Hi Elyse,

I saw your post in which you mentioned making Christmas
ornaments. Have a look in the archives, at messages 1183
and 1202. I posted ideas for ornaments and Christmas gifts
made with salt dough. Perhaps this will be up your alley. It
definitely fits the "squeaking tight" budget category.

I didn't search beyond that, but I also remember a lengthy
post I did some time ago on ideas for making gift baskets.
If you look at the archives, put in the search category for
gift baskets, and you'll probably find the post to which I'm

For years, I always made cakes and breads for gifts as well,
and those who were on that cake or bread list were eager
to receive their particular gifts each year. In fact, I recall
one person--a professional contact--who made a point of
asking me one year because he wanted to know whether I
was giving him another of my cakes, that if I was, he wasn't
ordering the Macadamia Nut Cake from Hawaii to try to
satisfy his fix for my cake! lol And for those who are
wondering how I've wrapped these cakes and breads--very
simply--the shiny side of the foil (yes, aluminum foil) on the
outside makes a stunning gift wrap especially for baked
goods, and just top it with one of those stick on bows.

When you have a recipe for a large cake, make the small

loaf pan version of the recipe instead. I got so I could make
one large cake that would serve 12-16 or the precise recipe
for two loaf pans that served 6-12...or three mini loaf pans
that served 2-4. People love that you took the time to make
something that began with your heart.

Hope that helps.