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Thrifty Gift Ideas That Come From the Heart



Taking the time to make homemade gifts for friends and family is truly worth every effort. As the gift-giving season approaches it is important not to fall into the all too common pitfall of being overambitious with your holiday “to do” list. Get a jump on your projects a couple of months out, creating checklists so no one gets left out. Be realistic with your time allocation for these projects and don’t be afraid to cheat a little if it helps a gift come together in time. Here are some genuinely easy, thoughtful ideas that won’t break the bank.

Got Foodies?

Have a foodie in your family? Taking a beautiful, high-quality ingredient and putting your own twist on it is a lovely way to impart some of your flairs. Steep some raw honey in some aromatic spices and make your very own “spiced honey.” Take the time to make a cute label, put it in a unique jar, adorned with a bow, and voila- personalized goodness to your loved ones.

The same can be done with infusing vinegar or oils with fresh herbs or fruit. Be sure, however, to practice safety the kitchen when jarring these ingredients by sterilizing jars, tongs, and whatever else will come in contact with your gifts so as not to impart a little something not so welcome with your sweetly intentioned gift.

Everyone deserves a spa kit

Making homemade beauty products sounds like a daunting task. Don’t be intimidated. Lots of high-quality spa essentials can be made from what’s available right in your kitchen, bathroom, or even sewing room. Bath salts are a simple gift idea that is appreciated by all. Adding some essential oil and botanicals like lavender to the mix can transform their usual bath experience into an aromatherapeutic indulgence for the senses.

Put a kit together that features your homemade bath salts, throw in a mug, some of your own tea blend (buy loose tea, make your favorite combo, package it, and voila- personalized tea blend). If you have a crafty streak, grab some cute fabric, make a long beanbag type tube out of the fabric, fill it with rice and lavender flowers, sprinkle some other complementary essential oils, sew it closed, and include directions that instruct the user to pop that in the microwave for a spell to heat it up and it serves as a neck warmer with the added benefit of aromatherapy.

Create the ultimate keepsake

There is perhaps nothing more special than having memories preserved for posterity in a scrapbook. There is a ton of online companies that can have extremely user-friendly websites to help you import pictures and build up a scrapbook of memories shared with that special friend, family member, or lover. You could even take a clever route and use pictures to make a storybook- including special quotes, Christmas song lyrics, sheet music, personal mementos that you shared, and stories. Make sure to leave time for processing as you will be left at the mercy of the company you select and things do tend to get hectic around the holiday season.

Whatever your budget, creating heartfelt gifts really convey a message of love and caring. The time you put into the gifts really does give validation to the old adage, “it feels better to give than to receive.”