Every year I struggle a little bit with my hand/homemade gifts -- I'm always hoping I don't come off cheap or chintzy, but, tbh, I really DON'T have much money to spend. This year is even worse than usual -- long story short, my husband now makes $300 less a month, and this happened after we'd bought a fixer - upper house and had a baby last year. It doesn't help that I have no time, really -- my busy 11 month old is learning to walk and I'm an events coordinator who is gearing up for a December full of parties. Admittedly, on the best of days I'm a little Grinchy about Christmas due to the stress factor, but this year I'm feeling like a downright Scrooge!
So now I'm struggling even more, trying to figure out if my ideas are good ones or sound cheap. I really, really want honest feedback. I could also combine some of these ideas, if just one seems too small.
1. A homemade seasoned salt mix in this cute little jar:http://www.walmart.com/ip/Glass-Salt-and-Pepper-Shaker-Set/16213462
(hold 4 oz)
(Pros -- I have a lot of some spices, and the jars are only about $1 apiece. Cons -- looks so tiny! But would people really want more of a seasoned salt?)
2. A covered matchbook and a little candle:
I was thinking about how most people have matches in their house, and they covet ones from cool restaurants or where ever because they're much better than plain ones. So I was thinking of covering those heavy cardboard matchboxes with pretty paper or fabric, even, and pairing it with a little inexpensive candle.
Like one of these guys: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-3-oz-Candle-Hazelnut/16780322
If I remember correctly they're only a buck or two.
(Pros -- fun to do! Cons -- would people recognize how cheap it was, or, maybe even worse, recognize the candles as being Wal-Mart candles?)
3. A cardholder:
I have a slew of wooden clothespins, even some very cool vintage ones. I could dye them using Rit and attach a fuzzy pipecleaner so that you could clip a card and have it either stand on its own, or hook the pipe cleaner through / around something. Am I making sense with this one?
With the vintage ones, I could even get some dark wire and create something sort of rustic.
(Pros -- fun to do! Very inexpensive. Cons -- would people get it? I would probably clip a card or tag to sort of "show" how it works, but... I just worry it's the sort of thing someone would just throw away or throw in a junk drawer to throw away later.)
4. Chocolate-dipped spoons / forks:
I was thinking about those chocolate-dipped spoons you can get to stir into hot cocoa or coffee. I was thinking of making some -- either a spoon with mini marshmallows in the bowl, or a fork stabbed into a big marshmallow and rolled in chocolate. I wanted to do it with colored plastic utensils, probably pair them up.
(Pros -- People like chocolate! They probably wouldn't just trash it. Cons -- I've never done this before, so the learning curve might be unexpected. And would plastic utensils just look trashy, despite being colorful?)
Your opinions are really welcome. And if you have other ideas, please, by all means, share!