Friday, January 24, 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas

1. Photo calenders from Walmart.

I've done this twice!  Once for my Dad (he LOVED it!) and once for my Grandma.  Now's the time to do this since we are still in January.  For my Dads, I used pictures of our family from when my brother and I were young.  For my Grandma's, I tried to coordinate pictures of all her grandchildren with their birthday months.
2. Frozen cookie dough balls

I saw this idea on Pinterest, and did this one too.  Make a batch of some yummy cookies, roll them into balls, and put them on a cookie sheet... but instead of putting them in the oven, place them in the freezer.  Once they are frozen, you can pile them into a container (and put them back in the freezer), put a bow around it, and give them as a gift.  This way, the person can make as many or as little as they want at a time!  I made them for my Grandma, because she lives by herself, and never needs a full batch of cookies.  She told me it was a "GREAT idea" when I gave them to her!
*Photo and idea from the NO.  2 Pencil blog.  Thank you!

3. Infused Sugars
                                                      *Photo from

Find a little jar at your local craft store (or Target, or Walmart) and google "infused sugar recipes".  I've found that lavender, orange, and vanilla are pretty popular.  They need at least a week for the flavors to infuse, so you'll have to tell your recipient to wait to use it.  No biggie?  I think this would be a great idea to give along with a Starbucks or DD gift card.

4. Gift Cards
Although I'm not a huge fan of gift cards, because they can seem impersonal...desperate calls call for desperate measures!  My favorite places for finding gift cards are places like CVS.  It's easy to find a small gift that goes with the theme of your gift card though, and it gives them something to open.  There is a such thing as a "spa" gift card that can be used at almost any spa.  So for example, if you choose this one, find a mud mask or a pair of slippers to give a long with it.
  Also, you could go to their favorite store and grab one there, and then give them their most recent catalog, and another small inexpensive accessory with it.

5. Monthly Gift ClubsThis is easy to do last minute, because you just fill out the order form online.  Again, if you do this, make sure you give them something to open thats related to the gift club you've purchased for them.  For example, if you choose beer of the month club, get them one of their favorite craft beers, and maybe dress them up a bit ;).

*image from Google
If it's a cheese of the month club, then maybe get them a cheeseboard from target real quick!

6. Sharpie Mugs
I have yet to try this, but I hope it works!  I've seen many success stories, and some not so much.  The idea is to draw on a white mug with a permanent marker, and bake it for 30 mins to make it extra permanent.  Everyone says that hand washing these mugs are a MUST, and that the trick is to place them in the oven from the time it reheats, to the time they cool.
*image from Pinterest
7. Open When Letters
These are another big thing on Pinterest!  Many of them are geared towards boyfriends and husbands, but don't you think they'd make a great gift for parents and grandparents?!..especially because it seems that they are the ones that have everything they need/want already.  You can design your own envelopes (which is what I did, using PowerPoint), or you can find many free printables online (like these from
I found my envelopes at Walmart for under $5.

8. Last Minute Trip to TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, or Ross
You'd be surprised by the number of ways that stores like this can inspire you.  They have a little bit of everything, and at reduced prices.  My brother and I found some really neat looking photo albums that we purchased for my mom.  We've kept a lot of family photos in a huge box for many many years, and now that they are starting to stick to each other, we thought this would be a good time to put them into an album.  If nothing else, these are good places to put together a gift basket, especially if you are looking to update some kitchen utensils for your recipient.  And don't forget to check out their jewelry counter!  I bought a brand new MK watch, originally priced at $250,  for $125 there!

9. Magnets
                                               *see Not Martha for DIY instructions for this project

I like making magnets.  I don't know why.. it's always been my thing,  I've made the ever so popular glass bead magnets which turned out well.  You can use magazines, photos, fabric scraps, or even glitter.  I've done animal print themes, faces of grandchildren, someones favorite things (Bon Jovi, Sports Team, Map of vacation spot, etc).  You can also use bottle caps for the base, or even use the gems off an old cheap piece of jewelry.

Good luck!!


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