Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Custom Post Type

Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
Fine Print

Thoughtful Gifts on a Budget

Written by Sofia Martimianakis

The best gifts aren’t always the most expensive ones. We often say it’s the thought that counts, but there’s a reason why that’s a saying. Thoughtful gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money and they can make a lasting impression on your giftee. We put together some great ideas to get you started.

When it comes to receiving gifts the ones that really stand out in my mind are the hand-made, personalized, or otherwise thoughtful gifts geared towards my needs. Being mindful of your finances during the holidays doesn’t only mean shopping sales, there are many budget friendly DIY gift options that your friends and family will love.  No need to have extensive crafting experience, I’ve compiled a list of project ideas perfect for the novice crafter.

Brownie Mix in a Jar

For the person on your list who loves to eat treats but isn’t the most kitchen savvy, this mason jar full of almost all they need to make delicious brownies is sure to be a hit! Don’t forget to include an instruction tag with the information provided in the link (wet ingredients that need to be added to the mix and cooking instructions). For those with gluten-sensitivities or other dietary restrictions simply find a recipe for the brownies that matches their needs and layer the appropriate dry ingredients in the mason jar as shown in the example. 

Paint Chip Bookmarks and Commentary in your Favourite Book

Paint chip bookmarks are quick and easy to make and can be decorated with glitter, metallic pens, or stamps. What I’ve done in the past is include them with one of my favourite books that I’ve left notes in for the reader to discover. These notes can be your thoughts on particular passages, highlighting a favorite quote, sharing a memory that a paragraph reminds you of, or a question that came to mind while reading. Adding this personal touch will make reading the book even more enjoyable to the receiver of this one-of-a-kind present.

Dried Fruit Ornaments

Making dried fruit ornaments is a great project to do with your kids. You can decorate dried fruit ornaments with cloves and cinnamon stick embellishments so that they smell even better. Remember to pick a pretty ribbon to use for hanging. They can also be strung together to make a garland for a more substantial present.

Easy Gingerbread Cookies

I’ve tried this recipe before and it’s both easy to make and easy to eat! Don’t forget to pick up an assortment of icing pens, along with sprinkles and candies to decorate your creations. The dollar store often has plenty of holiday themed tins perfect for delivering your gingerbread cookies.

Painted Picture Frame

For this project you can either repurpose a picture frame you already have, or one that you find at a thrift store, with a fresh and vibrant coat of paint. Try to find a frame with interesting wood detailing; as shown in the example, this type of frame looks fantastic painted. Can’t find a unique frame? Another option is purchasing a simple wooden frame from a craft store, painting it with a base layer, and then using acrylic paint markers to write a personalized message on your frame like “World’s Best Grandparents”. Personalized frames make very thoughtful presents especially to those with upcoming milestones.

Mason Jar Potpourri

This project is quick and easy to put together, but it makes a big impact for those hosting holiday events. Fill a mason jar with seasonal fruits and spices like citrus, cranberries, cloves and cinnamon and include instructions on how to simmer the ingredients on low heat in 3 cups of water to fill their home with a delicious holiday scent. Link includes a free printable gift-tag!

Decorated Wooden Kitchen Utensils

Decorated wooden kitchen utensils are perfect for someone on your list who loves to cook or bake. You can either keep your design simple by using one color or make it a little more fancy by trying an ombre effect. Don’t forget a final coat of food-safe shellac to keep your designs intact wash after wash. Be prepared, after seeing how easy it is to spruce up wooden utensils you may want to decorate your own set!

Bonus Idea

I love painting wooden ornaments and have been including them in my Christmas cards to friends and family for years. I always sign the back with my name and the date. Plain wooden ornaments are available at craft stores and I’ve had great luck finding deals at department stores that sell them in boxed sets.

Looking for a way to make these DIY projects even more fun? Make a little event out of it by inviting some friends over to craft by your side. The dried fruit ornaments and easy gingerbread cookies are great projects to get younger kids involved in as your kitchen helpers. Older children may enjoy putting together a brownie mix in a jar or mason jar potpourri for their teacher.

Happy Crafting!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.