SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, December 5, 2011

Ten Easy Low-Cost Handmade Holiday Gifts | Family Economics

By Cathe

When you’re running low on ideas, money and time, you can count on these 10 simple last minute gift-making ideas!

1. Door Draft Snake: Older homes likely invite cold drafts. We notice this mostly when we have a fire going in the fireplace and air is drawn through an unsealed crack around the outside doors. Cut heavy fabric, such as corduroy or fleece, into a 38-by-10-inch strip. Fold in half lengthwise and inside out. Sew down the long side and one end with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and fill loosely with dried beans. Fold open end inward about 1/2-inch and seam closed.

2. Rice Heating Pad: Not only great for soothing sore shoulder and neck muscles, but an excellent source of heat to tuck between the covers before climbing into a cold winter bed. Here is an easy tutorial for making a rice heating pad from repurposed pants.

3. Decorative Paper Tape: Crafters aren’t the only ones who appreciate pretty, decorative paper tape. Rolls can be used for simple gift wrapping, sealing letters, tacking notes, and as easy decoration accents. To save money on supplies, make multiple rolls of unique paper tape to gift from this step-by-step tutorial.

4. T-shirt Scarf: These are my favorite homemade accessories of all time. Living in Northern California in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, I wear scarves year round. Make several T-shirt scarves for friends with these super easy instructions.

5. Leather Photo Wallet: Repurposing leather from old purses and jackets makes for so many easy projects. Here is a tutorial for making a leather picture frame with leather and iron-on transfer sheets.

6. Bookplates: Download, print and trim. It’s as simple as that for gifting a pack of beautiful bookplates to your favorite book worms.

7. Business Card Holder: More leather repurposing and simple straight stitching. Add a hair band and button and you’ve got a very functional gift.

8. Car Cup Holder Coasters and Accessory Pouch: Few things have served me so well when it comes to my vehicle. My cup holders stay clean and I always have scissors and tape handy for things that come up like gift wrapping on the go.

9. Travel Tissue Case: Sew a simple travel tissue case from scrap fabric, repurposed leather or decorative fabric. You can find easy instructions by doing an Internet search for tutorials. Customize by adding a pocket on the back for tucking in individual packets of vitamin drink mixes or to add a thoughtful note.

10. Table Linens: Matched or mixed. Simple two-sided square napkins are not only practical for many purposes, but are beautiful stacked, tied and gifted.

What are some of your favorite handmade gift ideas?

1 Comment so far

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On Monday, December 5, 2011, Tanya @ The Inspired Budget wrote

Bookplates - what a great idea! Especially when you have friends, as I do, who frequently loan out their books.

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