02 January 2013

How I Provided All My Christmas Gifts for Family for Only $17!

Having just moved to Colorado at the first of November (OK - I know I keep saying this in most of my posts but it has had a lot to do with transition for us!) a lot of our time has been spent on setting up our home, adjusting to new jobs, helping Maddy to adjust to new surroundings, and learning the area. While Christmas is my favorite time of year, I had absolutely no enthusiasm for shopping this year for many reasons. 

First and foremost, money. I hate how "commercial" the holidays have become. What I despise more is how most people buy into the notion that in order to have a successful or meaningful Christmas, you must go broke doing so; that's it's OK to deplete your savings, explode your credit cards or deplete your bank account. It's just not so. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to do any of those things. Case in point, the best gift I received this year? A reindeer head that Maddy made at day care from construction paper - her foot is the head and her hands are the antlers. Too stinking cute.

Second, being in a new city and still learning the area, I had absolutely ZERO desire to try and figure out where certain shopping centers are located while fighting traffic, rude people, etc. It's just not worth it to me anymore. 

Finally, with us flying to Atlanta for Christmas, I needed gifts that I could pack easily in our luggage because I refused to spend the outrageous costs to ship them ahead of our arrival.

So for these primary reasons and more, I decided that I would take my gifts back to the old school and put some heart and soul into it and I loved every minute of it. I decided that I would capture Maddy's hand print and have it framed. Having a child, my family LOVES getting anything from Maddy. It was the perfect idea. The opposition came in to play when I made mention that I would be making my Christmas gifts this year, I had so many people tell me, "Be careful. Crafting can be expensive too!" or "You won't be able to do all of that on a budget!" 

Well, they were all WRONG. Don't ever tell this girl that "I can't do something". I always find a way to get from point A to B and I will show you how you can too.

If you haven't checked out your local Dollar Store lately, it's worth taking the time to do so. They have really upped their game over the last year or two and you can find anything and everything you need for your home, crafting, every day use items, and more. This is how I made all my gifts for next to nothing and how you can to! Below I will list what you will need for this project and how much I purchased it for (or in some cases didn't purchase because I already had the items) and how it all came together. All of these items can be found at your local Dollar Store.

You will need:
Construction paper - $0, already had
Black Sharpie - $0, already had
Finger/Hand paint - $1
7, 8 x 10 frames - $7
Scotch tape - $0, already had
Tissue paper - 4 packs for $4
1 pack of adhesive gift tags - $1
4 rolls of decorative ribbon - $4
Scissors - $0, already had

Total spent: $17

You read that right. $17 for 7 gifts. Pretty sweet if I do say so myself!

Here's how it came together:

To start, select your color of construction paper. Depending on the color of hand paint you select, you may want to go with the lighter shades of paper so the hand prints stand out. It was very simple to do from there. I put Maddy in her high chair and one by one, I helped her put her hands into the paint and guided them onto the paper. Once we completed all 7 sheets, we set them to the side to dry. Once they dried, I was then able to write her special message on them with the Sharpie. So cute!!!

From here, it was as simple as sliding the paper into the frame

Once this step was completed, I wrapped each frame in layers of tissue paper and wrapped each bundle with decorative ribbon and attached a gift tag for each. 

Voila! There you have it. 7 gifts for $17. 

It CAN be done. 

Our next gift project will be hand and feet mold prints and yep! All supplies will be purchased from the Dollar Store!

These gifts are perfect for any occasion, any time of the year. I encourage each of you to give it a try - your family and close friends will love it!

Courtney, Michael, and Madeline
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.


  1. This is a priceless gift from Madeline. You are right, Courtney, Maddy's handprints Christmas gift is a lot better than anything you could buy. I would sure love one of these please. Thanks. Grandma Barbara

  2. I have one for you I just haven't had a chance to mail it. I'll try to do so over the next week.

  3. Super cute! I think my mom would prefer this stuff anyway. She always says she'd love just pictures!