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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thrifty Gift Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is an expensive time of year, so this week's post should relieve some of the pressure on your purse strings.

My December challenge is all about making things for Christmas.  Last week I had a go at producing my own cards using Lavinia Stamps - messy but lots of fun!

This week I have been making sweet gifts for my friends, crystal packs for my clients and 'friendship bags' for my children.  Don't panic I have ventured out and purchased the latest PS3 games - heaven forbid I don't adhere to the 'lists' - but I also wanted to create something personal for them.

As an holistic therapist and general lover of all things spiritual, I have an abundance of crystals in my house and spa, I also have a number of ornaments, pictures and oracle cards depicting my own Native American spirit guides, my Chinese zodiac sign and lucky totems related to my life number.

My children are also fascinated by the spiritual side of things and so I decided to make them a special bag, specific to them, which included all the above.

It is such an easy thing to create, you will need:-

  • A small gauze bag, small paper gift bag or tissue paper.
  • A crystal relevant to their star sign - check out Shamans Crystals for a list.
  • A picture, photo or totem of their relevant Chinese sign - take a look at Travel China's site.
  • I typed up a miniature scroll with their life number details using Numerology information.

This is an example of what my daughter's gift bag contains:-

She is a Cancerian so I put a moonstone crystal in a white gauze bag (white is a good colour for Cancerians - check out Michele Knight's site for more lucky colours).  I added a Horse keyring as this is her Chinese sign.  Her life number is 5 so I added five of her favourite sweets and a sprinkling of fairy confetti and finished it all off with a picture of a woodpecker which is her Native American spirit guide.  As a very girlie eleven year old I know she will love this gift and I have thoroughly enjoyed making it for her.

Have a go at making a personal gift bag for your own children or for friends.  It shows that you have put thought and love into each present.  It's your choice what you put in.  Not a spiritual person?  Then why not add in retro sweets, a pair of earrings or miniature nail varnish and a nail file.  Got a writer or a book lover in the family then add in a novelty pen/pencil set and a quirky notebook...the options are endless.

If the idea of a gift bag doesn't appeal then do not fear, making your own sweet treats can be just as rewarding.

I had a go at making peppermint creams.  As I type this post they are chilling in the refrigerator and so haven't received the taste test - watch this space!

Peppermint creams are so easy to make and can be dipped in chocolate for added luxury.  Wrapped in tissue and boxed up they make a lovely homemade gift.

You will need:-

340g (12oz) Icing Sugar
I Egg White
A couple of drops of Peppermint Extract
Optional - food colouring
  • Line a tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Whisk the egg white until it goes frothy but doesn't go stiff
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the egg using a wooden spoon until the mixture is stiff
  • Knead in the peppermint extract and food colouring (if using)
  • Roll out the mixture and using mini cutters, cut out the mints - I used a flower and bell shaped cutter
  • Flatten with a fork and place in the fridge for 24 hours.

Still not impressed?  Then log on to the amazing FaveCraftsblog for some fabulous crafty ideas to make.

Making your own gifts brings a great sense of achievement and pride so why not have a go...you may end up with an award winning business idea - remember me when you're famous!

What have you made as a Christmas gift? 

Send me your ideas and projects and the best ones will be featured in the Crafty Challenge section of 2014's blog - email me at writeherewritenow@aol.co.uk

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