It's No Spend Challenge, and DD11 has a birthday party to go to.
As we only received the invitation this week, I was trying to come up with a nice gift for her 11 year old friend. I have lots of home made things put aside for adults, but not so many for the kids.
I'm a little fortunate in that since joining Simple Savings four years ago, I have amassed lots of ingredients for things, that I'm always searching for a new use for.
I found the following around the house in my stash of unfinished projects, and op shop finds:
A jug shaped bottle about 300mls capacity with a swing top lid (any bottle with a lid would do)
Some eyeshadows that I got in a 'deal' from Catch of the Day a couple of years ago (who else remembers THOSE!), that I've never found a recipient for (empty compacts, eyeshade palettes, lip balm cases would all be good)
A pink box with a lid that DD received a statue in for her birthday last month (a cereal box, painted would suffice)
Some clear spray bottles that I ordered from Aussie Soap Supplies a couple of years ago when I was doing Linen Sprays as gifts (save spray pump bottles from deodorants and hair conditioner and paint them or cover with decoupage)
Some shredded pink paper that I'd used a bit of for another gift last year (shred your own paper with scissors)
Some narrow ribbon that I've cut from clothing I've purchased. You know the skinny ribbon that's usually under the arm of the garment to keep it on the hanger for display purposes? I cut those off and keep them for things like this
A $3 flower brooch I used for my 50th birthday last year and haven't looked at since
I've turned this into a gift by:
Filling the bottle with cheap liquid hand soap, tinted dark pink with food colouring, to which I added Frangipani fragrant oil that I use for my oil burner. I also added some edible gold dust that I bought at Christmas for my Truffles. I tied some of the skinny ribbon around the neck and made a manila tag that says "Fragrant Bath Syrup. Special Blend for&.". I pinned the flower brooch to the ribbon.
I filled the spray bottle with boiled water, and added apple fragrance oil from my oil burner collection (these are all $2 oils from the discount store), and labelled it "Pillow spray for Sweet Dreams. Special Blend for &." And stuck a little sticker from DD's stash on it of a butterfly.
Finally I made a solid perfume. I had made some earlier in the week, but I made a fresh batch and I've refined the recipe a bit. Here it is:
In a small microwave safe jug, add two tablespoons of beeswax pellets (about $5 for 250gms at the health food shop or craft store), 6 tablespoons of unscented oil (I used jojoba, but you could even use vegetable oil), and the rest of the little bottle of Frangipani fragrance oil, which was about 2/3 full. Any scent or essential or fragrant oil is fine.
Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after one minute with a skewer.
I then poured this into the eyeshadow cases, which I'd dug the eyeshadow out of, and then washed and dried thoroughly. It made 6 solid perfumes.
I've arranged the Bath Syrup, the Pillow Spray and the solid perfume in the box, lined with shredded paper, and wrapped it in clear cellophane.
It looks lovely for a gift that cost¬hing. Granted, I had lots of the 'makings' of something lying around, but that's the big plus of being a Simple Saver!
Even if I'd bought everything I needed, I'd have leftovers for many more gifts, and still would have spent less than $10.
Just goes to show what you can do under pressure ��