12/10

Shopping, baking, presents, traveling, money, money, more money! You know what I say about the holiday season? Bah humbug.

dashing-through-the-no-grumpy-cat-meme

Grumpy Cat knows what’s up.

I’ve never been one to love the holidays as much as most people. I can’t deal with all of the hype, and it doesn’t help that my finances can’t support buying the best gifts for everyone I love. Last year, when I was saving all of my cash flow for my trip overseas, I found a way to make the holiday season more enjoyable and affordable by DIYing all of my gifts. It was rather successful, if I do say so myself.

This year, I plan on doing the same because as we know, weddings aren’t cheap. And to be honest, I kind of enjoyed putting a little bit of myself into everyone’s gifts.

Let’s flashback to this time last year: A it tends to be for many people, December makes me feel a little crazy – between trying to squeeze in all of my holiday plans into a handful of weekends and getting thoughtful gifts for everyone while keeping within a budget. On top of that, I was making travel plans and trying to get ahead at work so I could enjoy my vacation into the new year. I was losing my sanity slowly but surely! The solution to gaining some sanity back? Coming up with an easy, affordable (and fun!) gifting plan that I can do for multiple people.

Now, I have three siblings. And we have varied interests due to our difference in age. Even so, Instagram is something we all use and love. And there it was, my great gifting plan I could customize for each of them– an Instagram collage canvas!

image

Photo courtesy of my food-loving sister, Mandy.

I’m telling you, this project couldn’t be easier on the mind or the wallet. All you need is the PostalPix app, a 12″x12″ canvas (they even come in multi-packs!), and a tub of Mod Podge, both of which can be found at Michael’s. I chose nine of my favorite ‘grams from each of my siblings and ordered them through the app.

Each printed photo costs just a few cents, and they don’t take their time mailing them to you! I set them up on each canvas, then dabbed some Mod Podge on the back of each photo, starting with the corners, so I’d have everything lined up right. From there, you simply paint the Mod Podge over the photos to seal them onto the canvas, making sure to paint all of the edges and corners down. I did about three coats for each canvas, just to make sure nothing would pop up once they were completely dry. To save even more money (and the earth), I skipped the wrapping paper and just tied a nice bow around each canvas. They were a hit!

Since last year, I found some other fun decorative gifting DIYs, perfect for anyone on your list who just moved into a new place. Use your leftover Mod Podge to make personalized glass ornaments with maps, sheet music or newspapers. I especially love this marquee letter idea. It’s great to decorate the home AND your wedding, which I fully plan on doing.

ornament marquee

Photos courtesy of diamondinthestuff.com and greenweddingshoes.com.

I altered my gifting plan a little bit when it came to my classy, wine-loving future in-laws by doing one bigger gift the whole family could enjoy. Again, your local craft store is your friend on this one. You’ll want to pick up a wooden tray, chalkboard paint and a few festive tins or baggies. I painted the inside of the tray with the chalkboard paint, filled the tins/baggies with nuts and dried fruits, and picked up 2-3 bottles of wine. And there you have it– a wine tasting tray for a family night in!

And while we’re on the topic, I have some more suggestions for those drinkers on your list. That Mod Podge will come in handy once again to make craft beer coasters from beer labels and tiles/cork. I also love a good monogrammed gift. Grab a plain mug from your local dollar store or thrift shop, a permanent marker, and draw a design. Stick them in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes and you have the perfect gift for a cold day.

bev collage

Photos courtesy of Buzzfeedatticlace.blogspot.com, and designmom.com

As for this year, it’s going to be a very edible holiday for those on my “nice” list. A trip to the grocery store, the craft store and an afternoon in the kitchen is all I need to make this holiday season easier for this bride-to-be. A couple of my favorite gift ideas include homemade vanilla extract and infused butters. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve, but I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers. So simple. So cheap!

Hey, BABs, what are you doing to save on some time and money this holiday season?



Meg Douress is the pint-sized, freckle-faced, curly-haired Real Bride Blogger for The Broke-Ass Bride. She is a professional writer, amateur photographer and social media fiend who is set to wed her college sweetheart in June 2015. She enjoys obsessing over the lives of celebrities and being a Philadelphia phan. Join her on her thrifty wedding planning adventure on Pinterest and Instagram, and tune in to her sarcastic comments on Twitter: TheRealMegD.
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