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    Former MSE Debs
    The Festive Fivers competition is back!
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 12, 12:06 PM
    The Festive Fivers competition is back! 19th Oct 12 at 12:06 PM

    Thank you so much for all your festive fiver ideas. There have been some wonderfully innovativeideas to give lots of people food for thought. While the competition is closed please feel free to keep adding and discussing ideas.

    The winners are listed below:

    The £500 overall winner!

    The 12 dates of Christmas - lil_liz

    The best adult's suggestion winner

    Paint sample calendar - sarahjgent

    The best kids' suggestion winner

    Santa's sleigh bell - vikki_louise

    Runners Up

    50 Sheds of Grey - ashton53
    Hidden compartment book and story cubes - xfive71
    Activity scrapbook - maudycow
    Scrabble picture print - MissMonkeyMoo
    Vinyl wall clock - meeshpeesh
    Antique tea cup candle - babyshambles
    Chocolate slab - Own My Own
    Bling the grim - londonlydia

    Also, check out the 2008 forum discussion for more great ideas of this ilk.

    Back to the original post


    We're re-launching our Festive Fivers competition to find the best clever, weird, romantic, thoughtful or practical present idea to make or buy, for a kid or grown-up for less than £5.

    There's £500 up for grabs for the winner plus 2x£100 prizes for runners up.

    What's a 'festive fiver'?

    A sub-£5 present that can be bought (inlcuding any delivery), made, or a combination of the two. We've had a fantastic response in the past, with some truly original entries, including the "perfect" (gingerbread) man, sand art brownies and an edible art set for kids.

    See the full list of past winners and runners-up in the Festive Fivers guide for some inspiration and get your Christmassy thinking cap on!

    What'll happen to all the suggestions?

    A list of the best suggestions will be categorised and published on the site in mid-November.

    Remember, there's no such thing as a bad suggestion and even if you don't think it's a winner, submit it anyway as a gesture of goodwill for all the MoneySavers out there looking to save some pennies.

    Previous entries won't be accepted (and this includes previous ideas rewritten).

    For obvious reasons, entries that have been in previous competitions will be winners, so have a quick read of the previous Festive Fivers article to see what's already there before submitting your idea.

    What's the deadline?

    *Mon 12 Nov 2012*

    The winners will be announced on the site and in Martin's Money Tips within a week or two from then. You'll then be contacted via private message, so please make sure you check your forum inbox to see if you've won.

    How to enter?

    Simply hit 'reply' and enter the details of your suggestion. You can enter as many times as you like, either in one post or several (and of course it's free).

    Please put your answer in the following format
    • Name of present:
    • Whether it's bought or homemade:
    • Total cost:
    • Details (where it's from, how to make it etc):
    • A link to the offer if it's online (where possible):
    For example
    • Name of present: Feet of love
    • Bought or homemade? Homemade
    • Total Cost: around £2
    • Details (the more, the better): Buy some clay from an art store and mould into a flat circle. Leave an imprint of your child's foot in the clay, carve in the name and then decorate with glossy paint. You could tie string through it to make a nice wall hanging. Alternatively, for a simpler (and messier) version, you could do the same with paint and paper and frame the footprints.
    Good Luck!

    The MSE Team
    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 05-12-2012 at 10:55 AM.
Page 1
    • bella165
    • By bella165 30th Oct 12, 6:54 PM
    • 12,881 Posts
    • 371,876 Thanks
    • #2
    • 30th Oct 12, 6:54 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Oct 12, 6:54 PM
    oh sounds like a fab idea
    Replies to posts are always welcome, if they are done in the correct manner. If I have made a mistake in the post, I am human, tell me nicely and it will be corrected. If your reply cannot be nice, has an underlying issue, or you believe that you are God, please post in another forum. Thank you
    • knitnut
    • By knitnut 30th Oct 12, 8:45 PM
    • 651 Posts
    • 2,621 Thanks
    • #3
    • 30th Oct 12, 8:45 PM
    Anti-stress kit
    • #3
    • 30th Oct 12, 8:45 PM
    Name of present: ANTI-STRESS KIT
    Whether it's bought or homemade: homemade (most items you will have around the house)
    Total cost: £1 approx.
    Details: Get a small clear plastic bag like the ones you get a birthday card in. Put in the following items - a rubber, a penny, a marble, an elastic band, a piece of string and some chocolate sweets. Seal the bag and write or print the following and either attach to front of bag or put it inside.


    A RUBBER to make all those little mistakes go away
    A PENNY so you will never be completely broke
    A MARBLE for those days when you’re sure you’ve lost all yours
    An ELASTIC to help you stretch beyond your current limits
    A STRING to hold it all together when it seems to be falling apart
    And CHOCOLATE TREATS to remind you that someone cares about you.

    • rachiebbz
    • By rachiebbz 30th Oct 12, 8:52 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 12, 8:52 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 12, 8:52 PM
    This is something I once did as a present for someone when money was low and i'd had a lot of good times with them.

    Name of present: Memory Scrapbook
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Homemade
    Total cost: £0
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): All you need is some coloured paper or card, even white A4 paper, colouring pencils and some imagination would work! All you need to do is create a scrap book of memories you've shared with the person you're giving it to. Old cinema/gig tickets, photos, quotes...anything that reminds you of the times you've spent together. And instead of staples, hole punch the top corner and tie all the pages together with some pretty ribbon.
    For kids you can even make the book but leave it blank so they can fill it in from the start of 2013 onwards .
    A link to the offer if it's online (where possible):n/a
  • embem87
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 12, 9:08 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 12, 9:08 PM
    Name of present: Memory Jar
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Homemade
    Total cost: £0 - £2
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): Use an old jar from food storage. Take some paper or card and cut it into Business card sized pieces. On each piece of paper write a memory of the person the gift is for, stick a photo, or a draw a picture. To help complete, you can get other friends or family to help by putting their memories down too. Once complete, fold the pieces in half and place them in the jar. Decorate the jar as you like, using old cloth and a rubber band for the lid, or ribbon, etc.
    The idea of the gift is that every day, your recipient will take out one piece of paper and read the memory, this will make them remember everyday for that year just how special they are and how much you love them.
    • suzeesu2000
    • By suzeesu2000 30th Oct 12, 9:11 PM
    • 662 Posts
    • 4,577 Thanks
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 12, 9:11 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 12, 9:11 PM
    Name of present: hanging hearts

    Whether it's bought or homemade: homemade

    Total cost: nil

    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): cut 2 pieces of stiff card into a heart shape, I usually do one then use it as a template for all others. Roll some scrap newspaper into scrunches and stick them to hearts, leaving a gap around the edge. Add a good length of either string or ribbon through the middle and secure, leave a decent length on either end for decorations. Tape the other heart to first, lining edges up and squeezing so the middle is fat and the edges are all thin. Cover in couple of layers of Newspaper and final layer of kitchen roll or tissue. When dry, decorate with either fabric or paint or wrapping paper. Add big beads or other decorations to the bottom ribbon securing well, tie top into a tidy loop for hanging. I made three of these in descending sizes and hung them on the same ribbon, colour co-ordinated scrap fabric and they look fab!

    A link to the offer if it's online (where possible):N/A
    Saving 1 animal wont change the world - but it will change the world for that 1 animal

    weight loss since 19/12/16 - 1 stone!!
    Grocery challenge Jan '17 - unspent £35.17/£80 budget
    • 1659
    • By 1659 30th Oct 12, 9:52 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 3,083 Thanks
    • #7
    • 30th Oct 12, 9:52 PM
    Name of present - Homemade vouchers
    • #7
    • 30th Oct 12, 9:52 PM
    Name of present - Homemade vouchers
    Cost - pennies
    Simply cut up some paper and make into vouchers for your services. E.G. dusting, vacuuming, window cleaning, car washing etc. Try to offer vouchers for the specific chores that the recipients detest doing the most to make them really appreciate your gift. Wrap them up really nicely so they have a gift to open.
  • LarryEeles
    • #8
    • 30th Oct 12, 11:35 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Oct 12, 11:35 PM
    Name of present: Homemade Jam
    Bought or homemade? Homemade
    Total Cost: around £1 - £2 or even less...
    Details: Go for a walk and hunt for some blackberry bushes. Collect 500g for fruit or more. Download a nice recipe from the BBC website. You only have to buy jam sugar, and a lemon. Recycle old jam jars and decorate the lid with some nice material.
    • hvd201
    • By hvd201 31st Oct 12, 12:07 AM
    • 685 Posts
    • 744 Thanks
    • #9
    • 31st Oct 12, 12:07 AM
    • #9
    • 31st Oct 12, 12:07 AM
    I first did these a few years ago and keep on getting requests to do them for friends, family and when new additions arrive in a family.

    Name of present: Personalised Christmas baubles.

    Whether it's bought or homemade: Mixture of both.

    Total cost: The initial outlay is around £10 but then once you have the items you only have the cost of the bauble to consider. I would say that it works out at around £3 per bauble if making over 6 of them (the more you make the cheaper it becomes and the price also depends on the type of bauble you choose).

    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc):
    Time it takes: About 10 - 15 minutes per bauble at the begnning but the more you do them the quicker you get! If you do a few at a time it also takes a lot less time, plus it's quite fun to do.
    What you need:
    Firstly buy some plain baubles, I like cream or gold coloured ones (around £2 each, normally on some type of offer eg 3 for 2 or in big packs. The glass ones are more expensive than the plastic ones although I find the glass ones slightly easier to work with and the end result better. Preferably a matte surface rather than completely smooth). Try B&Q, Homebase, BHS etc. until you find one you like.
    Secondly go to a craft shop and buy a little pot of red paint (I use ceramic paint as that's what my local store had and it was cheap, but I'd have thought glass paint would be just as good. It needs to be fairly thick.) around £2 but this will do lots and lots of baubles. I'm still using the same pot after 3 years! You will also need some small flaked silver glitter (less than £1 but, again, will do many baubles, doesn't have to be silver but I think it goes best with the red paint), a thin fairly decent paintbrush (£4-ish), some optional pretty ribbon (£1 for a few metres) and some grease-proof paper (most people will have this in a kitchen cupboard!). Oh, and a pencil!
    What to do:
    What I do is go onto the computer and print out a stencil of the name I want to place onto the bauble in a pretty italic font and suitable size (this means it will be evenly sized, smart and professional looking). I use a dark pencil to trace the outline of the name and then turn the grease proof paper onto the other side and trace again filling in the complete font (so it is not just the outline but whole letters, and it will also look like it's written backwards). Now place this trace onto the bauble and rub the pencil over the top and the pencil lead should leave a mark with the pretty italic name directly onto the bauble (this is why you need a matte, not smooth, bauble).
    Get your paintbrush, dip into the paint and fill in the name left by the pencil mark on the bauble, make sure not to paint it too lightly/thinly as I think it looks better with fairly thick paint as it gives more depth and is better for the glitter to stick onto. When you are finished painting the name on then you get the glitter and sprinkle it over the paint whilst it's still wet. Leave it to dry by hanging it up somewhere (i use a clothespeg on a clothes line and dangle it by the attached thread). When dry I like to use some pretty ribbon (maybe red tartan) to smarten it up a bit for hanging it on the tree instead of the thin nylon hanging thread baubles normally come with.
    A tip: if you make a mistake with the paint, if you get a cotton bud and dip it in nail varnish remover then you should be able to fix any small mistakes.

    A link to the offer if it's online (where possible): It's homemade so not available online.

    With the stencilling I find that they look really professional and it means that if you have a family to do baubles for then they all look similar. We hang ours on our Christmas tree but friends hang them from the bed headboard, above the mantelpiece, they end up in all sorts of places.
    I will try and dig out the Christmas decoration box and show you some of my first attempts - as with most things they tend to get better the more you do them - but my first two were for my parents and they adorn the tree every year.

    Enjoy! I find making them fun, relaxing and very satisfying. I'm not normally very arty but even I can do these, no artistic skils necessary!
    • ashton53
    • By ashton53 31st Oct 12, 12:18 AM
    • 698 Posts
    • 39,796 Thanks
    Name of present: 50 Sheds Of Grey
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Bought
    Total cost/details: £2.48 Google Play Ebook (or £5 from Amazon including delivery if you want a hardbacked real-life version)
    A link to the offer if it's online (where possible): Google Play or Amazon:

    I bought this little book for my dad as he loves his shed and we both found it hilarious - it's a parody of the 50 Shades Of Grey book (about 140 pages of one-liners that are all shed or garden based Carry-On style double entendres). Nothing too naughty though. An ideal present for middle aged men (or women as I loved it too) who are into sheds or gardening (and you want an alternative from socks again).
  • lyds_again
    Name of present: Finger Fairytale Tattoos
    Bought or homemade? Bought
    Total Cost: £3.50
    Details: Turn little fingers into puppets! really good idea for kids presents. Each pack contains 20 fairytale theme finger puppet tattoos. Variations can be bought; finger farm and finger monsters as well as tattoos for hands. (Temporary tattoos obviously!) pack sizes are 92 x 137mm - also good to send in the post!
  • Laurer
    Gardeners' Plant Marker Stones
    Name of present: Gardeners' Plant Marker Stones
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Combination of both
    Total cost: Approx £1 for a few stones
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc):
    • Collect some flat stones from the beach
    • Paint pictures of or the words of the fruits and vegetables your gardener friend often grows on the stones
    • Leave to dry
    • Varnish if necessary
    • Tell the recipient to place these in the soil next to the relevant plant to show what is what and for a better looking and personalised alternative to standard labels

    I'm going to do this for my Dad this year.
    Debt paid off/Total Debt: £9,000/£9,000
    • meanmum
    • By meanmum 31st Oct 12, 5:50 AM
    • 597 Posts
    • 765 Thanks
    Name of present: Personalised collage
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Bit of both
    Total cost: around £5 for a professional print (see MSE photo offers for deals)
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): you need plenty of photos relevant to someone (of special people or places), or can go & take some, then make up a collage print using one of the photo printing sites. It takes a bit of work choosing the right photos, but that's what makes it special. You could do just photos of the last year (I did one for my parents rather than a photo calendar, as they liked to see all the photos all year!), a memory of a special holiday, or even throughout someone's life for a special birthday (sorry, off topic).
    Using black & white photos can work well, as can some of the special effect photo apps. You could frame it if you can spend a bit more (or can find some cheap offers on prints & frames, or have a suitable frame already)
  • sn00ze
    alphabet box for grandparents
    A thoughtful christmas present is to make up and label presents with the letter on each package...causes lots of guessing and can last all christmas day. The gifts can be a mixture of homemade and everyday useful..... e.g. biscuits for "b", xmas bauble for "X", photo for "p".... needs a lot of thought but is really well received and children can contribute.... even "zest" of lemon can go in a you see its easy when you get going!
    • Linet82
    • By Linet82 31st Oct 12, 6:21 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Name of present: Personalised e-reader case
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Homemade
    Total cost: Around £5
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): Sew a case for someone who loves their e-reader! I made one for my husband, and my sewing skills are limited. You need small pieces of cotton quilt batting for the padding and an elastic band (buy), some nice main fabric for the case and simple fabric for the lining (fabric scraps, old pillow cases/curtains, shop samples...), and a sewing machine with some thread to use. I "embroidered" my husband's first name on the front. Making this case was a bit fiddly, but he loves it and takes it everywhere (since last Christmas!)
    A link to the offer if it's online (where possible): I used this tutorial as guidance - change the dimensions to fit your e-reader: (put www. in front, forum won't let me post a link)
  • Purple Heyes
    Festive fivers - personalised calendar
    Make a 2013 calendar with your own photographs for each month of the year. This is a great present for anyone, particularly grandparents.
    Just upload your photos and add any personal special dates. Cost is 99p but, with postage and packing it's just £4.85. It looks great and so much more expensive than it actually is.
    I uploaded a special photograph for each month of the year, added a caption and also added some comments and icons on special dates of the year (birthdays etc.) all included in the price. My comments and icons were in black and white. You can add them in colour but this will add to the cost (40p per icon, I think). The photographs are in colour.
    they have up to 28 days to deliver but mine has been dispatched after only a week.
    Go to
  • morgand12002
    Tressure Hunt
    Name of present: Tressure Hunt
    Whether it's bought or homemade: Combination of both
    Total cost: Approx £5 give or take.
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc):

    My ex boyfriend had an inner child that came out, especially at Xmas. So one morning I got up very early and hid little funsize chocolate bars round the house, with notes/clues attached to them with an elastic band which he had to guess where the next pressie was hidden to get to his big present.

    When he got up out of bed I gave him a envelope which explained everything. Lets say it kept him busy for a looong time whilst I made the chrimas lunch. I remember one clue because it took him 'forever' to work out said 'its big, blue and we'd be lost on a sunday without it'? It was the JML dry buddy, our central heating wasnt working so on a sunday when he washed his clothes for work the buddy was a life saver. So after he did all his clues and got to the main pressie it was in a 'huge' box. But the present inside which tacky, it was a blow up doll (unused) which I won by auction off ebay.

    Lets say it didnt go down well because he was expecting something expensive. Which I did have for after lunch BUT thought that would be fun and was.
  • Lucylocket78
    Piccie Prezzie for Creative Kids
    • Name of present: Piccie Prezzie
    • Whether it's bought or homemade: Bought
    • Total cost: £4.74
    • Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): Buy a funky photo album from Wilkinsons or similar (£1.75) and pair it with a disposable camera ~ eBay have super-cheap ones for approx. £2.99 (could even buy a joblot and give this fab prezzie to all the creative, small people in your life, for an even bigger saving!) Children will have great fun getting creative and taking their own pictures to fill their album. I've even given this present to a 3-year old, who LOVED it!!
    • A link to the offer if it's online (where possible):
    • Glpark01
    • By Glpark01 31st Oct 12, 7:36 AM
    • 201 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    Name of present: Personal photo calendar (im doing this for my secret santa with photos of her son that i've borrowed from her facebook)
    Whether it's bought or homemade: both
    Total cost: £2.25
    Details (where it's from, how to make it etc): one of these from ebay and order the prints from jessops as part of their 40 free prints when you sign up and collect in store so no delivery charge.
    A link to the offer if it's online (where possible): calendar and photo offer
  • Tinks32
    Fir Cone Bird seed Feeder
    Total cost £00.50
    Collect some fir cones, (the bigger the better) the best time to do this after strong winds, before the squirrel's get there before you!
    Twist some wire around the fat base of the fir cone.
    Dip in some melted lard
    Roll the cone in mixed bird seed, for extra special treat poke some raisins in some gaps.
    Leave in a cool place to set.
    When you give the bird cone feeder advise the recipient to hang in a shady place for the birds to enjoy!
    I normally make a huge batch to keep me and my loved ones going all through the winter.
    Last edited by Tinks32; 31-10-2012 at 8:50 AM.
    If you don't ask, you don't get!
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