Stretching Your Dollar... Making gifts and making money

By Maureen O'Boyle - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For many families, this holiday season the idea of shopping for gifts can mean more of a financial headache than a time of joy.  That's why many neighbors are making their gifts or using their crafty skills to earn extra money for Christmas shopping.

We met Julie, she is married with three children.  Back in college, Julie worked at a florist and learned how to make bows.

"For years, I made bows for people, they'd bring me their ribbon and I'd make the bows. One lady would make chicken pot pies as a trade. But no one ever paid me," according to Julie.

This year, Julie decided to turn that skill into cash for Christmas.  With the help of her husband, she set up a web page with pictures of the bows, ribbon choices and price list.  She sent out an email blast to family and friends and before she knew, the orders were pouring in.

Wendy Gardner decided to create a simple bear pattern and make homemade bears as gifts. Using her husband's old shirts, some store bought stuffing and glass eyes, Wendy puts about 50 cents into each bear.  The response has been so good to her huggable creations, she's now selling them.

Consider the skills you have.  Perhaps there is something you can make as a homemade gift, and maybe it's something can sell.  There was a time when most gifts were homemade.

Giving a gift you've crafted from scratch just might be the best present your loved one receives this year.

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