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Festive Fivers - The Best of the Rest

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Loads more ideas for presents that you can make or buy for under a fiver if your budgets a bit tight.


Make it

  • Historical Walk Around London.

    Memoryscape – Download a free recording and then follow the accompanying route along the River Thames or around Hampton Court. This is a nice and unique gift for someone that likes history or is new to London.

  • DIY Chocolate Gift Box.

    Buy as many chocolate bars as you can for a fiver, try the pound shop or make use of supermarket BOGOF's. Cover a shoebox with festive wrapping paper, decorate with ribbons and glitter and cram as many choc bars in as possible.

  • Personalised Apron.

    Buy a plain cotton apron and then using t-shirt transfer paper create a slogan or design on the apron; for example ‘Buffy the cake maker'. You can boost the gift by adding presents along the theme like cake sprinkles, muffin cases or biscuit cutters.

  • Personalised Family Photo Calendar.

    Using the free HP Photo Calendar maker upload your favourite photos to create a personal calendar. You could choose a theme like significant period of time or a particular event. It's a great one for the grandparents from the kids or anyone living away from home.

  • Football Scarf.

    Knit your boyfriend (or girlfriend!) a scarf in their favourite football club's colours. Grab some wool in the right colours then use a website like http://www.the-childrens-society.org.uk/media/pdf/HowtoKnitguide.pdf to learn to knit. Perfect for doing during those long winter nights in front of the TV but it may take a while and you'll need to be sly so you might have to plan in advance!

  • Little Box of Inspiration.

    Find a small box and decorate using left over scraps of fabric or nice paper. Surf the net and find some inspirational quotes you can type up nicely and print out. Try Inspirational Quotations or Best Inspiration for starters. Roll up the strips of paper with quotes on them and fit them into the box so it looks a bit like a honeycomb. The receiver can then pick a quote whenever they're feeling blue or need a boost. It can also work as a little box of love/jokes or MoneySaving tips.

  • Love, X Rated, Time or I Owe You Vouchers.

    This is guaranteed to go down a storm plus it costs next to nothing. Make up vouchers with things the receiver will enjoy. For example, for your partner, 'a massage', or for the kids, 'one hour totally devoted to playing your favourite game', or for friends/family ‘one evening babysitting'.

  • Photo Board.

    Design a collage of photos of friends, families or special occasions relating to the receiver. Use a simple clip frame to present it in, you can usually find a large one for a few pounds. You could have a particular theme or highlight a particular time in that person's life.

  • Hair and Beauty Basket.

    If you're a regular MoneySaver you'll know there is a section in the tip devoted purely to Freebies, there's lots of good ones around and many that are permanently available (see Freebies Gold). Find a nice cheap basket and fill it with shredded paper. You can then add any freebie shampoo and conditioners you have or stock up on cheap haircare products at a pound shop. Arrange all the items nicely and decorate the basket with ribbons, et voila!

  • Framed Poem.

    Print of a copy of the person's favourite poem and put it in a nice frame or even more special, write your own.

  • Autobiography Kit.

    This is a novel idea and a great keepsake to pass down the generations! Decorate a cardboard box and include a pen, paper, notebook and a nice scrapbook should do the trick. You can spruce it up by wrapping it in festive paper and decorating with ribbons, glitter or whatever you can get your hands on.

  • A Mini Martin Makeover.

    Give a wrapped shoebox containing the following: a voucher offering them to go through their finances with them, two face packs/bottle of wine/big chocolate bar or 2 miniature JD's and cokes and two striped shirts from a charity shop if you really want to get into the Martin-ness of the evening! Have fun with a friend and show them how easy it is to stop being ripped off.

  • Hand Painted Mugs/Glasses.

    Buy some plain mugs cheaply from somewhere like Ikea or from glasses from charity shops and some ceramic/glass paints. You can paint them with a personal message or decoration.

  • Time Giving.

    Give a little of your time to a homeless hostel, an old peoples home or an elderly neighbour.

  • Memory Box.

    Buy a basic wooden box and decorate it with phrases to remind the person of different memories. Then fill the box with keepsakes of the memories like tickets and photos.

  • Mixed CD.

    Create your own mix CD with all the receiver's favourite tunes on it.

  • A Box of Love.

    This is a really sweet gift for kids to give to their grandparents. Decorate a small box and get your son/daughter to blow a kiss inside it. Add a tag with a poem on it.

  • Edible Miniature Garden.

    Using a pack of marzipan, some food colouring and coffee granules shape your own vegetable garden. Probably not a good idea to eat it though!

  • Personalised Chocolate Bars.

    Buy some small flat chocolate bars, which have a paper wrapper outside the foil. Remove this and design your own personal ones in word. Rewrap the chocolate bars and then place 3 or 4 in a cellophane bag (or sandwich bag if you're on a tight budget) and wrap with nice ribbon.

  • A Jar of Boxing Day Chutney.

    Use up old fruit, veggies, wine and vinegar to make a tasty chutney in time for Christmas. You can create your own labels for each jar to add a personal touch.

  • Secret Photo.

    Get a photo of you and the recipient and write a special message on the back and put it in a nice frame. They'll never see the message until something happens to the frame.

  • Old Blown Up Black & White Photo.

    Take an old photo that has some special memories, scan it in, blow it up and print it out in black and white using a free programme like Picasa. Put it in a nice frame, you can usually find one in a pound shop.

  • A Message in a Bottle.

    Use a miniature bottle of sapphire gin and write a thoughtful, funny message or story to go inside.

  • Glam Washing Up Gloves.

    Buy a pair of normal washing up gloves and glam them up by decorating with a feather boa and sequins Aggie and Kim style.

  • Homemade Tea Bread/Bara Brith.

    Make a loaf of Bara Brith, have a look here for the recipe. Print out a card with the recipe on it and place at the bottom of a loaf tin. Cover the bread in cling film and place in the tin. Wrap in cellophane and tie up using green twine. Tie a homemade gift tag made from a waxy garden leaf and write your message in silver pen.

  • DVD Memories.

    Use paint shop pro or photoshop and make a virtual photo scrapbook. You can clean up photos like removing red eye and add funny captions. Have a look at the free software hunt for photo software downloads.

  • Greetings from Home.

    A great pressie for friends and relatives who are living abroad. Buy a nice scrapbook and fill with photos and messages from friends and relatives. It also keeps postage down as there is only one present to send!

  • Hand Crafted Jewellery.

    Pick up cheap beads at car boot sales, second hand shops, market stalls or even buy something cheap and trendy and cut of the beads. You can get earring backings or necklace fastenings from a craft store and then be as creative as you want.

  • Personalised Puzzle.

    Choose a fun photo and get a large copy printed out. Glue it onto some thick cardboard and cut into different shapes for an individual pressie. You can vary the difficulty by cutting it into more or less pieces or by using a very detailed colourful picture!

  • Homemade Recorded Christmas Carol.

    Get the kids, together have a sing a long and record it on to tape. You can finish it off with a personalised message and place it in a nice homemade gift box.

  • Homemade Fridge Magnets.

    Using some self hardening clay, paints and varnish, create a design and glue a magnet onto the back.

  • Go potty.

    Decorate a small terracotta plant pot using leftover emulsion paints and fill with a plant of your choice. You can finish with varnish to make it even more hard wearing.

  • A DIY Letter Writing Kit.

    It's always nice to receive letters so buy a pack of envelopes, a pad of paper, a pen and a book of stamps for a nice pressie and jazz it up by placing it all in a decorated box. You could even personalise the stationery if you're feeling artistic by adding a design or the person's initials to the stationery.


Buy it

  • Hawkins Bazzar.

    This is a treasure trove for Christmas pressies and full to the brim with bargains. Lots of items under £1, £2 or £5, great for stocking fillers and pressies; some suggestions: weather stick, sun print paper.

  • Lottery tickets.

    Buy a cheap gold pot and fill it with chocolate coins and add the lottery tickets. To make it extra special add a tag onto it saying ‘I'd like to give you the world, here's hoping'.

  • The ‘I love you' egg.

    Open the can, water your plant and watch as the bean plant grows with your chosen message on it. I want one of those.

  • Fire Blanket & Smoke Alarm.

    Christmas is a time for looking after the family. It's not a very fun present but you can rest assured they're protected.

  • Diet Nanny.

    This little gadget makes you reconsider whenever you are enticed by your weakness by shouting ‘don't do it!' at you. Place wherever temptation lays, the fridge, the biscuit tin and when you open the door it will decide for you! Play.com

  • Mobile Phone Signal Booster.

    No more being cut off half way through a call. An ultra thin antenna that reduces static and improves reception by about 50%. Have a look at Gadgets UK.

  • Paint your own Piggybank.

    A big white china piggy bank that you can paint however you desire. Have a look at Letterbox.

  • Computer Panic Button.

    The panic button is a standard sized keyboard button with double sided sticky tape so it can be attached to your computer for a bit of fun.

  • Rainbow Light Pen.

    A novel pen that lights up as you write. Have a look at Paramount Zone.

  • Custom Mini Hamper.

    Cover a shoebox with some festive paper and fill the contents with suitable items for whoever you're giving to. You could have a theme, for example Italian cookery and fill it with coffee, pasta, olives or for elderly relatives mini size tinned fruit, tea, coffee. Make use of supermarket BOGOF's and get even more for your money.

  • When We Were Young.

    Comb flea markets, second hand stalls and eBay for magazines printed in the year the person was born. If you can find magazines linked to a particular passion like film, music or cars even better.

  • Christmas Crackers.

    Buy a cheap box of Christmas crackers, take out the tacky toys and fill with your own treasures. Miniature baileys/whiskey or mini shower gels are good fillers.

  • Fimo Plaque.

    Character creations - handcrafted fimo plaques for different occasions which can be personalised with a name or message.

  • Pound Shop Challenge.

    Buy each other five presents from the pound shop. The more interesting, bizarre, or unusual the better!

  • Snow Growing Snowman Soap.

    Soap in the shape of a snowman fully kitted with a broom, scarf and hat. When exposed to air the snowman gets snowier. LizzyBug

  • Smart Café Cup.

    A knifty little gadget and an easy peasy way to make one cup of coffee. MenKind

  • Homemade T-Shirts.

    Buy some fabric pens and some cheap white t-shirts, let the kids loose and become the next Versace.

  • London in a Bag.

    Wooden blocks depicting some of the sites of London. Muji

  • The Money Diet.

    I couldn't go without a plug for m'book. It's a great Christmas present for those newbie MoneySavers, whether it's a quick hit of MoneySaving they want or the ammunition to beat the big companies. More Info.

  • Cutlery Penknife.

    This is definitely one for outdoor lovers. Penknife, knife and fork in one. Men's Gift Shop

  • A Finger Massager.

    A stainless steel finger massager that apparently makes you forget your everyday fatigue and depression. Health Leads

  • Perfume/Aftershave Miniatures.

    Good for filling homemade crackers too. MediCenter Chemists

  • Personalised bottle of Wine.

    Pick up a cheap bottle of wine. Supermarkets often have good deals on nice bottles. Run a hot tap over the bottle and scour of the label. Print up your own with a funny slogan and your own pictures.

  • Magic Snowman.

    If the thought of not being able to build your own snowman is spoiling your friends Christmas, then this is the perfect pressie! Pour the gooey stuff into the mould and within hours you will have your very own fat, jolly, indoor snowman! Lizzybug

  • Charity Books.

    Choose a selection of books from a charity shop and spruce up with a nicely decorated box. Not only will you get lots more books for your money but you can also add a note saying you have supported a particular charity.

  • Magazine Subscription.

    Whether it's fashion, movies, or cars there is something for everyone so set up a subscription for the recipient's favourite magazine. For example for £2.50 you can get 8 issues of Time Out. Bargainous! Do remember to cancel the direct debit when the time comes though. More Info.

  • Cure for uncontrollable spending!

    Add this to your bath for an instant remedy apparently! Find me a gift

  • Trip Down Memory Lane.

    Buy something that brings back fond memories for the recipient. For example Old Brut soap was suggested for a Dad.

  • USB Phone Charger.

    A phone charger than you can plug into your USB port on your computer, can be bought from most supermarkets or gadget stores.


Especially for Kids

  • Magic Reindeer Food.

    Get some small envelopes and fill with glitter. On the front of the envelope write something like: Magic reindeer food – Exclusively for Santa's reindeers, Instructions – Scatter this food on the outside of your house on Christmas Eve to attract Santa's reindeers to come and visit.

  • Pirate Treasure Chest.

    Get hold of a cheap wooden box and using Papier Mache shape into a pirate treasure chest. Decorate with paint and varnish to make it more hard wearing. You can now fill the chest with treasure!

  • Children's Craft Kits.

    Keep the children occupied on Christmas day with craft kits. Try Cuckoo Designs or Yellow Moon for some cheap ones.

  • 101 Things To Do Before Your Old and Boring.

    Creative and crazy things for kids to do before they get too old to do them! The Book People.

  • Activity box for Kids.

    Download and print various creative projects like card making and place in a box with paper, glue, scissors and decorations. Canon Creative Park.

  • Dressing up Box.

    Make a wooden chest from a card board box and Papier Mache and fill with weird and wonderful jumble sale, charity shop or car boot sale dressing up items, or add your own clothes that aren't going to see the light of day again!

  • Personalised Goody Box/Christmas Stocking.

    Decorate a box and fill with appropriate goodies like , colouring pencils, crafts, colouring books and sweets . You could also include vouchers like ‘Have one friend home for tea'. If you can fill it with freebies even better! See Freebies Gold or try Baby Zoop

  • Puppets.

    Moo The Cow or Neighhh The Horse marionette. Turrets and tiaras

  • Bean Bags.

    Buy a cheap packet of beans from somewhere like Lidl and then go to a charity shirt to find some inexpensive material you like. Cut out a rectangular shape from the material and sew three sides up. Add the beans and sew the remaining side. Make a few and present them in a basket that can be used to play games.

  • Noise Putty.

    A slimy putty that makes repulsive noises that children with love. Try Other Land Toys.

  • Winnie the Pooh book.

    A musical sing a long hardback book. Avon.

  • Wooden Toys.

    Lots of toys for under a fiver. Wooden Toys Online


Charity Gifts

  • A Mosquito Net.

    Charity gifts are the ultimate feel good present. So why not buy a mosquito net to send to benefit a community in a developing country. Try Great Gifts.

  • Charity eCards .

    Send an ecard and at the same time donate to your favourite charity. Charities Trust

  • Blood Donation.

    Pay someone to go and give blood. Give someone a fiver to cover petrol or travel or just as an incentive to go and give blood.

  • Fishing Net.

    For £5 by a fishing net to help a community in a developing country. Send a Cow

  • Adopt an animal.

    If your kids have been begging you for a pet but you know the interest won't last much past Christmas adopt an endangered animal from WWF. You'll get an information pack that includes a soft toy. WWF

  • Cancer Research.

    Ask friends and family for donations instead of gifts by creating your own online giving page. Give in Celebration


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