Nearly everyone has that “What can I give that doesn’t cost much but still says I care” moment. Christmas comes at the time of year which often means a budget crunch – property taxes, fuel bills, school supplies if there are children in the family. Here are a few inexpensive, but sure to be appreciated gifts.
Inexpensive DIY Christmas Gifts
Home Made Snickerdoodles
“Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven,” might be a cliché, but nearly everyone appreciates a good cookie. Snickerdoodles do not require expensive additives such as chocolate or nuts. Combine ½ butter and ½ cup shortening or 1 cup butter flavored shortening; 1 ½ cup sugar; 1 tablespoon baking powder; ¼ cup salt; 2 eggs; 2 ¾ cups cake flour or white all-purpose flour. Cream the sugar and shortening/butter together, add the two eggs. Add the baking powder and then the flour, a half cup or so at a time until you have a stiff dough you can handle. Put ¼ cup sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon in a shallow dish. Form the dough into a ball and roll the ball in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Place on a baking pan and bake at 425 Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. The balls will flatten into moist, cinnamon sugar cookies. Line a clean, attractive box with tissue paper, then with wax paper. Place the cookies inside, fold over the wax paper, then the tissue paper. Put a lid on the box and wrap.
Granny Square Slippers
Use yarn scraps from other projects, or an inexpensive skein or two of variegated worsted for these. Make eight granny squares (or eight quilt blocks). Join four of them together to form a larger square. Next, place one square on top of one of the first four squares, and stitch or crochet the two outer edges together. This is the toe of the slipper Pull up the side pieces, joining them at the point, and stitch the forward edges to the toe. Join the other three squares as if you were going to make another square. Place this piece on the heel side of the square, so that the toe piece falls within the missing piece area. Stitch the outer edges together. This will form the back of the slipper, and make a cuff. Add a button and loop at the front to help keep them on.
Hand-drawn paper dolls
Check a book on figure drawing out from your local library. Use it as inspiration or trace the figures to make the paper doll. Make a copy of the doll form. Color the doll with crayons (wears better than a colored pencil). Trace around the copy to create clothing for the doll. Color and cut out or allow the recipient to color and cut out the clothing. Decorate a plain envelope as if it were a traveling trunk to hold the doll and the clothing. If time permits, make several dolls.