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How I Plan to Make Holiday Gifts Cheap and Green

November 9th, 2007 at 04:51 pm

Ive been thinking about holiday gifts for everyone on my list, and Ive come up with some neat possibilities that are both frugal and green.

First of all, I plan to make some reusable fabric gift bags - I think I have enough scrap fabric to do it, and I have a machine available at the school. A few straight seams, and either a drawstring or some ribbon, and I have bags that can be used over and over again!

I hate wrapping presents anyway, so this will save me time, effort, and money.


For Voldemort, who will be 8 months old, and his cousin, the Critter, who will be 4 months old, and we want to avoid all the made in China plastic/lead worries:

-I Spy bag. I have some scrap fleece and a bedspread bag that I can use for the window. Little treasures will be easy enough to come up with (beads, buttons, small toys), and Ill probably fill it with rice instead of the polypellets.

This is a toy with small parts so a baby will need supervision with it!

There is a tutorial for making I Spy bags here.


I might make an I Spy bottle instead - using a recycled Dr Pepper 1L bottle, and superglueing the top on.

Easy, cheap, and cute!

-babylegs! Baby leg warmers, basically. better than tights, and really good for protecting a crawler's little knees.

These are really easy. Women's tube socks or knee socks in whatever pattern you like. They just need to be cut off at the ankle, and a cuff made from the foot. There's a nice flickr tutorial here.

Ive made two pair from this tutorial, and it is really easy.


-fabric blocks

I dont have a pattern for these yet, but it should be pretty easy. And I have plenty of fiberfill to use, and it would be just as easy to slip a bell inside so it makes noise when the blocks fall. I think this will turn out really cute. The one thing that might be problematic is stuffing them - if they get overstuffed, they wont stack, and I really want a set for stacking.


For my dad, Ill make Toll House cookies - his favorite. He has yet to complain about the little tweaks Ive made to the original recipe - cutting the fat some with applesauce, and adding a little bit of cinnamon doesnt change too much about it, and is very yummy.

Ill need to get my hands on a tin to send them in, but I have everything else I need for this.

Ill probably also buy him an orchid - he has a little greenhouse and he LOVES orchids. His birthday is December 26, so I always stress about coming up with TWO gifts that close together.

For my mom and Brandus' parents, we're thinking of Journal Jars and a small blank notebook.

We want to make all the journal prompts focused on childhood and family, because ultimately, we'd love for Voldemort to have these as memories of his grandparents. Based on the fact Brandus' dad has about 6 months left to live, it would be even better of a keepsake.

You can make your own prompts or print them out. I bet using wrapping paper scraps would be really pretty to put prompts on.

All we need is to find a couple of jars - we have a spaghetti sauce jar that will be perfect.

For my sisters and my brother in law, we've already discussed making contributions toHeifer International, which is an awesome charity.

For everyone, we'll probably also make calenders for 2008, which we've done for the past several years. Word has a template for calenders and we've taken tons of pictures of the kiddo, so all that has to be supplied is paper and color ink.

The only problem is that we would then need to make copies and have the calenders bound. And we're 600 miles away from the nearest Office Depot. Hmm.

The only person Ive got left to worry about is my husband! And Im completely stumped when it comes to him!


Most everything on here can be made with recycled materials, and takes more labor than money. I hope some of these ideas will be useful to somebody else. And if anybody has any other ideas for homemade gifts, Id love to hear them!

1 Responses to “How I Plan to Make Holiday Gifts Cheap and Green”

  1. Amber Says:

    The gift bags are a great idea, I never thought of that and it has a personal touch.

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