Thursday, February 01, 2007

inexpensive gift exchange

A couple of days ago I got a phone call from the Young Women's presidency asking me if I would find a quick (under ten minutes!) inexpensive (read: FREE) project for the girls to make each other.

Their next meeting night (tonight) they would be reviewing the Young Women Values (faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, and integrity). The leaders decided that having a 'round robin' activity of fun projects would be a great way to get the girls and their moms interested and involved. My assignment is in the 'good works' theme, and they suggested that each girl draw a name for a "secret sister". This is another girl who they secretly give a small inexpensive gift to each day for a week. They do this similar gift exchange during their camp week in summer time, so the girls are familiar with the concept. At the end of the week they exchange the last gift in person and have an opportunity to chat with a new friend, or an old friend they have gotten to know a bit better through the experience of self-less giving.

Because there are 20 girls I needed to think very carefully on what I had or could get for free that would still be a nice gift, plus easy enough for the girls to make in 10 minutes, and also be pleasing to the age range of 12 through 18! Of course I consulted with Chronicler! She gave me several ideas, one of which she will be blogging about herself in a few days...with a tutorial: Crocheted Flowers. Together we brain stormed and came up with many ideas. One was an accordion folded mini scrapbook.

I love this particular one. I think it has a nice 'wow' factor the first time you see it as it pops open to reveal your photos or quotes, etc. Plus it is SO EASY and FAST! I grabbed 3 sheets of paper for each girl and a few feet of ribbon. Most of the girls have access to paper and ribbon at home, so this helps keep their costs down if they want to repeat the process later. The interiors and exteriors of the book can be embellished with more scrap papers or drawings, words, etc.

In addition to the little book, we'll make another small package for a tiny treat, like a snack sized candy bar or little notes, etc. It's just a tube of pretty paper that you glue closed on each end to make a triangular shape. Each girl will go home with a list and a few examples of other very inexpensive gifts they can easily make and exchange this week. Some of the ideas are:

felt or fabric strip book marks that can be added to their scriptures to give them more ribbon markers.

Shrinky-dinks, remember the old shrinky-dink plastic jewelry, embellishments, hair doodads, etc? They'll get some examples and instructions.

Large homemade cookie in a decorated paper CD holder.

Crocheted flower pins and hair ornaments.

Paint chip card holders, mini books, frames, mini drawers, and photo books.

Envelope accordion books for keeping receipts or notes for class, photos etc.

Card stock no glue (hand folded - self locking) envelopes for notes or special sayings, etc.

Hershey kiss roses.

Home made sugar scrubs.

Home made oatmeal facial.

Flat marble/glass magnets.

Origami decorations.

Key chains.

Painted terra cotta pot.

Paper boxes.

Hand made cartoon flip book.

Kettle Corn and flavored popcorns.

Hand made make-up tote.

Small recipe book.

So there you go! I am hoping the girls have as much making their gifts as I did coming up with the ideas.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

I still think that mini accordian scrapbook is the best. It is so cool!

rzdesign said...

thanks for the comment at my blog,, about ASL! I am having a great time so far, two weeks into the class! It is being taught immersion style. I am hoping to go to an immersion camp this summer.

I wish I had someone local to talk with. part of the class requires us to go to 10 hours of deaf events to get the fish out of water, hopelessly drowning, learning going! LOL

thanks for the good thoughts!

Lisa M. said...


Can't ya move here?


s'mee said...

thanks everyone!