Quick, Simple, Inexpensive, Last-Minute Gift Ideas

posted by Andrea | 12/10/2010

Are you short on time?

Are you short on energy?

Are you short on cash?

Are you tired of standing in line after line after line….?

OK, so you’re all raising your hands by now, right?

I figured that with only 15 days until Christmas Day we might all be looking for a few quick, simple, and inexpensive gifts to finish up our last-minute holiday shopping.

Here are just a few of my favorites — now get busy!

Gift Wrap & Tags:

{great for a teacher, coworker, or neighbor}

I shared this idea on Facebook earlier this week, but I wanted to include it in this post because it really is such a quick, simple, and inexpensive gift idea. Plus, who doesn’t need a little extra wrapping paper and a few fun gift tags? Visit 30 Handmade Days to see how she created this adorable gift for pennies — and make sure to take advantage of her free printable tags!!

Cleaning Kit:

{great for college students, new homeowners, or young married couples}

I love giving these type of gifts because they’re super practical AND clutter-free! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Home: Fill a brightly colored bucket with your favorite cleaning supplies, trash bags, rubber gloves, and rags.

Laundry: Fill a small laundry basket with detergent, fabric softener, spot treatment, mesh garment bags, etc.

Auto: fill a 5-gallon bucket with car-wash, wax, rags, wash mit, wheel shine, spray nozzle, etc.

Grocery List Pad:

{great for anyone who’s ever gone to the store}

This is such a fun, creative, and inexpensive idea from Infarrantly Creativeand who can’t use a super cute pad to simplify and organize their weekly grocery shopping?

And while I LOVE the step-by-step tutorial over at Infarrantly Creative, I got to thinking that I could put an even simpler spin on the whole project…here’s how:

Head on over to my Free Downloads page and print off a bunch of my Double Shopping Lists.

Cut them in half, stack them on top of each other, top the stack with a colorful piece of card stock, and then either staple or hole-punch them together. You can top it with ribbon, raffia, etc and put a magnet on the back.

It might not be quite as adorable…but it would be simple, quick, and free!!


{great for…well, anyone!}

Who doesn’t love the gift of food — and NO, it doesn’t have to be homemade! You can give pretty bottles of wine, fancy 6-packs of beer, savory cheeses with gourmet crackers, the list goes on and on!

I often give “food kits” where I pair some of the non-perishable ingredients with a recipe, and one of the kitchen tools they’ll need.

For example, I recently gave one of my friends {who happens to love pizza} a new pizza pan, a container of homemade pizza seasonings, a package of pizza dough mix, and 3 or 4 recipes for homemade pizza. She LOVED it!!

Another idea might be to pair a favorite food magazine or soft cover cookbook with a fun ornament, cookie cutter, and a gift tag like this one from Living Locurto!

Handmade Buletin Board:

{great for teens or a friend}

Do have an old frame, a few scraps of ribbon, and a nearly-empty can of paint lying around your house? If so, you have all the supplies you need to make this simple, inexpensive gift for your favorite teen…or other crafty person on your list.

This tutorial is also from 30 Handmade Days — she’s got a lot of creativity going on over there! And even if you don’t have a large frame like this one, you could always do the project on a smaller scale or make a visit to your local thrift store!

Gifts in a Jar:

{great for friends, expecting mothers, or anyone who doesn’t love to cook}

I loved making these gifts as a kid — and I still do now. There are so many varieties, they look gorgeous, and you can probably whip 10 of these up in an afternoon!

And rather than “reinventing the wheel” I found these delicious Gifts in a Jar Ideas over at Life…Your Way!

Homemade Wooden Blocks

{great for the kids}

Even though I grew up with all sisters, we still loved playing with block. We had wooden block, Legos, Jenga blocks {remember that game?} — and we played with them all the time!

Want to make up a set of these blocks for your children or grandchildren? Visit Modern Alternative Mama for the complete tutorial — and let me know how they turn out!

Do you have any other great ideas for quick, simple, inexpensive, last-minute gift ideas?

There’s only 15 days until Christmas — you’d better get busy!

Filed under: FamilyHolidays

Leave a comment


  1. Infarrantly Creative


    Thanks so much for the shout out on my grocery list pad!


  2. Robin ~ PENSIEVE


    Hmmmm, since I haven’t begun shopping, this has been timely! Thanks for getting me thinkin’ :).


  3. mandi@itscome2this


    Those are great ideas Andrea! Cleaning supplies are so cute now too, it’s funny that could make a good gift but it totally could!!


  4. WenDee Riffe


    neato~~ideas!!! thanks!!!


  5. Karen @ Abundance on a Dime


    I’m doing a twist on the cleaning supplies theme this year – making up “clean and green kitchen & bath” kits with homemade cleaners made with natural/nontoxic ingredients – herbal degreaser, lemon scouring powder, glass cleaner and daily shower spray. I really like giving practical gifts I know the recipient will use and I find they are usually very well received!


    Andrea Reply:

    Karen, I LOVE your “green cleaning kit” idea! I’m sure your gift will be loved AND used!


  6. Tweets that mention Quick, Simple, Inexpensive, Last-Minute Gift Ideas « Simple Organized Living -- Topsy.com


    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrea Dekker, Andrea Dekker. Andrea Dekker said: New Post: Quick, Simple, Inexpensive, Last-Minute Gift Ideas http://goo.gl/fb/SPZeQ […]