Helping you create a home by hand.

Christmas on a Budget Series – Gifts for Less than $2 Each

That is not a typo in the title. You really can make Christmas gifts for less than $2 per gift. In some cases, for free except for the time and love you put into making them.

As I mentioned in my first post in this series while our children are attending university/college, their big Christmas gift each year is their flight home. But we still like to have small gifts under the tree for them to open on Christmas morning, so I’ve had to get creative to keep those gifts within our budget.

Here’s an example of one such gift I’ve made:


Our oldest daughter struggles with allergies and when they get bad her nose can get really sore from using tissues. So one year, I made her a set of hankies from part of a thrifted white cotton sheet.

The great thing about using thrift sheets to make hankies is that the sheets have been washed so many times that they are super soft. I can usually buy these white sheets for $2 each for a twin sized flat sheet, which would yield twenty-four 15” square hankies (cut 16″X16″ then hemmed).

If you wanted to give sets of six hankies, as I did, you would end up with 4 gifts from one twin sheet; which makes the cost of each gift 50 cents.

Or free, if you happen to have an old flat sheet from a set where the fitted sheet has worn out.

She’s not a frilly type of girl, so I chose to keep her hankies plain, but you could easily buy vintage thrifted sheets in different colours and patterns. Or try adding some embellishments to take this gift up a notch; making it suitable for gift giving to even the most difficult on your list.

If your machine has decorative stitches you could add a line or two of those. Or if you like to embroider, you could add the recipient’s initial.

In addition, by increasing the size to 21″ square, you’d have the perfect size for cloth dinner napkins.

With many people making the switch from paper to cloth… hankies and cloth napkins are great eco-friendly gifts. And if you make your own, they’re wallet friendly too.

And speaking of wallets, these tea wallets were made from scraps of fabric left over from making my scrappy nine patch quilt top. I used this tutorial.  (The tutorial I originally linked to is no longer available but here’s a link to several different ones to choose from.)

tea wallets

Since the scraps were in my stash and the tea packages came from my pantry, these were free to make and give.

tea wallets - 2

Need your gift to be a bit more substantial? Add a mug from the Dollar Store and a drawstring bag big enough to hold the mug and you’ve got a gift your recipient can slip into their purse or briefcase and can take to work each day to use at break time. Depending on the fabric you choose the gift could be tailored to suit either a man or a woman.

For the young children on your list, puppets are a great imaginative play toy. And they can be super inexpensive to make from squares of crafting felt. I made the ones pictured below for less than $1 each.

Felt puppets

My original post about these puppets can be found in my post, Puppets are Great Imaginative Play Toys, along with photos of the puppet theatre I made from an old set of curtains to go with them.

If I was making puppets for a gift this year, I could have a lot of fun making this set of Old MacDonald and his farm animal puppets from the blog Just Another Day in Paradise.


More gifts for less than $2 each can be found in my archives or by clicking on these links:

Every Household Should Have a Button Box

Make it Monday – How to Make a Rice Hot/Cold Therapy Bag

Bean Soup in a Jar Mix

I hope you’ll continue to join me on the 25th of each month as I have lots more ideas to share to create Christmas on a Budget.

You can read the previous posts in the series Post #1 and Homemade Gift Tags.

I would be so pleased if you chose to share by clicking on one of the buttons below!


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  • Sandra :)
    April 25, 2011 11:21 pm

    Oh this is a fun topic – I admit to mailing some Christms 2009 gifts after I mailed their Christmas 2010 gifts – isn’t that awful? LOL! I now start getting ready in January so I don’t get disowned by the family, LOL! It’s always good to find new and thrifty ideas! One thing that’s helping get and keep me on track is to make a master gift list for Christmas and other gift giving occasions – this way I have previous years gifts listed so I don’t duplicate, and I have less of a tendency to miss important occasions – I also find it very satisfying to mark items off as being COMPLETED 🙂

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