Everyone's feeling the pinch this year, and maybe this would be a good year to create some simple homemade Christmas gifts. Nothing wrong with pulling back the throttles on spending and giving your credit card a well deserved rest.

But if you think you are just not "crafty" enough for handmade Christmas gifts, or that they may appear cheap, then you are wrong. There are some great products on the market now, especially in large craft stores and fabric stores, with affordable craft supplies that can create some awesome Christmas gifts, that will come right from the heart.  You can even find many supplies online.

You may just find, that your gift recipient will really love the idea, that you put in the time and effort for a nice gift, rather than just whipping out your credit card and buying the latest in gadgets without much thought.

Here are a few simple gifts for you to try. Even if they just inspire you to get a bit creative, you can always search the internet for more simple patterns, but give these a try and you will have happy people opening their special gifts this year, and your January credit card statements will be like a breath of fresh air.

Fleece Blanket

Who couldn't use a nice warm cuddly blanket for the couch, on those cooler winter nights. With most people trying to conserve energy, a warm fleece blanket can make a great simple Christmas gift idea.

Head to the fabric store or check online, and purchase two pieces of patterned or plain polar fleece. This comes in different colors, and for a couch throw, something around 5 x 5 feet is a good size, but you can alter it to what ever size you want. Keeping in mind that most polar fleece is sold in 5 foot wide widths, so just alter the length.

Make sure the two pieces are cut to the same size, and lay them with wrong sides together and taking a sharp pair of scissor, cut fringe approximately 4 inches long all around the edges, making the fringe approximately 1 inch wide. (you may want to pin them together while you do this) You may want some help with this part. Remember you are cutting through both layers. Then simply go around and tie the fringe together with a single knot with a piece of fringe from the top piece to the bottom piece. This holds the layers together, and now you have a thick fleece blanket.

No sewing involved, and this is now a great fleece blanket.


Fleece Fabric By the Yard - Holiday Inspirations - Christmas Cats
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you can buy cool fleece fabrics online.

Fleece Scarf

You can simply cut a piece of thick polar fleece to size and create fringe at each end. This is a very easy handmade gift, and is great for tweens that love bright colors.

Knit Scarf

If you can even knit just the basic stitches, you can get thick soft wool, and knit a long scarf, that can be worn in many ways and will be appreciated.

Homemade beads

This is a great gift for pre-teens and teens (or tweens!). Simply follow this quick recipe to make a pile of beads ready for them to decorate.

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup salt

some warm water

Mix the dry ingredients, and then add the warm water until it forms a stiff dough. Now shape into small round beads or oblong beads, or single large beads, any shape, and then take a needle and pierce a hole through the beads for threading wire through after. Put them somewhere to dry for at least 2 days.

Put them in a box, and then purchase a few paints and sparkles and jewelry making supplies, that you can get for a low price at Wal-Mart and this makes a great handmade original Christmas gift idea.

Movie Gift Basket

If you have some teens on your list, you can try the above homemade beads, or you can also try movie night gift basket. Head to the dollar store and find a large bowl, then fill it with some packages of microwave popcorn, and other snacks, then include a gift card for a local movie rental store. You could also include your fleece blanket in this gift for a great night in.

Peppermint Cocoa Mix

If you are looking for a gift to take to a house or party, then here is one they are sure to love, and it is easy to make.

Take 3 x 4.5 inch candy canes (should be lots around at the holidays) and throw them in a blender with 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 cup powdered creamer and 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa and blend until a fine powder.

Put this powder in a nice jar (you can get great looking jars at the dollar store) and add a label with instructions for making the peppermint cocoa. You add 1/4 cup of the mixture into a cup and add boiling water.

This would make a great family gift, or it can be a gift to someone special that needs some pampering. You could include a good book, and some fuzzy socks, or a great mug.

Homemade gifts, are really just a matter of coming up with something that you know your person would like. So, just try and think of a few things they like to do. If they love a soak in the tub, then research how to make bath salts and bombs. If they love to cuddle on the couch and watch movies, make that fleece blanket and include a movie night.

If they like t-shirts and sweat shirts, then find a great picture on digital camera or computer and print it on transfer paper, then iron onto a blank shirt, sweatshirt or even a tote bag. This is a great way to personalize a gift.

There are so many ways to include simple homemade Christmas gifts for family and friends. They will appreciate the thought you put into the gift. It is nice to receive a gift that is useful as well.

With everyone watching their dollars, and also trying to de-clutter the house, then why not come up with useful homemade Christmas gifts this year. Get started now, but you may find that many gifts only take an evening to make, and are fun. You can do quick searches on the internet for free patterns and ideas as well. It has never been easier to access ideas for simple homemade Christmas gifts this year.