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Creative homemade holiday gifts

By on November 16, 2008

Y tree
photo by erix!
photo by geek2nurse

Homemade gifts are a popular topic this year. While do-it-yourself baked goods and gift baskets are great, I really like the first three creative tips from readers. They would be well received by most anyone. They’re fairly cheap, too.

PHOTO GIFT IDEAS: Grab your camera and look for letters of the alphabet in nature or around your neighborhood: a tree branch shaped like a Y, a letter from a stop sign, etc. Then spell out the names of the people you want to give a gift to and frame it. — Ann, Florida

Take pictures of scenery or people in the family, or scan older pictures and print them on transparency sheets in sepia. Put them in clear acrylic, free-standing frames, and put a tea light behind them. Don’t leave unattended. — Denise, Illinois

TIPSY GARDEN GIFT: Give a six-foot-long rebar and four clay pots. Have the smallest pot be eight inches. Attach directions: Hammer the rebar about one foot into the ground or until it’s solid. String the largest pot onto the bar through the drainage hole. It will be sitting upright on the ground with the bar through it. Fill it with soil. Thread the remaining four pots. The second pot will rest on the first pot’s soil at a slight angle, leaning either left or right. Alternate the three remaining pots by leaning each one opposite the other side to side. The base of each tilted pot should touch the previous pot’s rim — like a zigzag. Fill the rest of the pots with soil, and add flowers. You’ll like it so much that you’ll make one for yourself. — Melissa E., Colorado
tipsy pot

For more creative homemade gift ideas visit:
http://www.frugalvillage.com/home-and-family/holidays-and-special-occasions/411-save-money-on-gifts.html

BORAX BOOSTER: Borax will clean and refresh your toilet. Sprinkle 1/4 cup in it, and scrub. I add it to my laundry when I put in my detergent. One-quarter cup in a gallon of warm water makes a great cleaner to wipe down walls, too. — Carrie, Maryland

CHEAP DRAFT STOPPER: Instead of the towel in front of the door, I make a draft stopper. You take 12 inches of material about 36 inches wide. (I have holiday and plain.) Make lines across at 5-1/2 inches and 6-1/2 inches, fold the material to those lines, sew them, and then sew across one end. Tightly stuff each side with polyfill. I use a ruler to pack it in, and then I sew that end closed. Then you slide it under your door, and you have a log on each side. When you open and close the door, it moves with the door so you don’t have to constantly replace it after the door is closed. It blocks the drafts, is convenient, and costs about $1.50 to make. It’s also washable. For the first one I made, I used a pair of old sweat pants that I was going to throw away, and I used the filling from an old pillow. — J.D.R., Pennsylvania
Reader note via e-mail: J.D.R. gave a great tip for a door draft stopper but did not take into consideration that all doors are not the same width or thickness. I was making some for some folks who live in housing and you need to measure each door; Front doors are usually 36″ and back are usually 32″. If they have weatherstripping they are thicker. Ann P., Meridian, TX

FREEZE WHIPPING CREAM: If you have a carton of whipping cream close to expiring, you can whip it and make “dollops” on a cookie sheet. Freeze them, and then transfer to a freezer bag until you need them. — Robin, Oregon

MEASURING DETERGENT: It used to be that you used a full cap to measure liquid laundry detergent. Not anymore. Now they put the faintest fill line on the caps. If you read the recommended amount, you’ll discover it’s far less than a full cap, so stop filling the cap. There’s more than 1/4 cup difference. — Gina, e-mail

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About Sara Noel

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Monroe on a Budget » Frugal Village: A draft stopper that stays put

  2. Ann

    7/22/2009 at 12:58 pm

    J.D.R. gave a great tip for a door draft stopper but did not take into consideration that all doors are not the same width or thickness. I was making some for some folks who live in housing and you need to measure each door; Front doors are usually 36″ and back are usually 32″. If they have weatherstripping they are thicker. I really like the idea and thank her but had to redo several so thought I would share this. Ann Paulson

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