Have a Thrifty Christmas – Part One

Holly

Gone are the days when I could write a poem with a crayon, present it to my Mum with sticky fingers and call it a Christmas gift.

So, so gone.

Mainly because I’m a student and I can’t afford crayons.

Anyway, I think it’s totally okay not to spend a lot of money on Christmas, and you should still be able to get great gifts for the people you care about.

My first tip for not breaking the bank at Christmas? If you find yourself thinking ‘I could make that’ or ‘I could do better than that’ … Do it! I made this t-shirt for Rob (all I really did was add the pocket) after seeing some that he wanted and thinking ‘I could make that’. I had to experiment a bit and maybe the stitching isn’t perfect but I honestly don’t think it looks handmade, I was so pleased with it I made Rob wear it for his whole birthday weekend 😉

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This year, I want to give framed photographs so I though I’d share my ideas for this project. I browsed the internet, including notonthehighstreet.com (my go-to site for inspiration), and bought some basic craft supplies. Using spray paint and cheap and cheerful photo frames from IKEA, (these RIBBA ones) I came up with these five options for festive frames…

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start with gold or silverOptions 1-3

1.Bright Pegs These tiny wooden pegs with big red hearts would look perfect –  perhaps three would fit neatly along one side of the frame. They could be used to clip in extra mini photos, or mementos such as train tickets. 2. Lettering Use masking tape letters to write a names or words around the edges of the frame, spray the whole frame a different colour, and then peel off the tape to reveal your message. 3. Geometric stamps Use a foam stamp to create a repeating pattern of triangles (or anything you like, depending how adventurous you feel!) 4. Gold Leaf (or, leaves) Use either the stamping or the masking tape method to create an elegant floral design, like this one here. This one is a little fiddly but if done well, it could even stop your sister from making pointed comments about the quality of your hand made presents 😉 5. Colour Block Finally, don’t be afraid to leave your silver and gold frames just as they are, I think they look great!

I’ll show you the results when they’re finished, but in the mean time why not come up with some ideas of your own for some fun personal frames this Christmas!

While on the subject of spray paint: I made this set of jars in five minutes by taping off the top half of each jar. I think they look super cute and they were so easy!

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I hope you’ve been inspired by these thrifty solutions, but if you don’t have the time or the energy to hand make gifts, there are plenty of other ways to keep your costs down: 
1. Shop the sales. A lot of companies have flash sales over Christmas, for example H&M’s ‘gift of the day’ promotion, and there are a lot of websites which will alert you to these, such as Martin Lewis’ Christmas Deals Predictor, or the StudentMoneySaver website. Make a list of the gifts you want to buy, and then you can plan your shopping accordingly. Doesn’t that sound fun? 
2. Buy gifts that people will actually really love. I know, I know, some people are really difficulty to buy for, but anything you buy that’s not chosen with care is kinda a waste of money. Spending a lot of money is so much less important than spending a lot of time and thought!

Finally, don’t feel pressured to spend a lot of money. Spend thoughtfully and always question whether you could get a better deal elsewhere, or by doing it yourself.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with part two, my ultimate Christmas shopping list filled with gifts which I am coveting so hard, all for under £10. Don’t say I never do nice things for you…

Big love,

PV x

Holly