Saturday, October 16, 2010

more thrifty gifting

After my post on recycled baby sweaters, it occurred to me that I've got a few other thrifty gift ideas up my sleeve.

My niece is going to become a big sister any day now. The new baby needs a sweater (of course!), but we didn't want the Big Sis to feel left out of the gifting.

For her gift, we cut shapes out of brightly colored foam sheets to use as bath stickers. My boys have been playing with a set of our own for the past few weeks and bath time has never been so much fun. We got a huge stack of the foam sheets for about $4, and used 6 sheets of foam for the gift, so we ended up with a gift that cost pennies, but is as much fun as toys that cost more $$ . (we borrowed the idea from this wonderful post at FilthWizardry)

Incidentally, these foam "stickers" don't have to stay banished to the bath. They also work really well on windows, dishwasher doors, refrigerator doors, etc.-- just keep a dish of water nearby! A handy way to keep little hands occupied while you're busy in the kitchen, no?

I loved playing with paper dolls when I was little, did you too? It was a happy little trip down memory lane when I stumbled across this lovely collection of free vintage paper dolls.

They seemed the perfect birthday gift for one of our favorite little neighbor girls. We printed them on heavy cardstock and covered them with clear contact paper to help them last a little longer. I downloaded some free pretty wallpaper from lovemae to make the storage envelope, and we had a sweet little gift for nothing more than the cost of ink and paper.

If I did it again (which I'm sure I will), I'd print them a little smaller and mount the doll and dresses on thin refrigerator magnets (the kind that come covered with advertisements for plumbers and dentists), and store the whole lot in a recycled candy tin for a fun and handy travel toy.

For a more gender neutral gift along the same lines, check out these awesome slotted building discs from madebyjoel. Really, go check it out right now. You'll find an incredibly inspiring blog with oodles of beautiful ideas for fun toys you can make for and with your kids. (I confess to spending a weekend reading through his entire blog after I stumbled across it-- it's that good)

What about you? Do you have any great and inexpensive gift ideas?


Manda said...

So glad I found your blog - this is a great post, full of great ideas!

I'll be back! :)

Britney said...

GREAT ideas! Love 'em -- especially the paper dolls. ;)

Christie said...

What great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

kristin said...

i love the idea of foam stickers! i never knew they worked that way with water...thanks for the tip.