Sunday, 30 September 2012

Gift ideas that will not break the bank

Some of us are going to be on a limited budget this Christmas. So, rather than just throwing our hands up in despair, why not think smart?

If if you buy books as presents, check out www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com. There are often bargain books available and you can also send Amazon Gift Vouchers, too.

Check out eBay for bargains. But do be careful. Ensure that it is a trader with a good reputation. You need to ensure that if a branded item is advertised on eBay that a branded item is what is delivered to your house.

What about a unique present that will not cost you the earth?

For my wife's birthday I presented her with a t-shirt that had a unique piece of artwork on the front and the back. In all likelihood there will never be another t-shirt quite like it! And my wife loved it! Getting t-shorts, fleeces, mugs, mousemats, hats, etc., etc., printed up as one off special jobs is easier and less expensive than you might think.

Tesco offers this service in store in stores that print photographs and most jobbing printers and some photographic shops offer this service too.

Or you can buy the transfers for making you own printed t-shirts at most good office supply companies or from Amazon. That way you can give your family the same design, or you can print a special unique design just for them.

Do you have any art and craft skills? If you can paint, why not make a special and unique work of art for someone? They can make good conversation pieces in their home.

Buy an old, but sturdy, piece of furniture, strip it of all the old varnish or paint and repaint it, perhaps with modern designs on it? That will make another nice one-off gift for someone special.

Get some clear glass vases, storage jars, bowls, etc., and use glass paints on them to create some unique and stunning works of art. These can look very effective  and even someone with no real artistic bent can create a unique and interesting coloured glass object.

Candle making can be fun. Many craft shops stock materials for making candles. And if you make them in glass holders, you can paint the holder to make it a doubly unique and interesting gift.

Glass painting kits and materials and candle making kits and materials are available from Amazon. As are oil, acrylic and water paints and blank canvases for you to start creating your masterpieces for friends and family this Christmas!

If you are comfortably well-off but have a friend or a relation who is not, an ideal present is A Christmas hamper. You can buy these off the shelf or on the Internet, or you can build one yourself. A wicker basket can be bought for under a tenner on Amazon and you can buy tinned goods, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, etc., to use to make into a Christmas hamper over a period of several months, just ensure that what you buy has a long shelf life.

So, have a happy and a creative Christmas!

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