Quick & Easy Handmade

Quick and Easy Handmade Projects 15 last-minute Christmas gift ideas

Quick & Easy Handmade

Looking for a few last-minute Christmas gifts?  Don’t have the much time or money?  Check out my list of 15 quick and easy handmade projects.  These projects, including a Sharpie mug, vinyl saying candle holder, photo magnets, Polaroid photo clothespin magnets, shower melts, sugar lip scrub, Thieves© foaming hand soap, fabric bookmarks, super kid cape, sunglasses case, hand-warmers, stuffed dog bone toy, money in a jar, hot cocoa sticks, and Ritz cracker snacks, are quick and easy handmade projects that require little time and money.  Scroll down to check them out!

Christmas Stress Setting In

I don’t know about you, but I am really feeling the stress of Christmas right now.  Counting today, we have 12 days until Christmas.  Yep, that’s right, 12.  I have no idea how I am going to finish all the handmade gifts I have planned, wrap everything, finish shopping for a few last-minute items, clean, and cook/bake in the time left until Christmas.  My anxiety level is at an all-time high.

Quick & Easy Handmade

Add to that, my birthday is tomorrow (41) and I don’t even have time to take the day off.  I really do not celebrate my birthday – we may go out to dinner, but that’s about it.  But this year I was going to go see a movie – Bad Mom’s Christmas.  I loved the first movie (I can relate with the characters) and have been looking forward to seeing the second one.  But, I am watching the first movie while I write this post 😊

We do not go to the movies often because they are way too expensive and we have hundreds of cable channels, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.  Why pay for a movie in the theater when we have so much available at home?  But, I like to go to the movies.  And, I like to go by myself.  When I go by myself, I can see a movie that I want to see and eat all the buttery popcorn I want without having to share.  I will get to see the movie, but it will probably not be while it is still in the theaters (and without the buttery popcorn).

Quick & Easy Handmade

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  One of my biggest pet peeves is reading “Woe is me” posts on Facebook.  I honestly do not follow Facebook as much as I used to because of that very reason.  I cannot complain because every project I have on my plate is one that I have given myself – no one is forcing me to make handmade gifts, bake cookies, or clean the entire house before our Christmas Eve party.  But, nonetheless, everything must get completed and therefore I am STRESSED.

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Are You Feeling the Christmas Stress, Too?

I know one of the biggest things that gets me stressed at holiday time is the last-minute stuff.  Things that you cannot do ahead of time – clean, cook, bake, etc.  For me, one of the worst last-minute things is realizing that you forgot to get someone a gift or getting a gift and not having a gift to give in return.

Well, I am here to the rescue!  No, I won’t be coming over to your house to cook and clean, but I can help with some last-minute gifts ideas.  For the last few weeks, I have been working on some quick and easy handmade gifts.  I have compiled a list of 15 projects that I have either seen on Pinterest or created myself.  But, I have made each one of the projects on this list and can attest that each one is a quick and easy handmade projects – and you won’t have to break the budget to make them, either.

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Sharpie Mug

My kids and I made a version of these mugs for last Mother’s Day.  This is a really easy project that you can make as simple or complex as you like.  It is even easy enough for the kids to make for grandparents, teachers, caregivers, etc.

Supplies:

  • Plain mug – white is best (I got mine at the Dollar Tree)
  • An image, word or quote sticker
  • Oil-based paint markers (I used Sharpies)

First of all, make sure your mug is clean and dry.  Then, attach your sticker.  You can design and cut your own on a cutting machine or use pre-made stickers.  Use your paint markers to draw dots (or scribbles, shapes, whatever your heart desires) around the stickers.  The key is to get close to the stickers so when you remove them you will be able to clearly see the word or shape.  That’s it.

Now, I have seen posts on Pinterest where people have baked the mugs to make them dishwasher safe.  I did not do that.  As long as you hand-wash carefully, the design should not fade. This is what I have done with the mugs we made on Mother’s Day and they are, for the most part, in tact.

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Candle Holder with Vinyl Saying

I found a really nice glass vessel at the Dollar Tree a while back and thought it would be perfect for a homemade candle.  I even tried to re-purpose an old candle to make a new candle in this glass.  Well, that was easier said than done.  Definitely a Pinterest FAIL!  So I cleaned it out and came up with a new plan.

Instead, I made a glass candle holder.  I cut “Sparkle, shimmer, shine” in vinyl on my Silhouette.  I even layered 2 colors of vinyl so I could use some silver for the “shimmer”.  At first I was intimidated to layer vinyl (I never did it before) but I used this tutorial from Expressions Vinyl.  It was SO easy! You really should try it.

I added a white pillar candle (also from Dollar Tree) and now have it on a shelf in my bathroom.  Who says all the gifts have to be for someone else?

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Photo or Quote Magnets

This is another quick and easy handmade project.

Supplies:

  • Wood circles (1-1/2″+)
  • Photo or quote printed on plain copy paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  • Magnet

Measure your wood circle.  Then print a photo or quote a bit larger and cut it out.  Use Mod Podge to adhere the image to the wood (but you could probably use regular glue or even a glue stick).  Just make sure that the edges are firmly attached.  Since I cut my image larger than the circle, I used a sanding block (the one you use for fingernails) to smooth the edges around the circle.  Cover the image with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. Make sure to cover the entire image and to pop any bubbles.  Let it dry completely and then add a magnet on the back.  I made a few of these with both images and photos and they all turned out great.  (I just prefer not to post pictures of my family.)

Quick & Easy Handmade

Polaroid Photo Clothespin Magnets

I got the idea for these Polaroid Photo Clothespin Magnets from a post I saw on Pinterest.  The project I saw on the Sundae Sins blog was mounted and used as magnets alone.  If you want to see how this version is made, check it out here.

I had a somewhat different version in mind and I wanted it a little it more quick and easy handmade.  And, in the tutorial, she used Photoshop which I do not have.  So here is my version:

  1. Go to Canva.com and create a free account
  2. Click on “Use custom dimensions” in upper right hand corner
  3. Choose your dimensions (default is in pixels) – I used 4”x6”
  4. Add the Polaroid frame – search “polaroid” and choose one of the options (I used the free one with the landscape inside)
  5. Click on “Upload” on the bottom of the left sidebar and upload the photo you want to showcase
  6. Drag and drop the photo into the Polaroid frame – the photo will automatically resize to fit the frame
  7. Click on “Download” on top-right toolbar. You can choose to save it as a png or a jpeg
  8. Insert the graphic into the program you are using (I used Microsoft Publisher)
  9. If you want to make magnets like the ones I made, resize to 1-1/2” x 2”
  10. Print on heavy cardstock, cut, and glue to a clothespin
  11. Add a magnet to the back

Quick & Easy Handmade

Thieves Foaming Hand Soap

Throughout my life, I have had crappy immunity and have always gotten sick way too often.  Until a year ago.  Last August I started using an immunity blend of essential oils and I have had the healthiest year ever.  So, I decided this year to give the gift of health to some of the recipients on my gift list this year.

Thieves© from Young Living is a miracle blend that kills germs and helps boost immunity.  I use a blend of thieves on the bottom of my feet each night to boost my immunity.   And I also started using a soap with Thieves oil to kill germs and boost my immunity just a little bit more.  I found this recipe for DIY Thieves Foaming Hand Soap on Simply Being Mommy and made a bunch for quick & easy handmade gifts this year.

To make Thieves Foaming Hand Soap, you will need liquid castile soap, vitamin E oil, Thieves essential oil, filtered water, and a foaming soap dispenser.  For my gifts, I bought foaming soap at Dollar Tree and just used those dispensers.  You can buy foaming soap dispensers, but they can be pricey.  Since I made quite a few of these, I opted for the more frugal version.  But, if you are only going to make a few, I really recommend purchasing a foaming soap dispenser lid for a mason jar.  I got these a while ago for my mason jar dispensers in my kitchen and powder room.  They are fantastic!  I replaced the rusty metal ones I had and these are so much better.

Quick & Easy HandmadeFor the soap I am giving as gifts, I made labels for the front and back of the soap dispensers.  Since I think the legend of the Thieves© blend is fascinating, I added that to the back label and also a tip to shake the bottle if the soap settles.

Quick & Easy Handmade

Shower Melts

I make and use shower melts for 2 different reasons:  to boost my energy in my morning shower and to help with congestion when I have a cold.  And these are another quick and easy handmade gift.  The basic recipe for shower melts that I use comes from the One Essential Community blog.  This blog is great for anything related to essential oils and this post has a ton of different recipes for shower melts.

All you need to make shower melts is baking soda, distilled water, 25 drops of essential oil, and a silicone mold.  Head over to this One Essential Community post for the recipe and a how-to video.  If you cannot find a recipe you like from One Essential Community, try one of the 2 blends that I have created.

  • Good Morning Shower Melts – 12 drops peppermint essential oil & 13 drops lemon essential oil
  • Cold and Flu Shower Melts – 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 10 drops peppermint essential oil, & 3 drops lavender essential oil

And, if you are going to give these for a gift (and not just keep them for yourself), you will need a label for the jar and a tag with usage instructions.  So, here are some for the 2 blends that I use.Quick & Easy Handmade

Quick & Easy Handmade

Sugar Lip Scrub

Who does not get chapped lips in the winter?  No one!  Lip scrub is the perfect quick and easy handmade gift for everyone because it helps to slough off the dead skin and then soften the lips.  I saw a post with many different recipes for Sugar Lip Scrub on Lydia Out Loud. You can make one of her many recipes, but I just used her basic recipe and made my own flavors using essential oils.

For my lip scrubs, I used ½ Tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil, ½ Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 drops essential oil.  I also added a few drops of food coloring make it prettier.  However, beware when using food coloring – a little goes a long way!  I did not intend for my lip scrub to be such a dark green, but I was a little heavy-handed with the bottle.  I had a few of containers around the house for my lip scrub, but I have seen small containers that would be perfect at both Dollar Tree and Five Below.

Here are a few recipes for Sugar Lip Scrubs with essential oils:

  • Peppermint – 2 drops Peppermint
  • Citrus Bliss – 2 drops Young Living Citrus Bliss or 1 drop Orange and 1 drop Lemon
  • Coconut Lime – 1 drop coconut extract and 1 drop lime essential oil
  • Lemon Ginger – 1 drop lemon essential oil and 1 drop ginger essential oil

And of course, what is a quick and easy handmade gift without a cute label?

Quick & Easy Handmade

 

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Fabric Bookmarks

Who doesn’t need a bookmark? Just a few fabric scraps, interfacing, and ribbon and you have a quick and easy handmade gift for the book lover in your life.  To make these bookmarks, I used this tutorial I found on 7 Layer Studio. Enough said!

Quick & Easy Handmade

Super Kid Cape

A few months ago, I made a super easy cape for my nephew’s birthday.  I used this free pattern and tutorial from Create Kids Couture.  I mean, what kid doesn’t want to be a superhero?

You only need about a yard of fabric and either snaps or Velcro.  But I wanted to personalize my nephew’s cape, so I created a stencil and painted “Super Tommy” on his. Since you probably don’t have a Tommy who needs a cape, I just changed the stencil to “Super Kid”.  Download it here: Super Kid

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Sunglasses Case

Since I wear glasses, I need to be extra careful with my prescription sunglasses.  A handmade sunglasses case is perfect for anyone who wears glasses or sunglasses.  I have made several cases for my sunglasses but this tutorial from Crazy Little Projects is super easy.  I used some coordinating fabric scraps and it only took me maybe 15 minutes to make one.  I even added an antique button to mine for a little pizzazz.

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Handwarmers

Cold weather is here and everybody’s hands get cold in the winter.  Hand-warmers make a great gift for anyone who spends time outdoors – even if it is just a quick walk to the bus stop.  Just pop these in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’ll have warm and toasty hands.

If you have four 3-1/2” squares of cotton fabric and 6 tablespoons of rice, you can quickly make 1 pair of hand-warmers.  I used this tutorial from This Grandma is Fun to make a few for all of our stockings this year.  Mine will be the ones with the hearts!  They will be perfect for long, freezing cold afternoons at the skate park.

Quick & Easy Handmade

Stuffed Dog Bone Toy

Of course, we cannot forget {wo}man’s best friend.  I always make Gunner some homemade treats and get him a cool toy for Christmas.  But this year, I also decided to make him a stuffed dog bone toy.  He has this old, dirty bone-shaped toy that I bought him when we first brought him home.  It has no stuffing left but he still carries it around anyway.  I find it covered in dirt and dog hair every time I move the furniture to vacuum, but I never have the heart to throw it out.  So, I figured if I make him a new one, maybe I can chuck that gross old one.

I made a pattern and used some denim fabric I had leftover from a previous project (I used about 1 pant leg of a pair of jeans).  Since Gunner is a pretty big dog, I made his toy about 11” long, but you can resize the pattern to whatever size suits your dog.

Quick & Easy Handmade

  1. Cut 2 pattern pieces (on the outer line of the pattern) from your fabric
  2. Pin the fabric pieces, right sides together, and sew a ¼” seam around the edges leaving a 2” opening for turning
  3. Cut notches around the curves
  4. Turn right-side out – poke out and smooth all curves
  5. Stuff with Polyfil
  6. Stitch the opening closed

 

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Money in a Jar

Every year, we tip the wonderful men who take our garbage (they always put our cans back where they belong).  But I hate just putting money in an envelope.  So I searched Pinterest for different ways to make giving money a little more interesting.  I found tons of ways to fold money and other creative ideas.  My favorite idea was hiding money in a jar of M&M’s.  But, of course, I did not have any M&M’s.  So, I filled a jar with some peppermints, made a cylinder with a piece of cardstock, and placed a bill inside.  I hope our garbage men appreciate the little extra effort as much as we appreciate theirs!

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Hot Cocoa on a Stick

Now this is an awesome idea as well as a quick and easy handmade gift – Hot Cocoa on a Stick.  Simple yet yummy.  I found the idea and tutorial for Hot Cocoa on a Stick at Thirty Handmade Days.

All you need is 2 cups of chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon of extract (I used mint), a silicone mold, and disposable spoons.  (In the tutorial, she used wooden spoons, but I really did not want to spend the money for a bunch of spoons when I only needed a few.  So, I used some heavy-duty plastic ones and they worked just as well.) I wanted to use a Christmas shape mold but the one I ordered has not arrived yet.  So, I used the cube silicone mold that I use for ice.  Since my cubes were on the larger side (about 1 ounce each) I was only able to make about 10.  Since I made peppermint cocoa, I crushed up some candy canes and added them on top of the melted chocolate.  When I packaged them, I also added some mini marshmallows because who can drink hot cocoa without marshmallows? Not me!

Quick & Easy Handmade

I also made a label for my Hot Cocoa on a Stick and used my Stampin’ Up! tag punches.

 

Quick & Easy Handmade

Ritz Cracker Snacks

Instead of making super-complicated cookies and candies, I like to make some quick and easy handmade snacks with Ritz Crackers.  When I saw the limited-edition snowflake Ritz crackers at the grocery store last week, I knew I had to make some Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers.  I found this recipe on the Cakes Cottage blog a while ago and have been making them on a regular basis.

To make Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers, you “bake” a Rolo on a Ritz cracker at 350 for 3-5 minutes.  When the Rolos are melted just enough (I bake for 3 minutes), you smush (is that a word?) the melted Rolo with the other cracker to make a sandwich.  But, instead of following the recipe from Cakes Cottage and just making 10, I buy a bag of the unwrapped Rolos and make the entire bag (there are approximately 35 in a bag). They are so good!  And they look super cute with the snowflake Ritz crackers.

Since my family loves peanut butter, I also wanted to make some peanut butter cracker sandwiches as well.  But, it is Christmas, so I dipped them in chocolate and added some Christmas themed sprinkles.  The chocolate adds just enough sweetness to make them oh, so good.  To make these, sandwich 2 crackers with peanut butter.  Then, melt some chocolate chips, dip 1 side of the sandwich in the chocolate, and then sprinkle with the candy sprinkles.

Well, that about does it.  15 quick and easy handmade gifts for Christmas.  Do you have any quick and easy handmade projects that you will be making for Christmas this year?  I can always use more ideas to keep in my last-minute gift arsenal!  Leave a comment below to let me know what you will be making in those precious last-minute moments before Christmas day.

Make some quick and easy handmade gifts to Add a Little Shimmer to your life today.

Nicole Warren-Missimer

And – If you like what you are reading on Adding Shimmer to Life, take a minute to subscribe to my blog via email (below). As a subscriber, you will get an email when I post, add a page, or share content just for email subscribers (coming soon). I also appreciate you sharing Adding Shimmer to Life with other people who may enjoy my content.  Or, if you like Facebook and Pinterest you can follow me there, too.

Add a Little Shimmer to your life - Subscribe today!

 

Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.

www.addingshimmertolife.com

addingshimmertolife@outlook.com

 

All contents – text and images – belong to Nicole Warren-Missimer of Adding Shimmer to Life (unless otherwise noted).

Copyright 2017 Adding Shimmer to Life

 

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Lit Faux Tree

Lit Faux Tree – Want to make your own? Make a special edition to your outdoor Christmas display

 

Lit Faux Tree

When I was putting up the Christmas lights last week, I realized that I needed a little something to add to my outdoor Christmas display. For a while now, I’ve been seeing lit faux trees on Pinterest.  This was just what I needed, and I decided to make my own.  Using a basic galvanized tomato cage, some duct tape, and a string of lights I created the perfect lit faux tree for my outdoor Christmas display.  Read on for a super-quick tutorial to make a lit faux tree for your outdoor display.

Staying on an Even Keel

Ever since I dug my way out of a deep depression, I try to do as much as possible to keep myself on an even keel.  I use my planner to lessen my anxiety, I DIY and create because making pretty things makes me happy, I volunteer weekly to feel like I can still make a difference in other people’s lives, and I cuddle with my dog daily to relax.

Lit Faux Tree

However, life is not all sunshine and rainbows

Of course, I have chores like cleaning and laundry that do not make me happy.  But, I have a system for everything – and I mean everything – that makes those chores as painless as possible.

Only one thing I do on a weekly basis threatens my “even-keelness”.  Every Tuesday morning, I visit my grandmother at her retirement community.  I have written about my grandmother before in other posts. She has dementia and the disease has taken everything away from her.  Most of the time we have good visits, but every week I cannot help but leave heartbroken and just plain sad.

So, being the nerd that I am, I have a system for trying to get through these visits without resorting to old, bad habits like going directly home to my couch and tv and spending the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself.

Lit Faux Tree

Use Music to Prepare

Music really speaks to me.  I love to listen, I mean really listen to the lyrics and look for the meaning behind the words.  So, on my way to visit my grandmother, I prepare with some upbeat music.  Right now, two of my favorite songs are The Script’s Superheroes and Katy Perry’s Firework.  I love to sing along to music, so I usually know most of the lyrics.

When I listen to The Script’s Superheroes, I feel that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.  I have struggled through many ordeals in my life (including depression, the loss of my sister, and bullying in high school).  Knowing that someone else out there “gets it” makes a huge impact on me.  This song makes me feel like I am a superhero.  I recently read a quote from The Script’s band member Danny.  “Sometimes your superheroes aren’t born but sometimes they’re made… If you’re going through hell, just keep going because you will get out on the other side and I think you’ll be stronger for it.”

Lit Faux Tree

I also love Katy Perry’s Firework.   She “…dedicated the video to the “It Gets Better” campaign … {and it has become} a beacon of hope for everyone who’s battled bullies or struggled to find themselves” (MTV News). Although I have not written about it yet, I was bullied in high school and therefore had a terrible experience.  I have also had a difficult time “finding myself” since I have stopped working full time.  So, this song hits home with me as well and reminds me that I too have a spark in me and can let my true self shine.  Those two songs, coupled with a few others get me ready for my visit.

Lit Faux Tree

Listen to Music to Lift Your Spirits

Then, when I leave my grandmother’s, I have a few songs that get me back up to par.  I often start with Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (I mean really, when can’t Bruno Mars put you in a good mood?)

I also love Andy Grammer.  His music is upbeat and positive.  And Keep Your Head Up is just a great, dancing in the car song that affirms that life truly is a journey.  I really need that reminder often.

Lit Faux Tree

I started listening to Imagine Dragons after Skater Boy added it to our shared music and then somehow I added it to my playlist.  Some things do happen for a reason…  Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons’ front-man, wrote Believer mainly about his physical pain from a serious physical disease, but he has also battled depression and writes about emotional pain as well.

Lit Faux Tree

Listening to Believer prompts me to look back on the pain and struggles I have conquered.  Overcoming obstacles has made me a believer in myself. But again, I can always use that reminder.

Music has a huge impact on my life (you already got that, huh?).  Do you have any songs that speak to you?  What are they?  Share them with me in the comments below.  I can always use a great song to add to my playlist.

Okay, so now that you know some of my favorite songs and what they mean to me…

Let’s get started and make a Lit Faux Tree

 

Lit Faux Tree

When I was putting up the Christmas lights last week, I realized that I needed a little something to add to my outdoor Christmas display. For a while now, I’ve been seeing lit faux trees on Pinterest.  This was just what I needed.  So, me being me, I decided to make my own.

Creating a Lit Faux Tree is so easy (about 15 minutes of work) and inexpensive (less than $8).  And, they make a great addition to an outdoor Christmas display.

Gather Your Supplies

  • 42” galvanized tomato cage (less than $3 at Lowes)
  • A string of lights ($2-$4)
  • A few inches of duct tape

Lit Faux Tree

  1. Tape top ends together. Be careful – the metal points can be sharp. I made sure to cover the sharp ends as well.
  2. Tape the end of your light string to the bottom of tomato cage. make sure you have enough cord to reach a power source.
  3. Working your way up, wrap lights around each level of the tomato cage. I used an over-under system to keep the light sting in place.
  4. Once you reach the top, work your way back down.  Secure the end of the string.

Yep, that’s it.  So simple and so shimmery.

Lit Faux Tree

If I do this project again (which I probably will next year) I will do 2 things differently.  First, I will use 2 strands of lights.  When I finished wrapping the lights to the top, I only had enough light left to get back down to the uppermost level.  Another strand will allow me to wrap the lights all the way back to the bottom. And, I can always use some more shimmer in my outdoor display!  Secondly, I will use some chicken wire to wrap around the tomato cage.  This will give it a bit more stability and something to attach the lights to in between the circular levels.

Have you DIY’ed a new addition to your outdoor Christmas display this year?  Let me know how you decorate your outdoors for the Christmas season in the comments below.  I’ve already started my DIY Christmas list for next year – I can always use more ideas!

Add a Little Shimmer to your life today with a Lit Faux Tree.

Nicole Warren-Missimer

And – If you like what you are reading on Adding Shimmer to Life, take a minute to subscribe to my blog via email (below). As a subscriber, you will get an email when I post, add a page, or share content just for email subscribers (coming soon). I also appreciate you sharing Adding Shimmer to Life with other people who may enjoy my content.  Or, if you like Facebook and Pinterest you can follow me there, too.

 

Add a Little Shimmer to your life - Subscribe today!

Lit Faux Tree

 

For the past few weeks, I have been planning a round-up of some easy and inexpensive handmade gifts.  Next week, I will share my top picks with you.  Keep and eye out for that post.

 

Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.

www.addingshimmertolife.com

addingshimmertolife@outlook.com

 

All contents – text and images – belong to Nicole Warren-Missimer of Adding Shimmer to Life (unless otherwise noted).

Copyright 2017 Adding Shimmer to Life

 

 

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Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Need Stocking Stuffer Ideas? I’ve Got 'em Right Here

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

What’s inside: For me, choosing and buying stocking stuffers is one of the hardest parts of Christmas shopping.  This year I have compiled a list of over 75 stocking stuffer ideas and created a printable to keep track of what I have and what I need to buy.  Scroll down to check out my ideas for stocking stuffers for this Christmas.

After I stopped working full-time, I was a little lost.

When I was teaching or counseling, I felt like I was helping people.  But, when I stopped teaching and counseling, I really didn’t feel like I was making the impact that I was before.  To compensate for that need, I began volunteering in both boys’ classrooms and did so for the past few years.  But last year, when Straight Shooter moved to our intermediate school, I was no longer needed in his classroom.  And this year, Skater Boy’s teacher does not have classroom volunteers at all.

Luckily, a little over a year ago, my mom suggested I “help out” at the City Thrift Shop where she volunteers one day a week.  I gave it a try and immediately fell in love with the CEO, staff, and the work.  Ever since, I spend a few hours every Friday volunteering at the City Thrift Shop.  This has really been good for me because I really feel like I am doing some good.  As an added bonus, this past summer the boys went with me most Fridays and volunteered, too.  Now that I have gotten the community service bug, I am always searching for more ways I can help others.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Giving a Little More

Like donating candy to our deployed troops at Halloween (in this post), I wanted to give a little more this Christmas as well.  So, my family will be doing a Reverse Advent Calendar this year.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

For a Reverse Advent Calendar, we will give items each day from December 1st to Christmas instead of receiving them.  I mean, do my boys really need a piece of candy or a little toy each day before they get a load of presents on Christmas?  Uh, no.  Starting December 1st, we are going to add at least 1 item a day to a box.  These items can be toys they no longer play with, outgrown clothing, non-perishable food items, bath and body products, etc.  Then, by Christmas we will have at least 25 items that we can then donate to Skater Boy’s school’s food drive, a local homeless organization, and of course the City Thrift Shop.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Stocking Stuffers

But, Christmas is also about giving presents to our family and loved ones.  And part of that is finding and purchasing stocking stuffers.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

 

I hate buying junk just to fill stockings, but I also do not want to spend a ton of money just on stocking stuffers.  Also, filling a stocking with candy is not ideal.  So, I decided that instead of waiting until the last-minute and picking up cheap stuff that nobody will use or want, I am getting ahead of the game and making a list of ideas now.  Then, I can keep track of each stocking I need to stuff and make sure that the gifts are 1) not junk and 2) not too expensive for a stocking stuffer.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

For organizational purposes, I made a list by category: boys, girls, teens/tweens, men, women, and everybody.  Of course, ideas from each category can be used for any other category – I just listed them in the most “appropriate” category.  All the stocking stuffers on my list can be purchased for $15 or less (most of them for $10 or $5 and less).  These stocking stuffer ideas can also be a good ideas if you have children who want to buy gifts for friends and family members but do not have a lot of money to spend.

Below you will find my stocking stuffer ideas, by category. But, of course, this list is only a snapshot of all the neat stocking stuffer ideas out there.  If you need more ideas, just search “stocking stuffers” on Google, Pinterest, Amazon, or any other search engine or shopping website and you will get a ton of ideas.  And the stores in general can be a great source of inspiration.  While I am out Christmas shopping or just on my weekly errands, I like to check out the Dollar Tree, Five Below, Target Dollar Spot, AC Moore, and JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store (just to name a few) for great stocking stuffers as well.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Boys

  • Hot wheels
  • Mini Lego sets
  • Bubbles
  • Coloring book
  • Crayons/markers
  • Model kit (AC Moore has small metal models $10 but $5-6 with coupon)
  • Play-doh
  • Yo-yo
  • Crazy straw
  • Superball
  • Magnifying glass

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Girls

  • Nail polish
  • Lip gloss
  • Anything makeup or jewelry
  • Small craft kits (Perler beads, bracelet kit, foam kits)
  • Stickers
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Glitter or gel pens
  • Character band aids
  • Silly shape or character cookie cutters
  • Stuffed animals
  • Character mini figures
  • Hair accessories
  • Brush

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Teens and Tweens

  • Flash drive
  • Hair color
  • Movie tickets
  • DVD
  • Body spray
  • Journal
  • Beanie
  • Headphone splitter
  • Playing cards

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Men

  • Shaving accessories
  • Lottery tickets
  • Car air freshener
  • Money clip
  • Flashlight
  • Golf balls/tees
  • Bottle opener
  • Nail clippers
  • Playing cards
  • Shoe polish
  • Measuring tape

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Women

  • Facial cleaning power brush
  • Face mask packets
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • Silicone beauty sponges
  • Body or hand lotion
  • Adult coloring book & colored pencils
  • Manicure set

Everybody

  • Handwarmers
  • Cold weather accessories (hat, gloves, etc)
  • Tea, cocoa, coffee (cute mini coffee creamers)
  • Comb/brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Mini Bluetooth speaker
  • Phone, tablet, iPod accessories (extra charging cables, double USB wall mounts, HDMI cables, portable charging stations, phone case, screen protector)
  • Cute tissue packets
  • Antibacterial Wipes or gel
  • Socks
  • Cool logo or saying t-shirt
  • Touch screen gloves
  • Puzzle books(crossword, Sudoku, hidden word)
  • Bookmark
  • Book light
  • Keychain
  • Snacks

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

One of my many “therapies” is retail therapy.  And one of my favorite things is Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. But, after years working in retail at a mall, I hate going out on Black Friday to actually buy them.  So, I spent a lot of time over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend checking out the web for great deals and found some pretty incredible stocking stuffer ideas.

Below is a list of a few very cool, unique gifts from around the web:

  • Kids and adults alike can make their very own Flip Book. Flip Book Kits, in styles such as Robot & Rocket, Dinosaurs, Butterfly & Frog, etc. are $14.99 on Amazon
  • The Tubshroom is also another cool invention to keep the loose hair in the tub out of the drain. Although this may be a bit gross, at $13 on Amazon, it would be a great gift for someone who struggles with clogged drains frequently.  (I would love one of these in my stocking)
  • Anti-Stress Fidget Cubes are great for kids and adults alike. Whether we like it or not, we all deal with stress and Fidget Cubes are all the rage (now that fidget spinners are  so done).  You can find one for $7.95 on Amazon.
  • With everyone using technology these days, touch screen gloves are definitely a winter must (I know I need a good pair for sitting at the skatepark in the cold winter months). I found a nice pair for only $6.99 on Amazon.
  • If someone you love wears glasses and his glasses are constantly falling down his nose, this is the perfect stocking stuffer. Nerd Wax Stop Slipping Glasses for $10.99 on Amazon was a product that debuted on Shark Tank and does just what it says – stops glasses from slipping. I should probably invest in some of this (or maybe Hubby -hint, hint- can stuff one in my stocking) – my glasses are always falling down my face!
  • What girl doesn’t need a hair tie? The Invisibobble “Original” Hair Tie for $7.43 on Amazon holds all hair types with super strength and does not leave a mark when you take it out.  Again, I wouldn’t mind one of these in my stocking this year.
  • Have a real feminist in the family? I may not be a radical feminist, but I love seeing strong women in action breaking that ever-present glass ceiling.  Rad American Women A-Z Postcards are a great gift for any woman like me.  And, they are only $11.25 on Amazon.
  • The Evriholder Kitchen Kritter Ketchup Character Cap ($4.97 on Amazon) is super-cool cap for your ketchup bottle. When attached, ketchup pours out of his mouth. Since Hubby and both boys love their ketchup, someone will be getting this in his stocking this year.
  • I know brushing teeth can sometimes be a struggle with younger kids. That is why I think GUM Crayola Squeeze-A-Color Toothpaste for $6.50 on Amazon is a great idea.  Add a little fun to brushing and maybe they will fight it a little less.  I wish I knew about this when my kids were younger.
  • Who doesn’t love scented markers and crayons. Amazon has a huge selection starting at about $3.50.  Just search “scented markers for kids” and you will find a ton.
  • A few years ago, Skater Boy was obsessed with all things “spy”. This would have been great for him.  The Draw a Secret Message Invisible Spy Ink Pen with UV light is only $5.49 for a set of 4 pens on Amazon.  With these pens kids can write secret messages to each other and only a person with another pen with the UV light will be able to read it.  For $5.49 I might get these for my boys and give each of them 2 pens.
  • I love anything that gets kids talking. I found 2 great products on Amazon that do just that.  Chat Pack for Kids is $10.49 and Table Topics To Go is $9.00. Either one would be a great stocking stuffer for the kid who needs a little help getting the conversation started.
  • When I saw first saw this journal Between Mom & Me: Mother Daughter Journal ($14.46), I was a bit jealous. Then I found the boy’s counterpart: Between Mom & Me: Mother Son Journal ($12.84).  Whether you have a boy or girl, these journals are a great way to keep communication open.
  • Another product I wish I knew about a few years ago – Lego Tape. For $6.99 on Amazon, Lego Tape is reusable, adhesive strips of silicone that kids can attach anywhere and then build on any surface imaginable.
  • My family loves games and I especially love word games. I found 2 word games that I really like for Christmas this year.  The Scrabble Twist Game ($14.85) is an electronic Scrabble game for 1-8 people.   and the Quiddler Mini Card Game ($5.83) is a smaller version of the original game. It only takes about 15 minutes for each player to form words out of his hand of letter cards.

*Just a quick note – I have no affiliation with any of these products or the sellers.  I just spent way too much time surfing the web finding super cool gifts*

Of course, while you compile your stocking stuffer lists, you need a way to organize what you have and what you need to buy.  I made this Stocking Stuffer Inventory printable to add to my Christmas Planning Notebook from my post 2 weeks ago.  Download and print it to keep track of your stocking stuffers, too!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Do you have any other unique ideas for stocking stuffers?  Let me know in the comments below.

Add a Little Shimmer to your life today while picking up great stocking stuffers at great prices!

Nicole Warren-Missimer

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Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I have a ton of great Christmas ideas and projects planned for the coming weeks.  And, I will post my best ones in the next 3 weeks.  Keep checking back to see what I have in store for you!

 

Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.

www.addingshimmertolife.com

addingshimmertolife@outlook.com

 

All contents – text and images – belong to Nicole Warren-Missimer of Adding Shimmer to Life (unless otherwise noted).

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