Friday, August 1, 2008

Creative gift giving ~ Make your own kits

A little over a week ago a friend called on Saturday to invite my kids to her son's birthday party which was on Sunday afternoon. Of course that caused us to wonder what we should give him. I try to keep a file cabinet filled with things we have found on sale or made or picked up somewhere full of gift items but I wasn't sure we really had anything that would work for Jared. I also didn't really have time to go shopping (besides we are trying to make homemade gifts or use what we have whenever possible this year) as we were preparing for company to come and were attending church on Sunday.

I have been thinking about trying to make more "kits" for gifts after reading about a lot of neat ones on different blogs that I have visited. After looking in my gift stash I remembered that we had picked up some nice pocket knives at Target's Dollar spot to use as gifts. I didn't want to give just that but we thought it would be fun to make a "hiking kit". The kids and I started looking around the house to see what we could put in it. Here is what we came up with.
  • Pocket knife ($1 from Target)
  • Big jar of peanuts to have for a snack (free with coupon)
  • Sunglasses (some that had been given to us-so free)
  • Splinter kit (a tweezers, band aids, cleansing wipe), in case of an accident ($1 at Target)
  • Pedometer to keep track of how far he goes (part of a rebate offer from Walgreens)
  • A whistle to use for signaling (it had been given to us -so free)
  • A binoculars (10 cents from a garage sale)
  • A red tennis ball which Aaron thought he needed in case he wanted to play (a few cents, I had found a box of a dozen or so for under $1 at Walmart many years ago)

In all the cost was about $2.20 but we had fun putting it together and the kids said it was very well received. There are so many neat ideas out there for making up "kits" that are fun to give and fun to receive but don't have to be expensive at all. Here are some ideas that I have done or heard of:

  • A magic kit (with a deck of cards, hankerchief, instructions printed off the Internet, etc.) This idea I saw on the blog "Life.On a budget" quite a while ago ~I can't seem to find the blog anymore.
  • A sewing kit, crochet kit, knitting kit or anything like that. You can roll up in nice balls some yarn you have around your house (or the same idea with fabric scraps), add needles and maybe scissors or other tools, add some instructions and possibly offer some lessons.
  • A pirates kit.
  • A quiet time basket.
  • A first aid kit (for people that are just married, going off to college or getting a home of their own). This actually can be an expensive gift if you just go out and buy things full price, but if you use drug store sales, dollar stores and maybe make your own rice pack it can be an economical gift and a useful one too.
  • A baking kit. I remember the fun I had, when I was little, when my Grandma sent my a muffin pan, a muffin mix and a mixing bowl (possibly other things as well but I don't remember). I had already been around a lot of baking as my mom baked stuff from scratch regularly but it was really fun to have stuff that was all my own to use.
  • A bathroom kit. At a bridal shower I was at a friend of mine gave a gift of a big box full of stuff like toilet paper, Q-tips, soap, I don't remember what all was in it but there was lots of stuff. Stuff you wouldn't give all by itself but when it is together it looks very impressive and I think all of us we impressed with the idea. The stuff was incredibly useful (who doesn't use toilet paper? -ok, I know there are a few) and necessary and it certainly wouldn't be the type of gift that just sat around wasting space because the recipient didn't know what to do with it.

Any how, I need to finish this post and what I would actually like is if any of you would share any gifts that you have given or received that are many things put together to make a really neat gift!

For more frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.

15 comments:

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April said...

very cute!

momof4sweetsisters said...

These are great ideas! I've been trying to come up with kit ideas for my neices and nephew. I've been doing lots of toiletries for the girls, but I think I'll do something outdoorsie too! Thanks!

Teresa said...

Great idea...I love it!
We give kits too. One of my favorite is a gardening kit, with a pot, a small bag of soil, a packet of seeds, and some gardening gloves.

Anonymous said...

I once gave a "family fun night" gift basket that I gave in a large bowl, big enough for popcorn. It had a pack of Uno cards, box of popcorn, bag of candy, and some Koolaid (the already mixed with sugar can).

Michele said...

I love giving "kits" or gift baskets, too! :) One of my favorites is a picnic basket.

Blessings,
Michele :)
www.frugalgranola.blogspot.com

Audra Krell said...

I like to give women or teen girls the $1 makeup including brushes from ELF.

All in a Day said...

Nice ideas!

Lea said...

some of the "kits" I have given are:

.. homemade playdough with dollar store cookie cutters and a plastic knife... this is always a HUGE it!

.. this might sound strange but kids LOVE it... old plastic film cannisters, stick on stars, a box of baking soda & a bottle of vinegar, print the instructions on how to make "rockets" out of them off the internet...

...I remember one time I had found a pack of magnetic sheets on sale.. there were maybe 4 sheets perpack... 1 sheet and some dollar store markers for a " make your own fridge magnet kit..

... a soup can with the label off spray painted and decorated with a baggie of potting soil and flower seeds..

...now, one Christmas when the boys were all very young ( 7 and under) we had absolutely 0 dollars for Christmas... my husband was in seminary and working construction part time... there were some new but discarded pieces of plumbing PVC lying around the job site and he was given permission to take them home.... for around 5.00 he bought couplings and fittings and then sawed the pvc into different lengths and sanded the edges... Viola!! Giant tinker toys!! we have since given that gift many times over and each time it has been a hit.

.. I'm sure there are a ton more..seminary years with 4 boys make for some lean times!!.

Abbi said...

Thanks for all the comments and the ideas! I think gift giving is lots of fun but not something to go in debt over, so creative ideas along that line are always wonderful. I appreciate all that you shared.

Theresa said...

De-lurking for a minute :o) ... great ideas!! I especially love the crochet or knit kit idea.

Meredith said...

I love the concept of kits--much more kid-oriented than a typical gift basket.

Great ideas!

Abbi said...

Thanks Theresa and Meridith for stopping by!

Corene said...

Love it!

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