the gift of music

Larissa of the romance novel review site, Bookthingo.com.au, came up with this simple, thoughtful idea!

itunes sells songs for $1.95. You can gift a person with just 1 song that reminds you of him or her!

Tags: itunes song

Giant cookie!

I don’t know about you but I’d be absolutely thrilled to received a giant chocolate chip cookie or “cookie pizza” for Christmas! You can place it on an inexpensive, pretty paper plate and wrap in cellophane with a ribbon!

Here are some recipes I found:

M&M Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake! Click here for the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Pizza! Recipe here.

Presents for your housemates!

Ikea’s got quite a range of items below 2 dollars!

Tolsby Frame for 2 photos, only 1.99!

Neglinge tea light holder, .99 cents only!

Alarm clock, 99 cents only!

Midsommar, 1.99 for a pack of 4!

Almhult mug, 49 cents. Beat that!

Don’t know about you, but i’d love a set of Stam measuring cups! Only 1.99 AUD!

Bomb lip balm!

Michelle, a Sydney journalist, has a really cool suggestion for a basic but fab home-made lip balm!

How about a customised Coconut lip balm for Aussie summer? Everybody is always in need of a good lip balm!

We found a very basic coconut lip balm recipe here at http://www.craftbits.com/project/lip-balm-coconut. For this recipe, you’ll need only beeswax and coconut oil (and the optional essence of coconut… we wonder whether vanilla would be a working substitute?). 

We found that 30g beeswax is only 3$ at http://www.bindaree.com.au/pricelists/honey.htm.

A cute little glass jar like this costs only 50 cents a pop at http://www.synergypack.com.au. Even less if you order at least a hundred!

With a budget of about 80$ you’ve got 40 customised lip balms to give to all of your friends and officemates. 40 gifts at 2 dollars a piece. 

Michelle’s suggestion: buy a pen that writes on glass and “name” the lipbalms after your friends. 

Other suggestions from the site: Use store bought lipstick (the cheapest you can find) to lightly stain the lipbalm for a subtle tint!

-Michell Baltazar, Sydney writer

paper puppets

One way to really save money is to make creative presents using things you may already have around the house, such as paper, pencils, texters, watercolours, crayons, your scanner, and your printer!

If you are artistic and a bit tech savvy (meaning, you know how to scan and design things on a computer), you may be interested in making your own version of these lovely paper puppets by Crankbunny Online Shop! These puppets are not too hard to make. 

Ok, here’s what to do!

Materials needed:

Things to draw with (whatever’s your preference, markers/ crayons/ watercolour)

A4 glossy photopaper

Brass paper fasteners

A scanner

A colour printer

A craft knife (if you plan to assemble these puppets yourself. 

1) Design your puppet. You can use this template from Puppetworks.org as a guide.

Draw all the joints and moving parts separately, remembering to leave some allowance where the joints will overlap. For presentation’s sake, you can lay the parts out neatly and prettily on the page if you plan to give it to the recipient as a “do it yourself” project. 

2) Scan. After you are done drawing and coloring your work, scan them into your computer. Print out as many copies as you like on photopaper. 

3) To assemble or not to assemble? Here’s where you can choose to either give the puppets away already assembled (you’ll have to cut them out yourself), or give them away as a fun project the recipient can do themselves, in which case you can put the printed sheet into a decorated envelope and include the paper fasteners needed for the joints. Don’t forget to include instructions!

Here’s a breakdown of the cost if you print out 20 puppets to give to 20 people. 

1 pack Kodak Gloss Photo Paper, pack of 20: 14.36 $AUD

1 packet of 30 brass paper fasteners: 1.24 $AUD 

15.6 divided by 20= .78 cents per person! Not bad!

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Ok, so we’ve featured pre-made cake mix in jars but what about actual cakes in a jar? We’ve come across this sweet recipe!

Apparently, you can bake any cake in an old jam jar, seal it shut, tie a ribbon around it, give it as a present, and it will keep for months. Heck, you can even send it to someone via post. Is that not the cutest thing? 

Will it amount to less than 2 dollars? If you get a cake mix, a used jam jar, and turn one batch of batter into a whole lot of cakes in jars, then it just might amount to less than 2 dollars per person. I’ll have to try it out for myself.

Good ‘ol mix CDs

Erica remembers when she and her friends used to make each other mix tapes as presents. The technology eventually turned to CD, but mixtapes required more effort as you couldn’t just click on “burn” with your mouse and sit back. To make a mixtape, you had to listen to the entire song through and through. 

Do you remember what songs were on the mixtape your best friend, or first boyfriend made for you?:-)

Enough reminiscing.

Let’s not forget a good ol’ mix CD. Think of a theme, find songs to fit that theme and add, draw on the cd and give. New music is always appreciated as are old ones!

-Erica, Manila

Tags: cd mix cd music

Clothespin Picture Holder

An easy one is decorating a wooden clothespin and then sticking in a nice souvenir photo =)

-Ichet, Sydney

"Gourmet" instant coffee mix in a jar!

Ever wondered what to do with all those empty glass jars your mum hordes in the kitchen? Create your own instant drink mix and give it away in a pretty jar!

This idea came from Ichet, a Sydney mother who used to make instant cinnamon coffee mix and give them to her friends with instructions. 

And it doesn’t stop with beverages. You can give away cake mix in a jar, too!

Doit101.com has a page full of awesome jar recipe ideas

Time to find the perfect spiced hot chocolate mix to give away for Christmas, yummm. And how much fun would it be designing the instructions???

- Ichet Manuel Lacsina, Sydney

Sock Dolls

My mother used to take all my old socks, and runny stockings and turn them into sock dolls! She went and bought stuffing, and just used odds and ends around the house for eyes, hair, etc. You don’t have to be a sewing wiz to make one of these!

I found a neat little “How to Make a Sock Doll” tutorial here

And here are photos of the cutest ones I found!

Socktopus!!!

Tags: sock dolls