The gift of thought – inexpensive & creative gift ideas

Categories:Body, Following my bliss


Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year for so many reasons: Time spent with family, silly X-mas hats, good food and mulled wine and of course presents! The gift of giving is a great feeling and is most enjoyable when applied with careful thought. How many times have you been given a gift and thought ‘I wish they hadn’t bothered wasting their money’? Probably more often than you’d like to admit. There’s no need to spend lots of money on thoughtless gifts when you can probably spend less money creating something yourself with your natural creative abilities. Maybe you can draw or paint? Maybe you can write? Maybe you can play an instrument or make your own music? Maybe you can bake? These are all very handy skills to have when you want to save a few bucks (and want to avoid shopping through crowds of angry customers or go out in bad weather!) and also when you want to give thoughtfully.

Each Christmas my friends and I choose to make something for each other and one of the best gifts I have ever received to this day was a framed drawing which was designed to portray just how well my friend knew me. My friend is very artistic and used her skills with pencil and paper to create a very personal and thoughtful gift especially for me. Within her artwork she incorporated three of my favourite things: dance, cats and butterflies. In the picture she gives me the character of the cat dancing while butterflies encase me and my partner. Such a thoughtful gift which I truly appreciate. She put time, thought and effort into it and it now sits on my window sill where I can admire it everyday. This for me is what gift giving is all about. Truly showing that you know and care for someone, that you’ve had them in mind. So why not show off your creative side this year, all while spending less money and keeping friends and family happy and grateful to have you in their life! I hope my ideas below inspire you to think outside the box:

  1. Write a loved one a poem: Make it funny, personal, or make it an expression of your feelings for them. Roll it up and tie it shut with a pretty ribbon. Only costs you time and thought! If you want to go all out, display it in a pretty box, jar or bottle! Get creative!
  2. Reveal your recipe: Maybe a friend or relative enjoyed something you cooked up? Send them a sample along with the actual recipe? Another thoughtful gift that only needs your attention and a few ingredients.
  3. Create a scrapbook of memories: This can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like to make time for. Filing a photo album with some memorable photographs and silly quotes or conversations you’ve had, along with old cinema stubs or restaurant receipts is lovely but if you have the supplies and a little extra time it could look a little something like this… IMG_7750
  4. Record your own music: If you can sing, play an instrument or write your own music, record your work and copy it onto a CD, this could be a fantastic gift for anyone who appreciates your style. You could always do your own version of popular Christmas songs or even better, your own version of your recipients favourite singer/band!
  5. Draw a picture: Like my friend above, draw someone a picture or portrait of an interpretation of them or how you have come to know them and frame it.
  6. Frame a memory: If you refer back to one of my previous posts on pretty picture frames. Put a favourite photograph into a frame or on canvas. This idea is simple yet very appreciated.
  7. Write a book: This is something I wish my grandparents had done for me because I believe everyone has a story to tell or knowledge to learn from, even if it’s kept between the family. Perhaps begin writing for next year. Write a tribute to a loved one, telling their story for them or just share your knowledge with a friend who may appreciate it. You never know, you could actually make money from this one! Try using Blurb to get started with this project. They give many book style options such as photobooks, recipes and so much more.
  8. Offer your services: If you have a practical job and can provide a service such as handy man skills or hair styling, give someone a gift voucher for your service. Work out what is affordable for you as a business to give to someone for free.
  9. Build something: If you are good with a hammer and nails then collect some wood or whichever material you want to work with and build something a friend or relative is likely to use such as a storage chest or a plaque for their front door or a garden ornament. These are one of a kind gifts!
  10. Paint: The honest truth is, I am no artist! I don’t particularly have an interest in painting but I do have a friend who loves modern art so maybe a good idea is to pick up a canvas and have fun scattering coloured paint or water colours all over it and making a mess! I could almost bet my friend would love this! If you are a talented painter then create something meaningful to the person you’d like to treat.

None of these ideas have to cost you a fortune, mostly just time and thought which is the most important part when gift giving. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and I hope Santa’s as good to you as you’re gonna be to your loved ones!


  1. Calzo Houdini
    December 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve made you wooden hat from old wood and nails I found in the woods It features a built in picture frame that’s holding a drawing of me. I might even make you a song based around said wooden hat. Merry Christmas.

    • Charlene
      December 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Hahaha, Sounds like an awesome Xmas prezzie! Loving your enthusiasm!

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