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DIY Christmas Gifts

diy christmas gift ideas

Get your gift-giving organized this year, and start preparing now for next year by reading up on all our helpful gift-giving articles:

Shopping for holiday gifts can get expensive. One thing that can help with your holiday costs is to take out a small personal loan. Another way to mitigate holiday gift costs is to make some presents yourself! Let’s go over a few DIY gift ideas that are not only cheaper than buying gifts but some of the most thoughtful and personal gifts you could do.

1. Make Food

make food

You can make food for them! The great thing about this DIY gift idea is that the possibilities are endless. You can easily lean on your cooking and baking strengths to make them something yummy. If you love baking you can make them cookies or pumpkin bread. If you love cooking you can make them their favorite dinner. If you aren’t good at either, you can always make them an easy breakfast in bed.

2. Personal Cleaning Service

cleaning

Everyone appreciates a clean home, kitchen, bedroom, etc., but not everyone enjoys having to do the cleaning themselves. This DIY gift idea works especially well for a homemade coupon card. Your gift recipient might also have a specific area in their life that could use an especially good cleaning, like their car or garage. You can even send them away for a fun evening out to dinner or to see a movie while you clean the house for them.

3. Knit a Sweater

christmas sweater

You don’t necessarily have to knit something and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a sweater either. You could also sew, cross-stitch, or crochet something for them. If you’re new to sewing-type crafts then you could knit a simple scarf for them. You could also make them a pillowcase, a blanket, a hat, or mittens. There are many great tutorials online and they’ll love having something you handmade for them.

4. Plan a Fun Activity

christmas date

This one may cost you a little, but it has the potential to save you some money in the short term if you just can’t afford them something right now. You could even hand-make an elegant invitation for them so they still have something to receive on Christmas day. Whoever you’re shopping for, a fun time going to the movies, or to dinner, or to see a performance will be loads of fun and leave them full of even more anticipation after opening your gift. You can also possibly find free or inexpensive shows and performances at your local community arts center or theater.

5. Make a Handmade Christmas Ornament

christmas ornament

With just a few inexpensive items from the craft store, you could make them a beautiful, hand-crafted, and personalized Christmas ornament. This may be one of the easiest and most inexpensive DIY ideas because you may already have what you need at home! With some paper, glue or tape, and some string, you can make a thoughtful gift with almost zero cost.

6. Make a Scrapbook

handmade gift

Scrapbooks are fun and easy to make because you can design them however you choose. They can also contain whatever you want them to! You can include photographs and captions to go over some special memories. Or if you don’ have photos you can recreate memories with drawings, or little items that will help them remember. You could even make a storybook instead of a scrapbook, and tell your own meaningful Christmas tale. You could also go over the things you admire about that person, or make a motivational booklet with your favorite quotes.

7. Make Some Art

handmade gift

Make use of your artistic skills and create something they can hang on their wall! Art is a form of expression and you can use art to express your feelings of love and gratitude this season. If you aren’t sure about your artistic abilities, you could find a free art class at the local library or community center and seek their aid in painting or drawing something special. You might even find another type of arts and crafts class you can take for free, like pottery, and make them something equally homemade and personal.

 

There is a lot of work, thought, and preparation that goes into the gifts we open on Christmas day. We should be able to enjoy buying and creating wonderful, personal gifts just as much as we enjoy opening them up together around the tree. Learn to have fun Christmas shopping by using lists like this one to brainstorm great ideas, and by planning gifts for next Christmas today.


13 Halloween Activities to Do this October

halloween fun

Halloween isn’t just for little kids who go trick or treating. There are loads of things to do during this spooky section of the fall season that all ages can enjoy.

October is a great time of year because it’s Halloween time and fall time. So it’s completely up to you how you celebrate this month—whether decide to do spookier, Halloween themed activities, or just fall time ones.
 
Here are 13 things to do this October:

  1. Have a Halloween Party
  2. Have a Scary Movie Night
  3. Start Some Fall Time Baking
  4. Go to a Haunted House or Corn Maze
  5. Carve Pumpkins
  6. Do Some Crafts
  7. Participate in Your Community
  8. Trunk or Treat with Friends
  9. Play Games
  10. Make Your Own Haunted House
  11. Have a Campfire and Tell Each Other Scary Stories
  12. Read Scary Books
  13. Listen to Spooky Podcasts

There are tons of fun, festive activities you can do in October, or you can search events near you on google. By the time October comes around there are often tons of events going on for kids, families, and friends near you.

1. Have a Halloween Party

halloween party
 

Include a Costume Contest

Costume contests are a great event to include in any Halloween party. A costume contest is a great idea too because it gives those who have grown out of their trick or treat years a chance to dress up for Halloween too. Here are some things you can do to successfully hold a Halloween costume contest.

Decide what the prize will be.

You can make some kind of trophy or you can buy one. You can even have different rewards for winning different categories.

Halloween costume category ideas:

  • best group costume
  • scariest costume
  • funniest costume
  • most creative
  • most original

Make the invites!

Like any event, you’ll want to invite your guests. You can quickly invite everyone you know by making a Facebook event. You can also put up flyers or send out invites in the mail. You can make your spooky invites yourself the traditional way, with glue and paper, or you can design and print them on free websites like Canva and Adobe Spark. If you don’t want to pay for printing out a bunch of invites, but you still want to design something fun, you can also send out your spooktacular design via email.

Decide what the rules will be.

If your costume contest is going to need a set of rules, it’s best to outline them as early as possible so that people can appropriately plan their costumes ahead of time.

Examples of costume contest rules:

  • Maybe it’s a family party and costumes need to be appropriate, or not too gruesome
  • Maybe it’s a themed party and costumes need to be on theme
  • You can have rules about whether you allow group contestants

Choose the judges.

Every contest needs judges to decide the end results. Before you can have the contest you’ll need to decide who these judges will be.
If you don’t want to have the outcome of your contest depend on the decision of one or a few people, you can make everyone the judge and provide a place for guests to enter their own votes for who should win.

Figure out how you’ll judge.

After you decide who will judge you have to decide how they’ll judge. They’ll need to know what things to look for in deciding who should win.

How to judge a costume contest:

  • Scariness
  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Best group costumes
Play Games

Board games don’t have to be Halloween themed in order to be a great group activity for a party. October is a cold month, making things like board games a great thing to do when you and your guests want to stay indoors.

Party Food

The food for your Halloween party is one of the things you can get super creative about. For instance, you can put labels on the food to give them spooky names. Punch then becomes a witch’s cauldron, grapes become spider eggs, and deviled eggs become eyeballs.

Choose a beverage

There are an endless variety of punches for you to choose from. Below are some websites with witchy Halloween brews to quench your ghoulish guest’s thirst:

Choose appetizers

Every party needs some great food to keep everybody full and happy. There are the staple party foods like chips, pretzels, and dip. But you can also make your own little appetizers, or your own party mix, to add some Halloween creativity to your food table.

Spooky Playlist

Lots of music streaming services have a Halloween themed playlist you can use.

2. Have a Scary Movie Night

scary movie night
 

Have a movie night with friends, host a drive in movie, or if it’s not too cold you can have an outdoor movie night on the lawn. You’ll need to plan some movie worthy snacks, like popcorn, soda, candy, and other treats.

Then you’ll need to plan the movie watching space, gathering all the cozy blankets, pillows, and flashlights your guests will need to be comfortable during the duration of the movie. You could even make a fort for you all to hide out in while you watch some scarier movie choices.
Then you’ll need to pick your movie.

Classic Halloween Movies

Experience some older but great Halloween movies this season.

  • Hocus Pocus
  • The Nightmare before Christmas
  • Halloweentown
  • Casper
  • Monster House
  • Beetlejuice
Halloween Movie Snacks
  • popcorn, seasoned sweet or salty
  • pretzels
  • fruits
  • veggie trays
  • make your own monster mash mix

3. Start Some Fall Time Baking

fall time baking
 

You can have a night of baking or cooking together with friends! Gather your favorite people around you, listen to your favorite music, turn on a show, converse, or play games all while making yummy fall time foods and desserts.

Check out these 50 Easy Fall Baking Recipes from Taste of Home for some ideas of what you could bake. But here are some other fall staples you could look into making with some friends:

  • Maple donuts. Everyone can help form the donuts out of the dough.
  • Candy apples. This is a great group activity because you can have all the decorating options out on a table and everyone can make up their own candy apples.
  • Pumpkin bread. Slices of this seasonal bread goes great with warm cups of cocoa or apple cider.
  • Apple cider. If you live near an apple orchard or an apple cider press you can make a night of picking apples and watching them get pressed into freshly made apple cider.
  • Sticky buns. A warm, gooey classic to chunk out on in the cold months.

4. Go to a Haunted House or Corn Maze

There are lots of outdoor Halloween activities you can do in October. There are scary corn mazes and regular ones, hayrides, and haunted houses.

5. Carve Pumpkins

carve pumpkin
 

Jack-o-lanterns can be really fun, no matter how old you are.

  • Remember to be safe
  • Use templates
  • Make it a competition
  • Use sharpie to draw your design first
  • box cutters
  • Use a pumpkin carving kit
  • use a tarp!

6. Do Some Crafts

This is an especially great activity to do when you have little kids to occupy. Happiness is Homemade has some great craft ideas to choose from.

7. Participate in Your Community

You can volunteer! Or start a cause or charity. This time of year is a great time to use Halloween fun as an opportunity to fundraise, or do a coat drive.

8. Trunk or Treat with Friends

Just because you’re not 8 years old anymore, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own trunk or treat with friends. Everyone can decorate the trunks of their car as you all go around the parking lot getting candy and being with those you care about.

9. Play Games

Before it gets too cold out you can all get outside and play some fun spooky games. There are some classic games you can play with friends that can really get you in the eerie Halloween spirit.

10. Make Your Own Haunted House

haunted house
 

Who needs to spend money on expensive tickets when you can haunt your own house!

  • Decide where you’re going to have it, the porch, inside the house, in the basement
  • Use tarps to make the walls
  • Cover everything in cobwebs
  • Save money by making your own decorations and scary characters

11. Have a Campfire and Tell Each Other Scary Stories

campfire
 

Here’s a list of some books where you can find uncomfortable tales to tell in the dark.

12. Read Scary Books

13. Listen to Spooky Podcasts

 

It’s always fun to do seasonal things and get into the spirit of the season, whether that means doing scary stuff like haunted houses, or just festive fall time things like baking. And if payday just isn’t landing on the right day this October, you can always take out a convenient Payday Loan to tide you over.


READ MORE

Plan your Halloween festivities this year, “Start Planning Your Halloween Festivities Today.”

Keep you and your kids safe this Halloween with these tips, “5 Important Halloween Safety Tips.”

Stay on budget this year with these Halloween budgeting tips, “Saving Money on Halloween.”

Get inspired for your Halloween costume, “8 Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget.”


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