ArtFire Wednesday, December 3, 2008

With the country’s financial system in turmoil, everyone is looking for ways to save a few bucks this holiday season. While some Christmas shopping might be inevitable (Just make sure you shop handmade when you do shop!), there’s no need to spend more than you can afford. Listed below is a number of easy gift projects which can be completed at home with minimal costs.

Craft Your Presents in the Kitchen
If you your passion lays in cooking, you might try baking a festive treat for friends and family. Christmas sweets and candies tend to be a big hit in any crowd, whether they come in the form of yummy stocking stuffers or a delicious snack to munch on. Try giving peppermint bark or frosted cookies to family members, friends, or co-workers as x-mas gifts this year. Or if cooking isn’t your area of expertise, you could try packaging ingredients in fun jars as a kind of “future cooking project” and distributing them as presents!
A Picture is worth a Thousand Words
For the visually minded artisan, try making a special family photo album or recipe book. These gifts are full of shared experiences and memories and can make for a treasured possession. You can also try crafting up a fun scrapbook, showing a recent event or trip you took with family or friends.
Get Your Festive Craft Spirit on
Tree decorations make for a delightful holiday gifts, plus you can have a fun time just making them! Handmade ornaments can be crafted out of old art supplies or goodies you might have laying around the house like beads, buttons, fabric, salt dough, even old light bulbs! Get creative and experiment, the more expressive your ornaments are, the better. Make special decorations for everyone, maybe even matching them to fit that person’s character. Or if you’re feeling especially inventive, craft mini versions of your family members or friends as gifts!
Try a Traditional Homemade Gift
If you like working with your hands when you craft, you could try making fun seasonal candles as special holiday gifts. If you lack experience making candles, just buy a low-price kit from a nearby craft store. These kits usually produce a handful of candles, so you only need a few kits to craft enough gifts for everyone on your list! Add embellishments to your presents to make them festive and unique. Mix crushed flowers into your wax before letting it cool, Mold your candle into an unusual shape, or paint on festive patterns!
Thanks for reading, and remember to buy handmade this holiday season!