Throw away that credit card application that you were holding onto for Christmas shopping and start now to avoid extra debt for during the Christmas season! These ideas are easy and save you loads of money!
Planning Ahead With Your Christmas Shopping
Christmas budgets can be tight in this economy, so try a few of these tips to make sure that your friends and family receive beautiful gifts in spite of budget cuts!
Christmas Is Only 6 Months Away
...and you're saying "yeah right. ONLY 6 months?"
Truth be told, if you start now you'll find that taking 6 months to think about giving beautiful, thoughtful gifts is actually pretty reasonable. Here are some things that you can work on over the next several months to keep you from going crazy at the last minute.
May I Introduce - FLEA MARKETS!
If you're into Pintrest, as nearly everybody is, then I'm sure you're finding all sorts of amazing crafts, furniture customizations and cool collections that you are sure people you know would adore! This is where flea markets come in. Once a week, choose a flea market to walk through.
- Find an old birdcage and turn it into a Steam Punk/Sucker Punch light fixture for your teenager's bedroom.
- Buy a collectors guide to old books and collect antique classics for the big reader in your family.
- Find Victorian gloves to have professionally cleaned for your emo or goth sibling.
- Antique or retro children's toys and furniture, if wood, can be sanded down and repainted into something adorable and unique.
- Small blanket trunks or chests can be painted/covered to make amazing toy chests.
- Old hat boxes can become beautiful keepsake boxes or decor pieces.
- Christmas ornaments galore- you can paint them and recreate them - see next heading for more information.
- Ugly Canvas art can be covered up and turned into something beautiful. (See below)
Who Says You Can't Make Crafts?
Customized Christmas Ornamants
Being crafty doesn't mean anything but knowing how to wield a glue gun. Seriously. That's all it takes. If you happen to be blessed with artistic skills then you can also wield a paintbrush.
If you can use a glue gun the order some clear ornaments or, better yet, lightbulbs (because they look craftier than ornaments) and spray paint them with frosted white paint, then glue beautiful beads onto them in cool patterns. No sweat! Embellish with some sparkly paint and you've got a lovely little handmade gift.
Even better, have your kids help you... what do Grandmas love more than things made by thier grandkids?
Custom Canvases To Match Artistic Style
If you can use scissors AND a glue gun and know someone with a whimsical style then make a run to your local fabric store and choose 6-8 fabrics and get 1/2 yard of each. Then go to the closest super market or art supply store and buy one blank canvas, some flat, short fabric tacks and a bottle of fabric glue.
When you get home type "fabric canvas" into Pintrest.com and then get to cutting. You can do flower petals, letters, vines, animals, hearts...whatever you want! The fabrics will make it beautiful and soft and unique and it's from you.. so have fun and know that you are making a gift that will be loved.
And For The Long Distance Family Members -
Custom DVDs and Photo Albums
Forget the last minute $9.99 calendar that you upload hastily selected photos to - go for gold this year. Find your nearest TJMaxx, HomeGoods or Marshall's stores and keep an eye out for beautiful discount photo albums and scrap books and create something for those family members that isn't going to be thrown in the trash at the next New Years.
Filling a photo album with pictures that you've carefully selected and labeled takes some time, but you may as well make two because once you finish you won't want to give it away, so make one for yourself as well.
For The Home Video Fanatic
If you're one who takes videos of everything you do then you likely have dozens of hours of recordings of you and your family. You can use these to create shorter, more condensed videos with captions and background music and then burn them onto dvds and create custom cases.
This is another thing that is time consuming, so you'll want to get started now. Choose a starting point for your video and select short, active clips that are clear and still so that you don't give anyone motion sickness. If you get it compiled up to the current time then you can add one or two clips every month until December to make it as recent as possible. That should keep it down to a 1-2 hour per month commitment, but it will be a treasure that will be appreciated.
Christmas Isn't About The Coolest New Thing
Christmas is about saying "I love you." So say it with something that proves it. Prove that your heart, and not your wallet, are what you put into those around you.