You love your family so much!
You enjoy giving them gifts, but you're broke!
No problem! It's possible to find or make free gifts that show your love yet don't break the bank. And chances are, these gifts might be even more appreciated than store-bought items. 🥰
Discover free gift ideas for family members of all ages!
1. Plants and Other Living Things
Do you have a green thumb? Does your family member admire nature?
Give them plant-related gifts!
Spider plant babies: Clip off one of the plant's offshoots and put it in an egg carton holder. Include a link to these spider plant care tips. Soon they'll have a larger plant and they can pay it forward!
Produce: Everyone loves home-grown vegetables! Gift your produce as-is or pickle veggies such as cucumbers or beets in vinegar. Place in a clean, recycled jar and add a homemade label.
Wildflowers: Pick some beautiful blossoms in the woods, then tie them with a ribbon or place them in a repurposed glass vessel.
2. Written Sentiments
Do you have a way with words? Put your thoughts into writing to create a meaningful and lasting gift that your family member will cherish for years to come.
Write a poem that expresses your love for them. Use this guide to get started.
Make a homemade card that includes a note of appreciation.
Write a song for your loved one! Give them the sheet music you wrote, record and send it to them, or sing it live.
3. Upcycled Found Items
You likely have lots of items inside or outside of your home that you can upcycle into gifts! (Note: you may need paint or glue for some of these projects).
Go outside and gather pinecones, shells, rocks, twigs, branches, or whatever is in your area.
Make pinecones into ornaments by adding string or yarn. Adorn with glitter if you have some on hand.
Glue shells onto cardboard cut in the shape of a photo frame. Insert an image and voila!
Use a fallen branch as home decor. Put it in a pail or planer, spray paint it, and hang natural elements on it. Beautiful!
Paint rocks with inspirational words like these.
Look around your home for gently used items to upcycle!
Make a scarf out of an old wool sweater. No sewing skills needed!
Grab an old piece of wood and make a personalized sign by painting a scene or the person's name on it. Add a hanger on the back.
Grab your old Legos and make a fun photo puzzle! The video below shows you how:
Is your family member nostalgic? Do they love looking at photos or listening to music?
Use your multimedia talents to make these thoughtful gifts!
Video: Scan old photos or use ones on your phone. Add music and captions for a personalized keepsake.
Playlist of their favorite songs: Both Apple Music and Spotify have options for creating playlists and sending them to others.
Google Maps Memory Collection: Curate a collection of your favorite places and share it with them. This video clip shows how:
5. Service and Time
You have time; your family member needs help! A gift of service is super considerate and all you need to do is show up when you're needed.
You can offer to:
Babysit for their children while they go out to dinner.
Help with yard work or household chores.
Wash and vacuum their car.
Teach them computer skills.
Serve as the butler or server at their next party.
Reflect on what you're good at and match your talents to their needs!
6. Games and Events
Does your family member love games and activities?
Put together a game or activity for them and let the fun begin!
Make a deck of trivia cards for an intergenerational competition.
Coordinate a scavenger hunt.
Make family discussion cards using this template Then gather together and have a wonderful conversation!
Cerie doesn't have extra money for gifts this year. She loves to paint and draw. Which of these gifts would be best? Select all that apply:
There are lots of options for meaningful, free gifts for your family members. Brainstorm more ideas based on your talents and interests!