It's fine for your friends and family to say that it's not the gift, it's the thought that counts. However, if you are gift shopping on a budget, you know how difficult it can be to find something unique and nice to give those people on your gift list without spending a fortune. However, you can find cheap gifts that are appreciated and affordable if you know where to look. Some of these take a little DIY prowess; others can be wrapped right from the store.
1. A set of marbleized votive candles. Clear dollar store candle holders can be turned into something unique and expensive looking with just a little paint and a little effort. To create these, first remove the candle. Then drop a single drop of nail polish (or single drops of multiple colors) into a bucket of warm water. Swirl the color with a toothpick and dip the candle holder. Allow to dry and replace the candle. Voila!
2. Fill your own picnic basket. Food-related gifts are always appreciated and what better way to celebrate than creating a basket of utensils and dinnerware all ready to head for the park or the beach. Grab a large basket from a garage sale or second-hand store and load it with napkins made from fabric remnants, plastic stemware and plastic plates and forks. Top it off, if you're able, with a gift card to your local grocery store.
3. Stenciled throw pillows. Personalize a pillow for your friend by adorning it with their (or your) favorite movie quote, line from a poem or other saying. All you need is stencils from any art or craft store and some fabric paint.
4. DIY soup or pasta kit. Do your friends always rave about that one dish you make? Give them the recipe (hand-written) in a big bowl with all of the (non-perishable) ingredients, all tied up with a bow. That way they can recreate that favorite dish in their own kitchen.
5. Handmade holiday ornaments. Ornaments are always appreciated around the holiday season. The possibilities are numerous. You can paint a saying or design on a solid-colored orb. You can create a hanging ornament using a favorite photograph. Or, you can stitch an ornament from a discarded family quilt or pet blanket.
Finding an expensive-looking gift that will be appreciated by the people on your gift list doesn't have to break your budget. Instead, turn bargain finds into gems that your friends are sure to love. You may also want to look online for cheap gifts for sale.