With 4 children and 4 teachers, bus drivers and other special people who come into my children’s lives, gift giving can become a little expensive. Over the years I have done a few things to save some money and I know personally that handmade gifts are usually the ones that get cherished for years to come. They always bring me the most joy when my kids bring them home for me at Christmas. I have a few really great ideas that you can use for teachers, family or just about anyone that won’t break the bank and most of these gifts will cost less than $10 each and are most definitely keepsake worthy.
Handmade snow globes:
These are super easy to do, require very little work and are inexpensive. I usually use the large baby food jars or the small mason jars and get a few little Christmas decoration items (like trees etc.) from the dollar store. I get the items you would find in a Christmas village and glue them to the bottom of the jar lid with a hot glue gun. Fill the jar full with water and glitter. Add more glitter than you think you need as it will get stuck on the items in your jar. Glue the lid on and voila all done. You can definitely have lots of fun with these and have the kids pick out what’s inside makes them unique and personal. These will cost around $8 each. **Note: I didn’t sand the inside of the lid and all of my stuff came off my first one. I suggest you rough up the lid on the side you are going to glue your stuff to help them stick better as I did with my second attempt.
Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments:
This is one of the easiest items we have made over the years for teachers, family and special friends. It is super inexpensive and you all have the ingredients in your home already. There is nothing better than a handmade ornament that you can keep for years. The recipe I have used over the years is this:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine the ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes. Roll out and cut into different shapes using cookie cutters or you can shape the dough by hand. Make sure you add a hole for the ribbon or string for hanging before baking. Lay on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and decorate using poster paints or acrylic paints any way you like. You can add glitter and even glue little items to them as well. Spray each of the decorated ornaments with a clearcoat glaze spray. Add a ribbon or string through the hole and it’s good to go. These are about $3 each as most of the ingredients and craft supplies I already have on hand.
Hand Decorated Wine Glasses
I love this handmade idea so much and few years ago my daughter actually did this for me as a mother’s day gift at school. I loved it so much but one day I was reaching for something else and it went crashing to the floor and broke. I was heartbroken as it was the glass I used every time I drank wine. I loved that she designed it with love and made it just for me. This is also super easy and inexpensive. You can make it for about $6. The expense is getting the paint markers and paint that you can use on it. I use the Martha Stewart brand that you can get at Walmart as it can be painted on and then you bake the glass to make it permanent.
This one is the most simple and my children do one of these every year. They decorate it any way they like with glitter, paint, stickers and cut out shapes and then they put their own saying inside and sign their names on it. With this gift, I usually include either a $5 Tim Hortons Gift Card or a $5 card for Scholar’s Choice (the store where most teachers shop for their goodies all year). My kids love doing this not just for Christmas but for birthday party cards as well.
Potpourri Lighted Glass Jar
This is my favourite handmade gift out of all of them. It does take about 20 minutes or so to get it just right but the end result is fabulous. This one costs the most to make coming in right at $10 but so worth it in the end. I have made several of these over the years and this year, all three of my children’s teachers will be receiving one. They look so pretty and smell wonderful and can be a wonderful addition to any home décor ideas for Christmas. You will need:
1 set of 20-30 mini lights (I got mine at Walmart for $2)
1 Glass Jar (holds about 1500ml) or tall vase ($2 at Dollarama)
Bagged potpourri (any scent) (on sale for 3.49 at Michael’s)
1 doily (I bought a crocheted one from Michael’s for $1.50)
Add about 6-8 lights in the jar then add in some of the potpourri, add more lights and more potpourri. Layer until the jar is full and all of the lights are inside. You can move the stuff around inside until you get it just right. String the plug end through the crocheted doily and then tie the doily over the top of the jar with the ribbon. Easy peasy and all done. The great thing about this, is when the lights heat up (they don’t get super hot) they get the potpourri to smell just a little more. I love this and I have made 3, one for each of the kids’ teachers. It’s inexpensive and something they can keep forever. It’s easy enough to change-up the potpourri should the smell die down. I will also have the kids personalize it with the paint before the give them to the teachers.
What kinds of handmade gifts have you made? What was your favourite keepsake handmade gift?
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