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Dear Hattie,

My husband was recently laid off. It looks like we will be scraping by to make ends meet for a while. I don’t have a lot of time to get crafty, but I am a wee bit creative and am looking for ways I can bless others for birthdays and holidays even though our budget is tight. Can you help?!


Penny Counter

Dear Penny,

There are so many resources available these days for DIY, it almost seems silly to mention them. I’m sure you know Pinterest is a great place to gather ideas, but be mindful to look for ways to keep them economical.

My main idea is to brainstorm ways to use your hands to turn “a little bit into a lot”. If you have a sewing machine you can breathe new gift-worthy life into gently used cast offs. Baby clothes can be turned into baby quilts. Table cloths can be cut down to make cloth napkins, tea towels, or table runners. If you know how to knit/crochet or embroider, you can turn out some pretty useful and meaningful pieces, even if imperfect.

Creative gifts from the kitchen can also go a long way. How about gifting a pie-of-the-month club with a fresh-baked pie every month of the year? If your friend has a bread maker, you could pre-mix dry ingredients in clean mason or jelly jars for specialty bread recipes like focaccia or dinner rolls.  Of course baked goods like quick breads or cinnamon rolls are usually a welcomed gift. You could even wrap it in a handmade tea towel (see above).

Finally, experience or service gifts are another idea. Think of the coupon books your kids might have given you for Mother’s Day. You are entitled to one picnic and walk along the river. You are being gifted 3 days of laundry help. You get the idea.

Oftentimes the thought and love put behind a gift has just as much bearing as the gift itself. It now being the end of August, you can work just a little here and there to be ready for Christmas. It is a great opportunity to put some extra care into gift giving which may end up being even more meaningful.


May your making be blessed,