Birthdays come all at once? Here’s how to be meaningful, not mean. For less than £10 you can get stunning gifts for your loved ones. Here’s how to shop for beautiful budget presents.
Keep it simple
Gifts need not be extravagant to be beautiful and meaningful. A mason jar filled with sweets and wrapped in a bow – super pretty. A card you’ve designed yourself – more personal than any you would find in a store. A well-chosen book or a mixtape – hours of future enjoyment. Choosing gifts can be stressful and the pressure to spend, especially around the holidays, can be significant. Take a step back and consider what your intended recipient would truly appreciate. More often than not, it isn’t the price tag that matters.
Delve into DIY
Where to even start? There are so many fabulous homemade gift ideas readily available at our fingertips, it can be hard to choose! Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly crafty, give it some thought, as there are plenty of easy things to be made that don’t require massive skill or talent – just a little time. Here are some good crowd-pleasers:
- DIY bath bombs
- Homemade soap
- Teacup candles
- Scrabble coasters
- Fir cone bird feeder
What could be more warming and homey than some freshly baked cakes or cookies? Or even some homemade jelly or jam, if that’s your thing. There is an endless supply of imaginative recipes out there for all tastes and abilities, so why not give it a go? If you can find out what their favourite is, even better. Use cookie cutters if you want some funky shapes, and think about presentation as well. Why not arrange your treats on a funky thrift store plate, or inside a pretty tin? Don’t forget to add a ribbon or homemade label as a final flourish.
Forage at flea markets
If you’re strapped for cash, flea markets and secondhand stores are perfect places to find amazing deals on vintage bits and bobs, many of which you can upcycle or personalise. Every flea market is different, so you never know what you will find. Head down to your local market with some loose ideas in mind, such as:
- Vintage cashmere and knitwear
- Eclectic dinnerware
- Vases and antique glassware
- Old picnic baskets, which can be upcycled and transformed into gift baskets
- Classic books and records
- Costume jewelry
A picture says a thousand words, so they say. There are lots of lovely ways to present a photograph, and they often don’t cost much at all. Choose a special photo and get it enlarged and framed. Craft a cool album or collage. Turn a set of photos into a poster. Or if you want to take it one step further, get your photos transformed into a fridge magnet, cushion or jigsaw. Much of this can be done online and for very little – such is the beauty and creativity of the internet.
Think outside the box
Don’t feel limited to a traditional boxed gift. There are so many ways to give something special to someone, which includes gifts that are not physical objects. In many ways, some of these ideas can be worth more than money could buy. Why not try one of the following?
- Self-made coupons for treats and chores, such as babysitting, massage, dog walking or breakfast in bed
- Get them an experience instead of an object. It doesn’t need to be lavish. It could be a voucher for music or one month’s Netflix subscription. Take some time to browse sites like Groupon for deals
- Instead of a present, give an adventure! Give the gift of your undivided time and attention by going out for the day and seeing where it takes you
The phrase “it’s the thought that counts” has become a bit of a cliché, but clichés exist for a reason. Think about gifts you’ve received in the past, the ones that really touched you. What was it about them that you loved so much?
Got a thoughtful, thrifty gift idea? Let us know in the comments.