Money Crashers

Money Crashers

Money Crashers
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Money Crashers
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<title>Money Crashers</title>
<description>Personal Finance Guide to Turn the Tables on Money</description>
<title>39 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas – Craft Your Own Homemade Presents</title>
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<description>&lt;p&gt;Do-it-yourself gifts get a bad rap. Looking down on them as either cheap substitutes for store-bought gifts or too complicated, people often overlook homemade Christmas gifts&amp;nbsp;as a source for delivering holiday cheer. But there are tons of ideas for handmade gifts&amp;nbsp;your friends and family will love.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;And there’s solid science to back up going the DIY route. Often, the best gifts aren’t about the cost. Instead, it’s the sentiment that adds the value. A 2015 study published in the &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Journal of Personality and Social Psychology&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;found that the pleasure that comes from getting something new declines over time, but the sentimental value does not.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Plus, not only are DIY gifts special and unique, done right, they can save you money. Assuming you have a few basic tools, like scissors or a glue gun, you can do many of them for under $10 — some for under $5.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Finally, tons of DIY gift ideas&amp;nbsp;are so simple to make even a DIY newbie can pull them off. You don’t need to know how to sew or crochet, bake, or do extensive carpentry. Nor do these ideas require any out-of-the-ordinary tools, like a vinyl cutting machine or a miter saw — just the kinds of common craft supplies many people already have plus a few basic supplies you can pick up at the &lt;a href=””&gt;dollar store&lt;/a&gt;, craft store, or &lt;a href=””&gt;grocery store&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;So, whether you’re looking to &lt;a href=””&gt;save a little money on gifts&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;this holiday season, need some creative DIY stocking stuffer&amp;nbsp;ideas,&amp;nbsp;or want to give friends and family something that comes from the heart, there are plenty of options for DIY gifts for every person on your holiday list.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.xjojvatblhrj”&gt;DIY&amp;nbsp;Christmas Gifts&amp;nbsp;for Everyone&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;From holiday gifts&amp;nbsp;for &lt;a href=””&gt;moms&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and &lt;a href=””&gt;dads&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to &lt;a href=””&gt;grandparents&lt;/a&gt;, aunts, uncles, siblings, and even &lt;a href=””&gt;boyfriends&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and &lt;a href=””&gt;girlfriends&lt;/a&gt;, there are dozens of ideas for handmade gifts&amp;nbsp;for everyone on your list. Plus, there’s nothing resembling a macaroni necklace or hard-as-a-brick fruitcake in sight.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.ob44keaukmca”&gt;Homemade Bath &amp;amp; Body Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img loading=”lazy” class=”aligncenter size-inpost_fullwidth wp-image-266841″ src=”×455.jpg” alt=”Homemade Bath Salt Lavendar” width=”696″ height=”391″ srcset=”×455.jpg 810w,×516.jpg 918w,×51.jpg 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px”&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=””&gt;Homemade bath and body products&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;are beloved by everyone. After all, who couldn’t use a little R&amp;amp;R? Plus, they’re simple and quick to make — even kids can do it.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.y4ruj0ejmo9r”&gt;1. Gingerbread&amp;nbsp;Bath Salts&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This recipe gives a relaxing bath soak a fun and festive twist. But you can easily alter the ingredients to make any scent you want. Simply replace the gingerbread&amp;nbsp;spices with 15 to 20 drops of essential oil, such as &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;lavender&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Yields&lt;/strong&gt;: 3 cups&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 large bowl&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 whisk&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;2 cups&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;Epsom salts&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;sea salt&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup baking soda&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 teaspoon cinnamon&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;2 teaspoons ground ginger&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 teaspoon ground nutmeg&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1&amp;nbsp;(25-ounce) &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Mason jar&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;with a hinged lid&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 decorative gift tag&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Hole punch (optional)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;In the large bowl, whisk&amp;nbsp;the Epsom salts, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg&amp;nbsp;until the spices are evenly distributed.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Pour the bath salts&amp;nbsp;into the jar, and seal the lid.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Write the following instructions on the back of your decorative gift tag: “Dissolve 1/2 cup in bathwater,” and then thread it onto a festive ribbon (use a hole punch to create a hole for the ribbon if your tag doesn’t have one). Tie the ribbon around the neck of the jar.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Note&lt;/strong&gt;: &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”;amp;ga_search_type=all&amp;amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;amp;ga_search_query=gingerbread+gift+tag&amp;amp;ref=sr_gallery-1-4&amp;amp;organic_search_click=1″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Dandelion Paper&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;on Etsy has some cute options for gingerbread&amp;nbsp;gift tags.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.kouycr7a5quz”&gt;2. Candy Cane&amp;nbsp;Sugar Scrub&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This recipe uses a peppermint&amp;nbsp;scent and a layering effect for a seasonal take on a moisturizing, exfoliating scrub. The coconut oil solidifies at room temperature — that’s one of the benefits of using it in this recipe. It keeps the candy cane&amp;nbsp;layers from combining. When your recipient uses it, the warmth of their hands melts the oil.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Yields&lt;/strong&gt;: 3 cups&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 large microwave-safe bowl&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;3/4 cup &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;refined coconut oil&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;3 cups granulated sugar&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 wooden spoon&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;10 – 15 drops &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;peppermint essential oil&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 medium glass or stainless steel bowl&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Red food coloring&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 (25-ounce) Mason jar&amp;nbsp;with a hinged lid&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 decorative gift tag&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;In the large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the coconut oil in 30-second increments until just melted.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Add the sugar, and use the wooden spoon to mix. Add 10 to 15 drops of peppermint&amp;nbsp;oil to your preferred strength, and stir to combine.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Transfer half the sugar scrub&amp;nbsp;into the medium glass or stainless steel bowl. It’s best to use glass or stainless steel, as other materials might become tinted when you add the food coloring. Add 1 to 2 drops of red food coloring to the medium bowl, and mix thoroughly. You want just enough to tint this half of the sugar scrub&amp;nbsp;pink. Too much food coloring could stain the user’s skin or bathtub.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Scoop some of the white sugar scrub&amp;nbsp;into the jar, and tamp it down. Then repeat with some of the pink. Keep alternating layers until you’ve filled the jar. Seal the lid.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Tie a festive ribbon around the neck of the jar. Write the following instructions on your gift tag: “To use, rub a small amount between your hands to melt the oil. Smooth it over any areas in need of exfoliation.” Affix the tag to the jar.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Note&lt;/strong&gt;: &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”;amp;ga_search_type=all&amp;amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;amp;ga_search_query=candy+cane+gift+tag+bath+salts&amp;amp;ref=sc_gallery-1-2&amp;amp;plkey=620e1d0c893acb6ef6a4091ba9e552c195bbdad6%3A747791952&amp;amp;pro=1″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Mabb Rose Designs&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;on Etsy has an editable tag&amp;nbsp;that’s perfect for this gift. Just edit the ingredients to match this recipe.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.foovgfhbv4rk”&gt;3. Sugar Cookie Milk Bath&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Milk baths provide a luxurious and soothing spa-like experience. The lactic acid in milk helps exfoliate dead skin cells, resulting in soft, glowing skin. And the vanilla in this recipe gives it a sweet-smelling holiday vibe.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Yields&lt;/strong&gt;: 4 cups&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 large bowl&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 whisk&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;2 cups powdered milk&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 cup cornstarch&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup baking soda&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup Epsom salts&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;15 – 20&amp;nbsp;drops &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;vanilla essential oil&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 (32-ounce) &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Mason jar&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;with a hinged lid&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 decorative gift tag&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Hole punch (optional)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;In a large bowl, whisk the powdered milk, cornstarch, baking soda, and Epsom salts.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Whisk in the vanilla essential oil&amp;nbsp;a few drops at a time until you reach your preferred strength.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Pour the milk bath into the jar, and seal the lid.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Write the following instructions on the back of the gift tag: “Add 1/2 cup to running bathwater,” and then thread it onto a festive ribbon (use a hole punch to create a hole for the ribbon if your tag doesn’t have one). Tie the ribbon around the neck of the jar.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Note&lt;/strong&gt;: &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”;amp;ga_search_type=all&amp;amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;amp;ga_search_query=sugar+cookie+gift+tag&amp;amp;ref=sr_gallery-1-16&amp;amp;organic_search_click=1″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Cat Bone Design&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;on Etsy has a sugar cookie-themed gift tag&amp;nbsp;perfect for this gift.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.qc1rkk19i2qt”&gt;4. Coffee-Scented Soap&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For a much-needed pick-me-up on early mornings, set up the recipient on your list with some soap infused with coffee grounds. The grounds help exfoliate skin. Plus, according to &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Healthline&lt;/a&gt;,&amp;nbsp;coffee comes with the added benefits of being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiaging.&amp;nbsp;If you’re new to soap-making, go with an easy melt-and-pour recipe using &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;goat’s milk soap base&lt;/a&gt;, coffee grounds, and &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;coffee essential oil&lt;/a&gt;. For an even more delicious fragrance, try adding some vanilla essential oil.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Happiness is Homemade&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.wb5g9au0x8dr”&gt;5. Rosemary-Mint Shaving Cream&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Shaving cream is an ideal bath and body gift suitable for anyone, especially if you opt for the refreshing herbal scents of rosemary and mint. Combine coconut oil, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;shea butter&lt;/a&gt;, and either &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;jojoba oil&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;almond oil&lt;/a&gt; (you could also use olive oil) with mint and &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;rosemary essential oils&lt;/a&gt;. It’s the same combination of ingredients I use on my skin daily, which leaves it smooth and soft. Your loved one&amp;nbsp;may never want to go back to the store-bought kind in a can.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Food for My Family&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.8g1hx8ejcqj2″&gt;6. Herbal Aftershave&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The astringents in aftershave, such as &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;witch hazel&lt;/a&gt;,&amp;nbsp;reduce irritation and refresh the senses. Homemade healing aftershave incorporates jojoba oil and &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;vitamin E&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;for extra-soothing skin benefits. You can pair this gift with the homemade shaving cream and match the same rosemary-and-mint scent. Or use any skin-soothing essential oils&amp;nbsp;you have on hand, like &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;geranium&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;chamomile&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Evermine&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.udtyf3mzhu16″&gt;7. Beard Oil&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Homemade beard oil is a DIY gift every bewhiskered recipient can use. Mix a carrier oil, like almond or jojoba, with some essential oils. Try rosemary and mint if you’re making a complete grooming set gift basket&amp;nbsp;along with the shaving cream and aftershave. Then package the oil in a small amber dropper bottle and finish it with a printed label.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Everything Etsy&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.hvqyo6t38hcv”&gt;8. Hidden Surprise Bath Bombs&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Bath bombs&amp;nbsp;are a perennial favorite beloved by all ages, and they’re an easy yet impressive DIY. This year, up your bath bomb&amp;nbsp;game by hiding a special surprise inside for a unique gift for anyone on your list, from 9 to 99.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;A small plastic toy — like a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;plastic dinosaur&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;— that slowly appears as the bath bomb&amp;nbsp;melts is a delight for kids. For an adult gift, try hiding inexpensive (even homemade) jewelry like a ring or necklace. Or opt for a personalized message printed on a slip of paper. For tweens or teens, opt for a monetary surprise.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Anything smaller than 2 inches works well for a bath bomb&amp;nbsp;between 2.5 and 3 inches. You can make anything that can’t get wet, such as surprises made of paper, waterproof by tucking them inside a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;vending machine capsule&lt;/a&gt;. In fact, you can also use vending machine capsules (or even plastic Easter eggs) as bath bomb&amp;nbsp;molds. Just adjust the size of your surprise to fit.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You can also use the same recipe to make bath bombs&amp;nbsp;without the surprise. And no matter&amp;nbsp;the age, bath bombs&amp;nbsp;make excellent stocking stuffers.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Yields&lt;/strong&gt;: 6 (depending on the size of the mold)&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 large bowl&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 whisk&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 cup baking soda&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup Epsom salts&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup cornstarch&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1/2 cup citric acid&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;2 tablespoons &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fractionated coconut oil&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Food coloring (any color or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;combination&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Essential oil&amp;nbsp;(any scent or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;combination&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Water in a spray bottle&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Small gifts (no larger than 2 inches)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Vending machine balls large enough for your gifts (optional)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Round &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;bath bomb molds&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Shrink-wrap bags or airtight container&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;In a large bowl, whisk the baking soda, Epsom salts, cornstarch, and citric acid until thoroughly combined.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Very slowly add coconut oil while whisking. Don’t add any wet ingredients too fast, or you’ll activate the fizzing action prematurely.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Slowly add a food coloring of your choice, a few drops at a time, and whisk it in.&amp;nbsp;Continue adding a few drops at a time until you reach your desired shade.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Add 1 to 4 drops of essential oil.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Using the water bottle, lightly spritz the mixture and quickly mix it in by hand. Keep spraying and mixing, one spritz at a time, until the mixture resembles wet sand. You want it just moist enough that it holds together when packed, but no wetter.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Firmly pack a little bit of the mixture into your mold. Then place the surprise&amp;nbsp;inside and keep pressing and packing around it. Fill the top half of the mold, and carve out a hole large enough for the surprise&amp;nbsp;to squeeze inside, keeping the mixture packed firmly. It doesn’t have to be exact, as any extra mix will easily squeeze out of the mold. Press the two halves of the mold together.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Allow it to dry for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the top half of the mold.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Let it dry completely overnight, remove the bottom half of the mold, and package the bath bomb&amp;nbsp;in a shrink-wrap bag or airtight container.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.2xwza7stpeie”&gt;Handmade Jewelry Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img loading=”lazy” class=”aligncenter size-inpost_fullwidth wp-image-266842″ src=”×455.jpg” alt=”Woman Making Jewelry Gold Ribbon Scissor” width=”696″ height=”391″ srcset=”×455.jpg 810w,×516.jpg 918w,×51.jpg 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px”&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Making handmade jewelry is another doable DIY. And while it may conjure memories of pasta necklaces, it’s possible to make something classy and elegant your friends and family can wear proudly.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.dmcf6vl84cfu”&gt;9. Hand-Beaded Jewelry&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Beaded jewelry-making can encompass every skill level, depending on the project.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Ombre Seed Bead Necklace&lt;/strong&gt;. Skilled beaders can try an intricate ombre seed bead necklace, which involves stringing very tiny beads in a color gradient across multiple strands. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;How We Live&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Easy Beaded Bracelet&lt;/strong&gt;. Less experienced beaders can opt for a simple yet beautiful bracelet that involves stringing large beads onto jewelry wire and closing it with a clasp. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Crazy Little Projects&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Kid-Friendly Name Necklace&lt;/strong&gt;. For younger kids who need a simpler DIY, use stretchy &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;nylon beading cord&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to make a necklace or bracelet. String &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;alphabet beads&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to spell a phrase like “I love Mom” or the recipient’s name. Surround the alphabet beads with multicolored beads in the recipient’s favorite colors. Or for an extra-special touch, opt for &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;gemstone beads&lt;/a&gt;. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Rhythms of Play&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Ribbon and Wood Bead Necklace&lt;/strong&gt;. String &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;wooden beads&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;onto a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;wide ribbon&lt;/a&gt;, and tie a bow that hangs on the side. It’s a simple DIY that nevertheless looks elegant. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Decor &amp;amp; The Dog&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.emsiuas90m1v”&gt;10. Glass Tile Jewelry&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Using special artwork or a cherished photo, you can make beautiful and unique jewelry with lasting sentimental value. Options include necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, keychains, tie pins,&amp;nbsp;and cufflinks.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;And if the artwork or photo you want to use isn’t already digital, don’t worry. You can scan it into your computer or use a camera or smartphone to photograph and upload it.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;li&gt;Using a photo editor like &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Preview for Mac&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt; for PC&lt;/a&gt;, size your image to the dimensions of your glass tile. Then print it on white card stock, and use scissors to cut it to size.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Put a pea-size amount of Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;on your tile. Use the paintbrush to spread it out so it covers the entire surface. Use the toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the glaze.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Set your image face down on the tile. With a clean finger, lightly press down. Allow it to dry for 5 to 10 minutes.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Using the paintbrush with another pea-size amount of Mod Podge, paint the back of your image to better seal it to the glass. Let it dry for 2 to 3 hours.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;In the tray that will hold your glass tile, put a drop of super glue. Press the glass tile into the tray.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.sne9pmwf5s2c”&gt;11. A Glitter Necklace&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;To make a stunning glitter necklace, you only need some &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Mod Podge Dimensional Magic&lt;/a&gt;, a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;round bezel&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;(pendant tray), and glitter in multiple colors. Apply some Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;to the bezel, follow with glitter, and let it dry. Then layer on more Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;and more glitter. In the end, you have a sparkling resin-filled pendant with a layered glitter effect.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Clumsy Crafter&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.1j5yq3tj1h3h”&gt;12. A Marbled Clay Ring Dish&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Make a beautiful ring dish from multicolored &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;oven-bake polymer clay&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;gold liquid gilding&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Sculpey glaze&lt;/a&gt;. Twist together 5-inch ropes of clay in several complementary colors, roll them into a ball, and roll the ball flat. This technique makes the clay look like marbled paint once flattened. Then you just mold it to the shape of an oven-safe bowl, and bake it according to the package directions. Once it’s cool, paint the rim with the gold gilding.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;A Beautiful Mess&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.s3madabnzb0i”&gt;Homemade Wearable Art Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;In addition to jewelry, there are multiple easy-to-make accessories and wearables your friends and family will love showing off.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.binpms2ey3bc”&gt;13. A Hand-Painted Silk Scarf&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;There are all kinds of beautiful ways to paint and dye inexpensive &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;silk scarves&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to produce a one-of-a-kind gift. An easy beginner project that requires no advanced skills or artistic abilities involves using permanent markers to create a watercolor effect.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You just use &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;permanent markers&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to draw shapes and squiggles all over a vinegar-treated scarf. Then use a spray bottle to saturate the scarf in rubbing alcohol and let it sit for the colors to disperse. You can then use a dropper to release more rubbing alcohol in strategic locations — wherever you want to distribute even more color. Then set the color using more vinegar, the microwave, and an iron.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Your Decorative Painting Resource&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.1tr7hz3qbf5u”&gt;14. A Hand-Decorated Tie&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Turn an &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;inexpensive white tie&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;into a wearable artistic masterpiece. The design options are infinite. If you have artistic talent, use &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;brush-on fabric paint&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fabric markers&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to create your own image. If you’d rather not freehand, use &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;transfer paper&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to trace a design you can paint over. Or use the permanent marker technique outlined for the hand-painted scarf to create a watercolor or tie-dye effect. And if this is a gift from a little one, they can use fabric markers or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fabric crayons&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to draw custom designs.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.dvyxoptk40q8″&gt;15. A Painted Pouch&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Everyone needs a place to tote&amp;nbsp;essentials like cash, hand sanitizer, and lip balm. A pouch displaying kids’ artwork, a photograph, or a favorite print will make the recipient smile every time they use it.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Just print the image you want to use on&amp;nbsp;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;iron-on transfer paper&lt;/a&gt;. Then peel the backing from the transfer paper and iron it onto a&amp;nbsp;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;canvas pouch&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;See an example&amp;nbsp;on&amp;nbsp;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Parents Magazine&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.lvpywq775lrr”&gt;16. A Customized T-Shirt&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;It’s fairly easy to DIY your own design on a T-shirt. Choose a favorite quote in a stylish font, an inside joke, or a special image.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You can print your design onto &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;T-shirt transfer paper&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and follow the package instructions to permanently print the image on a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;blank shirt&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Or go with &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;iron-on letters&lt;/a&gt;. Though craft stores typically only sell them in black or white, you can make your own colorful letters by painting them. Opt for solid colors or an effect like rainbow, ombre, or checkers.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Studio DIY&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you have more experience with drawing, use a simple &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;bleach pen&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to create intricate designs like mandalas or bohemian-style flowers on a colored T-shirt. Just plan your design, place foam board or cardboard between the T-shirt&amp;nbsp;layers, and draw away.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Cloth Paper Scissors&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.jxi808fggxs5″&gt;Homemade Food Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img loading=”lazy” class=”aligncenter size-inpost_fullwidth wp-image-266843″ src=”×455.jpg” alt=”Hot Chocolate Bombs Marshmallow Chocolate Sprinkles” width=”696″ height=”391″ srcset=”×455.jpg 810w,×516.jpg 918w,×51.jpg 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px”&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Everyone loves a scrumptious treat, especially at Christmastime, when gifts of candy and cookies are the norm. And you can make delicious treats for the foodies in your life, even if you aren’t a Master Chef.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.qa1owuw7ures”&gt;17. Hot Chocolate&amp;nbsp;Bombs&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Hot chocolate&amp;nbsp;bombs are trending for 2020. These involve melting chocolate and using a silicone mold to make a hard-shell sphere. You can make it using dark, milk, or white chocolate.&amp;nbsp;Then you fill the sphere with the usual hot chocolate&amp;nbsp;mix, plus fun mix-ins like mini marshmallows&amp;nbsp;or crushed peppermints. When you drop the bomb into warm milk or water, the chocolate sphere melts and releases the hot chocolate&amp;nbsp;mix. Then you just stir and enjoy.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Owl Baking&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.n5czi29j7ztz”&gt;18. Homemade Candy&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For those who enjoy baking, making homemade treats is an annual Christmastime ritual. And friends and family who don’t enjoy baking are always thankful someone else does.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Plenty of people love homemade cookies. But if you’re looking for something more special, go with homemade candy. While some candy recipes can be tricky, there are lots of easy-to-make confections.&amp;nbsp;Anyone on your list would welcome a Christmas present&amp;nbsp;of homemade &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fudge&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;peanut brittle&lt;/a&gt;, or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;brigadeiro&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;(Brazilian chocolate truffles).&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Or try some easy homemade &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;marshmallow&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;fluff&lt;/a&gt;. It’s incredibly versatile, and kids love it. Your gift recipient can put a dollop on top of hot cocoa&amp;nbsp;or ice cream, make s’mores or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fluffernutter sandwiches&lt;/a&gt;, or use it in place of meringue on top of pie. You can even use a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;kitchen torch&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to toast it.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;And if younger kids want to try their hands at making homemade goodies, simple chocolate dip recipes, like &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;hot chocolate&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;spoons&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;candy cane&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;marshmallow&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;pops&lt;/a&gt;,&amp;nbsp;are easy but impressive gifts.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.spfgx83xdta1″&gt;19. Infused Syrup&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The cafephiles and mixologists on your list will love an infused syrup they can use in their coffee, cocktails, and artisanal sodas.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Yield&lt;/strong&gt;: 1 cup&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 small saucepan&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 wooden spoon&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 cup granulated sugar&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 cup water&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Whole herbs or spices, such as cinnamon, lavender, or mint&amp;nbsp;(see note)&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 fine-mesh strainer&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 medium bowl&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 Funnel&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;1 decorative &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;glass bottle&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;with an airtight lid&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;In the small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and stir with the wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.&amp;nbsp;Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Add your chosen herbs or flavorings, and let it simmer for&amp;nbsp;5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much flavor you want to extract. Remove it from the heat, and let it cool completely.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Situate the fine-mesh strainer over the medium bowl, and strain the syrup, discarding the herbs or spices. Use the funnel to pour the syrup into the glass bottle carefully, and tie it with a festive ribbon.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Note&lt;/strong&gt;: Visit &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Imbibe magazine&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;for an extensive collection of infused syrup recipes, including flavor pairings and herb or spice amounts.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.y0573ucqnz8i”&gt;Handmade Home Goods Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img loading=”lazy” class=”aligncenter size-inpost_fullwidth wp-image-266844″ src=”×455.jpg” alt=”Mug Flower Diy Markers Ceramic” width=”696″ height=”391″ srcset=”×455.jpg 810w,×516.jpg 918w,×51.jpg 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px”&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Making gifts for the home is a way to combine a special gift with something practical people can really use. That ensures your gift remains a daily reminder of your love and care rather than getting tucked into a closet.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.r8lz2j1cm0v8″&gt;20. A Hand-Decorated Mug&amp;nbsp;or Insulated Tumbler&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Hand-decorated ceramic or insulated mugs are an especially thoughtful gift&amp;nbsp;for avid coffee or tea drinkers.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;To decorate an inexpensive &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;white ceramic mug&lt;/a&gt;, use&amp;nbsp;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;oil-based paint markers&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;— regular permanent markers rub off over time. Just clean it thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, then draw your designs. But be careful not to touch the surface of the mug. Oil from your fingers may prevent the paint from adhering properly, so hold the mug with your hand on the inside. When you’re finished decorating, allow it to dry, and then bake it to set the paint. After baking, you can safely wash it, and the paint won’t rub off.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions and extra tips on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Jennifer Maker&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Or make a pretty marbled mug by filling a tub with water, pouring multiple nail polish&amp;nbsp;colors onto the water’s surface, and dipping the mug. After it dries, protect your design with a layer of &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;dishwasher-safe &lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Mod Podge&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Wildflowers and Wanderlust&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For recipients who like their beverages on the go, paint an insulated tumbler, which is handy for keeping drinks hot or cold for hours. Start with a plain &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;stainless steel insulated tumbler&lt;/a&gt;. Use &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;painter’s tape&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to mark off the top and bottom to create a band in the middle you can decorate. Then brush on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;chalk paint&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;in your color of choice. Once it dries, decorate with vinyl letter stickers or other cutouts. Then finish with several coats of dishwasher-safe Mod Podge.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Leap of Faith Crafting&lt;/a&gt;. The blog also has a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;tutorial&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;for blocking out your letters or designs&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;with stencils made of vinyl or stickers and then spray-painting the mug.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.8zd43cr5oina”&gt;21. Coasters&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;It can be tough to find store-bought gifts that reflect your recipients’ interests. But a craft like handmade coasters lets you uniquely tailor your gift. The image you put on a coaster can be anything — from album covers to the pictures you took on a memorable trip. You can make them all identical or use different images following a theme, such as nature, Pac-Man, or a sports team.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;li&gt;Use the scissors or X-acto knife to cut the images to fit your ceramic tiles.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Using the foam brush, paint the surface of your tiles with the Mod Podge. Lay your image face up on the tile, and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles. Let it dry for 30 minutes.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Paint over the top of the image with more Mod Podge. Let it dry for 1 hour. Repeat 2 or 3 more times with the Mod Podge, and then let it dry for at least 24 more hours.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Affix a cork square to the back.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.aftl3hyer0wz”&gt;22. Kitchen Towels&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For anyone who enjoys cooking and baking, homemade kitchen towels are both useful and sentimental. If a little one is making these for a relative, make a keepsake&amp;nbsp;set of handprint towels perfect for Christmas. Start by coating the child’s hand in green &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fabric paint&lt;/a&gt;. Stamp three handprints in a triangle (to look like a Christmas tree) on a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;white cotton dish towel&lt;/a&gt;. Then freehand ornaments in various fabric paint colors, and use a free printable&amp;nbsp;stencil to make a star atop the tree. Finish by heat-setting the paint with an iron.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;It’s &lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Always Autumn&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Or make a Scandanavian-inspired Christmas tree&amp;nbsp;pattern using a carved potato as a stamp. Cut a potato in half lengthwise, and use a Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutter to carve out a raised tree for the stamp. Press the potato in a fabric paint color of your choice (the tutorial&amp;nbsp;uses black) and stamp trees in a pattern all over the towel.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Better Homes &amp;amp; Gardens&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.2hgg8sgemszj”&gt;23. Decorated Wooden Spoons&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Decorated wooden spoons are another practical DIY for the kitchen. Make some by using Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;to affix pretty fabric to the handles of a set of spoons, like they did at &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Alice &amp;amp; Lois&lt;/a&gt;. Or paint the handles of wooden spoons and use a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;gold leafing pen&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to embellish them with elegant geometric designs, as shown on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Melodrama&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.2kfdd6q8askn”&gt;24. Ornaments&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Parents and grandparents appreciate &lt;a href=””&gt;homemade ornaments&lt;/a&gt;, especially those made by little ones. They become cherished keepsakes&amp;nbsp;they can reminisce over year after year as the tree gets decorated. Handprint and thumbprint ornaments are an easy craft for younger children. They involve having kids make fingerprint or handprint impressions in clay or dipping kids’ fingers or hands into paint and pressing them onto Christmas bulbs to make winter- or holiday-themed designs.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For example, kids can make a thumbprint reindeer by pressing a thumb covered in brown paint onto an ornament. Once dry, use a permanent marker to draw eyes and antlers and a dab of red craft paint to make a Rudolph nose.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Little Bit Funky&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Or use a cookie cutter to cut a star from oven-bake clay. Press the child’s thumb into the center of the star to make a print, and then use &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;letter stamps&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to press in their initials. (I suggest also adding the date.) Use a skewer to make a hole in the star’s top for hanging, and bake it according to the package directions. Once it’s cool, use a dark-colored crayon to highlight the fingerprint ridges and a pen to fill in the stamped initials.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Infarrantly Creative&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Older kids or more experienced crafters can hand-paint &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;glass globes&lt;/a&gt;. Freehand a holiday design using &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;acrylic craft paint&lt;/a&gt;. Alternatively, make fun, sparkly glass ornaments by squeezing paint into an &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;iridescent globe&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and splattering the outside with &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;gold paint&lt;/a&gt;,&amp;nbsp;as shown on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;A Kailo Chic Life&lt;/a&gt;. Or bedazzle a solid-color ornament in patterns like starbursts or bands using self-adhesive gems, like they did on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Good Housekeeping&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.99p4z1c1tlwe”&gt;25. Decoupage Letters&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Decoupaging large three-dimensional letters with images is a fun way to decorate any space. You can use anything that speaks to the recipient’s interests or style — from comic book panels or cherished photographs to pretty patterned paper or paint chips.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For this project, you need wooden letters to spell out a word or phrase, such as the recipient’s name or words like “love,” “peace,” or “dream.” Then gather your printed images and some Mod Podge. Use Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;to layer small images over the letters in a collage effect or trace each letter onto a single large image (like wrapping paper), cut it out, and glue the single sheet to the face of the letter with Mod Podge. Then brush over the whole thing with another layer or two of Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;to seal it.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Mod Podge&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;Rocks&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.sp4aypxjll1m”&gt;26. A Lap Desk&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Lap desks are handy for watching movies, surfing the Internet, casually shopping, or even to create an alternative workspace — anything you can do with a laptop from bed or the couch. They make thoughtful gifts&amp;nbsp;for kids, college students, and even remote workers. And opting for a homemade one means you can style it with a fabric you know will appeal to the recipient. Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to make — no sewing required.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Start with a wooden &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;lap desktop&lt;/a&gt;. Then cut a piece of &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;foam&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to the same size. Set the foam on the bottom side of the desktop. Then lay a piece of fabric large enough to cover the foam (about one-half yard) over it. Use a staple gun to staple the fabric around the foam and onto the desktop, tucking the fabric under as you go. Trim away any excess fabric. Finish by hot-gluing &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;rope trim&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;around the edges where the fabric-covered foam meets the desktop to hide your fabric edges and staples.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;A Beautiful Mess&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.kwfk3he5nnzu”&gt;27. A Journal&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;A handmade journal is a beautiful place to jot down daily tasks, track the household budget, or keep the grocery list. It’s also an ideal gift for anyone who loves to write. Make color-block notebooks by cutting &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;adhesive vinyl&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and laying it over a complementary colored &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;blank notebook&lt;/a&gt;, leaving the bottom half its original color.&amp;nbsp;Then use a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;rub-on gold foil kit&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to add fun words, phrases, or designs.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Tell Love and Party&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You can also decoupage a custom notebook cover. Use Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;to cover a notebook with photographs or decorative paper. Just choose your paper and trim it to size. Then brush a layer of Mod Podge&amp;nbsp;on your notebook, and press down your paper. Finish it by brushing it with another layer of Mod Podge.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Happy Go Lucky&lt;/a&gt;. She uses comic book panels to decorate hers, so you really can use any kind of paper you like.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.lospqalm3a7j”&gt;Homemade New-Parent Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img loading=”lazy” class=”aligncenter size-inpost_fullwidth wp-image-266845″ src=”×455.jpg” alt=”Shutterstock 1728453295″ width=”696″ height=”391″ srcset=”×455.jpg 810w,×516.jpg 918w,×51.jpg 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px”&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Little ones are often happier with the box than whatever’s inside it. But a &lt;a href=””&gt;new mom&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a href=””&gt;new dad&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;will be thrilled with a&amp;nbsp;homemade toy for a baby&amp;nbsp;or toddler, especially one that lets them interact with their child or watch as they discover new sensations or figure out how things work. They help keep little ones entertained or contribute to them reaching developmental milestones. Plus, gifts made with love and care make the best keepsakes.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The &lt;a href=””&gt;best baby and toddler gifts&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;for new parents&amp;nbsp;— homemade or otherwise — give plenty of opportunities for exploring, just like a gift box. Things they can tug on, stare at with wonder, and safely put in their mouths let parents entertain, stimulate, and — best of all — quiet their little ones.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.4jufyncgnc46″&gt;28. A High-Contrast Baby Mobile&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;According to the &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;American Optometric Association&lt;/a&gt;, babies aren’t born with a full range of vision. They learn to see over time, gradually learning how to focus their eyes, use them together, and even discern color. In fact, babies don’t see color until they’re about 5 months old. Until then, experts believe imagery that pairs high-contrast colors like black and white helps babies learn how to use their eyes. So a high-contrast mobile that hangs overhead while Baby is lying on their back acts as a source of stimulation and entertainment and a vital developmental tool.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you have a sewing machine,&amp;nbsp;cut patterns like wavy lines, dots, and squares from black and white felt and sew them onto squares of the opposite color. Then string them from an embroidery hoop so they can hang down as a mobile.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Peek-a-Boo Pages&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you don’t have a machine or sewing experience, you can still make a gift-worthy high-contrast mobile. Print high-contrast images on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”×11-cardstock-paper-by-recollections/M10293367.html?dwvar_M10293367_size=8.5%22%20x%2011%22&amp;amp;dwvar_M10293367_color=White” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;heavyweight card stock&lt;/a&gt;. Then glue those onto squares of cardboard. Use a thick needle or awl to poke holes through the squares and string a ribbon through. Then hang them from a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;wooden baby gym frame&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or use the embroidery hoop technique from the sewing version.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions, including the template, on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;The Artisan Life&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.ou99v4xr5gp2″&gt;29. A Glitter Bottle Snow Globe&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;From the moment they enter the world, babies are constantly taking in everything around them. Gifts that focus on babies’ sensory development — sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell — help them experience and process the world, thereby growing their mental connections.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Sensory bottles are filled with interesting things for babies and toddlers to look at. Parents can shake or tip the bottles as their child stares mesmerized at beads or confetti falling in slow motion, suspended in solutions of baby oil or transparent hair gel.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The key to turning these into beautiful gifts is to start with the right bottle. Use clear plastic for safety, and look for one with a long, cylindrical shape and tightly fitting cap, like the bottles for &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Voss water&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Then choose a liquid or gel that’s either clear to show off your objects or a transparent sparkly color that’s fun to look at. It should be denser than water so the objects fall slowly. And finally, fill the bottle with tiny objects of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Go with &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;&amp;nbsp;Snowman and Snowflake confetti&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or tiny &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;plastic Christmas shapes&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;for a festive vibe. But be sure to glue on the bottle top so the baby doesn’t open it by accident.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For inspiration and instructions, visit &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;My Bored Toddler&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.h0llvo9kowdm”&gt;30. A Ribbon-Pull Toy&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You already know babies and toddlers love playing with boxes, so instead of trying to find a gift that’s more interesting than a box, make the box the toy. A ribbon-pull toy keeps little ones endlessly fascinated, and you make it with a recycled box or oatmeal container, some pretty paper, and some lengths of ribbon in different colors, textures, and widths.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;First, cut ribbons in lengths several inches longer than the width of your container. Then cover the container with decorative paper. Next, poke two holes in the container’s sides for every piece of ribbon.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Put a knot large enough not to pull through the holes in one end of each ribbon, and then push the unknotted end of one ribbon into one hole and pull it out another. Tie a knot in the end you just pulled through, making sure to leave several inches of room for the ribbon to pull back and forth. Then repeat with as many lengths of ribbon as you have. As they tug on the ribbons of this toy, little ones can watch as their lengths get longer and shorter.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Find the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;The Imagination Tree&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.9ss945uu61v1″&gt;31. A Toddler Busy Board&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Busy boards occupy toddlers’ hands with interesting things to slide, latch, zip, stick, and unstick. They give toddlers tons of things to investigate and explore. Plus, they help develop toddlers’ fine motor skills, especially the fine muscles in the hands.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;To make one, glue or screw any combination of zippers, latches, doors, switches, and textured fabrics to a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;wooden board&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get inspiration for making and designing your own toddler busy board on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Hands on as We Grow&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.o3btfuapt9ku”&gt;32. Homemade Building Blocks&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Building blocks help both babies and toddlers work on fine motor skills as they practice grasping and piling them. If you have a sewing machine, make baby-safe blocks by sewing fabric covers to go over &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;craft foam cubes&lt;/a&gt;. Simply sew together squares cut from scrap fabric measured to fit the sides of the blocks.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Wren Handmade&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;For a new-sew option, decoupage &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;wooden cubes&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;with numbers, letters, or squares of patterned paper. Just brush the surface of your blocks with Mod Podge, press on your cutouts, and brush again over the top surface to seal.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Bit &amp;amp; Bauble&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You can also paint nice-looking wooden blocks, even if you have no artistic talent. Use &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;number or letter stickers&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;as stencils. Press them onto the blocks, and then paint over them with &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;acrylic craft paint&lt;/a&gt;. Once dry, peel up the stickers and coat the blocks with a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;toy-safe varnish&lt;/a&gt;.&amp;nbsp;Note that toy-safe varnishes are nontoxic, but they’re not food-grade. Don’t let a teething baby chew on the blocks.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Pure Sweet Joy&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.o4tme8ija2xy”&gt;Homemade Toy &amp;amp; Activity Gifts&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img loading=”lazy” class=”aligncenter size-inpost_fullwidth wp-image-266846″ src=”×455.jpg” alt=”Home Made Play Dough Organic Healthy” width=”696″ height=”391″ srcset=”×455.jpg 810w,×516.jpg 918w,×51.jpg 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px”&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;It’s possible to DIY some really fun toys. These make great &lt;a href=””&gt;gifts&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a href=””&gt;&amp;nbsp;for kids&lt;/a&gt;, but they also work well for family gifts. Things like game sets and activity kits are the beginnings of a family night filled with laughter and good times.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.xywh77y8we7q”&gt;33. Taste-Safe Scented Play Dough&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Play dough is fun for all ages. And though it’s relatively inexpensive to buy, a homemade taste-safe play dough means families with babies or toddlers can also play together. Make a simple batch using flour, salt, and canola oil. And color it with flavored drink mix. Not only will you get some vibrant colors, it will also smell amazing.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Surviving a Teacher’s Salary&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.7vu3ma0gqyo”&gt;34. A Plastic Bottle Bowling Set&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Plastic drink bottles of any size — 16-ounce water bottles or 1- or 2-liter soda bottles — make excellent bowling pins. And using them for this craft lets you upcycle something otherwise destined for a landfill.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;10 same-size plastic bottles&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;An adhesive remover, such as &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Goo Gone&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Acrylic craft paint in various colors&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Sand&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;E6000 super glue&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;A small plastic or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;rubber ball&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Remove the labels from the bottles. Use an adhesive remover according to package directions to take off any lingering adhesive residue.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Paint the bottles in various bright colors by pouring a dollop of paint inside each bottle and gently swirling the paint around&amp;nbsp;until the inside is completely covered. Add more paint as necessary to cover the bottle. If you put the lid back on the bottle to swirl, take it off. Let the paint fully dry overnight.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Add a small amount of sand to the bottom of each bottle — just enough to make them stable, but not so much a rolled ball can’t knock them over. Then put a drop of super glue on the threads of the bottle cap, and screw the cap onto each bottle.&amp;nbsp;Let it dry 1 to 2 minutes.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Package the gift with a store-bought rubber or plastic ball.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Note&lt;/strong&gt;: Avoid foam balls if you’re making this gift for a family with little kids, as babies and toddlers like to put things in their mouths and could bite off a chunk of foam, causing a choking hazard.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.nn7y2xz2utig”&gt;35. A DIY Science Kit&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;A science kit full of fun experiments and supplies provides the ultimate combination of learning and fun. It’s a DIY project&amp;nbsp;kids and grown-ups can enjoy together. Plus, it’s an easy answer to cries of “I’m bored!” during winter break. And it’s a totally manageable last-minute&amp;nbsp;gift. Just fill a plastic tub with items you can find at the grocery store or on Amazon&amp;nbsp;— or even around the house — like baking soda, vinegar, and Skittles. And then package it with a printed binder or booklet of fun experiments to try.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;A few science experiments and their necessary ingredients include:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Indoor Snow&lt;/strong&gt;. They’ll only need a couple of ingredients for this activity: baking soda and cornstarch. Mixing them with a small amount of water creates a moldable concoction similar to snow. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Little Bins for Little Hands&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Crystal Snowflakes&lt;/strong&gt;. They’ll need &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;pipe cleaners&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;borax&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;transparent nylon cord&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;along with a few wide-mouth containers, like Mason jars&amp;nbsp;or juice glasses. After shaping the pipe cleaners into snowflakes, they let them sit in a solution of borax overnight. The next day, the borax has created crystals on the pipe cleaners so they look like real snowflakes. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Go Science Kids&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Snow Volcano&lt;/strong&gt;. They’ll need baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, red food coloring, and a narrow plastic container, such as a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;measuring cylinder&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;(to hold the volcano solution). On a snowy day, they can head outside to build snow volcanoes that really erupt. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Science Sparks&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Soda Bottle Rockets&lt;/strong&gt;. They’ll need an empty 2-liter soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar, pencils, a wine bottle cork, a paper towel, and some duct tape. After building their rocket, they can head outside to add their homemade rocket fuel and watch it soar. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Slime&lt;/strong&gt;. They’ll need a bottle of &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;school glue&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;saline solution&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;(such as for contact lenses), and baking soda. Once they mix it, they’ll have hours of slimy fun. Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Little Bins for Little Hands.&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Find even more ideas for putting together a DIY science kit on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Little Bins for Little Hands&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.uiki0wb415v”&gt;36. A Build-Your-Own Fort Kit&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Remember building forts in the living room with bedsheets and sofa pillows when you were a kid? Fort-making is a timeless tradition that never goes out of style. And it’s beloved by all ages. A DIY fort is just the thing for a family campout in the living room or even a fun tween or teen sleepover.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Put together a DIY kit the whole family will enjoy by filling it with fort-making supplies, including:&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Bundle them together in a drawstring bag or &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;backpack&lt;/a&gt;. For a special touch, personalize the bag with their name or the words “Fort-Making Kit.” And if you’re skilled with sewing, you can applique a design on the front.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.559vk69cm2fp”&gt;37. Glove Monsters&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Upcycle old or inexpensive knit gloves into a new stuffed animal friend for the kids on your list. These easy-sew monsters are adorable, and they’re doable even without a sewing machine. Sew the top of the glove closed in a U shape, leaving a hole for stuffing. Stuff it with &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;fiberfill&lt;/a&gt;, and stitch the glove closed. Use buttons or felt circles to make eyes and felt to make a mouth. Hand-stitch these onto the front to make a monster face.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Craftaholics Anonymous&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Caution&lt;/strong&gt;: Don’t use buttons for kids under 3. They could come loose and cause a choking hazard.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Alternatively, turn this craft into a squeezable “stress monster,” which makes the perfect gift&amp;nbsp;for a college student&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a href=””&gt;co-worker&lt;/a&gt;. Follow the same sewing instructions, but instead of using fiberfill, cut up some &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;inexpensive makeup sponges&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and pack the monster full of the shredded foam to give it a spongy, squishy feel.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.kf1w7uowi7p7″&gt;38. A Lego Table With Storage&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you have Lego enthusiasts on your list, give them a place to store their toys and let their imaginations run wild. This project is a simple hack of an inexpensive Ikea table — so no carpentry skills required.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;You’ll need to purchase an &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Ikea Lack table&lt;/a&gt;, a &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Trofast bin&lt;/a&gt;, some drawer slides, four 10-inch-by-10-inch &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;building block base plates&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Gorilla tape&lt;/a&gt;, and super glue. Attach the drawer slides to the underside of the table with the Gorilla tape, glue the base plates to the top of the table, and you’re done.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;The Handyman’s Daughter&lt;/a&gt;. These instructions are for a kids table, but you can make a similar table for taller Lego lovers by choosing a size-appropriate table and bins.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h4 id=”h.8spouy2bkehv”&gt;39. An Oversize Game&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Oversize versions of popular indoor games people can play in the backyard are fun for all ages. There’s something about throwing around giant dice or attempting to spell words with Scrabble mega-tiles that makes a classic game that much more fun, especially on Christmas morning.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Jenga is easy to convert to a giant size without any kind of advanced carpentry skills or power tools. You need to cut two-by-fours into smaller game-size pieces. But if you don’t own a power saw, most big-box hardware stores will cut the wood for you. For example, according to design blogger Kelly Ballard of &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;City Girl Meets Farm Boy&lt;/a&gt;, Home Depot typically does 12 cuts for free, and then charges a nominal fee for the remainder. That said, policies may vary from one store to another. And even though it’s helpful to use an electric sander to buff the edges, you can do it the old-fashioned way with sandpaper and elbow grease.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Squirrelly Minds&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;And if you live in a climate where it’s cold in the winter and would rather give something they can play with right away, opt for giant checkers. This project involves painting cork coasters red and black and making an oversize game board by painting a vinyl tablecloth.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Get the full instructions on &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Project Nursery&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.i2l4h9453mha”&gt;Final Word&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you’re stuck trying to figure out the right present ideas&amp;nbsp;for everyone on your list, don’t overlook these DIY Christmas gift ideas. Nothing says you care quite like putting effort into making something.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;They’re also perfect for last-minute&amp;nbsp;gifts&amp;nbsp;or &lt;a href=””&gt;gifts for that one person you know who has everything&lt;/a&gt;. You can do many of these projects in a matter of minutes with tools and products you already have or can easily pick up from the grocery store or on Amazon. It makes them a reliable&amp;nbsp;backup for all the people — friends, co-workers, relatives, and surprise guests — who gave you gifts you weren’t expecting. You can also make them for neighbors or to go along with gift cards&amp;nbsp;as a fun family Christmas craft.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;&lt;a href=””&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt; &lt;a href=””&gt;(Why?)&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</description>
<pubdate>Sat, 19 Dec 2020 00:45:13 +0000</pubdate>
<dc:creator>Sarah Graves</dc:creator>
<media:content url=”” expression=”full”></media:content>
<title>6 Best Health Savings Account (HSA) Providers of 2020</title>
<guid ispermalink=”false”>;preview=true&amp;preview_id=266899</guid>
<description>&lt;p&gt;If you don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance, finding affordable health care can seem like an impossible task.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;Yet millions of Americans &lt;a href=””&gt;survive without employer health benefits&lt;/a&gt;. One of the greatest tools in their arsenal is the &lt;a href=””&gt;health savings account&lt;/a&gt;, or HSA.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Americans increasingly find themselves on their own for managing their financial lives, from health care to retirement to paid time off. That goes doubly for gig economy workers, small-business entrepreneurs, and others looking for &lt;a href=””&gt;self-employed health insurance options&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you decide the answer to your health care dilemma is an HSA, it raises the question: Where should you open the account?&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.195r7pfiludt”&gt;Best HSA Providers for Checking-Style Usage&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Planning on simply using your HSA as a tax-friendly checking account to cover medical expenses? Below are several HSA administrators that offer accounts with no monthly fees and easy access to your funds at all times.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.mmpg4wg133tm”&gt;1. HSA Authority (Old National Bank)&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Old National Bank brands its HSA program as the &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;HSA Authority&lt;/a&gt;, and they offer a flexible and convenient HSA option.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;They don’t charge monthly maintenance fees, and they waive the enrollment fee if you create your account online. They do charge an account closure fee of $25, but it’s a one-time fee and won’t affect you if you never close the account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Once your account reaches $1,000, it becomes eligible to access investment options should you choose to invest some or all of your funds. If you opt in for investing, your account becomes subject to a $36 annual fee.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The HSA Authority offers flexible, easy access to your funds. They provide you with a debit card; checks; and full online banking, including bill pay, account-to-account transfers, and mobile deposits.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;They even pay a little interest on a tiered schedule based on your account balance. All in all, it makes for a great option if you primarily plan to use your HSA as a medical checking account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.8err401bnx3p”&gt;2. HealthEquity&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Another great option for checking-style HSA usage is &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;HealthEquity&lt;/a&gt;. They charge a monthly maintenance fee of $3.95, but they waive it if you maintain an account balance of at least $2,500.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Other basic account fees include an excess contribution refund fee of $20 — which you won’t incur as long you keep your contributions within the legal limit — and an account closure fee of $25 if you ever decide to close it.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;HealthEquity also offers an investing option, with your choice of roughly two dozen Vanguard mutual funds. If you invest money in them, HealthEquity imposes a small annual fee of $0.33 for every $1,000 invested (0.033% of assets under management, or AUM).&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;HealthEquity pays up to 1.5% interest on a tiered system based on your balance and account type. As for access to your funds, HealthEquity makes it easy with a debit card, checks, and a full online banking suite.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.h65lumy95bl3″&gt;Best HSA Administrators for Investing-Style Usage&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you’re looking to capitalize on your HSA’s tax benefits to invest money more like a Roth IRA and grow it tax-free, the options get more nuanced. Given the way &lt;a href=””&gt;retirement has changed&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;over the last generation, you might consider investing at least some of your HSA account in &lt;a href=””&gt;index funds&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;or other equities.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Here are some of the best HSA administrators on the market that combine the traditional checking-style HSA usage with a multitude of investment options, including &lt;a href=””&gt;money market accounts&lt;/a&gt;,&amp;nbsp;to create a stable floor in your HSA to cover your deductible.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.67dx6olttqkz”&gt;3. Fidelity&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Fidelity is a broker, and you get full access to all investments with their HSA, just like a normal brokerage account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;They don’t charge monthly maintenance fees or account open or closure fees. Like their competitors in the online brokerage world, Fidelity no longer charges commissions on trades.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Unfortunately, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Fidelity HSA&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;does charge an annual fee, which can run as high as $48. But that’s the only fee they impose, and there’s no minimum balance to access their full suite of investing options.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;They make it easy to access funds with a debit card, online banking, and checks. Fidelity’s HSA makes a well-rounded, affordable, feature-rich option for account holders looking to invest, not just save and spend.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.pf717m54phos”&gt;4. Lively HSA&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” href=””&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Lively’s&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/a&gt; health savings account partners with TD Ameritrade to power its investing platform, giving account holders full control over their investment choices. There’s no minimum balance to access brokerage-style investing, and TD Ameritrade no longer charges commissions on trades, making investing both cheap and flexible.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Although Lively&amp;nbsp;doesn’t charge a monthly or annual fee to employees who participate in HSA plans, they do charge a $2.95 monthly fee to employers. If you’re self-employed, prepare to cover that monthly fee yourself, but it remains extremely affordable.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Lively provides a debit card to cover expenses, plus full online banking access to your accounts to transfer funds easily. They don’t offer checks, but in the 21st century, checks are a relic of the past anyway.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.9pnw6710mp55″&gt;5. HSA Bank&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Another HSA administrator that uses TD Ameritrade’s brokerage platform, &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;HSA Bank&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;offers low fees and high flexibility.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;They charge $2.50 per month for the HSA itself, plus $3 to access the investing platform. But HSA Bank waives both fees if you maintain a minimum balance of $5,000. The only other fee they charge is a $25 account closure fee.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;In addition to TD Ameritrade, HSA Bank offers an alternative investing option with more hands-on management through Devenir if you’re looking for more guidance. Devenir follows a &lt;a href=””&gt;robo-advising&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;model, and they charge accordingly, in the form of an annual fee of 0.45% of your AUM.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;HSA Bank offers great ease of access with a debit card, checks, and full online banking. To use the investing options, either through TD Ameritrade or Devenir, you must have a balance of at least $1,000.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.bhpj68cc2caa”&gt;6. Further HSA (Formerly Select Account)&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Further HSA&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;uses Charles Schwab’s brokerage platform to manage your trades and investments. This works out great, because Schwab no longer charges any commissions on U.S. equities.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Further HSA&amp;nbsp;charges an $18 annual fee. Monthly maintenance fees vary by plan and range from $1 to $4 per month. The more expensive plans offer higher interest. Further HSA doesn’t charge enrollment fees, account closure fees, or excess contribution refund fees.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Be aware that they do have minimum balances for investing. At $1,000, you can invest in their pre-allotted investments. At $10,000, you have full access to a Schwab brokerage account to invest in whatever you like. That includes Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, their robo-advisor service.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Further HSA makes access easy with a debit card and online banking. It’s a great option for investors with a high HSA balance and costs as little as $30 per year.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.1r3di45klzt”&gt;Factors to Consider When Choosing an HSA&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Not all health savings accounts are created equal. Different HSA administrators have different strengths and weaknesses, so you need to know what you want from an HSA to choose the one that’s best for you.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Health savings account holders fall into two camps: those who just want to use their HSA as a checking account to cover medical expenses, and those who want to use their HSA as a tax-free vehicle to invest for long-term growth. The former have simpler needs and are therefore easier to please.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;With that in mind, here are five factors to consider when choosing an HSA.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.l6j8uwjw8n0w”&gt;1. Ease of Access&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The more you plan to withdraw money regularly from your HSA, the more important it is that you can do so easily.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Many HSA administrators offer debit cards, checks, online banking, and even online bill pay, similar to a checking account. Keep ease of access in mind, especially if you plan to use your HSA more as a checking account than a brokerage account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.999w51i3aq68″&gt;2. Investment Options&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Each HSA administrator offers different investment options. They range from extremely limited to the complete selection of investments available through a &lt;a href=””&gt;regular brokerage account&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Again, this matters more or less depending on how you plan to use your HSA.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.1vdzcqo6mag1″&gt;3. Minimum Balance Requirements&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Some HSA administrators impose minimum balance requirements on account holders. Failing to meet those requirements could result in monthly maintenance fees, restricted investment options, or other penalties and limitations.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Make sure you understand clearly the minimum balance requirements, if any, for an HSA administrator before opening an account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.vxt4xnqrlkwu”&gt;4. Fees&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Different HSA administrators assess different fee schedules. Frequent fees include:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Monthly maintenance fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Annual fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Trade commission fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Excess contribution correction fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Account enrollment fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Account closing fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Human phone service fees&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Administrators can also get creative and come up with other fees to confuse and cost you. Read the fine print, and choose an administrator that fits your HSA needs with minimal — or even zero — applicable fees.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.bmjhid1xkwgg”&gt;5. Interest Rates&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Some HSAs are structured more like checking or savings accounts than brokerage accounts. They often pay interest on the funds you hold in them.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;In most cases, the interest isn’t high enough to write home about. And account holders must be careful to balance any interest offers against fees. For example, if an account charges a $5 monthly maintenance fee and pays 0.2% interest, then an account with a $3,000 balance would earn $6 in annual interest but lose $60 annually to fees.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Contrast that with an account that doesn’t charge monthly fees and doesn’t pay interest. Often, you’re better off avoiding fees rather than chasing interest in HSA accounts.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.mbl7uf5esro”&gt;Final Word&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Health savings accounts offer incredible and unique tax benefits and increasing flexibility for account holders. The best HSA administrators make it easy to access funds and pay medical bills, even as you invest for tax-free growth on the brokerage side of your account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you’re new to the idea of HSAs, aim to keep a portion of your HSA balance in cash, rather than investing it all in equities. You might need to access it at a moment’s notice to pay a medical bill.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;And remember, your HSA funds won’t go to waste in retirement. You’ll have plenty of health care bills, so consider using your HSA more creatively as another tax-sheltered retirement account.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;What features are most important to you in an HSA administrator?&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;&lt;a href=””&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt; &lt;a href=””&gt;(Why?)&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</description>
<pubdate>Sat, 19 Dec 2020 00:03:56 +0000</pubdate>
<dc:creator>G. Brian Davis</dc:creator>
<category>Health and Fitness</category>
<category>Money Management</category>
<media:content url=”” expression=”full”></media:content>
<title>Chase Merchant Services – Review</title>
<guid ispermalink=”false”>;preview=true&amp;preview_id=264930</guid>
<description>&lt;p&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” href=””&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Chase Merchant Services &lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/a&gt;(formerly Chase Paymentech) is a full-service payment processing vertical for Chase Bank business customers large and small. With an array of different products and solutions — mobile debit and credit card processing, support for terminal-based transactions, and e-commerce solutions — and no long-term contract required, it’s appropriate for virtually every type of customer-facing business user.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;To be sure, Chase Merchant Services isn’t the only payment processing provider around. Its competitors include Square, Payment Depot,, and PayPal. But it’s the clear choice for Chase Bank customers, and it offers enough value to entice small-business customers who don’t currently bank with Chase to give the institution’s &lt;a href=””&gt;small-business checking accounts&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and financing products a closer look.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;If you’re in the market for a better payment processing and merchant services solution, you owe it to your business to learn what Chase Merchant Services has in store.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.v3ldqc5mg6a0″&gt;Chase Merchant Services: Products and Solutions&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase Merchant Services has an impressive array of products and solutions for Chase Bank business customers. These products and solutions support e-commerce transactions, mobile payments, and traditional terminal-based purchases. Several external integrations and a robust support platform add even more value for Chase merchant account customers.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase enrolls most Merchant Services clients in month-to-month contracts that can be cancelled without penalty. From time to time, Chase may offer sign-up deals that include free payment processing equipment. These deals generally require a 24-month commitment, set forth in an official contract, although contract terms are subject to change with specific deals and over time.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.jq5937kcnmsm”&gt;Chase QuickAccept&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Chase QuickAccept&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;is the most seamless payment processing solution offered by Chase Merchant Services. Housed within the Chase mobile app and linked to the merchant’s&lt;strong&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;a target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” href=””&gt;Chase Business Complete Banking &lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;account, it’s built to enable credit and debit card acceptance from virtually anywhere via manual card number entry or mobile card reader processing. QuickAccept, like all Chase Merchant Services solutions, accepts major credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;QuickAccept costs nothing for Chase Business Complete Banking customers to set up. Chase Business Complete Checking — the company’s Complete Banking vertical’s &lt;a href=””&gt;checking account&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;— has a $15 monthly maintenance fee, but it’s easy to waive by making qualifying credit card transactions or meeting a required minimum daily balance.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;QuickAccept is the only Chase Merchant Services solution with transparent, non-customized pricing and no monthly contracts:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;2.6% + $0.10 for tap, dip, and swipe transactions with a QuickAccept contactless mobile card reader&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;3.5% + $0.10 for manual transactions through the Chase Mobile app&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.haat68ykxdsh”&gt;Chase Mobile Checkout&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase Mobile Checkout is a standalone mobile payment processing app for businesses that need to process high volumes of mobile gift card, debit, and credit card payments: &lt;a href=””&gt;food trucks&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=””&gt;farmers market&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;vendors, and the like. Notable capabilities include:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Built-in tip functionality — ideal for food-service businesses&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Subaccounts that allow multiple employees to accept payments from a mobile device&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Next-day funding for rapid payouts — some competitors take several business days to process payouts via ACH&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase Mobile Checkout requires no external payment processing hardware. Transaction pricing starts at 2.9% + $0.25 but may be lower for higher-volume merchants. Accounts are governed by month-to-month contracts.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.xdiir6gmlg4q”&gt;Standalone Payment Processing Terminal&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This solution is ideal for brick-and-mortar retailers looking to process moderate to high transaction volumes using a handheld or countertop card reader. Supported payment processing hardware includes but isn’t limited to:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Portable terminals, such as Ingenico Move5000, Ingenico iWL250, and Verifone Vx680&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Countertop terminals, such as Ingenico Desk 5000, Ingenico ICT250, Verifone Vx520, and Orbital Virtual Terminal&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Supported hardware is subject to change as new models roll out. In any case, this solution’s pricing is customized and includes the cost of hardware, which can be discounted but isn’t guaranteed to be. Other notable features include:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Extended battery life for processing when a nearby power source isn’t available&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Support for virtually any type of payment transaction, including swipe, dip (&lt;a href=””&gt;EMV&lt;/a&gt;), tap, and select &lt;a href=””&gt;mobile wallets&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Tip adjustment and reporting&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Built-in receipt printer&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;High-speed Internet connectivity with dial backup&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.v5jfakflk5uz”&gt;Virtual Payment Processing Terminal&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This solution is ideal for remote and e-commerce merchants that process most or all transactions online, by mail, or by phone. All you need to use the virtual payment processing terminal is a computer, a secure Internet connection, and a supported browser (it supports current versions of most major browsers). Capabilities include:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Remote payment card processing&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Manual entry of sales, voids, and refunds&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Order management, including split shipments, back orders, and order reversals&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Transaction pricing starts at 2.9% + $0.25 but may be lower for higher-volume merchants. Accounts are governed by month-to-month contracts.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.sn17v9njxxa3″&gt;Integrated Solutions&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;Chase Merchant Services integrates&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;with hundreds of third-party software solutions. To take advantage of them, simply add Chase payments to your existing online store. Notable integrations include:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;BigCommerce&lt;/strong&gt;. BigCommerce is one of the top &lt;a href=””&gt;e-commerce alternatives to Shopify&lt;/a&gt;, so if you’re in the market for a new place to sell your wares or services online, this integration is worth a closer look. Set up your new BigCommerce store through Chase Merchant Services and begin accepting Chase payments to qualify for three months of BigCommerce at no cost (after a 15-day free trial). Transaction pricing begins at 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction, but lower pricing may be available based on volume.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” href=””&gt;&lt;strong&gt;FreshBooks&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/a&gt;. FreshBooks Premium is the most generous paid plan from FreshBooks, a leading cloud accounting software program with integrated online payments and professional-grade invoicing capabilities. Chase Merchant Services clients automatically get two months’ free access to FreshBooks Premium upon opening a FreshBooks account.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Joist&lt;/strong&gt;. Joist is an all-in-one solution for contractors, tradespeople, and construction firms. Its capabilities include custom estimates and invoices, integrated payment processing, and project management.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;mHelpDesk&lt;/strong&gt;. mHelpDesk automates repetitive processes like invoicing, scheduling, and estimate creation.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;;/strong&gt;. is a lifesaver for freelancers and independent professionals who don’t have the time or expertise to create &lt;a href=””&gt;binding contracts&lt;/a&gt;. It’s also enabled with online payment processing and contact management capabilities.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Fusebill&lt;/strong&gt;. Fusebill is an automated subscription management and billing system designed to help subscription-based businesses reduce churn and improve customer retention. It’s available to Chase Merchant Services customers at no cost for three months.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Do note that these integrations are subject to change at Chase’s discretion.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3 id=”h.u3urzjq6jqe1″&gt;Product Support&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase Merchant Services comes with a robust array of &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;client support and protection tools&lt;/a&gt;, including:&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Support for chargebacks and dispute management on e-commerce platforms and in the real world&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Fraud protection and data security&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Detailed guides and troubleshooting for all supported hardware&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;Information about business taxes and compliance&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.55c1fn1g30f7″&gt;Advantages&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase Merchant Services’ key advantages include a variety of seamless or low-friction payment processing solutions, hundreds of third-party integrations, extensive product and merchant support, and competitive — if not always transparent — pricing.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;QuickAccept Available at No Additional Cost&lt;/strong&gt;. The QuickAccept payment gateway is available to Chase business banking customers at no additional cost. This is a convenient and lower-friction alternative to competitors like Square and, which don’t have in-house bank account integrations.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Multiple Terminal Configurations Available&lt;/strong&gt;. Chase Merchant Services has a bevy of available terminal configurations: mobile, standalone, virtual, and account-integrated (QuickAccept). No matter how you wish to accept card payments, Chase has you covered.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Impressive Lineup of Third-Party Integrations&lt;/strong&gt;. Chase Merchant Services integrates with dozens — if not hundreds — of third-party apps and software programs. Some of these integrations come with member-exclusive discounts or promotions, such as BigCommerce’s three-months-free subscription for new users.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Extensive Product and Merchant Support&lt;/strong&gt;. Chase Merchant Services boasts excellent customer support for its merchants. This includes extensive support for the hardware that runs Chase’s payment tools, industry-leading security features, support for chargebacks and disputed transactions, and help with business taxes and compliance.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Competitive Transaction Pricing for Chase QuickAccept&lt;/strong&gt;. Chase QuickAccept is a competitively priced payment processing solution: just 2.6% + $0.10 for swipe transactions, in line with competitors’ pricing.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.mq1ylxcm2bkb”&gt;Disadvantages&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Chase Merchant Services’ notable disadvantages include the potential to require a linked Chase business bank account, limitations to hardware compatibility, and less-than-transparent pricing for some solutions.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;QuickAccept Requires a Chase Business Complete Banking Account&lt;/strong&gt;. Chase Merchant Services’ QuickAccept feature requires an active Chase Business Complete Banking account to use. That account, in turn, comes with a $15 monthly maintenance fee, albeit with multiple ways to waive the fee that are well within most businesses’ capabilities. Neither the account creation process or the prospect of a monthly fee are absolute dealbreakers, but both do require some extra attention.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Not All Hardware Is Compatible&lt;/strong&gt;. According to Chase, eligible Chase Merchant Services transactions include transactions using the following hardware types: Chase Mobile Checkout, portable terminals (Ingenico Move5000, Ingenico iWL250, Verifone Vx680), countertop terminals (Ingenico Desk 5000, Ingenico ICT250, Verifone Vx520) and/or Orbital Virtual Terminal. Unfortunately, payment solutions paired with a partner software solution may not be eligible for use with Chase Merchant Services, and the list of eligible hardware is subject to change at Chase’s discretion.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Pricing Isn’t Transparent for All Payment Methods&lt;/strong&gt;. Aside from QuickAccept — which is available at no extra cost to Chase Business Complete Banking customers and has transparent, competitive transaction pricing, and an advertised starting rate for Chase payments transactions at 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction — Chase Merchant Services’ complete pricing scheme is difficult to discern from the outside. It’s also likely to vary from client to client. This isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, as customized pricing can certainly be competitive and often results in lower-than-advertised rates for high-volume customers. However, it’s a bit of a drawback to have to enter the &lt;a target=”_blank” href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer”&gt;account opening workflow&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;to get an accurate quote. Some competitors are much more transparent when it comes to pricing.&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;h2 id=”h.qjfnud6p4z7x”&gt;Final Word&lt;/h2&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;a target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” href=””&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Chase Merchant Services&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;is a valuable payment processing tool for independent professionals, small-business owners, and larger enterprises alike.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;It’s far from the only business service you’ll need to ensure your success moving forward, though. And it’s important not to put the cart before the horse. To put yourself in position to scale with Chase Merchant Services, you need to draw customers to your business. That means investing in advertising and lead generation using tools like &lt;a href=””&gt;Groupon Merchant&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;and &lt;a href=””&gt;Yelp&lt;/a&gt;, not to mention developing a comprehensive &lt;a href=””&gt;content marketing plan&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Your reward — higher sales — will come soon enough. But don’t neglect to lay the groundwork.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Are you considering opening a Chase Merchant Services account? Or do you prefer another payment processing partner?&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;&lt;a href=””&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt; &lt;a href=””&gt;(Why?)&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</description>
<pubdate>Fri, 18 Dec 2020 15:56:50 +0000</pubdate>
<dc:creator>Brian Martucci</dc:creator>
<category>Small Business</category>
<media:content url=”” expression=”full”></media:content>
</rss><body id=”readabilityBody”></body><p><strong><a href=””></a></strong> <a href=””>(Why?)</a></p>

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