This Gift Guide Rules: Cheap, Last Minute Ideas!


5th Dec, 2012

So it’s that time of year again when magazines do their crappy annual gift guides, “guiding” you to buy $100 cashmere socks, $75 scented candles and generally the most mundane, over-priced gift ideas you could ever think of (and would land in serious debt if you actually took their advice). So for the people living in the real world, from D.I.Y. TO “I.O.U”, here is a round-up of the best and cheapest gift last-minute ideas out there.

For just about anyone: A Personalized Lantern

Stock it with little surprises according to the person’s taste and personality. You can find the lanterns at most gardening/ homeware stores for as little as 5 bucks. The recipient will be so impressed with the idea and presentation that they probably won’t even mind if it’s filled with useless crap!


For your family friends: Bread in a Bottle

Look up a good recipe for bread/ cake or cookies, buy the ingredients and stick them in a jar! Voila! Oh, and decorate a sticky label with some hand-drawn doodles. The jar could be a recycled juice bottle! For a little more detail, here are directions.


For the Chef (or so they like to think): Your secret recipes on tea towels

There’s two ways you can do this 1) You could have them printed from the scanned pages in your recipe book OR, much easier, 2) get some fabric markers and simply write out the recipes nicely on a blank tea towel. IKEA sells unbleached cotton ones, slightly vintage looking. Check out the tutorial here.

You could also offer them a chic way to hang them up:


For the liquor connoisseur: Homemade Cranberry and Lime Vodka

(or for your douchey rich friend that still goes clubbing all the time)

Here’s the tutorial. If you don’t have any bottles like this somewhere in the pantry, they are easy to find at homeware stores like Homesense, Home Outfitters, Bed, Bath and Beyond.


For the person that’s pissed off at the world: Personalized Business Cards

We all know how dirt cheap it is to print a hundred business cards at your local printing shop these days or online (we’re talking $5 for 100). Use these examples or come with your own for an original gift that might put a smile on someone’s grumpy face.

For your friend who just moved into a new house: A Housewarming bucket

Just please, fill it with useful stuff.

via Just Make Stuff


For the film buff: Movie Gift Package

Okay so you know they love film and you think you know which movie to buy them but you can’t just give them a DVD for Christmas! No no no, you have to make it all about the experience! Follow the example of this Movie night gift package.

Via  Allred Design


For the gal pal that always listens to your problems: Hot Chocolate for Adults

Because she deserves it after listening to all your sh*t!

Tutorial here.

For the homemaker: DIY Mason Jars

Must love:, decorating, DIY ideas, and vintage market shopping.

Tutorial here

or … .Personalized messages on your mason jars using glue!

Tutorial here via Pure and Noble

For the wino: Mulled Wine Kit

If they can’t bothered to mull, at least you gave them wine.

Tutorial here



For your work colleagues: Handmade Honey Lip Balm

Giving presents out at your workplace to only a select few will usually make you pretty unpopular– annoying but true. So I found this idea to be the perfect solution. Everyone will be impressed by your home-made lip balm-making skills and it will set you back a month’s wages to keep everybody happy. Surprisingly easy to make: Directions here.


For your other half: Breakfast in bed tickets

If you can print business cards, you print these for just as cheap. It would probably help if you’re good at Photoshop so you can design your own, have them printed and attach them nicely together (I’m thinking a hole puncher and a some nice ribbon). If not, I found them at the Spotted Sparrow here for £8.00.


For the kids: Build them a fort while they’re sleeping

image via here


Or you could just give them money…

It’s all about the presentation… !




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