Creating gifts under 5 dollars, can be a challenge, but not impossible you just need to get creative!
Whether you are seriously cutting back on gift giving this year, or you are in one of those "secret Santa" gifts pools at work with a limit of 5 dollars, or you are just starting out and just don't have the money this year, here are some great ideas.
1. a gift token for 2 coffees from the local coffee shop, and place it in a coffee mug from the dollars store. Depending on how close you are to this person, you could also mention you would love to join them for that coffee! Many people look forward to spending time with you instead of large gifts, so this one can be fun.
2. Print your own stationary. Find a nice photograph or picture on your computer hard drive, and print off 10 pages or so, then find a folder style clip board at the dollar store and clip your stationary in it, and place a few plain envelopes in the pocket.
3. You can find plain unfinished wooden frames at the dollar store and you can spend some time decorating them. One way to do this, is to tear pieces of brown paper in small pieces and decoupage on to the frame and wrap around. You don't need to buy decoupage glue, just mix 1/2 white glue and 1/2 water in a bowl and brush both sides of the paper and then put on the frame. Then coat the entire frame with more of this glue mixtures. When dry it will resemble worn leather. Now put in a great picture, or leave blank for their own picture.
4. Print out a few of your best recipes with a theme, such as cookies, or chicken or dessert and print them on decorative paper (you can also find this at the dollar store) and place in a binder for their own cookbook of your great recipes. The dollar store can be your best friend for supplies to create great gifts.
5. Create a Christmas Ornament, by decorating plain glass balls with some glass paint, these make lovely gifts under 5 dollars.
6. If your loved one has a pet cat, then find scraps of fabric (the fabric store has bins of end of roll specials) or find some left over fabric of your own, and cut out 2 squares of fabric with pinking shears or decorative cutting scissors, approx 3 inches square, and then sew them together with the decorative edges on the outside (wrong sides together) and leave an opening to fill with cat nip. Then sew the opening closed. You can get a box of cat nip for pretty cheap at the large discount stores in the pet section. You can make a few of these.
7. Find a empty clean and dry coffee tin, complete with its plastic lid, and then prime the outside of the can with metal paint, and paint with bones or if you are artistic enough, dogs and fire hydrants. Once dry, fill with some dog treats (large discount store or dollar store) This is their own doggy cookie jar.
8. Find a large cookie tin (either recycle one of your own, or purchase from the dollar store) and fill with bird seed and small scoop. You could make a few of these and then get the larger bag of bird seed to divide between them saving you even more money. You can paint the outside of the tin with metal paint to decorate, so they don't think they are getting cookies!. Great for the avid birder.
9. If you make crafts, why not make a DVD of you creating a craft, showing the steps and make a few copies on your computer? Most digital cameras have a movie option now, you can transfer this to your computer and then burn onto blank DVD's. You can get a package of blank DVD's for a good price in the large discount stores.
This may initially cost you more than 5 dollars, but you can make a lot of DVD's! Then create a cover page, maybe of your finished project, and a list of items needed to make this craft, and place in the front of the DVD.
10. Another great use for the computer, and for gifts under 5 dollars, is to make a CD of all your best recipes, or family photos, or whatever you feel your gift recipient would like. Then create a personalized cover for the CD case. I did this for my siblings, by scanning old pictures from photo albums onto my computer and then onto the CD.. They loved it! They can then decide if they want to print any. I also printed one of the best old photos onto plain paper and cut it to fit the CD cover!
When it comes to gifts under 5 dollars, you have to think more creatively, but it can be done, and your loved one or gift recipient will appreciate the time and effort you put into this gift.
The best part of this, is that it can be fun, and come January your mail box is not overflowing with bills! Just don't leave it until Christmas Eve!