Saturday, November 29, 2008

Need Gifts on a Budget? Make Your Own.

The holidays are right around the corner. That means its time to start budgeting for all those gifts you need to buy. Let's face it, the older you get, the longer the list of people to buy for. That can put a big dent in your wallet. Before you start splurging at the store, though, consider these ideas for making your own gifts. Not only are these well-received, but they wont destroy your finances!

1. Make Chocolate
My mother and I have been doing this since I was a little kid. We buy the molds and chocolate pieces at our local craft store. Then, we melt the chocolate, pour it into the molds, and chill. We've gotten so good at it taht we even use colored chocolate to "paint" the molds and make multi-colored treats! My friends love the chocolates and so do my mom's coworkers.

2. Make a Movie
I love to make photo slide shows for special occasions. If you have a lot of digital photos and a simple program (I use Windows MovieMaker), you can make a DVD show for family and friends. The personal touch is great, and it costs virtually nothing.

3. Knit a Scarf
Sure, this seems old-fashioned, but a lot of my friends actually love to knit. There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting a warm, cozy scarf made by someone who cares about you!

4. Bake Treats
For my housemates, I love to make cookies and other treats. I decorate them and place them in cute containers to pass out. Sugar cookies are a staple, but other treats you can make include peanut brittle, fudge, or even homemade jams!

5. Make Candles
Making your own candles is not as hard as you think. If you need help, take a look at this great tutorial for making peppermint candy candles.

6. Custom Ornaments
Hit up the craft store and get creative! You can use everything from foam balls to wooden cutouts to make amazing, heartfelt ornaments.

Want more ideas? Check out this great, crafty blog!

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