Every November, I start thinking about Christmas gifts. I want my gifts to mean something, to be thoughtful, and to not cause me to take out an additional bank loan. This always sends me scouring around my craft room and storage areas—there is always something I am not using, never used, or forgot I had. With a little thought, personalization, and time, you can make unique and well-received gifts for next to nothing.
For the Kids!
- Collect all of your broken and dull crayons, remove all paper, break into small pieces, put in mini muffin tins (or silicone mold), and bake at 230 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool, remove from mold and package your groovy new crayons.
- Make a pencil pouch with leftover scraps of fabric and zippers. We call them treasure pouches in our home, because let’s be honest, nobody is using them for actual pencils! Try this tutorial!
- Using an old sweater, sew new mittens for little hands.
Put a photo on it! Everything is better with pictures and personalization
- Make a pillow with a favorite photo with your friend—or just of you so they can snuggle up with your handsome face (follow these directions for printing on fabric, then sew it and stuff it).
- Make a one-of-a-kind piece of art with a large slab of wood and whichever special photograph you find.
- Give a personalized mug using one you already own (without stains) or a dollar-store mug. Write messages or draw pictures on the outside with a Sharpie and put in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Add homemade cocoa mix or some favorite beverage and tie it up with a ribbon.
- Use an old mason jar and etch the name or initials of the gift receiver. Fill it with their favorite candy and a bow!
- We all have ten (if not many more) frames hanging around our storage spaces unused and unloved. Breathe new life into them and show them a new home.
- Create an artistic life geographyfor someone
by printing out the state of your recipient’s birth, future, or current state
- Using a large frame, remove the glass and all backings. Cut a thin piece of plywood the size of the inside of the frame, paint it with chalkboard paint and affix to empty frame. Give with a new box of chalk.
- An old frame with chicken wire, ribbons, string, or lace attached across the back makes for a nifty jewelry holder. Never misplace your other earring again.
- Paint an old picture frame and add a piece of fabric (a vintage napkin?) under the glass. Depending on your recipient, gift it as a dry erase message board (with accompanying dry erase markers) or a pretty tray to hold perfumes and other small items.
Go Forth and Gift
For extra repurposing and savings, use old newspapers and packing paper to wrap your gifts and use yarn to tie it up. It’s completely vintage and chic again! Lucky you!
What are your favorite ways to repurpose and gift? Do you recycle gifts and personalize? Would you like to receive any of these ideas for a gift?