Inside: 71 fabulous and totally free gift ideas your recipient will love!
The holiday season can be hard on your wallet – but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be!
It’s difficult to plan Christmas gifts when you have no money, but you can let it inspire you to find something truly meaningful.
Whether you’re shopping for a birthday, anniversary, or the upcoming holiday season, the thought you put into your gift is much more important than the amount of dollars you spend.
Here are some great low-cost and no-cost gift ideas to show someone that you really care – without breaking the bank.
71 Ideas for Gifts That Cost Nothing.
- 71 Ideas for Gifts That Cost Nothing.
- Regifting Ideas
- Bath and Beauty
While these gifts might be low cost, the real magic comes from the amount of love you put into giving.
Gift ideas without spending money are often even more valuable to your loved ones, because instead of a generic item they’re receiving something chosen and crafted with love and attention.
It truly is the thought that counts, so put a lot of thought into choosing the right gift, and don’t forget presentation.
You can make a free gift idea look a million bucks if you pay attention to how it looks. Don’t forget to include a heartfelt inscription to make your gift even more meaningful.
1. Unwanted gifts
When you’re looking for free gifts, unwanted gifts you’ve got stored away are a great place to start.
Storing generic gifts like books, chocolates, gift cards and wine that you don’t really want gives you plenty of options for regifting.
2. A treasured item
If there’s a special item you’ve loved, and you know someone will feel the same – consider adding a personal inscription and gifting it from the heart.
A beloved book, movie, or painting with a heart-felt dedication could become a treasured heirloom.
3. A puzzle (with all it’s pieces)
It’s all in how you present it, but puzzles are great to re-gift if they’ve got all their pieces and are in good nick.
4. Vintage clothing or baby items
You probably don’t want to just wrap up your castaways, but for the right person, your vintage clothing or special baby items are even more special for being pre-loved.
5. Dried Flowers
Dried flowers can be turned into lovely arrangements, or pressed into a frame.
Dried petals can be added to a bath kit for a beautiful bath.
Take a stroll along the beach, and collect some driftwood.
It can be crafted into some boutique-looking hangings and decorations with minimal effort.
7. Plant cuttings
Plant cuttings are great free gift ideas for friends. You’ll need to start ahead, but many common household plants can be successfully propagated or grown from cuttings – it only takes a few upcycled jars.
8. Potted herbs
If you already have your own, take some cuttings and make some potted herbs as gifts – they’re practical and beautiful.
9. Pumice Stone
It will depend on your location, but pumice stone can be found at many beaches and is a great addition to a low or no cost beauty hamper.
Whether you’ve harvested your own or bought them at a very low cost, seeds make great free gift ideas for teachers or customers of a small business – especially with a slogan like “Thanks for helping us grow”, or something that reflects your business.
It’s easy to make with ingredients you’ve probably got in your cupboard, and playdough is always a win. You can make it even more seasonal by adding cookie spices to make it smell like the holidays.
Slime is great for keeping kids busy, and is very inexpensive and easy to make. You might add glitter or small toys to make it even more special.
13. A fort kit
If you’ve got a bunch of old sheets, some bulldog clips and anything else your imagination can dream up, why not make a fort kit the kids can take home and play with throughout the holidays?
14. Bubble kits
Bubble kits can be made even more special with the addition of some glycerin to help the bubbles stretch even bigger.
15. Bath crayons
There are plenty of recipes for bath crayons online, and they’ll make getting clean a fun experience for all.
16. Movie night kit
A movie night kit is perfect for those special family nights, with some treats, popcorn, and a fave movie.
17. Board game kit
The same goes for a board game kit, giving the gift of a fun family night together.
18. Make up kit for dress-up
As long as they’re safe for kids, any make up or beauty items you haven’t used or can simply make from gentle ingredients would be cherished by many little ones.
19. Coupon book
The ever-famous coupon book is a fun idea– an extra bowl of ice cream, a movie outing, some special time with parents, breakfast for dinner, or whatever motivates your kids.
20. A bookmark
Every reader needs a bookmark, and a beautifully hand-sewn placeholder is a perfect gift.
21. Tea towels
Either creating tea towels or adding some crotchet to make them into hanging hand towels is practical and lovely addition to a kitchen.
22. A heat pack
As a great sewing gift idea that also doubles as a practical aid, it’s simple to make a rice heat pack that’s great for aches and pains.
23. Wine tote
A wine tote is an easy shape to make and a fun, practical and personal gift.
24. Zipper pouch
Whether it’s used for stationery, make-up, women’s hygiene items or just a multi-purpose hold-all, a simple zipper pouch uses small amounts of fabric in a useful and creative way.
25. Travel neck pillow
For the travel-lover in your life, a travel neck pillow lets you send some love away with them.
26. Infinity scarf
Warm, fashionable and easy to create. There are plenty of patterns for infinity scarves online.
27. Lavender bags
For those who love a bit of therapeutic calm, lavender bags have plenty of uses and make great gifts.
28. Scrap Quilt
A unique gift only for a very special person, a scrap quilt makes use of small pieces of fabric, lots of time, and lots of love.
29. Oven Mitts
Oven mitts are another universal kitchen accessory that everyone will appreciate.
30. T-Shirt pillow
A t-shirt pillow made from a treasured old t-shirt is a simple but very sentimental gift, especially if it’s made from the clothing of someone who has passed on or lives far away.
It really just takes some cords and knots – macramé wall hangings and plant hangers are seriously in fashion and will be welcome gifts.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a Picasso, many styles of paintings are very achievable for beginners. Consider acrylic pours or masking tape art – but tread carefully, as art is highly individual.
If you can sew, why not create a design and put it in a frame. Semi-ironic cross stitch with modern scenes and phrases are a very popular decorating items.
Ornaments are the perfect no money gift ideas for Christmas. Decorate baubles with glitter and other add-ons or try baking and decorating salt dough shapes.
35. Craft starter kit
If you’ve got plenty of craft supplies and want to get someone else hooked, making a craft starter kit to share your passion is one of the best gift ideas when you have no money.
Cookies are a great gift, and simple to make with ingredients you should already have. You could opt for rich, indulgent cookies or beautifully decorated sugar cookies.
If you’re good at getting things when they’re in season, preserves are a present most people love but won’t buy themselves. They look beautiful enough to be a feature in someone’s kitchen.
All it takes is a bit of love and some basic ingredients, and you can be gift-wrapping delicious fudge.
39. Sundae kit
Food kits are thoughtful, practical – and delicious. Why not create a sundae kit with everything they need to have a delicious dessert? Just add ice cream.
40. Hot chocolate kit
Everyone loves hot chocolate, but a hot chocolate kit can take things to the next level. As well as powder, include marshmallows and chocolate melts for a drink to remember.
41. Dehydrated fruit
If you have a dehydrator or a lot of patience with your oven, dehydrated fruit is classy and delicious. Try orange slices dipped in dark chocolate for a classy treat.
42. Infused oil
With some recycled jars, some herbs or spices, and a bit of oil, you can create a stylish and delicious gift.
Infused oil adds a dash of flavour to a dish, and looks beautiful on the shelf. Consider rosemary, tarragon, chilli, garlic, or lemon.
Put your quarantine skills to good use and give the gift of bread. Zucchini, banana, or pear and raspberry bread are great choices – wrap them well to make it special.
44. Jar mixes
Similar to the kits, consider beautifully layered jar mixes. Find your preferred recipe, and layer the dry ingredients in a recycled jar.
Attach the extra ingredient list and method onto the jar using a beautiful label, and they’re ready to bake! Cookies, brownies, and simple cakes are a great option.
Bath and Beauty
45. Bath bombs
Bath bombs are simple to make and an indulgent treat. You should have most of the ingredients at home. Add some dried herbs or flower petals for a special touch.
46. Body butter
With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a rich body butter that will smell great and keep their skin soft and hydrated.
Scrubs are an easy, effective option. A beautiful sugar lip scrub can be made with only sugar and oil, or save your coffee grounds to combine with oil and peppermint to make a coffee body scrub.
48. Handmade soap
It’s easy to make your own soap, and the results are a luxurious product that is free from chemical nasties.
49. Homemade lip balm
Homemade lip balm is great to store in a purse or next to the bed, to help keep lips soft and moisturised.
50. Foot soak
Treat your loved ones to a foot soak, to help them soak the stress away.
51. Plants in jars
Jars with plant cuttings just take a bit of pre-planning, but you can easily propagate many household plants.
52. CD Jacket Art or book illustration
If you and a friend have a special movie or song from the past, why not hunt for the CD or DVD and frame the jacket art? If you have access to a good printer you could print an image instead.
53. A framed book illustration
Similar to a CD Jacket, a framed book illustration from a meaningful book can look fantastic.
54. Secret Compartment Book
Secret compartment books take time but are simple to make, and are an exciting and unique gift to receive.
55. Teacup candle
With a lovely tea cup and an old candle, you can combine them to create a teacup candle that makes a beautiful free present.
If you attended a music concert with someone, a printed and framed playlist can make a great memento. Alternatively, a mix tape or Spotify playlist would be great.
Gifting some free baby-sitting is an invaluable gift for parents, especially if you are on their list of people to call.
58. Pet care
In the same way, taking care of pets can be difficult. Offering pet care to friends and family members can help take the load off. You might offer to walk pets, pet sit over holidays, or do basic grooming tasks.
59. Meal voucher
If you’re a good cook, make your own meal voucher so they have a better option next time they don’t feel like cooking.
60. Car detailing
Car detailing takes time, care, and patience – so take the load of someone’s shoulders by offering to do it for them.
61. Yard Work
Yard work is always there to be done, and you could help your loved one save time and money by offering your services.
62. Cleaning services
Hiring a cleaner is a luxury, and by gifting your own cleaning services you’re giving a quality gift. Make sure you specify how often, and what you’re offering to do.
Make the most of your skills by offering to tutor. Whether it’s helping with a school subject, woodworking, playing a musical instrument, or giving cooking classes, you have something you can teach someone else.
64. Maintenance work
If you’re skilled with cars or general handiwork, taking on maintenance jobs can be a big relief for your loved ones.
65. Coupon book
Coupon books are a traditional idea that can be fun and thoughtful.
Gift a book with services that can be redeemed at a time of their choosing – back rubs, a meal cooked, or whatever you’re prepared to offer.
Don’t forget – you’ll have to follow through!
66. Family Recipe Book
If you are a cook in the family, preserve your family’s treasured recipes by creating a family recipe book.
67. Framed photo or photobook
Photos are always a welcome gift – carefully choose precious memories to print out and frame, or create a photo book.
68. Family Genealogy
If you’ve spent time to learn about your past, sharing your family genealogy is an exciting way for them to learn about their distant past.
69. Inspiration Jar
Stuck for ideas? An inspiration jar helps keep your loved ones on their toes, giving them ideas for dinners, date nights, family nights, ice-breaker questions – whatever you can imagine!
70. Framed quote or verse
A framed quote or verse that’s meaningful to the recipient can be a beautiful, personal, and treasured gift.
71. Stuffed animals keepsakes
If you’ve got old clothes with a memory attached and you’re good at craft, sew stuffed animals from the fabric.
This holiday season, try one of these free Christmas gift ideas and give a gift filled with love and thoughtfulness.
By either making use of things you already have or a few small purchases, you can make your gift beautiful, memorable – and easy on your wallet.