Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Under $10!

I am sure many, many people are in the same boat as we are… just over a month until Christmas and we just had to buy a new dish washer, a new washing machine and 2 new cars. Needless to say, there will not be a lot of cash to spread around for gifts. So I am going to have to get creative and thrifty. In light of that, I am going to start a featured post on here for gifts that I find during my Christmas shopping that are $10 or less and handmade… or at the very least, locally made.

The first gift I will be featuring will be aimed at children and can be purchased from… me! I have seen these wooden peg dolls all over the internet and knew my girls would love to make them and play with them.

It is a fairly simple craft project requiring only a few supplies and some great creativity.

Supplies needed: 
wooden pegs 
wooden candle cups
craft paint in various colors (make sure non-toxic)* 
very small paint brushes 
fine tip permanent markers 
craft varnish (make sure non-toxic) 

This is a gift you can either give in the raw version, so that the recipient can create their own dolls, or you can create a nice family with your own hands and give the finished dolls as the gift. I gave my girls the wooden parts as the gift and then we created the babies together, which was most of the fun of the gift.

It is simple really, you just want to paint some clothes on the peg doll. We also chose to paint the candle cups (which the dolls will sit in) in a matching color (and don’t try to put the wrong baby in the wrong cup or Acadia will have a fit!). Be creative with your clothing- the more colorful, the better. 

Next, paint on a cute hairstyle and any hair accessories you like. At this point I varnished the entire doll before I drew the face on with Sharpies. I found that if I drew with the Sharpies on the raw wood, it tended to bleed. It worked much better if I drew the face over the dried varnish. I used a thin coat of varnish so that I only had to wait 15 minutes for it to dry.

Voila, these babies are ready to be played with. They are great because they are small and we can fit 5 sets easily into a small bag to carry to dance class or to the doctors office… wherever the girls may need to be entertained for a few minutes.

There you are. A great gift for children aged 2-8 and for only $7.50 for five sets!

Do you have any ideas for me for great gifts under $10 (or less!)??? I need all the help I can get.

(* I discovered a new line of craft paint and varnish at Joanns last night. It os from Delta and it is all SOY! Great for the environment and at a great price.)


  1. Give the wonderful things is fun, especially when you see the wonder of the eyes, but sometimes it is more convenient to give her things that will be ideal for

  2. Woman...you should start a summer camp for girls. Farts N Crafts, Dance, Hula Hooping, Cooking, theatre, going green, and only 10dollars a day!

  3. I too have had hard times these last few years. And I think hand made gifts are wonderful! We need to bring the holidays back to earth. I hate giving gift cards or money it is just not personal or given with thought.