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Holiday Gifts for Your Class on a Ten Dollar Budget


My husband has put me on this horrible thing called a budget. Yes, I am hurting. Bad. We all know how much comes out of our pockets each year. So, with the whole budget thing looming over my head, I am creating four gifts for my kids (and parents!) for less than ten dollars. I might add how impressed I am with myself on this one...

The Quick and Inexpensive Route for Holiday Gifts This Year

Directions on Making: Shrinky Dink Photo Necklaces, Class Photo Calendar, Candy Cane Heart Pins, and Writing Gift Coupons

Shopping List- $9.96 plus tax

~Shrinky Dink printer paper- $8.00 for 6 sheets (enough for 24 photos)

~Silver pin backs- $1.96 for 40 at Walmart

Around the House/Classroom Items

~ Hot glue gun

~ Photos of your kids

~ small candy canes

~lanyards, string, or key chain clips

~ wrapping tissue paper

~ brown lunch bags (which you know I have with those budgeted lunches-sigh)

First: Shrinky Dink Necklaces, Bracelet, or Key Chain

(Photo does not depect the finished project-only the size of the Shrinky Dink photo)


I did this a few years back and thought this was the funniest Christmas gift ever! You just need to purchase Shrinky Dink printer paper. Didn't know this exsisted? I found this at Hobby Lobby, but you can go straight to the source at www.shrinkydinks.com. You simply set up a page with four photos on one page, print, and shrink away in the oven! The photos will shrink down to 1/3 of the original size. Place a small hole near the top of the photo, lace some string through it- and-voila you have a cool Shrinky Dink necklace, bracelet, or key chain. If you don't remember, the finished product is thick and durable. A class photo or individual photos would work for this project. Cost- $8.00, total

For the detailed directions to this project, click here.

Class Photo Calendar


This one was really simple and quick to complete. I used the same program that I use to create my newsletters (Print Artist Gold-19.99) to create a one page yearly calendar for next year. From here, I added some photos and saved it as a PDF. Next step was to send it to school and print it in color in our technology lab (color printing is allowed at our school- I love our tech. coordinator). Laminate and you are done. A class photo or individual photos would work. Cost- Free.

Download gift_calendar.pdf

Download gift_calendar_master.pra

Candy Cane Pins


Gather up some small candy canes (wrapped ones last longer) and use a hot glue gun to connect two candy canes together in the shape of a heart. Hot glue a pin on the back and you are done. You can add a small red ribbon on the front if you like.

Now place your gifts in a brown paper bag with some tissue paper and use the candy cane pin to close the top of the bag. It becomes a useful, wearable decoration piece. Cost- $1.96, total.

Side note- If you need small candy canes and/or a hot glue gun, head to your nearest kindergarten teacher. I bet my bottom dollar that they are loaded in this department (think gingerbread houses). Take a bus duty date from one of them to keep this portion free.

For the Parents: Coupon Book


Hand made, meaningful gifts are the best. That is why my students will be creating coupon booklets for their family members at home. This might include taking out the trash, reading to their parent, or a night of family games. Simple but sweet. One sheet can be folded into three parts to make three coupons. Cost- Free.

Side note- There are plenty of sites that offer printable coupons for free on the web, but I will be posting my templates here sometime next week.

Bonus/Popular Ideas You Might Use

~ Many teachers purchase a book for each student using Scholastic points. You are one step away from that here. :)

~ Order personalized pencils. The usual asking price is .87-.97 cents for three pencils.

~ Oriental Trading Company has several inexpensive goodies. Last year I used school money to purchase snow globes where you could insert photos in them.

~ Create the season of giving to others by supporting organizations like Heifer Organization, nursing home, etc.

Please Share

Do you have any gifts or activities that cost little to nothing to make for your kids? Please share your ideas here!


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.