The holidays are such a festive and joyous time of year. Don’t let a tight budget turn you into Scrooge! All you need to do is recalibrate your thinking from “gift buying” to “gift making,” get some supplies, and fully engage your creativity. We’ve rounded up some great inexpensive, easy-to-make gifts for everyone on your list. Your friends and family will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and your budget will thank you for your thriftiness.
Custom-made spice blends presented in a pretty bottle make for an easy – and inexpensive - DIY gift. The trick to keeping expenses in check is buying your spices in bulk. You can do that online or by shopping your local ethnic market. The other item you need are glass bottles, which you can find online or at your local craft or thrift store.
Give some thought to what kind of blends you’ll be creating before making any purchases. There is no shortage of interesting recipes on the Internet. Here’s one to get your started, and it’s perfect for the grillmaster in your life. You can give it as a stocking stuffer or combine it with a gift basket featuring other grilling essentials, like an apron featuring a very bad pun! An individual jar of barbeque spice rub can be put together in ten or so minutes, making it perfect for a last-minute gift. Making multiple jars, of course, will take more time.
Mix the following ingredients for a 1 cup yield. Place in a jar, add a bow, and voila, a homemade gift ready for giving. Have more time? Consider making a jar label.
Show the special people in your life – and your wallet – a little love with handmade gifts like bath bombs, spa baskets, or these easy-to-make items.
Materials: 12″ x 12″ pieces of flannel, white rice, a sewing needle or a sewing machine and thread, optional drops of essential oils
Extra touch: Include a pretty tag with handwritten instructions for use – "Use microwave to heat rice bags for 1 to 2 minutes. Enjoy!"
Epic beards require epic care, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Beard oil is a must-have to tame unruly facial hair and add luster to all beards. For best results, use both essential oils and carrier oils. Carrier oils serve to dilute the essential oils, which are highly concentrated and can lead to skin irritations. Certain oils can even promote beard growth. Using at least three carrier oils will produce great results.
What You’ll Need:
The following recipe will produce a pleasing scent and include oils that will promote both hair growth and healthy skin. Once you get this one down, you can experiment with different oil combinations to create your unique signature beard oil. Just remember that you should use no fewer than three carrier oils. Mix each batch directly into the glass bottle. Important! You must use glass bottles. Essential oils are potent and can leach impurities out of plastic bottles. Use a funnel to add the carrier oils, then a dropper for the essential oils.
When you venture into your own blends, just make sure you have between 20 and 25 combined drops
Extra touches: Tie a tag with instructions to the bottle. Instructions can be as simple as “Before going to bed, apply a few drops on your beard and massage them into your beard.” And speaking of that bottle, let your creativity run wild and design your own beard oil label.
These two gift ideas make perfect presents for anyone. Who wouldn’t love a monogrammed key chain or a batch of cookie cutter fudge?
This simple concept – adding the recipient’s initials to clay – yields stunning results. You just need to go the craft store to pick up a few items, then follow these instructions to create personalized key chains anyone would appreciate.
Two Gifts in One – Fudge in a Cookie Cutter
Make your favorite fudge recipe and spoon it into a prepared cookie cutter. The results? A delicious little treat that doubles as a durable gift.
As the fudge heats up and melts, prepare the cookie cutters. Take some aluminum foil and place it around the outside of the cutters so the fudge doesn’t run out. Next, spoon the fudge into the shapes – you need to work quickly so using two spoons is best. Press the fudge in place and add your toppings.
When all the fudge is cooled down, wrap the treat-filled cookie cutters in cellophane and add a cute gift tag.
You can make these for the pet-loving hoomans on your list. And if you ARE a pet-loving hooman, share these with your fur-babies and you’re sure to get a lot of lovin’ back.
Just three ingredients are in these delectables kitties will love. Here’s how to make them using canned salmon, egg, and flour. For extra cuteness, get a cookie cutter in the shape of small goldfishes.
These festive little treats are super easy to make from a few healthy ingredients. This recipe yields 24 “pupcakes,” if you use a mini-muffin baking tin.
Ingredients for cake:
Crafting your own gifts will save you a lot of money over purchasing, but you’ll still need to buy materials. When shopping, why not give yourself the gift of cash rewards by using our Founder’s Rewards Card? You can earn 2%* or 1.5% cash rewards with our credit card, and you won’t pay an annual fee. To apply for the card, visit psecu.com/founders. Not a member? Join us today to get this as well as other money-saving perks.
*You can earn 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. You can earn 2% cash rewards on purchases if you maintain a PSECU checking account and qualifying monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $500. See the Visa® Founder's Card and Visa® Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.