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This is not a new tip
as such but a big thank you for the idea of making ones own
gift baskets. I
followed the idea of creating themes and made one on baking,
and another on scone making. It is great to be
creative and the cost of these baskets is so cheap compared
to ready made ones. - E.L., Christchurch
the last few years all the adult family members decided to
enjoy the food, wine, and company for Xmas. The gift buying
is only done for the children, grandchildren etc. That is
what makes it a great day - watching their faces! - Sue,
reader from Whangarei is having a "make it" Xmas.
One lucky family of relatives will be receiving a
custom-made chicken coop made from left-over building
materials. "It features Ritz style nesting boxes and
perches to cater for every rung on the pecking order."
lot of my Xmas gifts came from dollar stores. No one needs to know the
price. I bought men's and women's perfume for only $6. It was well
worth my time and money when you are on very tight budget. - LM,
Christmas ideas. Print out a snowflake template from
it onto an old plastic milk bottle, cut it out, decorate
with glitter, buttons, beads etc and then glue a child's
photo to the centre, punch a hole, add ribbon and you have a
gorgeous personalised ornament to hang on your tree or a
grandparents one. - Andrea, Te Puke
Christmas sweets. If you make uncooked slices, instead of
spreading it flat - roll in balls and coat with coconut -
Truffles. For gifts put about 6 in the containers you get
from supermarket deli sections. Some supermarkets will sell
them for a nominal cost. - Ranat, Christchurch
A lot of my Xmas gifts
came from dollar stores. No one needs to know the price. I
brought men's and women's perfume for only $6. It was well
worth my time and money when you are on very tight budget. -
I was on a very tight budget so this year I
decided to give a jewel I no longer wear as a Christmas
gift. I made a pretty gift bag for it. I get most of my
gifts from the dollar store like coin save or variety plus
shops. - L.M.
We have decided this is
the best way to go this Christmas. I have made beach bags
for my Grand daughter Cost nothing as I have material scraps
at home As they are teenagers have included an inexpensive
hair bush, lippy hair grip and mascara One granddaughter has
made an apron for mom and painted a picture for dad and has
hand made pressies for her friends at school. I do all the
Christmas baking which includes the cake, mince pies,
truffles and stuffed dates. The girls bake biscuits for the
neighbours. – MD, Auckland.
My three year old has
been very busy all year making Christmas gifts. We bake and
freeze throughout the year and save our large tin cans for
him to paint and pop plants into them for the gardeners in
the family. We also make him decorate all our labels (for
homebrew and chutneys) and because he goes to kindy and
makes about 10 pictures a week throughout the year I use
them as wrapping paper for pressies. The family love getting
his 'gifts' and he is very proud of his hard work and
peoples reactions to it. - A OS, Wellington.
I have recently been trawling galas, garage sales and op
shops for Christmas pressies for the kids. You can buy
fantastic gifts at very reasonable prices. I have bought all
my nieces and nephews puzzles and games of their favourite
cartoon characters for 20c each and they are still in almost
new condition. My nieces are also getting jewellery boxes
that were less than 50c each and my son is getting a huge
box of lego we found for $5. Cannot believe how little we
have spent so far and the fantastic toys and gifts the kids
are getting this year. Have also saved some presents for
Birthdays too! - A OS, Wellington.
Save as much money as you can using your supermarket
Christmas Club. When Christmas time comes around you can use
your club money to do the usual shopping, saving your usual
shopping money to spend at other retailers. Also
buy non perishable goods, (soap, detergent, foil, loo paper,
rubbish bags, stuff that you won't be tempted to use before
Christmas), when they are on sale through out the year and
put them aside for the Christmas period. Leaving you more
money for nicer things. - Mean Girl", Hastings.
have a lot of soap pieces that I keep during the year. I
render them down in an old pot, when it's a bit cooler add
petals from your garden, even pieces of orange peel, apple
peel, lavender flowers, even use your old perfume. Use
cookie cutters [$2 shop] stand on waxed paper, and tip the
melted soap in and let it set, and wrap in sellaphane paper
and tie with ribbon. D.M.
think the only way to prepare for each Xmas is to put some
money away each week, fortnight or whatever and try NOT to
use it during the year. It makes things so much easier
and not so stressful. Buy presents during the year but it
this doesn't happen put a limit on each present and stick to
it. The same goes when buying groceries - stick to a
limit and look for specials ALL THE TIME!!!!! If you haven't
got the cash on hand for Xmas items then the credit
card nightmare begins and the start of the New
Year is one big nightmare!!! Don't go there!!!! -
Peter & Robyn.
Last year I made pickles and chutney and made nice home made
labels for them on my computer. I wrapped each jar in bright
red or green new tea towels and tied them with ribbon. My
friends seemed well pleased with them and if you make a few
extra they come in handy for gifts for people who visit
around Xmas time (recycled jars of course). These can be
made in advance and take a lot of stress out of Xmas. - Canny Scot, Christchurch
years I have been making gifts for my family and getting
ideas from others. these include; oven gloves, pot-plants,
photo frames (either make your own or do up an old one from
a garage sale or second hand shop, with a nice family photo
in it), homemade body or cleaning products (good ideas in
library books), sewn handbags or pillowcases, homemade
lollies, drawer, wardrobe and shoe sachets to keep clothes
and shoes smelling fresh, garden signs, decorated notepaper
or handmade paper and notebooks (get a made or brought plain
notebook like a school or office one for a few dollars from
paper plus etc, and cover neatly with nice material),
card sets (make nice all occasion cards and envelopes, and
put in a nice box), jewellery from old beads, buttons
and wire etc. The list goes on, and I find it real fun to
think of and make presents for people, especially useful
ones. - E.H
was helping my daughter with her stickers, and after I'd
taken the stickers of, the plastic that the stickers were on,
I cut around the shapes, and painted them with finger nail
polish, and made a small hole with a needle, and hung them
up on a small stick in the bathroom. Already my friends ask
me where did I buy them, but that is my secret. Try it, the
recycling habit is so good. D.M.
Buy a cheap ($7) bunch of flowers from the supermarket; take
it home, carefully undo it, and add flowers, ivy, small
berry branches from your garden to the outside of the bunch.
Wrap it again in the paper it came in with maybe a ribbon.
You will end up with a spectacular bouquet that looks
amazing at a fraction of the cost of one from a florist. –
bought two inexpensive pillowcases and have just finished
embroidering a design on them. With the addition of a bit of
lace, I have some pretty, personalised pillow cases for a
Christmas present. I did the same with a plain tablecloth,
which I found at an op’ shop, but this time I used fabric
paint for the design. One does not need to be an artist to
do this, just copy or trace a simple picture, and transfer
using transfer paper from an art supply store. I start
making/buying Christmas presents early in the year, so that
by Christmas, I have them all already. - PB.
daughter loves to give her teacher a gift each year. Not
costly, around $10. However, this year, she decided that she
wanted to give a gift to 3 other teachers and also those who
care for her after school. I realised this was going to be
too costly so made a batch of Russian fudge, brought 6 cheap
pretty glass containers from the warehouse, some ribbon and
everyone got lovely ribbon wrapped Russian fudge for a gift!
Definitely going to do it again this year as it's a very
cost effective way to cater for all the teachers. -
GIFTS: collected seeds popped into home made gift envelopes
make wonderful gifts for gardening lovers. -
Our wider family got together and decided to limit Christmas
gifts to $2 per person. That way nobody is too disappointed
when they don't get anything flash. After all what do you
expect $2? So what can you give for $2?
- Photos with a
message printed across them, from digital machines.
- Photo frame, brought
or home made.
- Plants grown from
seed or cuttings.
- Home made biscuits,
cakes, drinks, etc
- Personalised pens
made by printing names (or something more
imaginative), on stickers in a small font. Also make
a pen holder to go with them.
- Glue give away
fridge magnets to the back of a small notepad, maybe
attach a photo or calendar to the top to personalise
it. You now have a handy shopping list to keep on
- A family favourite
is chocolate. Look for a mould that has about a
dozen deep individual shapes. Slowly melt chocolate
in the microwave to coat the sides of the shapes.
When they have set fill with a cold gnache, made by
heating 100mls of cream and dissolving 100grms of
chocolate into it. This can then be flavoured with
peanut butter, liqueurs or honey.
- Kids love to get a
plastic glass full of lollies.
- Just make your gift
look good and have fun! -Mean Girl", Hastings.
about 6 or 7 years I have been making my own greeting cards.
I started by taking the insert out of the cards people had
given to me, put a new one in and send them to someone else.
Then someone was kind enough to give me off cuts from a
printing firm and I cut out the front of the old greeting
card and put it in the new card. And a school gave me
photocopy paper, which had only been partly printed. Then
friends started to give me their old cards and it has become
a little cottage industry, with some people buying my cards.
Then last year I heard you could make your own paper with
torn up paper and water! So I bought a paper making kit and
that’s what I do as a hobby! I still cut out old greeting
cards and even have used stamps from envelopes to make an
abstract design on the cards. After cutting inserts for the
cards, I often have lots of scraps left over and that in
turn gets used for making more pulp. – J.O. Christchurch.
Cut the back off
previous years cards and fold the front in half to make gift
tags. This works best with patterned cards rather than a
complete picture. - F.L., Auckland