These days saving money is on everyone's mind. Being frugal is a good thing. One way you can save money is by making your own gifts. Homemade gifts are usually the most treasured of all gifts someone receives. The fact that you took a little time to create something unique for someone is special.
Often the time involved in making a homemade gift is what stops us. No one says you have to make a gift that will take a year to complete. For most of us, that just wouldn't be practical. However there are many easy craft ideas that you can use to make gifts that will only take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete.
Some examples of frugal, but fabulous homemade gifts are:
1. Jazzed-up Pillow - Take a plain, inexpensive pillow and sew felt shapes with a blanket stitch to the front.
2. Ribbon wrapped candles - Purchase an inexpensive pillar candle and wrap it with gorgeous ribbon, hang a charm from it, and you have a gift in about 10 minutes flat!
3. Make a beaded bracelet - Using some fabulous beads, and stretchy jewelry cord, to make a simple, but elegant bracelet in minutes.
4. Embellished picture frame - Buy a plain picture frame, then jazz it up with paint and glued on embellishments, that suit the recipient.
5. Decorative Clipboard - Decoupage a wooden clipboard with beautiful papers or fabric. Use sports, fishing or other hobby themed paper, or fabric for a great gift for a guy.
6. Jar full of beads - A great idea for that crafty friend, fill a pretty glass jar with a mixture of colorful beads, then wrap the neck of the jar with ribbon. It can be used for a decoration, as well as a nice supply of beads for crafting.
7. Stamped tile coasters - You can purchase stone coasters at a home center, and stamp them with dye inks to create wonderful, one of a kind homemade gifts.
8. Framed scrapbook page - Purchase a 12 x 12 picture frame. Make a scrapbook page (match the paper to their decor), and leave a place for them to add one or two special photos. This is another great idea for a man, if done in colors and paper to match his office or den.
9. Earring Hanger - Take a pretty picture frame and remove the glass. Cut a piece of window screening and staple it to the back of the frame, using a staple gun. The earrings will hang from the holes in the mesh.
10. Collaged Journal - Buy a plain journal with a cover that you can glue paper onto. Decorate the cover with a collage of paper, mementos, stamps, quotes, or anything else that can be glued on.
Don't be afraid to try making your own homemade gifts. It is incredibly rewarding to create something with your own two hands. You might just find a new and rewarding hobby. Your friends and family will love that you spent some time creating something just for them - even if it only took you a few minutes!
Deborah Smith is the author of the e-book, Fabulous Scrapbook Pages in Minutes, "founder of Elegant Crafts and Homemade Gifts, and a lifelong crafter. For easy homemade gift and craft ideas, with step-by-step instructions and pictures, visit [http://www.elegant-crafts-and-homemade-gifts.com]