Tag Archives: homemade Christmas gifts

How to make a Room & Linen Spray

This article has been posted on the Make it From Scratch Carnival hosted by Gotta Little Space – be sure to check it out! πŸ™‚

Here is another great frugal gift or idea to use all year round – Room & Linen spray. Making linen spray is so simple to do and much less expensive than going to a department store to buy it. You know exactly what is being sprayed onto your linens or in your room and have comfort in knowing that only pure natural products are being used. The toughest part of making these is deciding what scents to use.


  • 1/2 Cup distilled water
  • 1tsp vodka or witch hazel
  • 5 to 6 drops essential oil (DragonMarsh $4.50)

A small (1/8th oz) bottle of essential oil goes a long way!

Use 4 oz. clean spray bottle (Michael’s craft store – $1.19) with fine mist spray nozzle. In a small bowl, mix essential oil and vodka together. The alcohol works as an emulsifier, allowing the oil and water to mix evenly. Pour the essential oil-vodka mix into the spray bottle, add the 1/2 cup filtered water, and shake. Make sure to shake well before each use.

If you don’t have a dropper for your oil, don’t fear! Follow these steps: 1) Stick a cocktail straw in the essential oil bottle 2) put your finger over the top of straw 3)keep finger on the straw and move straw over to your bowl with the vodka 4) take finger off the top of straw and wha-la! – the straw becomes a dropper *Thanks husband for being a great hand model! πŸ™‚

Great holiday essential oils to use: eggnog, cinnamon, hollyberry, vanilla, cranberry, or orange (DragonMarsh does carry these oils, although they may not be listed online – email them, they’d be happy to help). Favorite year round scents to use: lavender or vanilla. Or you could mingle scents to enhance the aromatic experience with these 10 blends:

Blend #1

3 drops Orange
2 drops Grapefruit

Blend #2

4 drops Orange
1 drop Ylang Ylang

Blend #3

3 drops Orange
2 drops Ginger

Blend #4

3 drops Bergamot
1 drop Neroli
1 drop Jasmine

Blend #5

3 drops Fir Needle Oil
2 drops Spruce Oil

Blend #6

3 drops Lavender
2 drops Vanilla

Blend #7

3 drops Lavendar
2 drops Sandlewood

Blend #8

3 drops Vanilla
2 drops Ginger

Blend #9

3 drops Cinnamon
2 drops Nutmeg
1 drop Sweet Orange

Blend #10

3 drops Hollyberry
2 drops Sweet Orange
1 drop Clove

Another great use for the spray: to use in your car. I love using the vanilla spray in my car after it’s been hand washed (in my driveway – hopefully by my children :)). It’s a great way to get the “I’ve been to the car wash” feel without paying the money. Note: you may need to increase the essential oil to 10 drops for a more concentrated scent.

For more great essential oil blend ideas visit my Examiner.com article.

For more Christmas gift ideas try Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas and Christmas Gifts under $10.

Freaking Out: Christmas is Just About Here!

Home for the Holidays

Is anyone else freaking out that there is only…

Christmas countdown banner


I may be freaking out about Christmas, but something is different this year.

As I was walking through the Christmas filled aisles of my local Walgreen’s drugstore I realized I was NOT infatuated with the Christmas consumerist buzz this year*. No more rose colored glasses honing me in with my “oohs” and “ahhs”. I was asking myself as I passed the aisles of plastic garland, cheap ornaments, Snuggies, cheap lotions and perfume, specialized coffee machines that only use one kind of pod, “who needs all this stuff?”. I can make ornaments with flour, salt and water, string up colored paper chains, wrap my self in a comfortable throw blanket, and sip on some home brewed coffee from my old school coffee maker or French press. Gadget-smadgets! It’s just a consumer’s society to produce ‘stuff’ and take our money.

I want to have a real Christmas with homemade ornaments that make wonderful keepsakes, the smell of home baked cookies, peppermint bark, and breads that make wonderful Christmas gifts, cinnamon-vanilla lattes to bring warm-fuzzies, and seasonal holiday get together’s with my friends and family.

So, I am freaking out because I haven’t planned my calendar or made my lists; what cookies and breads to bake, what day to have a Christmas get together (tis a potluck gathering for a frugal fun day), when we are going to take our family’s Christmas photo (matching reindeer sweaters? LOL. Just kidding), and when I will be able to steal my quiet time with my husband to enjoy cinnamon-vanilla home made lattes in front of the fireplace while watching a White Christmas (I have a thing for Bing Crosby’s talent).

Don’t get me wrong, I do plan on buying gifts for family and friends. In fact, I already picked up one of my daughter’s gifts this weekend (and keeping within budget – thank you). But there are things I am going to differently this year.

  1. owning my money this season and staying within my budget
  2. if I need to make gifts more abundant or have a last minute gift outside my budgetary range – time to whip up the good ole’ home baked sweets and adorn with a bow & tag
  3. making sure the holiday season is about family and not the glitter-n-shopping factor
  4. keeping to my gift list and not being persuaded by ads (unless I can get a better price on my listed item)
  5. making a donation to the city’s mission service to help feed the homeless
  6. finding frugal and fun ways to have a happy holiday season – the city’s tree lighting ceremony, listening to the high school choir sing, building paper chains with my daughter, watching Christmas movies in the living room with the family

I know it can be tough to stay away from the glitter-n-shopping factor! There is some really pretty stuff out there. But help yourself out – throw away the ads after you’re done skimming them, stick to your guns, take up Enemy of Debt’s Christmas challenge, and read these great posts to stay on your DEBT-FREE mission! πŸ™‚

Major Holiday Busters by Fabulously Broke in City

Have you ever had a DEBT FREE CHRISTMAS, And will you accept my challenge by Enemy of Debt – YES YOU WILL!

Homemade Christmas Ornaments and Decorations by Debt Free Adventure

Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

My favorite article (I come back to it year after year), Bankrate’s 12 ways to de-commercialize Christmas

*Christmas = the holiday celebration you enjoy. I believe all and any religious holiday aspect receives the same consumeristic buzz πŸ™‚

Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas


Wait! It’s not suppose to install fear in your hearts and mind (nor your wallet)! But, you feel that every looming dark cloud of holiday stress starting to trail your steps, right? I know I do!

Christmas in July – to me that rings the bell that we are to start preparing for the holiday season. And I think if we do start now we have a great chance of having a DEBT FREE Christmas (head on over to Enemy of Debt to join the challenge).

My family’s recent challenge has me thinking of how to meet our needs in a frugal manner; to not charge our Credit Cards or steal from our Savings. To live within our means (and still have fun).

I am determined to stay within my financial boundries! And I have a feeling you want to do the same. There are plenty of lists for frugal Christmas gift ideas, but they lack a personal touch. I wanted to find frugal, fun gifts that:

  • instill warm holiday wishes and love
  • use items I already have in the house (start asking for paper bags at the grocery store)
  • and are easiest enough to accomplish even if one lacks in artistic talent


Without further adieu, I present to you my 2009 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas (click links for tutorials):

xmas4potato (or celery) stamp + brown paper grocery bags + acrylic paint = christmas wrap



wrap3potato stamp + fabric paint + plain pillow cases = A set of Nice pillow cases



wrap4potato stamp + plain cards + acrylic paint = Christmas cards



wrap5 1 yd novelty fabric + little sewing skills + Raffia = 4 Cloth Napkins (full size or cocktail) tied cute



xmas2 Dollar store frames + cute fabric + pretty satin ribbon = Tres Chic Fabric Frames (would be really cute to give a set of these with one of the frames containing a family picture)



wrap6 Ceramic Tiles + Paper Napkins + a little pizzaz = Set of Coasters



wrap2 Dollar store Christmas container + baking skills = Yummy treats



xmas3 A few 2/$1 Hallmark card(s) (from the $1 store) + Dollar store Christmas tin or homemade box = Holiday/Party Cards to be used throughout the year (I’m always in need of a birthday card last minute!)




Tip: by something small at Michael’s and you receive a ‘40% off regular item’ coupon. Then get the more expensive item and use in the same store trip.

Tip: Look at Michael’s clearance or $1 aisle. You’d be amazed what you can find for stocking stuffers. Wonderful aisle.




If you have any great ideas or tips, please leave a comment with your idea. I would like to compile a big list!