Friday, September 30, 2016

Orchids on Your Budget #5...Gifting lavishly without breaking the budget...

 
I'm so tired of seeing my loved ones in a lather of high expectation and credit card debt at Christmas.
 
So the last few Christmasses, we put some rules in place.
 
First of all, as all my children are grown (and whilst you might argue that this makes a difference, I'm not so sure and I'll get to that in an upcoming post), we decided on a Secret Santa, where each couple in the family, including us as parents, only buys for one other couple with a limit of $100 for both people. Not each....both.
 
The only ones getting any more than that allocated for gifts, is anyone under 18. For now that is my daughter, my grandson, and my two granddaughters.
 
Marjorie Hillis wrote a darling book called 'Orchids on your Budget' way back in the 1920's. I penned an Orchids on Your Budget series for Christmas last year, and you can read those posts here, here, here and here.
 
Basically, Christmas is about the giving. And things must be very dire indeed if you can't gift something. If you start now, today, you can still have a lovely little stash of pretties to gift, even if you are really broke.
 
My first idea for you is embellished soaps. Discount stores are a great source of boxed or scented soaps that can be wrapped elegantly and beautifully, and have you looking like you've spent $20, instead of $2. It just takes imagination.
 
I'll be sharing more than 30 ideas for wrapping soaps over the next week, just to give you some food for thought.
 
Here are the first ten....
 
So first of all, this soap, purchased for $4,and scented beautifully with Frangipani, is simply wrapped with Ivory cotton lace, and a sliver of kitchen twine. This would be perfect for the Shabby Chic loving person in your life. A set of three of these, if you're wanting to really lash out and spend just a little more, would look stunning presented in a sweet box.

 
Taking that idea one step further, you could invest some time and effort and just a couple of dollars, in learning to embroider some Inchies as I posted earlier this week. These are the cutest things ever, and are the perfect size to top a sweet soap.

 
If you want to get a little more romantic, cameos trimmed with more lace, are a gorgeous idea, and again these can be sourced easily and inexpensively on eBay. And you still have time if you source them now, to use them for Christmas!

 
Alternatively, grab those oranges from the fruit bowl, slice them, and sun dry them, or dry them in the microwave. They look fabulous as a trim too.

 
Pages from childrens books are sweet....

 
....as are pages from vintage Boys Own style books for the men in your life. Make sure you scan and print these for use so you have them over and over....

 
Confectionery foil gives an entirely different effect, topped with a gold heart sticker...
 

And for something that looks really upmarket, you can't go past Chanel-esque black and white, with a personalised ribbon trim. Mine says 'Atelier Bliss' and a roll of 50 metres cost me about $50. As much as that sounds a lot, it does give a very 'boutique' look to so many gifts, and 50 metres goes a long way if you're careful!
 

 
Simple A4 copy paper and a cute stamp, with black ink and a bit of glitter glue looks incredibly stylish....

 
...and I credit Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting with this adorable idea of tearing vintage floral sheets into strips, then using it plain, or stamping it with anything that takes your fancy, to turn it into One-of-a-kind gift ribbon to tie around your soaps as seen here and at the top of my post...
 
 
 


 
The ribbon itself can become a gift too, and I'll be sharing that soon.
 
Together, we can have a stress free, stylish Christmas with NO credit card debt. I promise.
 
Will you join me?
 
 
Carol at Comfort Spring Station. Carol shows us how to make embroidery hoop art, and idea I've been meaning to try for ages. Just so sweet! Thanks Carol!
 
Four DIY Embroidery Hoop Art displayed
 
Do share your ideas and projects at Five Star Frou-Frou, the Neverending story. I feature someone each time I post. Thankyou to all who continue to link!
 
...Mimi...

28 comments:

  1. Mimi, these are some great packaging ideas! I especially like the stamped torn vintage sheets idea. Patsi @ aworkingpantry

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    1. Patsi, I adore the stamped, torn sheets, and of course, it can be any fabric at all. Annabel is so clever. Mimi xxx

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  2. I love the soap idea! So cute with the new little inchies! have a great week.

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    1. I'm glad you like the Inchies Lynn. They are my new obsession! Mimi xxx

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  3. We've recently started Kris Kringle/Secret Santa for the adults in my immediate family as well. $50 retail value for your chosen recipient. We encourage using your talents, or finding an excellent deal. It certainly makes the lead-up to Christmas a bit easier, however finding the perfect gift can still be challenging!

    We also do kids' gifts with a $10 limit, but trying to get away from a 'cheap', plastic, throwaway $10 gift. Also still requires thought and planning. Inspired by your dreamcatchers from a previous post (and featured in the bedroom photo today!) I am intending to give the girls personalised dreamcatchers. I have collected an array of vintage doilies, and located a few rings. Just have to get them made!

    Thanks for the wise words, as always!
    xx Fiona

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    1. Fiona, I'm thrilled that my dreamcatcher idea has helped you source some lovely gifts. They're popular here too. I know what you mean about the 'throwaway' gifts. It's an easy option, but really, we can do so much better. Mimi xxx

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  4. Lovely presentation goes a long way! Thanks Mimi.We do adult Sexret Santa too and I opposed raising the money limit this year. It's already enough.

    I want some good ideas for useful stuff to gift with books for my niece and nephews; last year I made personalised book-to-go reading pillows with handles and pockets. They wete a real hit.I want to find something smaller and simpler this year but I am stumped.But I haven't hit Pinterest yet.

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  5. Lovely presentation goes a long way! Thanks Mimi.We do adult Secret Santa too and I opposed raising the money limit this year. It's already enough.

    I want some good ideas for useful stuff to gift with books for my niece and nephews; last year I made personalised book-to-go reading pillows with handles and pockets. They were a real hit.I want to find something smaller and simpler this year but I am stumped.But I haven't hit Pinterest yet.

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    1. Jodi, good for you for opposing the raising of the dollar limit. It just gets too crazy! Yep, Pinterest is a go-to for me as well. I've done fairy houses, Indoor Snowball fight kits, and under the mattress style book and teddy storage. Like a panel that slides under the matteress, and has an overhang with pockets. Really cute :) Mimi xxx

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  6. I love decorating soaps too and you have given me some new ideas! Also, on the stamps with fabric, do you use just the normal ink or is there a special ink for fabric? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jes. Yes it's normal stamp pad ink from the newsagent or office supplier. I know you can get more flashy stuff, including a glue type one that you just sprinkle glitter dust on, but this is the most economical option and still looks great, Love, Mimi xxx

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  7. I always enjoy seeing the pretty things you have to share, Mimi, but I really love Carol's hoop art. That's just the thing for some old curtains I removed from my new home! I didn't want them as curtains but saved the fabric (it's a 12-foot window!) because I knew you'd point me to something pretty! Thanks, ladies!
    Blessings, Leigh

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    1. Leigh, I agree, Carols Hoop Art is the epitome of cleverness! I'm glad you will find it useful. Love, Mimi xxx

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  8. Thanks for featuring my embroidery hoop art. Your soaps are gorgeous. What lovely gifts!

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    1. Thankyou for linking Carol...xxx

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  9. I love the idea of the pretty soaps. I assume you unwrap them to do this? And I wondered how to use the idea of your inches and it looks so cute on that soap! So many ideas to do! Thank you. Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy. It depends upon the soap. The more rustic looking ones wrapped in lace were relieved of their store bought wrap and boxes first. The ones wrapped in foil and so on, were left in their boxes to facilitate pretty wrapping :) Love, Mimi xxx

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  10. The packaging ideas are really so nice ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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    1. Dear Summer, thank you so much. Lovely to see you again. Mimi xxx

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  11. Dear Mimi,
    I love the one with the birdcage! I think having lots of little thoughtful gifts on hand is beautiful. And they are fun to make!
    Christmas and giving just go together. Making things means I have been able to expand my giving without it costing more. I am just getting into the mood for this Christmas! Cake making coming up! With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Dear Annabel, yes the birdcage is very cute isn't it! I've loved finding new ways to package these. And of course, the methods apply to any small boxed item, and can be expanded upon for larger gifts too. I agree that we love Christmas all the more when we can gift generously to others. These days, that gives us the most pleasure of all. I can't wait to see your Christmas Cakes. Have a lovely week, hopefully free of storm activity! Love, Mimi xxx

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  12. Seriously pretty packaging, Mimi, and I do like the idea behind them. A holiday is about so much more than the money you spend.
    Amalia
    xo

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  13. These are all so pretty, Mimi, and perfect for a very personal and thoughtful gift! I love the idea of keeping the holidays budget friendly with these lovely gifts. Love the inchies and the stamped ribbon! Sending hugs xx Karen

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  14. I love seeing your ideas. I have been busy packing, house hunting,and moving for the last several months. So, I have not even started thinking about Christmas. I think it's time!! Thanks for getting me motivated. Your wrappings are lovely on your soaps.

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  15. Mimi I love this post. I went and read your initial Orchids on your Budget posts and found they really fit with my thoughts on Christmas gift giving.
    it is not the cost of the item but the thought that has gone into the giving of the gift. Packaging is something I really need to work on and then my gifts will be just right.

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  16. Dear Mimi,thankyou for those ideas , Ive picked up here , the sheets for ribbons and then stamping them , and I love the first soap with lace and string.I must go back and look at those orchid budget post like Jane .With love , Maria xxx

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  17. What wonderful gift wrapping ideas. Who thought that a simple cake of soap could be decorated in so many ways?

    Thank you Mimi, your wisdom is very much appreciated.

    xTania

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx