» 10 gifts you can do for under $10

1) Keepsake box.  SUPER SUPER Easy crafts. Modge Podge is your friend. Print out a picture of you and your beloved, your daughter’s face – or heck – Jim Cantore. You can get a jewelry box – they have them starting at 3$ at Michaels – Paint the box, let it dry and slap on the pics w Modge Podge. Let  it dry and Modge Podge again. Instant, personal jewelry or keepsake box.

(side note: My old boss had a “man crush” on Jim Cantore and I painted the box light blue w streaks of white (clouds) and about 10 Jim Cantore heads on it.  Also:  Hint to help – don’t paint or modge podge while the box is closed. It will be glued shut and you will be left w an empty box.)

2)  Outlets and switchplates. Modge Podge is your friend here as well.  They sell these in high end boutiques for 15$ or more. You can make one for under 40 cents. Switchplates and outlets cost about 25 cents at some places. You can either print out a pic or (much easier) use a decorated napkin. I like the atomic mod style and Target ALWAYS has those napkins.  I was on a Martini kick for awhile and I made several  from the bar napkins. You just lay the paper on the modge podged plate. Poke the holes through and let it dry, modge podge it a few more times and boom!

3) Fleece Blankets are the easiest thing ever. You need fabric which can be pricey – but there are ways to do it on the cheap. Look for stuff on sale for one.  You can also print a coupon from the JoAnn fabrics website or just grab one from their newspaper that gives you a percentage off a single item. Go through the line twice w separate fleece prints. They do sports teams, Dora, Disney – all of it.  Get the other fleece a color that matches the other side – or go w white. Cut one inch slits all around the blanket  like a fringe and tie the ends together.

4) The Dollar Stores can turn you in to a spa master. From lotions and soaps to bath beads and salt scrubs to loofahs. You can put it all in a basket w a washcloth and deliver a relaxing experience to your stressed out friend for the holidays.

5) Muffins! Cookies! And Cakes oh my! You can bake scones from Pillsbury, muffins from where ever muffin or cake mixes are sold – and put them in a basket or Ziploc container.

6) Do a dessert in a jar.  Get a Duncan Hines box kit and put the dry ingredients in a jar. Tie a card w instructions onto the rim. Easy, thoughtful and inexpensive gift. You can also do this w cocoa packets in a coffee mug.

7) Do a movie bucket! Get a basket and put microwave popcorn bags and movie candy in it. You can even add a DVD if you like! Great idea for movie fans.

8) Better idea for movie fans: get a print from a movie. My husband and I LOVE Goodfellas.  You know the painting Joe Pesci’s mom did? “One dog looking one way, one dog looking the other and a guy in the middle saying ‘what do you want from me?’” I found the image online (its originally from National Geographic), had a print shop print it out and framed it w a frame from a thrift shop. Its art and it’s a cool one of a kind movie gift. To this day, it’s my husband’s favorite gift.

9) Thrift Shops are your friend when it comes to inexpensive shopping. We love Waterfront Mission on Fairfield. Ray and I were invited to a dollar party one year and while everyone else was bringing spatulas and travel games, we got the most bang for our buck at the Waterfront Mission. It has so many things that are one of a kind and really stand out – in addition to the stand bys! Toys, pillows, scarves, candles, books, video games – even furniture! Plus you help others when you shop here. You never know what youll find either. At the Catholic Charities St Vincent thrift shop on 9th Ave, I bought a phone purse for 75 cents that retails on Ebay for $400.

10) T and W Flea market. Best. Store. Ever. I love it. We go every Sunday after church.  Everything from every game system and video game and toy to really cool antiques to kitchen equipment to instruments and chainsaws. It’s a blending of literally everything in several booths w people all willing to negotiate. Sometimes we find nothing – but more often than not, we have acquired the coolest items for next to nothing.


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