Christmas on the Cheap

9 Dec

It’s that time of year again: time to go in debt for the next 12 months.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of this ritual. The bigger my family gets, the more people I have to buy for, which means the more money I have to spend, which sucks when you’re poor, LOL. Okay, I’m not so much poor as I don’t have much paycheck left over after kids, bills and kids. (Yes, I know I said kids twice, but they’re expensive! ;))

But anyhoo, I’ve decided this year I was breaking my Christmas debt cycle. In the Evans’ household, Christmas 2011 is the season of crafting, recycling, and re-purposing.

That’s right. I’m making (practically) all the presents I give this year. (The exception is the Kindle Fires I’m getting my girls!) I’ve been scouring do-it-yourself (DIY) sites and Pinterest for ideas. I’m amazed at how easy–and cute–some of these DIY projects can be.

So far, I’ve made…

Crochet Necklace

Isn’t this fab! I love the two-tone, messy look. 🙂 I made this using little more than a crochet hook, wire, glass beads, a jewelry clasp and a YouTube instructional video. The best part is you really don’t need to know how to crochet to make this. Just learn the basic chain stitch and you’re golden. (The chain stitch, BTW is super simple.)

Milk Carton Candles

Why are these called milk carton candles, you ask? Because the candle molds were actual waxed milk cartons. Seriously! I was shocked at the ease and cheapness of this project. I had to buy the wicks, but the wax itself is recycled from old jar candles that I plopped into boiling water until the wax melted. (Click here for the YouTube tutorial I used. My only modification was that I didn’t break up my wax like she did.)

Kids Beach Bag

Can you tell what this little bag is made from? Well, if you guessed girl’s tank top, you’re right! I took a tank my girls had outgrown and re-purposed it. It was so incredibly easy too. I can’t believe I never thought to do this! All I did was turn the top inside out, match the side seems together and then sew the bottom. That was it! I want to add a flower or some sort of design to the front to hide the seem, but otherwise, I think it’s darling.

Coffee Sleeve

And since I love coffee (as do both my sisters!), you know I had to make some coffee-related gift, LOL. No more cardboard coffee sleeves for us!

I have other projects planned, so I’ll be busy until Christmas no doubt. This might be a much cheaper way to get through Christmas without a bad case of pocketbook exhaustion, but I do foresee a massive case of “Brandi Exhaustion” in my very near future!

And now its your turn, lovelies…

Any of y’all having a DIY Christmas? Have any DIY projects I can try? Think a DIY Christmas is the stupidest, Scrooge-iest thing you’ve ever heard of? Leave me a comment! I may even give away a coffee sleeve or two, LOL.

Later, lovelies!

~Brandi Evans


Brandi Evans is a stay-at-home mom with a serious addiction—the compulsive need to tell sexy stories to whomever will listen! To learn more about her, visit her website at

2 Responses to “Christmas on the Cheap”

  1. Nara Malone December 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    I think the best Christmas I ever had with my kids was the year we could only afford a homemade Christmas. Hubs and I made a rocking horse. I designed the patterns for pieces he cut the wood. I stained it and made a mane and tail. I made a busy board for my toddler, latches and hooks and door knons to build his motor skills–didn’t think how that might make him an expert escpae artist. I made a puppet theater with puppets for the older boy, blocks, busy books and a bunch of other little things I can barely remember. But I do remember their smiles, and the quiet of two children deeply absorbed in play Christmas morning.

  2. Marilyn Campbell December 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Great post Brandi! Coincidentally, last weekend I visited a friend who told me one of her friend groups had decided everyone would give each other ornaments this year. Being a craft-doer, my friend was making her ornaments and I jumped in to help tho I’m not at all experienced. We spent the day making clay snowmen and stars and I had a ball. It really was more fun than a trip to the mall madhouse!

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