Being the mother of 4 children has taught me to be creative & thrifty when it comes to gift ideas. With Easter around the corner as well as many other gift-giving occasions in the near future, I thought I would share some of my favorites I’ve either made, myself, or come across.
Small Children – gather up some of their forgotten tiny trinkets & treasures or explore yard sales for new ones and place them in a container, along with rice, silica pellets or small beads to create a personalized I SPY container. On the left is one that you can purchase in the store for apx. $25.00 OR, you can fill an empty (and dried) water bottle, 1-liter bottle, lidded jar or sew a small pillow and insert a clear vinyl window. Just remember that once your container (of choice) is filled to your satisfaction, you should add strong glue to the lid before placing it on the container. If you’re sewing the container, add a little sew-safe glue to the seam before stitching.
Older Child Option: by the time a child reaches their teenage years, they typically have TONS of what-nots lying around that are too special to throw away, like concert ticket stubs, a favorite, long-ago treasure from a gumball machine, childhood race car, tarnished (but still loved) ring, coin from their trip to another country, etc. So, why not give them a permanent resting place inside an I SPY container, like the (pictured) window-pillow. What a cool & sentimental keepsake, to take, when they go to college…. literally, pieces of home!
Children of ANY Age: One year, I had noticed bars of soap with money inside being sold in stores. You could not see the money, but they guaranteed that a certain number of their bars contained larger bills. I thought the same thing you are thinking right now…. it won’t be in the one I purchase! However, in craft stores, you’ll find glycerin soap making products (many times, they’re put together in a kit for around $14.00) like – clear glycerin soap base, soap mold tray, a bottle of fragrance and instructions… typically enough for 5 soap projects. When I made these for my own children, I was able to put in the size bill I wanted and it was a HUGE hit. This idea is great for an – Easter, Graduation or birthday gift as well as a cool stocking stuffer. Plus, it will not only be a useful gift, but also rewarding for the recipient! Here’s a photo of a nice example I found, on a cool website that features recipes for homemade bath products –
An Edible Goody for Kids of ANY Age: Do you remember the candy dots on paper? Rachel Ray has a FREE recipe for these old fashioned goodies that you can try. And if you want to personalize them, consider spelling out the child’s name (with the dots) rather than just putting them on the paper in rows. Wouldn’t this idea also be a COOL placecard at your holiday table. Now that I’ve thought of it, I guess I should try it this year! I’ll post it when I do. 🙂
For Grown Children – Guys or Gals: If you’re having a super tough financial year and need something absolutely FREE to tuck in an Easter basket of a teenager and up (in age), head to your local department store in the mall and ask for SAMPLES of the latest perfumes, or for men… cologne. You can usually pick up several at no cost and it gives the recipient the opportunity to try them out before they buy, the next time.
I hope some of these ideas work for you or at the very least, help you to think of something else that would (also) be a perfectly inexpensive basket stuffer. Please feel free to share your ideas in the COMMENT SECTION (below).