.) You might want to think about attaching your favorite laminated recipe card to the recipe holder for presentation.

I’m also in the process of making some pocket sized 2x2 Tic Tac Toe Tiles, but I still have to decide what I’m going to do for the markers. I’m planning on bagging them in the zip lock craft baggies and maybe adding a topper. *************************************************************

Idea #114: Cute Marble Pots for Planting or for Holding

Old Clay Pot
Joint Compound
Flatback Marbles or Flat Sea Glass.

Take an old or new clay plant and pot cover it with joint compound. Place flatback marbles or flat pieces of colored glass (can be bought in any craft store) all over the joint compound. Allow it to dry. It can be used for a plant or to hold your favorite candies, cookies, etc.~ Would also make a cute remote holder, depending on the size. Makes a great gift!

Idea #115: No-Sew Fleece!

No-Sew Fleece Pillows
Instructions and pictures:
http://www.geocities.com/jillianmcc/Fle ... tions.html

http://familycrafts.about.com/gi/dynami ... %3DCONTENT

http://www.exploringwomanhood.com/homel ... -may03.htm

Warm No-Sew Fleece Blankets:
Instructions and pictures:

http://www.keithschool.com/teacher/make ... ether1.htm

http://www.exploringwomanhood.com/homel ... -jan03.htm

Warm No Sew Fleece Ponchos:
Instructions and pictures:
http://www.marcusbrothers.com/makeit/pr ... ew_poncho/

http://www.bfranklincrafts.com/CraftIde ... oncho.html

Idea #116: Cutely wrapped “Slice & Bake” Sugar Cookie Dough Gift for the Busy Mom!

I’m sure all of you have heard of the “Gifts in a Jar” mixes. Here is another version….frozen cookie dough for the busy mom! Every busy mom would appreciate this gift!

2 Cups REGULAR Margarine. (Not the low fat or fat free kind. It won’t bake up right.)
2 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
6 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Cinnamon.

In a large bowl, cream margarine & sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla & lemon extract until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Gradually stir flour mixture into creamed mixture until well blended.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll into 8 to 10 inch rolls. Roll each roll into waxed paper and freeze. Then, roll into aluminum foil and then a rectangle of cotton fabric. Tie on both ends. Attach the following directions:

Store dough in refrigerator until ready to bake. Cut chilled dough into ¼ inch slices. Place on lightly greased baking sheets (Pam will work well) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden in color.

Idea #117: Candy Cane Stirrers for Coffee drinkers:

This is a VERY EASY idea! Simply dip candy cane sticks into melted chocolate candy coating (Almond bark) and allow to harden thoroughly. Wrap individually and present in a mug, along with little sample bag of gourmet coffee. You can decorate the mug or container using your imagination. It‘s kind of a different twist on the Coffee spoons, as listed in idea #21.

Idea #118: “Cheater” Dips, Rubs and Spices for less than a dollar each!

These are nice little gifts to pass out to co-workers, friends or family members. You can pick up the McCormick or Schilling “spice packets,” such as “Mild Taco Seasoning” or “Chili Seasoning.” Or, you can pick up dip mix packets such as “Hidden Valley Ranch Dip” or “Onion Dip (Onion soup packet. You add the sour cream.) You get the idea. Empty the contents from the original packets into a zip lock craft size baggie (Wal-Mart has them.) and add your OWN topper with something like “Season’s” Greetings on the front.

Copy the instructions for use from the back of the ORIGINAL packet, onto the back part of the topper. Sometimes, you are lucky enough to find these little packets on sale 3 for a dollar. If you want to turn this into a nice “Gift,” place a few packets inside a large potholder glove. At Wal-Mart, I‘ve seen the kind of potholders that are square with a “pocket” about half way up. That would be a cute way to display them when giving as a gift.

Idea #119: Country Utensil Holder for Mom, Family or Friends :o)

You will need:

Quart Size WIDE MOUTHED Mason Jar
Package of Plastic spoons, forks, knives.
Soft, treated Raffia or Ribbon
Label or decorations for jar
Cotton Print Fabric
Rubber Band

This is such an easy gift idea! How many times have you searched your cupboards for plastic spoons and forks when having a Birthday party, etc.?
Take a simple Quart Size mason jar (with lid) and fill it with plastic eating utensils. Screw lid back on. You can either personalize the jar with a label or decorate the jar with clear scrapbook stickers, such as snowflakes, etc.
Place a circle of cotton print fabric on lid (cut with pinking shears) and wrap a rubber band over the circle and around the neck of the jar. This will make a nice, tight ruffle. Tie with Raffia or Ribbon.

Idea #120: Homemade Fleece Pillowcases:

Instructions and pictures:
http://www.hancockfabrics.com/jump.jsp? ... pe=CONTENT

Idea #121: Scarf/Tie Organizer:

This project idea is courtesy of KPWog:

Instructions and pictures:
http://www.bfranklincrafts.com/CraftIde ... nizer.html

Idea #122: Family Too Big To Buy Gifts For EVERYONE? Have A Christmas Basket Party!

This is a wonderful idea when you have a large family and just can’t afford to buy for everyone! However, you’ll have to do a little bit of planning ahead of time.

When mailing your Christmas invitations, tell your family to bring a basket with their name tag on it. They don’t have to go out and “buy” a basket, if they don’t have one. They can always bring a small laundry basket or a box decorated with gift wrapping. Give them the number of families you INVITED to your party, along with the number of families with kids.

As your guests arrive, have them set their baskets on a long table.

Each family will bring various “thoughtful” items and place in each basket. It might be a bag of homemade candy, maybe a jar of homemade jam, a dozen cookies wrapped in a kitchen towel, a small picture frame, A jar of cocoa, a box of crayons and a coloring book for the kids, a copy of an old family photo, a loaf of homemade quick bread, Maybe a package of pens decorated as flowers, etc. ~If someone in your family “complains” they aren’t very good in the kitchen or crafts Dept., tell them they can always give a $5 Blockbuster certificate per family. You will always have at least one person in every family who will be a “complainer,” but don’t let it discourage you! When the baskets are full, the guests will leave with wonderful memories of your party and a basketful of heartfelt gifts. I would definitely give “examples“ of things that could go into the basket. It will help “jumpstart“ your family‘s creative juices! :o)

Idea #123: Iron-On Muslin Pins or Ornaments:

I resized an angel graphic to about 1.75 inches. and printed it out on iron-on transfer paper, bought at Walmart.
I then set my iron on high Cotton (the highest setting) and ironed the print onto a piece of heavyweight, prewashed (no fabric softener!) muslin.
For the backing, I did something a little different and it worked! I found white felt with iridescent sparkles at Walmart for .20 cents each. If you prefer, you can also use the “stiff felt.” I used a foam brush and spread Aileen’s Tacky Glue on the back of the muslin print. I pressed the muslin print down very firmly with the heel of my hand. Let it dry for 24 hours. I then used my Fisker's detail (precision) scissors to cut around it. For the final touch, I used “Folkart’s Gems” glitter paint in “Diamonds.“ It’s .86 cents a bottle at Walmart. I used a good paint brush to paint on the glitter. I try to choose graphics without a whole lot of twists and turns. It just makes it so much easier and less time consuming.
Picture: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v338/ ... 10_006.jpg

Idea #124: Make A Gingerbread House From A Gingerbread House Kit

You can make a Gingerbread House from a Gingerbread House Kit.

They usually run between $10-$13 at Walmart. This would be a great gift
“family“ Christmas gift.

Idea #125: Small “Thinking Of You” Christmas Gifts for Co-workers:

If you can’t afford gifts for everyone at Christmas, but would still like a small way of letting them know you are thinking of them, try these ideas:

A) Fill craft baggies with Jolly Rancher Candy and attach a topper that says,
“Have A Holly Jolly Christmas!” Add a snowman graphic on the topper.

B) Wrap a box of Chocolate Mousse Pudding with wide ribbon. Attach a tag that says, “Merry Chris-Mousse!”

C) Buy a box of angel food cake mix with the colored sprinkles in it.
Put in a Mason Jar with directions. Add an angel tag or angel label to the jar that says, “Have A Heavenly Christmas!”

D) (Joke Gift) Put Whopper Candies in a craft baggie. Add a topper with this poem:

Christmas is coming and so are the deer
Listen closely and bells you will hear
Along with them comes a special treat
Reindeer droppings for you to eat!
*Author Unknown*

E) Fill a whisk with Hershey Kisses. Wrap the base with cellophane and tie with raffia. Add a tag that says, “Whisking” you a Merry “Kiss-Mas!”

F) Give mini loaves of homemade quick bread, such as pumpkin or cranberry. Add a tag that says, “Baked With Love From The Kitchen Of__________. “ You might want to bake a full size loaf for that extra-special someone and wrap the loaf in a gingham kitchen towel, tied with a wide bow.

G) Give Payday or Nutrageous candy bars with this tag:
It’s that “nutty” time of year again, so please don’t lose your cool. Relax and munch this little treat and have a Happy Yule!”

H) Put a couple of homemade sugar cookies, sprinkled with candy confetti in cellophane bags. Add this tag to the bag: "May Your Christmas Be Sprinkled With Joy!"

I) You can buy tiny little sample sized Jams at places like “Cost Plus” for $1.00 each. Add a tag that says, “Spreading A Little Christmas Joy!”

J) Give a gift of non-alcoholic Sparkling Grape Cider. They now carry the small bottles!
Add a tag:
“May Your Christmas 'Sparkle' With All Things Bright and Beautiful!”

K) Buy baby socks in Christmas designs, at the Dollar Store. 2 for $1.00 so you actually get four for that price. Fill them with hugs and kisses and various little candies. Thread curling ribbon through the top, to close with a bow.

Idea #126: In Place Of Expensive Package Bows, Try These Ideas:

A) Fold rectangles of scrapbook paper with Christmas prints, accordion style. Open into fan shapes, and place a small staple at the bottom of one end. Tape onto wrapped gift. You can also do this with the fronts of last year’s Christmas cards!

B) Crimp thin strips of paper and tack on as streamers.

C) Use a small Candy Cane tied with a bow, from leftover ribbon.

D) Trace a large “Christmas” shape onto cardstock, using a Cookie Cutter. (Such as a star, candy cane or Christmas tree.) Cut out shape and use sponge brush to spread with glue. Cover with glitter and let dry. Attach shape to top of package.

Idea #127: Scrunchies for the Girls/Ladies From Your Scrap Fabrics!

Go through your scrap fabric pile and make a variety of scrunches!
Here is a tutorial with pictures. Very easy!


Idea #128: For the Guy in your Family Who Likes To BBQ

This idea is for the Guy in your family who loves to BBQ, come rain or shine!

Buy a canvas apron at Walmart, in the craft department, for $2.97.

Either use Iron on Transfers or your own decorations. Place a couple of different types of BBQ Sauces, the apron and a baster brush in a “manly” gift bag. You should get out for less than $10.00 on this gift!

Idea #129: Paint Brush Holder/Kit For The “Handy around the House” Man in your family:

Buy a clean gallon size paint can (it doesn’t need a lid) and wrap a printable paint can label around it. Use your creativity! Place a few paint brushes in the can and a couple of packages of cheap, plastic drop cloths. You can pick up a package of brushes at Walmart, in the Hardware section. Ask for a few paint sticks to add to the can, too! They are free! :o)

Idea #130: 1001 Cookie Mix!

This is similar to idea #101 in this thread. You’ll need some sort of large container with a lid. First off, you make the “basic mix,” called “1001 Cookie Mix.”

This recipe makes 10 cups. Pour the basic mix into your large decorated container, with a lid. You can make any of the following cookie recipes with this basic mix. The idea originated on this website and you can find MORE 1001 cookie recipes here: http://www.dominosugar.com/recipes/reci ... asp?ID=541

Or, you can email me and I’ll email you the recipes. there are too many to list.

Add recipes to the container and give as a gift! Makes a nice gift for a busy Mom!

Here is the Basic Mix recipe:

1001 Cookie Mix
5 cups - all purpose flour
3 3/4 cups - Domino® Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons - baking powder
2 teaspoons - salt
1 1/2 cups - plus 2 tablespoons butter

Spoon flour into measuring cup and level with spatula. Put in large bowl with at least 4 quart capacity.
Measure sugar, baking powder and salt into flour. Stir until thoroughly blended.
Add butter and use pastry blender or clean hands to work into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Store in your refrigerator.

Use at room temp for best results. Makes 10 cups.


1001 Chocolate Brownies

1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups 1001 Cookie Mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in small heavy saucepan over low heat. When chips begin to melt, remove from heat; stir. Return to heat for a few seconds at a time, stirring until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes.
Combine in large bowl, melted chocolate, cookie mix, eggs and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup nuts. Spread evenly into prepared baking pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt remaining chocolate. Cool 5 minutes. Spread over baked brownies.
Press remaining nuts into top. Cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.
Melting instructions in microwave:
Microwave 1 cup chocolate chips in uncovered microwave safe bowl on
HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 10 to 20 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
1001 Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just one of the many different types of cookies made from the master cookie mix. From Domino sugar.

2 cups 1001 Cookie Mix
1/2 cup firmly packed Domino Light Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease cookie sheets.
In large bowl, mix together cookie mix, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop dough by slightly rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Makes about 36 cookies.
1001 Gingery Snaps

4 cups 1001 Cookie Mix
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
Domino Granulated Sugar, as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets.
In large bowl, mix together all ingredients except sugar.
Drop dough by slightly rounded teaspoons into small bowl of sugar. Roll to coat lightly. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes. Do not brown.
Let cool 2 minutes and remove to rack to cool.
Makes 48 cookies.
Gingerbread Men: Prepare Gingery Snaps dough. Divide in half. Cover and chill 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. Roll dough, half at a time on floured board to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into Gingerbread Men using cookie cutters. Arrange cutouts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes 48 cookies.
1001 Lemon Sugar Cookies

4 cups 1001 Cookie Mix
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Domino Granulated Sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets.
In large bowl, mix together all ingredients except sugar.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a roll about 1-1/2" in diameter. Wrap and chill an hour or until dough is easy to handle.
Cut rolls into 1/8-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake for about 8 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 48 cookies.
Idea #131: EASY Terra Cotta Cookie Jar with Lid

These are fun and easy to make! There are so many decorating possibilities with this project! *This is only ONE method of decorating. If you choose, you can add stencils instead of painting flowers on the pot. Use the same “spray paint and sponge method,” then add your stencils.

You’ll need:
1 Terra Cotta Pot of Your Choice (Glazed Inside Pot.)
1 Terra Cotta Saucer (For the Lid)
4 large Wooden Balls (3 for the legs and one for the lid.)
E-6000 Glue (Silicone Glue)
Cheap Spray Paint (Light Color)
Folkart Acrylic Paint in your choice of Colors
Clear Acrylic Sealer Spray Paint
Sea Sponge (Craft Sponge)
1 Brand new pencil with eraser at the end.

1. First off, clean the pot and make sure there is no dust. Turn the pot and the saucer upside down and spray paint with a light color, such as white, cream, light blue, etc.~ Spray paint the wooden balls, too. You will need 2 coats.

2. With your sea sponge, dip paint into your choice of acrylic paint and sponge LIGHTLY onto pot and bottom of saucer. (Make sure you sponge onto newspaper before applying. This will help you avoid a “gloppy” look.)

3. Paint your flowers on the sides of the pot by dipping the eraser of your pencil into the paint and dotting the flowers. A yellow dot in the center and 5 or 6 dots in a circle around the yellow center form a flower. To make the leaves use some green paint and make a small comma with your eraser end. The rim of the pot can be decorated with small dots.

4. After thoroughly dry, apply a clear acrylic sealer spray paint.

5. Glue 3 wooden balls on bottom of terra cotta pot, for legs. Turn saucer is placed upside down to make a “lid” for the pot. Glue a wooden ball onto the top, to use as a “handle.”

* You might want to make a “Mary Engelbreit” style pot, simply by using the end of a dowel, dipped into paint. Here is an example of some coordinating color choices:
http://www.maryengelbreit.com/WorkShop/ ... untain.htm


Idea #132: Scented Kool-Aid Play dough For Kids!

• 1 1/4 cup flour
• 1/4 cup salt
• 1 pkg unsweetened Kool-aid (just the dry Kool-Aid, don't mix
it into juice)
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil

*Smells wonderful and takes on the color of the Kool-aid!

Store in FREEZER zip lock baggies (The kind with the zippers) and then place in a container with a lid, such as a decorated coffee can or zip lock storage container. You can pick these up at Walmart. :o)

1. In a bowl, mix flour, salt and Kool-Aid.
2. Stir in water and oil
3. Knead with hands for about 5 minutes.
(You will have to let it cool for a while before you can knead.)
4. Store in Zip Lock baggies for up to 2 months! I would
the easy zipper kind, so kids can easily open and close the bags.
5. You can add glitter, too. However, this is optional.
For red Play-Dough, use Cherry or Strawberry Flavor; for yellow Play-Dough, use Lemonade Flavor (2 envelopes); for green Play-Dough, use Lemon-Lime Flavor; for orange Play-Dough, use Orange Flavor; for blue Play-Dough, use Blue Moon Berry Flavor; for purple Play-Dough, use Grape Flavor.

Idea #133: Guest Soaps Made From Bars Of Soap, Found On Sale

Make your own “guest soaps” by melting soap bars that you’ve picked up during the year, on sale. Bath and Body have nice, scented glycerin soap bars for $1.00 each right now.

There are all sorts of candy/soap molds that you can use. Angels, Snowflakes, Victorian designs, etc.

Package them in cellophane and tie with a pretty ribbon.

How To Melt Soap Bars:
Break or cut the soap into one inch squares. Put the squares into a clear microwave-proof container like a measuring cup. Microwave for about 40 seconds. Stir the soap, check for lumps. If it's lumpy, microwave for 10 more seconds, stir, repeat until the lumps are gone.

If desired, add a LITTLE ultra fine glitter. Let set for 30 minutes and take out of mold. If you have trouble, put in freezer for about 20 minutes and then take the soaps out.

Idea #134: Fruit Dip Mix “Gift in a Bag” with Apples

In a wicker basket, add half a dozen apples, a brown sack decked out with a festive label giving directions (in a zip lock bag) and drape a holiday hand or kitchen towel over the front of the basket.

Tasty Fruit Dip Mix

1 c brown sugar
3 TBSP chopped crystallized ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 apples

Process brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon in food processor until ginger is finely chopped. Store in airtight zip lock bag.
Yields: 1 1/4 Cups


To Serve: In a small bowl, beat 3 TBSP mix into one (8 oz)
package softened cream cheese, until well blended. Cover and
chill 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.
Yields: Approx. 1 cup dip/spread.

Idea #135: Travel Tic Tac Toe Game For Kids

Pictures and directions here:
http://www.wrights.com/wrights/class/ki ... tactoe.htm

Ladybug Tic Tac Toe Game For Kids

Pictures and directions here:


Idea #136: Gone Fishin’ Munch Mix for the Fisherman in Your Family

I thought this was such a cute idea. You layer the following in a pint size mason jar, in the following order:

1/3 cup bite-size Pretzel Goldfish Crackers
1/3 cup bite-size Corn Chex cereal squares
1/3 cup Sesame Sticks
1/3 cup Original Goldfish Crackers
1/3 cup Cocktail Peanuts


1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon powdered BBQ seasoning

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Empty contents of pint jar into a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and BBQ seasoning. Pour butter mixture over snack mixture. Stir to evenly coat snack mixture. Spread coated snack mixture in a single layer on a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 250 F for 45 minutes, stirring mixture every 15 minutes. When baking is complete, remove pan from oven and spread mixture in a single layer on paper towel to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 2/3 cups snack mix.

Here is the link to the site: http://www.gingerbreadnook.com/mixes/Go ... -Jar.shtml

Idea #137: Fake Broken China Tray :o)

Scan or make color copies of beautiful china. Then cut out the images, and cut them up as if you broke the china. Now decoupage onto your tray with 1/4 inch of space between each piece.


Idea #138: Lace Glass

Lay a piece of lace fabric over the back of a glass plate. Spray a mist of white spray paint over the lace. When you lift off the lace, you will see a frosty shadow of lace.

Idea #139: Make Balloon Hacky Sacks for the Kids!

You Will Need:
Round Balloons
Bird Seed ( would use parakeet seed) or Plastic Pellets

Use a funnel and fill a whole balloon with the pellets. This is a slow process but well worth it. Cut the neck off the filled balloon. Cut the neck off a second balloon and place it over the filled balloon covering the open hole. Now you should have a completely covered ball with no pellets popping out.
For a hacky sack you need them to be super strong so add another 2 solid balloons with the neck removed.
Take a balloon and cut some holes in it with the tips of your scissors. Remove the neck of the balloon then open it up and place it over the ball.
The colored balloon underneath should be showing through the holes and giving it a nice colorful pattern.
Repeat this with several layers of balloons and holes adding to the effect and also the the strength.
Try to arrange it so the original pellet hole is always covered by a firm piece of balloon and not a balloon hole.


Idea #140: “Kringles” For ANYONE! (Cute Idea!)

I received a Gooseberry Patch preview book for their new Christmas edition. Well, I saw a picture of something I thought was a cute idea!

It looked like they bought snack size canisters of Pringles Potato Chips. They dipped each chip half way into Chocolate candy coating (which they let dry, of course!) then, they replaced them back into the little canisters. They decorated the canisters with construction paper, red polka dots, rick-rack and put a little label on it that said, "Kringles" instead of Pringles. Might be good!

Idea #141: Recipes For Pets! Horses, Dogs, Cats, Birds

If your family member or friend is a pet lover and you don’t want to leave their “best friend” out, here is a link with all sorts of neat recipes:

Idea #142: Terry Cloth Bathroom Caddy

http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/sit ... =ns2006_m1

Clear off bathroom countertops by storing toiletries in a hanging organizer. To make one, just stitch a few seams in a hand towel.

Hand towel (about 19 inches by 40 inches)
Straight pins
Sewing machine
1/2-inch-diameter dowel (2 inches longer than width of towel)

One yard grosgrain ribbon Fold down top of towel 1 1/2 inches; pin, then sew to create a channel for the dowel. Flip towel over; fold it onto itself so it overlaps about 5 inches; pin. Repeat to make a second pleat so bottom edge of towel is bottom edge of caddy; pin. Sew along both sides of towel, leaving channel at top open and reinforcing pockets’ corners. Sew two more seams to divide towel’s width into thirds. Pass dowel through channel, tie ribbon to both ends, and hang.

Idea #143: Beautiful Swirl Frame


You will need:
Decoart Dazzling Metallics Writers in Gold
Decoart Dazzling Metallics in Gold
Paint Brush
1 wooden frame with recessed surface
Chalk Pencil (Optional)

1. Remove cap from Gold Writer bottle. Lift and discard protective seal. Replace cap.
2. Basecoat frame Glorious Gold. Allow to dry.
3. Use chalk pencil to lightly sketch scroll design on recessed area of frame.
4. Use Gold writer to follow chalk lines on frame. Allow to dry completely.

Helpful Hint: Practice a few scrolls on a piece of scrap paper before doing the frame.

Idea #144: TOO Easy Cookie/Cake/Pastry Stand (Great Gift!)

Find a ceramic plate with a matching bowl. I found mine at Walmart near the Corelle dishes. They sell really pretty ones individually. I picked up a dinner plate with a fall fruit design for $2.86 and a matching bowl for $1.96. I turned the bowl upside down and used silicone glue (E-6000) to glue the plate onto the bottom of the bowl. There you have it! A beautiful gift for LESS than $5.00 to display cookies, a cake, candy or pastries.
Last edited by crafterwannabe on Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:01 pm, edited 16 times in total.
Posts: 16585
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby crafterwannabe » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:53 am

Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas - Addendum

Date Posted: 12:22:21 05/31/06 Wed
Author: Lori Jean
Subject: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List!

Idea #122: Have A Christmas Basket Party!
Archiver's Note: Since Lori Jean added still more ideas to her initial list, we edited the post above to include it in chronological order. We're leaving the ideas of others here on the addendum post.

[> Re: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List! -- Lovestodream, 13:19:50 05/31/06 Wed [1]

Another wonderful idea.I have a big family that worry's each year this is a great idea! Going to try this one this year.Thank you so much for so many great idea's. Thank you lori Jean.
hugs Lovestodream

[> Re: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List! -- j, 13:50:30 05/31/06 Wed [1]

Another keeper, LJ. Thanks for keeping us supplied with these great ideas. (((hugs)))

Here's one that I just ran across the other day: wine glass charms. You could make them with the 1 1/2" diameter elastic pony tail holders & just add your charm with a jump ring. The charms could be beads, flowers, buttons or make your own with shrink plastic. Or make a regular 'tag' cut from fun foam, card stock, etc. The tags could be rubberstamped with names, identified with stickers, etc. Some of the pony tail holders already come with something on it. These are flexible enough to 'loop' onto coffee mugs, etc.

[> Re: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List! -- Lori Jean, 17:27:32 05/31/06 Wed [1]

You are very welcome! :o) Jaz, I love your wine charm idea! Thank you so much for sharing it!
Big Hugs,
Lori Jean :o)

[> Re: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List! -- BarbaraP, 20:49:34 05/31/06 Wed [1]

love the idea. thanks

[> Re: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List! -- kritterno1, 21:38:46 05/31/06 Wed [1]

An inxepensive gift for the crafty type to do. You can make a Plastic canvas box and put a small gift such as a bag of homemade fudge or cookies in it. Depending on the size of the basket it can be used later and would look pretty displayed. An easy way to match decor.

[> Re: Another Idea to add to your "Cheap, But Thoughtful" Christmas Idea List! -- fauxma, 04:36:30 06/02/06 Fri [1]

great ideas ladies - now the frugal tip for the shrink plastic - use # 5 plastic from take out food instead of buying shrink plastic - shrinks like a dream...

Boy oh boy I wouldn't wanna have to archive this one... It will take some time....
((( to the archivers ))) Annie in Canada
Posts: 16585
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby crafterwannabe » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:33 pm

Ideas from Other Voy Members for Thoughtful Christmas Gifts

Date Posted: 11:22:47 09/04/06 Mon
Author: Lori Jean
Subject: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o)

Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o)
Lori Jean :o)

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- Kimberly, 01:03:45 09/05/06 Tue [1]

I like to take a basket and put pancake mix, syrup, spatula in it and tie with ribbons.. it works for nearly anyone and great as a last minute gift. You can get everything at the dollar store for under 5 bucks.

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- jodi, 20:52:29 09/06/06 Wed [1]

Hey Jude, how do you make them??? TIA
I think a calendar made with a PC program is so personal. You get pics of all you friends/relatives and you put their picture on the date for their bday and couples for anniversary. You can get really creative with other dates and things. Everyone is sure to love it as they will now have everyones special dates!

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- Lori Jean, 01:32:45 09/07/06 Thu [1]

Wonderful ideas, Ladies! THANK YOU!!!
Lori Jean :o)

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- Nannie_db, 14:06:28 09/05/06 Tue [1]

I've found that the best way to covey the thoughtfulness is to personalize it specifically to the receiver. I'm having a bit of trouble reaching the right words so I hope this comes out ok... like if you know a chocolate lover, scour magazines for recipes and put them in a nice recipe box or album that you can get at the dollar stores now. Add in some chocolate candies, bars etc... and its a great gift for someone who will really appreciate it. Same goes for any type of cooking (Greek, Italian, French etc...)

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- POOKIE, 12:16:52 09/04/06 Mon [1]

OK! I'll start.
Collection of recipes the recipient has admired, asked for, loved. Decorate the pages like scrapbook pages with memories, pictures, history of the recipes, etc. Good gift for newly married couples, singles that have recently moved out on their own, recently divorced, etc. Put in a pretty album or binder for easy additions later.

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- Judy from GA, 18:24:46 09/04/06 Mon [1]

This is not homemade, but...........I went to the Family Dollar Store last night and I found some really neat Calender/cards. They are the size of a half fold card and have very nice pictures and come with an envelope too. On the first page is a greeting like a card and "To" and "From". The ones I got have sea shore pictures, dogs, and horses. They would be good for those hard to buy for men.

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- PattyWV, 18:59:23 09/04/06 Mon [1]

Make your own coupon booklet with coupons good for dog walking,baby sitting,house cleaning,whatever the person may need to free up some time for themselves.
It's always nice to have a day or even an afternoon just for you.

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- jacksmum, 19:57:00 09/04/06 Mon [1]

Cuttings from your garden for a new neighbour.
Sue :)

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- SarahC, 21:55:51 09/04/06 Mon [1]

For my oldest brother(a bachelor) I buy a calendar and write in family birthdays and anniversaries. He has really come to look forward to getting this every year.For teen boys I put together a basket with hair gel,body spray,deoderant,shampoo,brush and any other cool bath item.SarahC

[> Re: New Thread: Post YOUR Idea For A Cheap, But Thoughtful Christmas Gift! :o) -- Jude_KS, 00:52:36 09/06/06 Wed [1]

Over the past few years I have learned that
most men LOVE the mint taffy candies that comes out
for Christmas - last year I made up some of the
terra cotta "gumball machines" - filled the bowls with taffy and all of my guy friends were thrilled.
Cost per item: approximately $3.50 each.
Posts: 16585
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby crafterwannabe » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:09 pm

Lori Jean's Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Ideas - Part 4

Idea #145: A “Smelly” Christmas Gift For the Ladies :o)

Walmart carries the Equate brand liquid hand soap in Melon, Peach and Vanilla Brown Sugar scents for only .84 cents! You’ll find it right next to “SoftSoap” in the Health and Beauty Department. Tie a fingernail brush (also found at Walmart) onto the neck of the bottle with a festive Christmas ribbon. All this for LESS than $2.00 per gift!

Idea #146: Clothesline Rope Coasters

Trace a 4-inch circle template onto a cardboard surface.

Draw a cross pattern in the middle, so you will have a starting point.

With your ball of cotton clothesline, snip the end part at a 45 degree angle.

Dab the end with craft glue and fold it over onto itself. Fix to the cardboard with a pin.

Carefully coil the rope around, securing with pins about every 3/4 inch. Let dry overnight.

Coat with acrylic paint on both sides.

http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/sit ... =ns2006_m6

Idea #147: Homemade Sugar Scrub for the Ladies!

Mix white sugar with oil. (Just enough to make a paste.) Some
good oils to use: Grapeseed, Avocado, Olive, Mineral.
(This is great for body scrub, too!)

If you want to use less oil, you can add vegetable glycerin
with a small amount of oil added to it. Fill in plastic containers
with screw-on lids.

Idea #148: Peppermint Playdough For The Kids

Peppermint Playdough

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons oil peppermint extract

1. Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan.
2. Cook over medium heat until mixture pulls away from side of pan.
3. Be sure to stir constantly.
4. Knead and add color if desired
*This will last three months if stored in an air-tight container.

Idea #149: CD Envelope Cookies

This idea is very simple and well received. Bake a large cookie and place in a white CD envelope. Decorate with stickers or a gold seal with a simple ribbon. I made brownies and used a cookie cutter for the shape. Be sure to freeze the brownies first and make sure they are well covered. Spray Pam on the cookie cutter and then press firmly into the pan of brownies.

Idea #150: Bubblegum/Candy Machine made from Clay Pot

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/homemade-g ... ball.shtml

Idea #151: Molded Chocolate Candy Cups for Gift-Giving:

Melt Candy Melts following package instructions.

Hold silicone baking cup in your hand. Use brush to coat inside of cup with melted candy. Coat cup thick enough so that cup cannot be seen through candy, at least 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick.

Refrigerate candy in cups on cookie sheet until firm.

Unmold candy cup by carefully peeling back sides of baking cup. Gently push baking cup bottom to release candy cup.

Fill shell with your favorite fillings, such as candy or nuts. Wrap in clear cellophane bag and tie with bow, to give as gifts.

http://www.bakedecoratecelebrate.com/pr ... rtcups.cfm

Idea #152: Citrus Sugar for Gift Giving:

Citrus Sugar

2 Cups Sugar
Zest of 2 Lemons OR 1 Orange

Place sugar and zest into food processor and pulse until well blended. Spread mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil and allow to dry approx. 1 hour. Place in decorated jars.

Substitute this sugar when making sugar cookies or pound cake. It’s also good on buttered toast.

Idea #153: Easy Cinnamon Soap:

4 Ounce (115 gram) bar of glycerin soap
10-15 drops of cinnamon oil

These soaps look great when wrapped up in brown paper. Add some cinnamon sticks tied to the top for a decorative finish.
This Recipe uses the melt and pour method of soap making.
Melt your glycerin soap down using a double boiler method.
Once melted add the cinnamon oil. Keep stirring until completely mixed and then pour into your soap molds.

Idea #154: Paula Deen’s House Seasoning:

Mix the following until well blended, then pour into Shakers. Make sure the holes are large enough for the Kosher salt to come through. Label and decorate the shakers and give as gifts. Don’t substitute regular salt for Kosher. There is a difference!

1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Garlic Powder

Idea #155: Christmas Spirit Snack Mix

Mix the following together and place in clean Mason Jars. Decorate jar.

2 Cups Plain M&M’s
2 Cups Candy Corn (They Now Have It In Christmas Colors.)
2 Cups Salted OR Lightly Salted Cocktail Peanuts (The Kind In A Can.)

Idea #156: Lace Napkin Rings:

1/2 yd 1/2" lace trim
1/3 yd lace fabric
LINIT® Starch OR LINIT® Starch-n-Crafts™ Stiffener
2 Rubberbands
Aluminum foil
Glue gun and glue sticks
Small wire cutters
Rolling pin, paper towel roll, or any round object wrapped in aluminum foil (about 2 1/2" in diameter)
Silk Flowers
Cut a 6" by 8" rectangle out of lace.
Pour 1/4 cup LINIT® into a pie plate.
Dip or spray lace in undiluted LINIT®.
Fold it like a letter.
Wrap lace around an aluminum foil covered shape.
Hold lace in place with two rubberbands (one on each end). Let dry. (This takes about two hours)
Remove from shape, and hot glue the seam.
Hot glue lace or ribbon on edges and flowers and/or jewels on top.
Link: http://www.linit.com/cgi-bin/display.pl?p=907006968

Idea #157: Victorian Lace Vase

Container (jar, can, glass) [TIP: Salad dressing bottles come in interesting shapes!]
Lace fabric (enough to cover container)
LINIT® Starch OR LINIT® Starch-n-Crafts™ Stiffener
2 Rubberbands
Glue gun and glue sticks
Ribbon and lace trim
Small silk or dried flowers for decorations
Cut a piece of lace to fit around a container allowing one inch of overlap at seam.
Dip or spray lace in undiluted LINIT®, squeeze dry.
Lay wet lace around sides of container by turning or rolling container.
Secure lace in place with rubberbands (one on each end). Let dry overnight.
Remove rubberbands and hot glue seam.
Hot glue lace trim and ribbon to edges. Add flowers and jewels.
Link: http://www.linit.com/cgi-bin/display.pl?p=907039235

Idea #158: Snowflake Ornaments

A great decoration for the crocheter. Crochet a snowflake out of white yarn. When done, dip in undiluted LINIT® Starch or spray with LINIT® Starch-n-Crafts™ Stiffener. Let dry.

Idea #159: Leather-Like Vase (or Box)

Empty bottle or jar
Masking tape
Shoe Polish
Cloth Rag

Completely cover your clean glass bottle with torn pieces of masking tape. Make sure that the pieces of tape overlap each other. With an old rag, rub the shoe polish into the tape. Leave to dry. Fill with flowers or a plant.

(You can also use this method on a box, too. See links below!)

http://www.frugalcrafts.com/craft_proje ... pebox.html

Idea #160: Jars, Jars and More Jars!

You can make a thoughtful, personalized and inexpensive gift in no time at all, if you have Mason jars on hand. Take into consideration the person’s special likes and dislikes, along with Kitchen themes, hobbies, favorite colors and dietary restrictions. For example, If the person is diabetic, you’ll want to exchange food items for a “sugar-free“ version. If you don’t have a “print program” to create labels or you’re computer challenged, simply go to your Dollar Tree or Walmart and look in the scrapbooking section. You can find beautiful papers and scrapbooking stickers of all kinds to decorate your jar. If you have self-adhesive laminating sheets, you might want to carefully wrap it around the jar and over the stickers, for extra “staying power.“ You can find it in the stationery section at Walmart. You can also give your jars a 3-D look by using double adhesive mounts. Your own imagination is your only limit. * Remember to always wash and thoroughly dry jars first. Using your dishwasher is best.

Ideas To Fill Wide-Mouth Mason Jars, for Gifts (Various Sizes)

*Brownie Mix (You can pick up the Walmart brand for $1.12

*Choc. Chip Cookie Mix (Such as Betty Crocker brand at Walmart for $1.50)

*Cake Mix (Such as Duncan Hines or Pillsbury.) Attach a “Doctored Cake”
recipe to the jar.

*Muffin or Bread Mix (Such as Betty Crocker.)

*Bake a Cake in a Jar. Instructions are on the internet.

*Cinnamon Pancake Mix (Add your own cinnamon to Walmart’s complete
pancake mix.)

*Jelly Beans

*Plastic or Pony Beads and String


*Homemade Chocolate Toffee or Peanut Brittle

*Make a beautiful “Jewelry Keeper” with the smallest Mason jars!

*Sewing Notions (Dollar Tree and Walmart are good places to start.)

*Homemade Caramel Corn


*Hot Cocoa Mix

*Soup or Chili Mix

*Peanut M&M’s

*Party Mix (Add Goldfish Crackers for the Fisherman!)

*Make your own Chocolate dip (Chocolate Chips and 2 Table. Shortening)
and dip store-bought Shortbread cookies half-way in Chocolate. *Sprinkle with candy sprinkles and let harden on wax paper overnight.

*Flavored Coffee

*Chocolate Dipped Spoons

*Candy Spoons for Tea

*Coffee Beans


*Kisses with Scripture Tags

*Flavored Coffee Creamer

*Snowball Cookies

*Mother’s Frosted Animal Cracker Cookies (The Pink and White ones.)

*Candy Cane Bath Salts

*Beauty Jar with sample shampoos, lotions, lip balm, nail files, little Kleenex package, etc.

*Scented Tea lights

*Pet Treats

* Gold or Colored Plastic Utensils for Party. Tie with raffia around neck of

*S’mores in a Jar Mix

*Pens and Post-Its

*Movie Gift in a Jar ($5.00 Gift Card to Blockbuster, 1 Mini Popcorn,

*Candy Corn with Salted Peanuts (Halloween or Fall.)

*Peeps (Easter)

*Sugar Scrub for Face.

*Potpourri and Miniature lights, topped off with a doily, instead of a lid.

*Orange Slice Candy

*Trail Mix (Wal-Mart has the large Family size bags.)

*Cowboy Cookie Mix

*Candy Canes

*Herbed Rice

*Foil Wrapped Chocolate Hearts (Such as Palmer’s) or Candy Hearts

*Homemade Pralines

*Bird Seed

*Garden Seed Packets

*Small Seashells

*Crayons or Markers

*Dip Mixes

*Decorative Cookie Sprinkles (Dollar Tree.)

*Spice or Rub Mix

*Golden and Dark Raisin Mix

*Colored Sugar

*Make a Kitchen Safe~ There is an example at:
http://www.frugalcrafts.com/craft_proje ... etjar.html

*Small Hand Soaps

*Chocolate Foil Wrapped Footballs or Baseballs

*Homemade All-Occasion Bag Tags

*Dried Fruit

*Dice Game, such as Yahtzee (All you need are copies of score cards, dice

and pencils.)

*Jolly Rancher Lollipops or Candies (Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.)

*Miniature Candy Bars (In Case of Emergency, Break Glass.)

*Donut Holes


*Homemade Scented Playdough

*Tea Bags

*Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Sticks

*Live Beta Fish in a Jar. Cover with crocheted doily, instead of lid. Use quart-sized, wide-mouthed jar.

*Jar of “lace & trims” for the person who sews. (Look into your own craft
supply and see what nice trim scraps you can come up with.

*Make a Memory Jar.

*Bird Seed in a Jar, along with a poem for the Bird Lover.

*Make a Bank, with a cute theme….Such as “Mom’s Mad Money” or “Retirement Fund” on the outside.

*Turn the Mason jar into a vase full of Hershey Kiss Roses.

*Fill with Reisen Candy (Jesus is the “Reisen” for the Season.)

*Dipped (Chocolate) Pretzels in a Jar.

*Speckled Bird Egg Malt Balls in a jar decorated with Birds and maybe a
Bird’s nest on top. (Nice for Easter.)

*Strawberry Malt Balls in a Retro 1950’s style Mason Jar.

*Make a Terrarium Jar.

*Little Gingerbread Man Cookies (They sell the Stouffer brand at Walmart for about $1.50 per bag, at Christmas.)

*Fill the smaller mason jars with body cream.

*Decorative hand soaps

*Fill with Scrunchies or Barrettes

*Snack Mix: 2 Cups Candy Corn (They now have them in Christmas colors, during Christmas.) 2 Cups plain M&M’s and 2 Cups salted OR lightly salted cocktail peanuts.

Idea #161: Candy Kabobs

On long wooden skewers, skewer soft candy, such as a row of marshmallows, soft-centered chocolates, gummy fruits, gum, etc.~ Wrap the stick with cellophane and tie a bow at the base. If you want to turn this into a family gift, place skewers into a decorated, holiday vase.

Idea #162: Quick Bread Gift Idea

Bake a loaf of your favorite Quick bread, such as Pumpkin, Cranberry or Banana.

You can buy disposable aluminum loaf pans at Walmart or Dollar Tree.

Wrap with foil and then wrap a kitchen towel around it. Tie it off with some ribbon, made into a bow.

Idea #163: Gingerbread Playdough for the Kids

1 Cup flour
1/2 Cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Spices--Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger, Nutmeg

1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add small amounts of the spices to the playdough until it smells just how you want it to smell.

2. Mix water and oil together in a separate bowl.

3. In a small pot add the oil mix to the dry mix slowly stirring to mix well.

4. Cook the mixture for two to three minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Keep stirring until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the pan

5. Take the dough out of the pan, let cool a couple of seconds so you can handle it, and knead the dough until it becomes soft and smooth.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Idea #164: Merry Little Mittens:

Cut a mitten shape from cardboard, and trace it onto a piece of felt. Cut along the lines, and glue the felt to the cardboard with clear-drying white craft glue. Adorn the felt side of the mitten with bits of felt in complementary colors -- dots made with a hole punch, a monogram, felt trim edged with decorative shears, or a Christmas tree cut out with a decorative craft punch. Glue a standard wooden clothespin to cardboard, then glue a magnet to the back of the clothespin. After the gifts have been opened, use your mittens to display greetings. (Sit clothespin on end.)

Link: http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/sit ... =ns2006_m1

Idea #165: Chocolate Covered Oreo Pops (Shared by Crafty Me2)

20 Popsicle or lollipop sticks
20 Oreo Double Stuff® cookies
1 12-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. vegetable oil
Chopped nuts and colored sprinkles

* To form Oreo® Pops, insert Popsicle sticks into the cream center of each cookie. Refrigerate cookies for about 20 minutes and take out when ready to dip.

* In a small saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate and oil until melted and smooth, stirring constantly.

* Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate, coating evenly. Place dipped cookies on waxed paper and decorate with chopped nuts, sprinkles or candies.

* Leave cookies on waxed paper until completely set, then wrap in plastic wrap and tie with a bow for gift-giving.

Here is a link that will give you more details, along with a photo: http://morganmoore.typepad.com/one_more ... _pops.html

Idea #166: Filled Peppermint Candies

Draw lines on two white Chinet bowls, to create peppermint candy triangles. Use acrylic paint to fill in alternate triangles. When dry, fill bowl with candy or whatever you’d like and staple the two bowls together, around the edges. Wrap bowls with cellophane and tie with twisty ties. You may also add curling ribbon over the twisty ties.

Idea #167- Embellish Dollar Tree Christmas Napkin Rings

I happened to see sets of Christmas napkin rings at the Dollar Tree. They were in sets of 8 and came in red and green. They were plain rings with silky-like fabric around the rings. I was thinking how easy it would be to hot glue a small poinsettia on them or a small ornament (made for a mini tree,) such as angels. This would be an inexpensive and easy gift for the person in your family who likes to entertain. )
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Postby crafterwannabe » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:05 am

Add Chocolate/Sprinkles to Gingerbread Men + Recipe

Date Posted: 20:12:37 12/15/07 Sat
Author: Lori Jean
Subject: ANOTHER Cheap, but thoughtful Christmas Idea! )

Hi Ladies,

I saw something really cute that a friend of mine brought to work. She bought those small gingerbread men that Mother's cookies sells and she dipped the bottom half of the gingerbread men into chocolate. She then used candy sprinkles on the chocolate. The Gingerbread men looked like they were wearing colorful pants! They were so cute!
I was thinking how festive they would look in a quart sized mason jar. They are small enough where you could fit quite a few in in the jar. You could decorate the top of the jar by making a circle out of fabric and tying it off with a ribbon. Very colorful, too! )

Tip: Whenever, I make gifts in a jar, I always put a rubberband around the neck of the jar, after placing the circle of fabric over the lid. It makes better ruffles and you can securely tie the ribbon on.
Lori Jean )

Re: ANOTHER Cheap, but thoughtful Christmas Idea! ) -- kritterno1, 20:44:53 12/15/07 Sat [1]

Sharing something I thought of but I am soo bad at photography.

Here is a gift for a someone who really cannot afford to have a good picture taken. Make up a coupon for a free portrait and so many prints. Godd gift for someone good with a digital camera since reprints are so cheap anymore.

Re: ANOTHER Cheap, but thoughtful Christmas Idea! ) -- jazbo, 06:57:28 12/16/07 Sun [1]

What a fun idea! I don't mean to change everything it's just that I live out in the country, don't drive & don't have a 2nd vehicle even if I did. So I have to 'use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.' Here is a good ginger-type of cookies. I roll the dough out very thinly & get about 6 doz. 2" cookies from one batch. They would be fun to dip as you suggested.

Moravian Gingerbread Cookies

2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. molasses
3 Tab. hot water

Combine all ingred. in a large bowl. Blend well. Chill dough at least 1 hr. before handling. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/8”. Cut with cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 400 for 8-10 min. Cool; decorate if desired.
Yield: about 5-6 doz., depending on cookie size.

Years ago, I got a cookie cutter wheel, that cuts 5 different shapes as you roll along. Makes short work of cutting all those cookies.
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