Christmas Basket On A Budget!

Like I said on Fridays post: Les Cadeaux de Noël, we didn’t have a ton of money to spend this Christmas. With my husband as the sole provider, a toddler who is still in diapers and a possible move coming up we needed to save where we could. 

I know that this time of year sometimes stresses us out because it is SO easy to go over budget. Or to get into that mindset where you think that the only good gifts are the really nice ones from the stores because your family and friends deserve the best. 
And I agree they do deserve the best in the sense of you showing them that you truly care about their likes, needs and take the time to put your all into their gift. If that means going out and buying all of your gifts, Great! Most time though your family just wants something that came from the heart. 
Thats where these baskets come in! I don’t know if you have seen the gift baskets in Costco or Bed Bath and Beyond or Walmart, the ones that are prearranged and designed with a type of person in mind: the coffee lover, tea lover, chocolate lover, wine and cheese lover. These baskets are impressive to say the least, but they are also extremely expensive! 
$30-40 per basket is a lot to pay if you have to buy 4, 5, 6 baskets! $180 dollars! Woah, and thats not counting anything else you want to get them… stocking stuffers, smaller gifts etc. 
What do you do?!? Make it yourself! 
Here is how to make a Christmas Basket on a Budget! 
Homemade Brownie Mix in a Christmas Jar!  Price: $2.15 per mix (total-$15 including extra paint and brushes)
I love giving baking mixes as gifts, because its easy and delicious! I decided to put this tried and true brownie mix from Crazy for Crust, when I made my own Curtains, in each of the baskets. 
To make them super cute, I decided to put them in Christmas decorated jars, which I made from recycled glass jars that I save! (Seriously, we have a problem because above all of our cabinets in the kitchen are glass jars from various things that we have bought: pasta sauce, salsa, apple sauces etc, we save it all!
Before I painted the jars I had to make sure that the pasta sauce smells were completely gone. Who would like brownies that smelled/tasted like pasta?! Yuck! 
1. Take the labels off buy soaking in warm water and using vegetable oil to rub the remaining adhesive off. 
2. Remove the pasta sauce smell. It is so simple, just soak the jars in steaming hot water mixed with baking soda for 3-4 hours. Then wash them with soap and lay out to dry. After they have dried, wipe them down with a towel to get any extra moisture out because you don’t want your mix to be wet when it is given to them. 
**If you are going to use the lids, add them to the water water and baking soda. Wash them with soap and water. Then Soak them in white vinegar for a night, wash them again. I don’t know why but the lids are a bit harder to take the smell away from.**

3. Paint the base coat and second layer if needed. I used the paint I had on hand which was my sons Crayola paint! haha. It wasn’t the greatest but it worked! I found that as I was applying the second coat I needed to be careful or the paint would start rubbing off.

4. Apply Layer of Mod Podge. If you used glass paint, skip this step. I found that if I put Mod Podge over the paint then it was so much easier to paint the snowmen because I knew that the base layer wouldn’t rub off.



5. Do your detail work. Make the snowman, add some snow, when it dries make the smaller details the face etc. If you are doing Santa jars – paint the buttons belt and fur areas.

** Add another final layer of Mod Podge to give it a glosser finish**

6. Add finishing details. I decided to add cotton balls to Santa’s collar and coat and a scarf to the snowman to it which gave it a little something fun. I also made hats on the lids to cover the original pasta lids! 
7. Fill with Brownie Mix! If you want to use the 9×9 pan brownie mix add 2 cups of brownie mix to each jar via funnel. Then attach this festive directions print out with a ribbon. 



Pinterest-Worthy 
Burlap Lace Homemade Vanilla Candles
Price:$13 for ALL 7 Candles – $1.85 per candle. 
(Including Burlap, Candle Wax and Fragrance) 

A few months ago I did a post on How to Reuse Old Candle Jars and Wax. I took 1 lb of Soywax and made 7 Vanilla candles in reused candle glasses. (See the pattern? I love recycling!) 

You can see how to make your own candles here.
As you can see they turned out cute, but not cute enough to give as gifts SO 
Enter Burlap and Lace! 



1. Hot glue the top and bottoms down to create a nice clean look. 
2. Glue the burlap to the jar, trim if needed. Hot Glue lace on if it is not on the burlap you purchased. 
3. Tie thin piece of burlap around the candle to add a finishing touch. 
Assembling the basket! 
We had our family photos take this year, part of my Christmas gift from my wonderful hubby. They turned out so beautifully so we added one framed photograph in the basket. 
We had a Groupon and were able to the print photos ourselves, via Rite Aid, which saved a bunch!
Price of Photography session, Photo Prints (this includes 25 prints of various sizes) and Frames (4) : $65
We also had a few smaller gifts the fit into the baskets as well, and some other ones that we will be giving separately. 
1. Add tissue or confetti of some type for a cute gift basket bottom.
2. Arrange your Gift basket gifts in an eye appeasing way. 
3. Add a bow, ribbon or a cellophane bag if you want to get really fancy. 
Total Price for ALL 4 Baskets: $93 (though its probably less because I added in ALL of the prints we got – including our own prints, 1 extra brownie mix, 2 candles that we are keeping)
A whole $90’s less than what it would have cost if we bought them all! Plus our baskets have the meaningful touches to them! AND it leaves enough for us to get them all extra gifts!! 
There you have it a 
Super Cute, Meaningful Christmas Basket on a Budget! 🙂 

Your Turn! What fun things are you doing for Christmas presents this year? 

6 Comments

  1. Very cute idea with the brownie mix in those hand painted glasses. I also like the vintage lace candle.
    I think there's no need for expensive gifts. Handmade/knitted/sewn things and presents from the kitchen are a lot more personal. And just more fun!

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