Making Gifts For Friends & Family

by The Smarter Wallet on November 22, 2010

Looking for homemade gift ideas? Check out our suggestions!

Buying gifts for other people can be an expensive and stressful activity. I think it can actually take the fun out of whatever you happen to be doing, since you have to think about how much cash you can or should spend. Then you have to try and choose something your gift recipient may or may not like.

So with that in mind, I have started thinking along the lines of homemade gifts. Making gifts for friends and family is not only low cost, but also fulfilling! This approach may sound a bit cheap but you’d be misguided to think that you’ll end up with “lowly” gifts. Believe me, they don’t have to be! Who wouldn’t want to receive a gift box full of homemade biscuits for example?

Making Gifts For Friends & Family

I’m offering five ideas below that you might want to consider next time you are tight on your budget and you need to find something for someone you love.

1. Work on some baking ideas. Depending on what you are good at, you could do all kinds of things on this front. I’ve made homemade biscuits, cakes and even bread on occasion. I always wrap it up so it is nicely presented too. Try your hand at icing the name of the recipient on the biscuits!

2. Try this for Easter. One year, I got an Easter egg mold and made some homemade eggs for my partner. They take a while to make because you have to build them up in layers. But you can melt your favorite chocolate and use that, which is a nice idea.

3. How about a recipe book? Another idea I like is one I found on a website. It’s for making a recipe book yourself. You could do all kinds of things with this. For example, I quite like the idea of implementing a recipe and then taking a photo of the end result to put in the book. I’d put all my favorite dishes in there and include a few favorites for the gift book recipient as well.

4. Are you crafty? Try decorating. Find some old glass jars and decorate them. If I tried this, I would probably paint the glass, but that would imply buying paint (which costs money). I have started keeping all kinds of odds and ends that I can use for this kind of craft project. I have an idea for making home made toffee to fill the jar with, before tying a ribbon around the jar to finish it off. Here are more craft ideas in our article: 11 Ways To Save Money On Crafts and Creative DIY Projects.

5. Create a book of coupons. This won’t work for everyone, but I’ve done this in the past, for my partner. I worked on a book of coupons and then created a different voucher on each page. For example, one was for a massage; one was for a favorite dinner; one was for a shopping trip and so on. You can think of ideas that will suit the person you are creating the booklet for.

The great thing is that once you start thinking this way, you’ll get lots of ideas coming to the fore. My next idea is to attempt jam. I’ve never done this before but if it works, it could make a nice gift for Christmas for those people I know who love their jam. I’m also going to prepare earlier this year –- it is one of the secrets to getting the results you want without succumbing to a last minute rush. In fact, if you decide to finish your holiday shopping early, you may find that you could save money this way as well!

Try it yourself -– homemade gifts have never looked so good… or so delicious!

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