How to Make Simple, Low Cost Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is on its way. We are searching for ways on how to make simple, low cost gifts. Simple, because we are short on time. Low cost, because our budget is already stretched. Handmade, because we want our gifts to have that personal touch.

Just so you know: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!

A Few Ideas on Simple, Low Cost Christmas Gifts

There are so many simple, low cost Christmas gift you can offer your friends and family. It all depends on the time you have. If you have a full day, try your hand at a Psalms 91 Throw. This is a gift that gives ‘hugs’ all year round.

If you are handy around knitting needles and crochet hook, you can create hat and scarf sets, knitted dishcloths or pot scrubbers. If you have someone on your list who loves to cook, help them take care of their utensils with a jar of Wooden Spoon Butter.

All of these are simple Christmas gifts. They are easy to make, low cost, and usually don’t take too much time. One of my favorite simple, low cost Christmas gifts is handmade Sachets. A little fabric, a needle, some thread and dried herbs all combine to make a great gift.

These are super frugal if you use scraps of fabric you already have, and dried herbs, such as lavender and rose petals, that were grown in your garden over the spring and summer!

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How to Make Sachets

Simple Low Cost Christmas Supplies


Muslin, or other cotton fabric
Coordinating Thread
Embroidery Thread
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Dried Herbs

Optional: Essential Oils – (Consider this: Dried herbs and essential oils can be overwhelming, if you use too much. Be sure to add the amount according to the strength of the scent. This is a case is less is more!)

1/3 – 1/2 cup Uncooked Rice (another option is cotton batting)

Also Optional: Self-healing Cutting Board, Rotary Cutter, 4-1/2” plastic quilting square (or one for the size you choose)


Low Cost gifts cutting fabric

Step One:

Cut two squares of fabric for each sachet you want to make 1/2″ larger than the finished piece. (For a 4” sachet, cut your fabric 4-1/2” x 4-1/2”.)

A Note of Size: The size depends on you. I have made sachets as small as 2” to place in gift bags for my Psalms 91 Throws.

A 4” is about as large as you would want to make, as anything larger takes quite a bit of filling, if you are using a blend of rice and dried herbs. If you choose cotton batting, you can make a larger size, such as 8” to 10” for a small pillow.

Simple Low Cost Christmas Gift Embroidery

Step Two:

On one square, draw or transfer the pattern you want to embroider. I like hand-drawing a simple shaper, such as a flower or heart. Embroider the image with a coordinating embroidery thread.

Pinning fabric together

Step Three:

Place wrong sides together. (Your embroidered image will be face down.)

Using a needle and a coordinating sewing thread, stitch 1/2″ away from the edge. Stitch around all for sides, but leave a 1” section unstitched at the bottom. This is so you can turn your sachet right side out.

use a funnel to fill sachet bags

Step Four:

In a small bowl, combine the dried herbs and rice. Using a funnel, place the small end inside the opening. Pour the herbs and rice mixture into the funnel cone and fill the sachet to 3/4 full. Remove the funnel and set aside for the next sachet.

Sewing a sachet bag closed

Step Five:

Turn the loose ends of the opening inward, keeping it in line with the seam. With a needle and coordinating sewing thread, stitch the opening closed. (I use a small whip stitch for this step.)

Your sachet is complete!

Simple Low Cost Christmas Gift - Sachets

A Simple, Low Cost Gift Idea for your Sachets

When you make sachets, make them in sets of at least three. Embroider different images on each one, or the same image using different colored embroidery thread. Place them in a small basket or a tin.

These are gifts for women of all ages. Choose your dried herbs according to each person’s favorite. If you aren’t sure, lavender is a scent that is soothing, and loved by most people.

If you don’t grow, or can’t find dried herbs in the scents you like, Essential Oils are a good substitution, but requires a few additional steps.

You will need to mix two to three drops of oil into your rice, and add a teaspoon of cornstarch to the mix. Spread it out on waxed paper, and allow it to dry. Essential oils are a liquid, and can absorb into the fabric.

An Extra Note or Two:

Cotton Batting: If you choose to use cotton batting, simply stuff the sachet, then add approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs (the amount depends on the size sachet).

Another idea for this is to make a larger pillow, approximately 8” to 10” square, or even a rectangle, if you choose. Follow the same directions for the sachet, filling it with cotton batting, and add approximately 1 teaspoon of dried lavender buds to the pillow.

(The amount of dried herbs you add depend on the size of the finished pillow and the strength of the scent you want to come through. Remember, some scents can be overwhelming, so choose your amount judiciously!)

This makes a great gift for an infant or small child, especially one who has difficulty sleeping. PLEASE NOTE: If you are making this for an infant or small child, please consult with the parents first. Some infants and small children may have allergies that can be affected by dried herbs, oils or some aromas.

‘Curing Your Sachets’ – Any time you use rice as a filler, it is wise to place them in a zip-top plastic bag and seal. Place the bag in the freezer for 24 to 48 hours before giving them as a gift.

Rice, just as dried beans, meal, etc., usually has moth larva in it when you purchase it. By freezing it, you kill any larva and won’t have a problems with moths in your gifts.

The Art of Homemaking Manual

Simple, Low Cost Gifts for Christmas

Handmade gifts don’t have to be complicated or expensive. The can be simple, low cost gifts from the heart. For my sachets, I used a muslin curtain I found for fifty cents at a garage sale. There was only one panel, which won’t work for most windows, but still consisted of more than two yards of fabric.

The only real cost for these sachets was a packet of dried lavender I purchased for $2.14, including tax. There was enough to make at least four sachets, which puts the cost of mine to $.52 each. This makes my sachets a true definition of simple, low cost Christmas gifts!

A Gift of Love

Giving a handmade gift is the same as giving someone a piece of your heart for Christmas. It tells the recipient they are worth the time and effort it takes to create something especially for them.

Make simple, low cost handmade gifts a bigger part of your gift giving this season, and let your family and friends know how much you love them!

Love the idea of using sachets as gifts? The printable instructions to make them can be found in Have a Merry, Simple Christmas – along with Tips, Recipes, Printables and more DIY gift ideas! Order yours today and get started!

Want to add to your list of simple, low cost Christmas gifts? Check out these posts!

Handmade Christmas Series

How To Reduce Waste this Christmas  – From Annie at 15 Acre Homestead
Make Gift Worthy Bread Mix in a Jar – From Kathi at Oakhill Homestead

Chunky Arm-Knit Blanket  – From Shawna at Homestead Reliance

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. I like to make bottles of vanilla , body scrubs, and baked goods for gifts since I’m not crafty. My daughters and daughter in law all really like the scrubs , saying they smell heavenly! Yet so simple!! And my grandkids like the candy I make as presents. I live on a VERY limited income so this helps.

  2. These look so easy! Thank you for the idea and directions.

    1. They are easy, Kathi. You are so welcome!

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