The Insider’s Guide to the Holidays: Feeling Poor? DIY Gifts!

Alex Baden

With the economy declining, we could all use a few extra dollars in our pockets.  These four gift ideas from the heart will keep your pockets heavy and your friends and family filled with holiday cheer.

For Mom and Dad:
Peppermint Pretzel Rods

Price Range: around $6 and makes 15-25 pretzels
Level of difficulty: Easy
What you’ll need:
-1 bag of large pretzel rods
-1 bag of white chocolate chips
-crushed candy canes, sprinkles, or topping of choice
-cellophane wrap
 Directions:  Microwave chocolate chips on high until soft. Stir chocolate chips until a thick liquid forms. Dip pretzel rods into chocolate.  Pour four or five crushed candy canes onto a plate and roll the pretzel rods around on the plate.  Lay the pretzels on wax paper and place in a refrigerator to harden.  After chilled, tie a ribbon around your pretzels and wrap in a cellophane wrap. Tada! Your delectable creations are finished.

For your teacher:
Marble Magnets
Price Range: around $5 and makes 20 or more magnets
Level of Difficulty: Medium
What you’ll need:
-1 bag of clear decorative glass gem marbles
-1 packet of ceramic magnets
-craft glue
Directions: Cut out an image into a small circle slightly smaller than the circumference of the flat marbles.  Lightly spread craft glue on the image cutout with a toothpick.  Paste the cutout onto marble with your desired image facing up.  Glue a magnet to the back of the marble and voila!  Customize your magnets with matching designs and letters from magazines or your own photos.  Magnets fit perfectly into a mint tin for an easy wrapping container. For a full description, go to

For your friends:
Candy Cane Reindeer/Scarf (to learn how to make the scarf go to
Bring holiday cheer to all your friends with this inexpensive and adorable holiday treat.
Price Range: around $6 and makes 12 reindeer
Level of Difficulty: Easy
What you’ll need:
-12 candy canes
-1 packet of pipe cleaners
-1 packet of pom poms
-1 packet of small replacement “googly” eyes
-craft glue
Directions: Cut pipe cleaners in half.  Wrap one pipe cleaner half around the top of a candy cane.  Cut the other half of the pipe cleaner into two pieces. Wrap the pipe cleaner pieces around the pipe cleaner adhered to the candy cane to create antlers.  Glue on the “googly” eyes and pom poms to make eyes and a nose on the front of the candy cane.  Tie a ribbon to the base of the candy cane. 

*All materials can be found at A.C. Moore and Giant Food Stores.