Bang for my buck - or making small stockings seem HUGE

(60 Posts)

Dd1 will be 3. Dd2 will be nearly 12mths. For various unforeseen circs we won't have much money for a big overflowing stocking of dreams. That said dds are so young they don't know the picture books.

I'm relatively crafty, an able cook. I have ZERO fecking ideas of how to make the few actual presents seem more..... I feel guilty and ridiculous and sad and annoyed at my own self for caring when Xmas is about so much more in reality.

What can I do to add ooomph to things? Where to start?
I need a plan and I have to start NOW.

So I'm asking for your creativity, what can I plan that gives magic back? For adults not just kids....? Ie inc mum n dad!

Thank you by the way. Thank you very much for any ideas.

Dontwanttobeyourmonkeywrench Sat 28-Sep-13 21:22:58

We were ridiculously broke last Xmas so I used DH's old corduroy shirts to make DD, her bestie and DSGS teddy bears. I also made DS a patchwork quilt using old T-Shirts and my DSD's have asked for quilts this year.

Now quilt is possible def as dd2 is growing rapidly so could be a good blanket/memory thingy. Like it.

Can't do bears, no cords....denim tho....? Is that weird?

harrietlichman Sat 28-Sep-13 21:31:44

The pound shop is your friend, you can buy loads in there for very little, split packs (I have two boys, so buy things like a pack of four toy cars, open the pack and wrap them individually so they get four presents to rip open.) I have also bought stuff in charity shops, people start to clear out about now in anticipation of more stuff coming and you can get lots of brand new things that kids haven't even opened. Last year my ds2's favourite gift was a money box robot from the charity shop that cost 50 p, which was kind of galling when I had gone all out to get him a tablet!
Start stockpiling now - our local co op is selling Terry's choc oranges for £1, so today I bought five for stockings etc, will put them up and use iron will discipline not to scoff them!

everydayaschoolday Sat 28-Sep-13 21:45:53

I second Poundland, and also recommend B&M and Home Bargains.

To make sweets look more extravagant, I'm thinking of buying those non-branded big bags of sweets and marshmallows from pound shop, and decanting mixtures of them into medium/large cone-shaped cellophane bags (on amazon) and securing with a little bit of left over ribbon covering an elastic band. Saves forking out £££ on expensive christmas-packaged brand sweets.

www.amazon.co.uk/25-Clear-Cone-Cellophane-Bags/dp/B00894D272/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1380400969&sr=8-2&keywords=cellophane+cones

everydayaschoolday Sat 28-Sep-13 21:47:39

I also put stuff in stockings that I would be buying anyway: pants, socks, character toothbrush, strawberry toothpaste (99p tesco), christmas theme bubble bath (Avon), shaped/kids sponge etc

usualsuspect Sat 28-Sep-13 21:51:23

Wilkinsons is great for cheap colouring books,pencils, crayons etc.

Dontwanttobeyourmonkeywrench Sat 28-Sep-13 21:52:53

I have used denim in DSD2's quilt in some patches. I made the bulk with fabric that I had and added memory pieces incorporating pieces of material from all of the family. She moved away for university so it's something to remember us by smile

Marvellous. I'm taking avid notes. Pound lands getting visited and I'm re planning local walks by charity shops. Bit keen but I want magic I want ooohs and aaaahs and that feeling Xmas gives and I know its shallow but gifts do that. I'm cofe so we will be doing Sunday school etc too.

everydayaschoolday Sat 28-Sep-13 21:57:03

I have also made bunting for DD1 room. I'm not crafty, but scraps of brightly coloured/ pink material cut into triangles (mostly old PJs!) stitched onto a band. I managed this in an afternoon with a sewing machine and looks quite lovely. You could add a letter onto each piece to spell their name.

I'm now going to have a go at making material lovehearts and have bought that stuffing stuff from Dunelm Mill. Just need a little bit of ribbon for the top. Stitch it inside out, turn it right way round, add wee bit of the stuffing, stitch up last little hole and add a little button to the front or their initial from another piece of fabric - voila a little room decoration to hang on wardrobe door.

'Stuffing stuff' - have no idea what it's called!

Guitargirl Sat 28-Sep-13 21:58:26

Have you thought about doing Elf on the Shelf? I know it's not for everyone but we do it with our DCs and they love it! And it doesn't have to cost anything!

everydayaschoolday Sat 28-Sep-13 22:01:05

Don't forget you might have 'cash' in your loyalty cards too: Tesco clubcard, boots advantage card, Nectar etc

Guitargirl Sat 28-Sep-13 22:02:54

The other thing I always do as Father Christmas is adding little touches/changing things around in the DCs bedrooms during the night on Christmas Eve as though FC has done it himself.

So, last year Father Christmas added some furniture to DD's dolls house and put up some posters in DS's room. He also put up some sparkly fairy wall things in DD's room (bought in Poundland!).

This year the Elf is going to decorate the dolls house with Christmas decorations - bought off EBay.

Pachacuti Sat 28-Sep-13 22:09:29

Inflated inflatables and cheap cuddly toys. Plus regular trips to review new stock in Poundland and haunting the Christmas bargains thread on here.

Can you do really, really simple knitting? I have learn recently - just the basic stitches - and just learnt from YouTube - so you can knit really simple stuff - cushion covers, scarves etc easitly. I have just knitted myself some wrist warmers (rectangles sewn up with a hole for my thumb). Because they use only a ball of wool for 2 you can get bargain end of lines so cost v v little. pm me if you want pattern details.

everydayaschoolday Sat 28-Sep-13 22:12:21

I think most adults (me) love homemade goodies. Present in little cellophane bags. Nice oooh factor, in that I appreciate the effort made and it would be something I couldn't buy for myself, it's homemade by you.

Another oooh factor is homemade christmas cards. Doesn't need to be too fancy and complicated. Upside down child's handprint in green paint, add a star (paint or embellishment) to the top, some embellishments on the 'tree' and paint/colour a little brown wooden tree trunk to the bottom and you have a christmas tree card made by your own little ones for all the family, awww. The Works have packs of plain white cards and envelopes.

There's a thread in the Christmas topic about sharing pinterest boards. Click some of the links in there to see some homemade ideas - a lot don't seem complicated but look very effective.

SecretWitch Sat 28-Sep-13 22:13:47

Guitargirl, what a fabulous idea! I'm going to steal use that for my five year old's room..

Tinlegs Sat 28-Sep-13 22:14:33

Food is bulky. What about some sweets but in a wrapped box? Mine get hot chocolate powder and marshmallows. Our FC always gives a new outfit for Christmas Day. Clothes take up space and can be worn straight away. It could be some thing you would have had to buy anyway. Wellis wrapped in tinsel? Cheap Christmas pants.

Pachacuti Sat 28-Sep-13 22:20:32

Oh yes, I forget -- stuff like underwear/socks/hairbands/plain T-shirts that's getting bought anyway gets held back and goes in the stocking.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 28-Sep-13 22:29:49

For the 12 mo buy the sort of things you would be buying anyway - plastic bowls/plates, sippy cup, pelican bib, toothbrush, novelty bath sponge, pyjamas, socks etc.

For grown-ups - home baked goodies or baking kits (the ones where you layer the ingredients for cookies for example) in cheap Kilner jars (Ikea have big ones for £2). Maybe add a label or picture that your DC have made.

trixymalixy Sat 28-Sep-13 22:34:59

I always wrap stuff like a big bag of popcorn that bulks it out. Pound land had some good Angelina ballerina dvds that my DD loved. I've heard of other people wrapping chocolate breakfast cereal for a treat. I'm sure pound shops will have footballs with characters on that will bulk out a stocking.

A Christmas Eve Hamper?

We do for the DC (who will be 11.6 and 14 by Christmas) . It started with PJs and sort of evolved from there.

A nice big box covered in Christmas paper
PJs
Festive mug or tumbler
Hot chocolate sachet or a Ribena carton
Small pack biscuits
Annual (always on BOGOF or special offer) or a colouring book
Bath bomb/ bubbles

I add a jar of sweets- I've seen the ready filled jars , they are £££.
I bought the IKEA jars and now each time I go shopping, I'll get some small wrapped sweets, depending whats on offer.

You could add a few small apples, tangerines

Howstricks Sat 28-Sep-13 22:42:30

I remember reading poss on mumsnet, about someone who blew up a load of balloons, popped them in a big box and wrapped it. Their 3 yo was utterly delighted and it cost them less than a pound! Pure genius!

snice Sat 28-Sep-13 22:45:31

variety pack of cereal with all the sugary ones they're not usually allowed fills up a stocking-then you can play the 'Father Christmas is SO naughty giving you that'-my children used to love this idea

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