Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Works for YOU Wednesday

Today is BACKWARDS Works for Me Wednesday. Instead of me telling you some clever tip, I'm going to ask YOU a question and you leave me clever tips. Thanks Shannon for hosting! I have lots of questions, like this one about a frying pan, however today I'm wanting new ideas for frugal Christmas gifts. You see how many people responded to my question about a frying pan (zero, zilch, nada); I sure hope this question gets a better response.

Our budget doesn't allow for much gift-giving, so mostly we get a few things for our children and we try to get something for our nieces and nephews. So, I'm looking for ideas for children,15 years old and younger.

Over the next couple days I'll share what ideas I've done in the past few years, but today I want YOUR ideas.

Thanks!! And visit Rocks in my Dryer for more Works for me Wednesday--BACKWARDS.


  1. I saw the cutest pattern for a fleece pillowcase. They were in the shapes of animals (truthfully, I don't think you'd even need a pattern to make these). I think they were called Bed Buddies.

    This year I'm making my girls some flannel nighties. There are some really cute and quirky flannel patterns out there! I also got two yards of a space alien/astronaut one for my nephew to be baby blanket. Something different from the typical bears and bunnies.

    I made these last year for my kids:
    I made a velvet dress for my older girl's bear.

    I also made treasure boxes with a latch to keep the little kids out of the big kids' stuff.

    They still have them and still play with them, which is more than I can say about a lot of the other Christmas gifts they got last year.

  2. Hi :)

    I'm in the same boat with gifts. I usually buy all year long when I see something on super clearance that my kid(s) would use/like.

    I can remember growing up having some smaller Christmas' and I loved those the best! My mom made us home-made play-dough (google for recipe), decorated a sweatshirt each with puffy paint and a pattern she had, and made us each a giant iced gingerbread man (took up the whole baking sheet for one).

    I am all about thrift and home-made gifts as well. I will be making some child-proof felted ornaments out of wool sweaters from the local thrift shop for our tree and for others as presents. (If you want the instructions on felting wool, just email me at

    I highly recommend checking out your local thrift shops. Google to see all in your area. If you live near a military base, they generally have a good one on there with people constantly moving and getting rid of stuff. Not only do these stores have inexpensive toys, they also have tons of other things that can be "remade" by you.

    Maybe get your hubby to craft doll furniture, while you buy either fabric or a cool print shirt from the thrift store and turn it into a bedspread and pillows, rugs etc.

    there are also a ton of sites such as freecycle and many other yahoo groups that can email you local free offers. Also check out craigslist! :)

    Maybe buy one bigger toy that all the kids can use together (a wagon, playhouse, swingset, play kitchen, tent, teepee, air hockey, or other toy). Then just get a couple smaller things for them.

    Hope that helps! :)

  3. This year I'm making tied fleece blankets for my own kiddos. I bought the fleece at 50% off at Joann's last week. I want them to be large enough for them to use as they grow so I bought a yard and a half for each blanket--under $10 each, and practical and memorable. My son has a fleece blanket with two panels put together but it's a little bulky, so I'm just using one panel of fabric for each--saving half the expense there as well. Take advantage of all the gift with purchase/coupons/rebates and sales--I was able to get so many gifts for kids and adults last year for free or close to it. I keep a folder with the Christmas-specific offers and coupons in my car so I'm not caught without them if I come upon a great sale.

  4. I like the dollar section at Target. They have great stuff there for very cheap. Also, make sure to check the "boxed gift" section of retail stores. They often will have great gifts for $5-$10.

  5. My kids love getting gift certificates to place like McDonald's.