Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Saving Money Challenge: Make your own Christmas Gifts (that will warm the heart)

I know this post is more appropriate for November/December - but I have the pictures, I have the idea and I'm posting it now.  I'll repost in December if I can remember.

So my son came up to me the afternoon of Christmas Morning.  He said he had one more present for me and took me up to his room, shimmied under his bed and pulled out a little lunch bag.  In it was a homemade ornament from school!  It honestly melted my heart.  The whole thing - the ornament, his "being sneaky" and hiding it (thank goodness I don't clean under his bed often....), he's sweetness and excitement of giving it to me.

I loved the idea so much that the week after Christmas, I had the kids make some for grandparents.

It's really easy.  You have to go to Michael's or A.C. Moore and buy a 6 pack of those clear glass ornaments.  Then buy a cheapo bottle of white acrylic paint.  And I bought a .39 cent foamy paint brush while there.  Then we headed over to Staples and picked up a 12 pack of colored Sharpie markers (this pack is on sale this week for only $3!  Normally $9.99).

Then you go to work:

 You paint your child's hand and have him/her grip the ornament from the bottom to make a "snowy ground and 5 snowmen with their fingers".  This can be a little difficult, but usually the kids are excited to do something that they sit and listen.  

Let the white paint dry.  

 Then you take your Sharpie markers.  If your child is old enough/creative enough - you can let him/her coloring in the snowmen themselves.  My 5 year old did this one.  

 My 4 year-old really wanted nothing to do with coloring his own snowmen.  It's okay.  So I did it.  Here's what it would look like if a non-artistic mother colors in the snowmen for her child.  

We also included this little poem.  It's kind of fruity - but I think gifts from kids are suppose to be fruity.  

So all in all - the ornaments cost me $1.49 on clearance at Michael's last week (they are reg. $4.99, but probably go on sale for 40-50% off during the holidays), the paint was .50, the brush was .39.  I grabbed the markers for free using Staples rewards (they were on sale for $5 last week - they are on sale for $3 this week - reg. $9.99).  I have a bunch of ribbon around my house that my mother gave me a while back.  If you don't - pick up some at Michaels - I think small rolls start at .50 cents and are usually $1.  Nothing fancy.

So we spent $2.38 making 4 Christmas gifts (but could have made up to 6) - that melt the heart strings.  If you had to pick up the markers full price you're looking more at around $15 for everything.  Still - $15 for 6 gifts is REALLY cheap.  Plus, people (grandparents in particular) love that homemade crap.  

Oh - and it's best to let the paint dry overnight before you color with the markers.    

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