With the holidays coming up, you might be eyeing your bank account warily and wondering how you’ll be able to afford gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. If you are short on cash, why not try to make some of your gifts?


While the idea of homemade gifts may conjure up images of a kindergartener’s pasta-art and badly stitched sweaters, there are actually plenty of terrific craft ideas. You can do these yourself for little or no money and they make terrific gifts. Here are a few ideas to get you rolling.



1) Artisanal Fruit Jam

What you’ll need: Inexpensive fruit sold by weight, sugar, spices, recycled glass jars.

Homemade jam is very easy to make. It’s much easier than regular canning because you don’t have to worry as much about heat, pressure and sterilization. The sugar in the jam does most of the preserving for you, keeping your gifts safe to eat.

Find whatever fruit is in season or on sale. Almost any fruit makes excellent jam. When heating on the stove, add cloves and ginger slices. This will improve the flavor and make the finished product look beautiful.

Final touch: Add a personal homemade label to the jar, listing the ingredients and wishing a happy holiday.

2) Woven Baskets

What you’ll need: A natural fibrous material, such as bamboo, pine needles, or even dried mallow stalks.

The great thing about woven baskets is that you might not even have to buy the materials. The natural landscape is full of

Pine needles are an easy material for beginners because they are readily available in most areas and need little preparation to work with. Pine needles are easy to work with. Finished pine needle baskets are beautiful and have a pleasant aroma.

Final touch: Do you have a few stocking stuffers to give? A homemade basket is the perfect vehicle for a gift of small items.

3) Notebooks and Journals

What you’ll need: Old books or scrap paper, cardboard, thread, hole puncher, glue, creativity.

Book binding and book making is a fun art with many methods ranging from easy to hard. You can either recycle old books with interesting covers or neatly bind up old scraps of paper. There are so many ways to make beautiful notebooks and journals, often from recycled material.

Final touch: Personalize the cover and style of the journal to the person receiving it.

It’s time to get crafty! Forget about money; with time and creativity, you can give your loved ones something they will truly enjoy and appreciate this holiday season.