Saturday, December 15, 2007

Candy Cane Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Another outdoor Christmas decoration can be put together quickly and fairly cheaply. Candy Canes made out of PVC pipes and red duck tape are durable and weatherproof.


  • PVC pipes, white, about 2-3 foot lengths

  • Red duck tape

  • Scissors

  • Optional - Christmas lights

Wrap the pipes with the tape to create the swirls.
Cut the tape and add pieces to the ends of the pipes if you choose.

You can connect the candy canes with Christmas lights or just line your driveway or walkway with them.

Wrapped Candy Outdoor Christmas Decoration

Save some money on your electric bill this year by decorating your yard with festive items rather than stringing Christmas lights and keeping them on all night. One quick cheap project is making oversized wrapped candy to hang or place in your yard.


  • Heavy duty white paper plates

  • Clear packing tape

  • Colored cellophane

  • Scissors

  • Twine or thin weatherproof ribbon

Tape two plates together with the bottoms facing outward.
Set the taped plates in the center of a large rectangle of cellophane and fold over the 2 long sides of the cellophane like you're wrapping a present. Tape the cellophane together
Twist one end of the cellophane like a candy wrapper and tie it with the twine or ribbon, then repeat with the other end. You may want to tape the ends before putting the twine around them for extra security.
Add a length of twine or ribbon across the back or a loop at the top of the candy with tape if you want to hang it.

Use different colors of cellophane for a bright display. You can also color the plates like peppermints before wrapping them in the cellophane.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Practical Christmas Gift Idea - Gas Gift Cards

When you just can't think of something to get for someone on your list, try something practical. Though gift cards are viewed by some as a way to get out of actually putting effort into gift-giving, with the way gas prices are these days, an opportunity not to have to spend money to fill up the tank would be welcome.

Gas gift cards are available online at SVM Cards for Exxon, Texaco, and Shell gas stations in various amounts. Local stations offer them as well. The cards are often good for not only gas but non-fuel items too.

So when you're stuck trying to figure something out for someone who's hard to buy for, consider a gift that will actually be used and appreciated.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday Budget Tip - Cheap Christmas Garlands

The idea of making garlands out of popcorn has been around a long time, but that's not the only thing that can be used. Uncooked pasta such as macaroni or penne painted in red and green, or construction paper cut and decorated on both sides then glued to yarn or string, or even cinnanmon sticks tied at intervals can make a festive garland to display. Glue wrapped peppermints from a dollar store, or make a pattern with several types of wrapped candy attached to a length of string. If you have any unused green glow sticks from Halloween make a garland out of them. Little matchbox cars can be tied onto a heavier weight string for a whimsical garland. Take the time to look through things you already have to save some money and make your own unique Christmas garlands.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Gifts - Kids Paper Crafts

Several paper crafts for kids can be used as budget Christmas gifts. I've found a number of ideas for my youngest to do just with materials we already have.

DLTK has great printable templates to use to make coupon books to give to parents for such things as taking out the trash and doing homework. There are color and black and white templates to print as well as instructions for putting the book together.

Make bookends out of shoeboxes and scrap materials such as bits of wrapping paper. This site includes detailed instructions with an illustration showing how to cut the shoebox correctly.

Creative Kids at Home explains how to make a Memory Book including categories to use and suggestions to modify the gift for teachers and grandparents.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lucky Penny Gift Idea

If you're so broke that you feel you literally only have pennies to spare for Christmas gifts, here's a cute idea to actually give a penny as a gift. Make a Lucky Penny pin.

I ran across this idea on under Family Crafts, and it's very simple to do. All you need is a penny, some net or tulle fabric, ribbon, and a safety pin. Wrap the penny in the fabric and tie the top with ribbon, put the safety pin through the back of the fabric, and add a little note to say that this is a Lucky Penny Pin to give good luck. A picture of a finished pin can be seen here.

So even a penny can be made into a thoughtful gift for the holidays.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Craft for All Ages - No Sew Fleece Scarves

A super simple gift that is pretty inexpensive and fast isn't impossible. Fleece scarves can be done in about an hour, and would work for any age or gender.


  • Fleece Fabric, solid or printed, about 6 inches by 60 inches

  • Scissors

Use the scissors to cut 5 inch strips about 1/2 - 1 inch part on one end of the fleece fabric.
Tie a knot at the top of each strip.

Repeat the steps for the other end of the scarf.

That's it!

Crafts for Kids - No Sew Sachets

Let your kids make their own special gifts for family, friends, and teachers. Scented sachets can be put together quickly, easily, and fit well into a limited budget.


  • Pieces of scrap material

  • Bag of potpourri

  • Scissors

  • Fabric Glue

Cut the fabric into squares about 5 inches. Put glue along 3 sides of one square of fabric, then place a second square on top of it. Placing glue along the edges helps prevent fraying. You can also cut one piece of fabric into a 5 inch by 10 inch rectangle and fold it to make a 5 inch square, then glue 2 sides, leaving the top open.

Once dried, put about 1/2 cup potpourri into the sachet using the open end, then glue that end closed.