Homemade Holiday Presents! Lets help each other! Ideas WANTED!

It's A Happy Day

<font color=darkorchid>I am on a troll<br><font co
Jun 16, 2005
Also, would love any ideas for $25-$30 basket for teen girl?? or any ideas for baskets for men??? Thanks for all the ideas!:santa:
Girls: lip gloss, nail polish, eye shadow - usually Walmart, CVS, etc. have a cheap brand - think Wet N Wild is 1 of them that around $1 per item. Hair Accessories - dollar store. Brush, Combs, journal.

Men: tees, golf balls, dollar store - various tools, cards, snacks, GC for that morning coffee, razors, shaving cream, various cologne samples if they wear cologne, flashlight.

Non Gender specific:
Car kit - you can do safety with flares, flashlight, matches, granola bars, bottled water, throw blanket, flat fix it. OR do cleaning - pail, sponges, car soap, air fresheners, quarters for the local vaccuum place with a note saying such, armor all wipes for interior, etc.

Movie Buckets - Party stores also sell cardboard popcorn buckets. Target/Dollar Stores have cute red & white popcorn holders, cheap movies or GC for a rental place, popcorn, candy, soda or other beverages. If you theme the movies - horror (dracula teeth, fake spiders), comedy (funny eyeglasses, bug in the fake ice cube), romance (choc.hugs & kisses, wine), you could throw in a couple items for that specific theme.

Food Baskets
Desserts - you could do mixes vs. ready made. Mixes for brownies, muffins, cakes, canned frosting, cookies, decorating toppings.
Cookies - make your own
Coffees - usually I will pair up coffee pot single packages (makes 1 pot) and cookies or another dessert item.

Every Christmas we get a can of pringles, a matchbox car, nuts, cards, fruit in our stocking. Great filler items for little $$$.


DIS Veteran
Jul 21, 2007
I think what I'm doing this year is making family 'movie' baskets.

Take a basket and fill the bottom with shredded paper. Put in boxed 'movie theater candy' (buy at Factory Card Outlet... cheap cheap cheap!) and buy a couple boxes of microwave popcorn. Take the popcorn pouches out and arrange with the boxed candy. I'll either then purchase some DVD's from the budget bins or put in a $15 gift card to Blockbuster. I'll then put shrinkwrap on it and tie with a bow. Ta-da! I'm guessing, if I do the gift card idea, it'll be around $25 per basket, as long as I can find some nice cheap baskets on Black Friday :thumbsup2
if there is a hobby lobby by you sometimes they have nice baskets that are cheap:):goodvibes i love that idea!!!


DIS Veteran
Aug 4, 2004
Easy sewing projects- that's what I'm doing this year! (I found directions to all online or figured out myself)

lunch bags
cosmetic bags (with scraps)
hot/cold wraps
sleeping masks

and my favorite: pj pants (buy fleece onsale for 1.99 a yard... takes approx 2 yards/pair)
Do you have a online pattern for the lunch or cosmetic bags? Thanks!

Last year I made:

No Sew Tu Tus for my nieces, applebutter and homemade bread for DH and I's Grandparents, filefolder games for my boys and nephews, and a photo calendar for my parents. I'm not at all crafty but these projects were pretty simple and gave me a little quiet time doing the busy holiday rush.
How did you make the No Sew Tu-Tus? Thanks!
  • allison443

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 13, 2002
    Similar to the movie baskets, last year I gave "dinner and a movie" baskets-a gift card to Blockbuster, fancy shaped pasta and fancy sauce (like $6 a jar :scared1: not what I usually buy) some bruscetta or breadsticks. I put it in a basket lined with a nice cloth napkin. They turned out really nice. I got the pasta and sauce at Wegmans-they were splurges, kinds that the people wouldn't normally buy for themselves.
    The baskets went over well :thumbsup2 and they were consumable instead of being "more stuff."


    <font color=red>I'm sitting here watching the new
    Feb 2, 2006
    Do you have a online pattern for the lunch or cosmetic bags? Thanks!

    How did you make the No Sew Tu-Tus? Thanks!
    Here is a link to some instructions:

    These aren't mine, but I used them and they worked great. I added some fake gerber daisies to the waist bands on mine and it finished them off very nicely. I got a little carried away with the tulle on mine, I used pink, blue, yellow, and purple with my first tu tu and the thing was massive. My niece however loved how poofy it was and it was one of her favorite gifts according to her Mom.


    <font color=purple>They can take away my freedom b
    Sep 15, 1999
    Things that have gone over well in the past are:
    For young couples or newlyweds(or the Mom who has recently decided that a McDonald's happy meal really isn't dinner) a lasagna baking dish(about $8 at Walmart) filled with recipes on decorated cards, a spatula($1),plastic serving spoon($1), measuring spoons, etc. For a young mother, I added a box of reynold's baking bags($2), some recipes for roasts, hams, lasagna, and a few casseroles, and a card listing various recipe websites I liked. If the person is a good friend that you would normally spend more than $10 on, you can splurge and buy the baking dish that includes a lid and carrying case(called take-alongs, I think), and add the other cheap items. I always add something to the bottom of the dish before adding the items(colorful tissue paper, streamers, confetti, even cheap Christmas-colored fabric from walmart looks good), and I tie a big bow around the whole thing. Another variation is to buy the $5 crock-pot from Walmart on Black Friday(I own 2, and they work great) and fill it with crock-pot recipes, a few cheap spices, etc. It comes in a box that can easily be wrapped, and it looks really nice with the added items.

    One year I had a hard time finding a suitable container for the movie basket idea, so I bought plain white Christmas gift boxes(a shirt box, I think), and had my kids decorate the box to look like a movie ticket. I put a Blockbuster gift-card in the box, along with movie-size candy and microwave popcorn packs, and a few packets of Crystal Light drink mix. The teachers LOVED them!

    Gift baskets of any kind are cute and easy. I try to make 1 item, and purchase a few filler items to make the basket look more professional. Adding home-baked cookies to a basket filled with a kitchen mitt and cookie cutters(Christmas-themed, of course) seems to dress the cookies up a bit.

    I am planning to try something new this year for a few relatives: pre-made scrapbooks that they can add their own pictures to. It will be time-consuming, but I think it will go over well. Unfortunately, my time is more limited than in years past. Just when I get my oldest daughter settled into campus life, it is time to fill out college applications for middle daughter(17, a senior in high school). And she doesn't just dream, she dreams BIG...she is applying to Chapel Hill! With her grades and extra-curricular activities, she would get accepted into almost any NC college, probably with a fair amount of financial aid. But she wants to go to the one school where every applicant looks as good as her...or better! And her brother(14) will be applying to the Science and Math school near Chapel Hill at the same time, so I may not get around to doing anything special for Christmas. I do have a plan B if I find myself strapped for cash and time this year(which is quite likely), but I'm not ready to concede just yet.


    Which way to the Hundred Acre Woods
    Oct 22, 2004
    For all those people you have to give a little gift to (like the ladies who are at the after school care program), we do a "movie night" gift (like others have mentioned). This is a GC for one movie at blockbuster, one bag of microwave popcorn, and a few hershey's kisses. It's a consumable gift for a wide range of tastes and it always goes over well and is relatively cheap. We get plain bags and decorate them with stamps and what not to put the items in.
  • grlpwrd

    <font color="orange">I'm here for the mouse more t
    Jul 28, 2000
    gift baskets with different themes - use coupons to lower the cost. One year we made snowman decorating kits. We included a plastic carrot, scarf from the dollar store, black stones, and a hat.

    sewn or handmade items - www.craftster.org and http://www.mormonchic.com/crafty (the gal is Mormon)

    decoupaged items - This year I am decoupaging vintage rotary phones with various pics and giving them as gifts. One year I did clocks with the kids' pics for grandparents and another year we made trays. Another year we made handbags with the kids' handprints on them.

    www.familyfun.com (and their magazine) have a lot of great ideas.

    homemade goodies - One year we made gingerbread houses. This past year we made gingerbread men decorating kits as featured in Family Fun magazine.


    Earning My Ears
    Aug 15, 2007
    My sister just moved into her first apartment, and for Christmas my partner and I are planning to give her one of those basic red toolboxes. We plan to fill the toolbox with all of the basic tools you need (screwdriver, hammer, measuring tape, etc.) and then decoupage the outside with all sorts of fun designs, her name, and pictures.

    For anyone looking to do the photo calendar, I "bought" one from Kodak Gallery on My Coke Rewards last week for about 150 points. Not sure if they're still there or not...
  • amyy

    <font color=royalblue> I do pat them out on a flou
    Aug 5, 2003
    The best gift I ever gave was at a time in my life when I had the least amount of money. It wasn't for christmas but rather for college graduation but I thought I would post anyway. I had about 1/2 of the squares signed by various people such as my friend's children, husband, boss, grandmother, parents, friends etc. I had to hunt the people down and some I had never met. On their square they wrote a message. The fabric was bought at a surplus store but it all came together. I had only made a few quilts and I am sure it wasn't "perfect" in sewing terms but it was the perfect gift.

    I love the ideas in the Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. One idea is to fill a jar with candy, wrap in tissue paper and then put a tag with different Christmas sayings. Examples are: Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home.-Edith Sitwell. At Christmas, play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year-thomas Tusser.

    When doing Secret Santa I like to do the 12 days of Christmas. On the first day 1 magazine, 2nd day 2 socks etc. It is fun to think of things that aren't expensive. I have used 4 postage stamps, 6 candy canes, 10 homemade cookies etc.

    Great thread


    <font color=green> I think I could adjust!! <br><f
    Mar 11, 2002
    filefolder games for my boys and nephews, and a photo calendar for my parents. I'm not at all crafty but these projects were pretty simple and gave me a little quiet time doing the busy holiday rush.

    Kate--what kinds of games did you do for the file folders? This sounds like a good idea, but I am at a bit of a loss. Well, I can do ones for the 2-5 yo's but did you do any older kid ones?

    For those that have done the car care basket, what would you think of giving that to a kid who is going to be 16 next spring? Maybe I should wait another year, huh?

    Love the 12 days of Christmas and the Dinner and a movie basket ideas. Might have to do those for the SILs this year.

    I think my fav homemade gifts were trivets. I found white tiles at the craft store, used paint that you bake to set and painted DDs hand so we made a handprint on it. Added her name and the year and gave it to the grandma's and grandpa. She is 11 now and they still have and use them. I think for the grandparents this year I am going to have all the kids do handprints in a baking dish and do the same thing.


    <font color=green> I think I could adjust!! <br><f
    Mar 11, 2002
    So, you guys have me on the ball this morning and I'm making my cookie list. Does anyone make dough ahead of time and freeze it? I'm prego this yr and get tired fast. If so, does it taste the same?
    All the time. My mom raised 8 kids and she would make a huge batch of dough and then divide it into however many sets so she could just pull it out and bake a few dozen at a time. She actually would store it in old juice cans by filing them up and covering over with Saran Wrap and then putting a rubber band around to hold it in place.


    <marquee><font color=deeppink>I rather be swimming
    Feb 17, 2006
    I love these ideas! Now, any ideas how to transport some of these on a plane? We will have to fly home for Christmas.


    Jan 31, 2000
    A few ideas:

    Apples & Caramel Dip - Small (pint) canning jars filled with wrapped caramels (Kraft are the best), and the recipe for making caramel dip. I printed the directions on a decorative card and tied it to the the canning jar lid. Then purchased holiday plates and/or holiday trays (Dollar Tree and other stores had pottery type ones and plastic), placed the jar of caramels in the middle and surrounded that with apples. I then placed them in large cellophane bags (used for cookies and the like). Dollar Tree had Thanksgiving and Christmas ones 2/$1. For larger familes we gave more apples and used a quart jar of caramels. Everyone loved it and then the plate was a keeper. Use Granny Smith or any other firm apple, as they hold up to the dipping.

    Salsa and Chips - We used to have a great friend who made home-made salsa. I bought a jar for each gift, placed this in the basket and added a bag of nacho chips. Again the baskets were keepers, and who doesn't like food. Even if you don't make your own salsa, Target's Archer Farms Mild Salsa with black beans and corn is to die for! Best jarred salsa I have ever had!

    Happy gifting!


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 9, 2006
    I love the caramel and apple dip idea, now I need to add more people to my list to give them to:rotfl2:

    It's A Happy Day

    <font color=darkorchid>I am on a troll<br><font co
    Jun 16, 2005
    I love the caramel and apple dip idea, now I need to add more people to my list to give them to:rotfl2:
    I too LOVE this idea and I am thinking that I might do this for my kids teachers for teacher appreciation week (I have the holiday gifts done already so can't do that).

    Thanks to ALL for the ideas! I am getting a list together of things to pick up at craft stores (using the weekly 40% off coupons too!) & such to put away for rainy day projects for the kids. That way we have something to do in bad weather and I can get a present out of the way!


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