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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cost Cutting Christmas Ideas

Happy Holidays!

We all know the holidays can put a big dent in your bank account, so I searched Pinterest for some easy (and cheap) ways to make a few gifts without looking like a penny pinching Grinch! 

In other words, hopefully the recipients will think you're giving them a nice little keepsake instead of looking like a Christmas cheapskate. 

Here's what I came up with -- snowmen/women ornaments and candy bar socks! Keep reading to find out how to make these -- they are super easy and very cute (if I must say so myself)!

Snowmen Ornaments

(Click here for the original idea/website)

What You'll Need:

Ornaments with "snow" (see description below for more info)
Acrylic Paint (white and orange)
Paint Pens (black, red, green, blue, yellow)
Clear Acrylic Gloss Coating (Spray Can)
Wet Paper Towels to clean fingers

I bought the ornaments from Hobby Lobby. 
They already have the filler balls inside and best of all -- they are plastic! The original cost was $6.99 for a box of four, but they were 50 percent off!! Yay! 
So, it comes down to costing 87 cents EACH!

1. Once you have all your supplies handy, start with painting fingers white. My young daughter helped me out and I had her keep her painted fingers in the air while I switched to the next ornament. Just paint the inside of the finger (not the complete tip of the finger -- just the inside).

*** Be sure to think ahead of time how many snowmen/women you want on each ornament (i.e. I did three to represent our family and changed it up for others).

2. Once the white dries, you can start adding hats and ear muffs with the paint markers (start at top and work your way down).

3. For the nose, I took the fantastic advice from the original website. I used a toothpick to dab a dot of orange and dragged the paint to the right to create the pointed noses. It worked great!

4. Add the coal mouth/buttons and some personality to your little snowmen/women (like scarfs). It's also nice to put the date and/or the family name ... etc.

5. After the paint is completely dry, take the ornaments outside and spray them with the gloss coating. The reason I did this is because the paint seems to easily scratch (which is nice when you mess up), but I wanted to protect the final snowmen/women for years to come. Make sure your ornaments are dry before spraying, otherwise the paint will smear which is NOT a pretty site!! 

6. Last but not least, add ribbon and hang (or wrap for a present). Easy peasy!

Candy Bar Socks Gift

What You'll Need:

Candy Bars (I used Hershey)
White Paper (I used the paper that comes with a new scrapbook)
Double Sided Tape

1. Cut the white paper to fit the candy bars.
2. Put double sided tape on the paper and tape to candy bar. Add another piece of tape on the other side to seal the white paper.
3. I folded the socks in half and tucked the foot of the socks behind the candy bar. Add ribbon  around the folded sock and make a bow.
4. Add double sided tape to the inside of the socks to keep them in place.
5. Draw on the snowmen faces and you're done!

I mean ... who doesn't like comfy socks and chocolate!

My very own inexpensive Christmas decorating ideas


I made these stockings years ago, but I'm sure you can still find these supplies at the craft store. Basically, you buy the stockings with nothing on them, wooden letters (I painted green) and sew on some charms (also found at craft store).

Mason Jars:

I got a great deal on mason jars last year, so I love to decorate with them at any opportunity. For the above decor, I put some straw like filler inside and tied some twine around the top. Then, all you have to do is add some real or fake pine to the jar.

Here's another look at the same idea, but I added battery operated Christmas lights to the biggest jar (which are not lit in the picture -- sorry). 

The jars above have epsom salt inside (which sparkles like snow) and I melted a candle on top.

** I bought the bags of epsom salt at Walgreens near the pharmacy -- I got the plain, no smell kind.

Felt Bags:

These adorable felt bags play several roles in my house. They are nice and festive around the tree, great for saving on wrapping paper and you can re-use them every year!!

These are sold at Michaels, but wait for them to go on sale! I got them on Black Friday for a few bucks each (originally $4.99 each). I'm sure you can find them even cheaper right after the holidays to save for next year.

These bags saved me on tape and wrapping backache. They are also easier for the younger kids to get into their presents and you end up with less trash on Christmas day! It's a no brainer!

I hope you enjoyed this festive blog to get you in the holiday spirit without spending too much! 

Feel free to pin my pix!


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  1. Yours turned out super, super cute! I heart paint pens! Thanks for the shout out! Have a great week! xoxo - Cheryl

    1. Thanks Cheryl! I too heart paint pens! I loved these ornaments so much, I bought the supplies for a MOMS Club gathering. They loved making the cute keepsakes!

  2. I'm glad I didn't see this post BEFORE Christmas! :)