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Upcycled Presents – DIY Present Idea


I mentioned a week or so ago that I had completed my Christmas shopping for my immediate family in Texas. Everything I bought is handmade and mostly upcycled out of recycled materials. I am thrilled with my finds. I just picked up the items for my brothers today and wanted to share this really neat idea with you.

These Tiki Torch/Bug Repellant bottles were made for me by Susanne at Upcycled Inspirations. She lives on the lake and they fill these with Citronella to keeps the bugs away when they are out on their dock or deck by the water.

The Perfect Gift

While my brothers don’t live on the water, they LOVE the Cowboys football team and are definitely outdoorsy kind of dudes. I thought this would be perfect AND they are made from upcycled liquor bottles that Susanne collects from neighbors, restaurants and wherever else she can find them (can you say dumpster diving – my words, not hers.) How cool is this idea? And how affordable since probably most of know someone that could provide some bottles.

I love DIY presents, and this would be a great one to do for those outdoor living people in your life. And if you are like me and don’t have the time or desire to gather the supplies and put them together…well, you can hit up Susanne and she will take care of you.  She loaded some images of the other cool stuff she does on her Facebook page.

I do not know Susanne personally, I just met her at a craft fair downtown in our tiny town a couple of weeks ago. I am not receiving any kick back for this post (although I wouldn’t turn it down.) I just wanted to let you know about this cool DIY present and give credit where credit was due.

Christmas is Around the Corner


merry christmasI have been amazed at the number of my Facebook friends who are already decorating for Christmas. I am really looking forward to doing just that, but will definitely wait until after Thanksgiving. It will be really new for us as we got rid of my of our Christmas stuff with the exception of a few personal things. We don’t even have a tree! (Last year we spent Christmas in Georgia and Texas so didn’t do anything in regards to decorating.) With that being said, the decorations are not the point of this point.

I’ve already purchased/made presents for all my Texas family and will ship them right before Thanksgiving. The total cost for those 6 presents was less than $50 – 3 brothers, 1 sister and my parents. The money came from my discretionary spending (I get $20 per week from the allowance line item) so it is not in my budget, as will the remainder of my presents. My kids will purchase presents from their allowance or money they earn.

However, the Christmas holiday is a minefield for those of us who do not always make the wisest financial decisions. I am wanting to stop the madness and work with a budget.

Christmas Tips and Tricks

Here’s what I’ve come with up so far as I start planning.

  1. Purchase tree from Boy Scout troop (my little cousin is a boy scout and his dad will deliver it for free.)
  2. Homemade decorations from Pinterest boards. (I’ve got a ton of crafty stuff so I believe this will be free using supplies we have on hand.)  The only exception is lights, we don’t have any for the tree.
  3. Presents for my kids – a book, a game/toy/crafty item and a clothing item for each child. I would also add a stuffed stocking and a personal gift. (This is where I really need a budget!)
  4. We are eliminating candy this year, but typically that would be my go to cheap present.
  5. I also need to limit who I buy presents for as I love giving gifts…don’t we all.  I am going to sit down soon and make a list. Then I must stick to it.

How do you keep Christmas under control? What tips and tricks can you give me to stay on the right track financially?