By tamara Can you believe that Christmas is just a week away? It seems like only yesterday I was baking pies and stuffing a turkey. No matter how many times I promise to get a head start on my holiday shopping, it seems like something always derails those plans; whether it’s not enough time or not enough money in my piggy bank, I never seem to get it done. So, here I am again, desperately trying to throw together some nice gifts on a shoestring budget before it’s too late. Thank goodness for Pinterest, and all those wonderfully creative people who share their ideas, or I would be up a proverbial creek without a paddle. If you’re like me, and have waited until the last minute to pick up something for those on your holiday list, consider one of these easy gifts you can make yourself for next to nothing.1. Triple Decker Cocoa SticksWho doesn’t like marshmallows and chocolate? Just grab a bag of marshmallows, a box of candy canes and some candy melts and…voila! You can put together several in a treat bag, tie it with some pretty ribbon and hand them out to your friends and family.2. Christmas BasketsForget traditional wrapping paper! Pick up unique baskets and containers and decorate them with fabric and holiday picks. Simply choose a theme, like spa day or movie night, and tuck little treasures into each basket. These pretty baskets are functional and festive.3. Edible OrnamentsDo you love to bake? These beautiful cookies not only taste great, but make awesome, edible ornaments too. Just pick up a pouch of sugar cookie mix, choose some pretty frosting and embellish with sprinkles and other decorative touches. Be sure to make a batch for yourself too!4. Edible CenterpieceI love gifts that perform double-duty and this one certainly fits the bill. Pick up a cheap vase at a dollar store or local thrift store, fill it with candy canes and Twizzlers, then tie a pretty ribbon and holiday pick to the vase.5. Ticket JournalMy son keeps every ticket to every movie, concert and sporting event he has ever attended. Right now, they are all sitting in a shoebox, but when I stumbled upon a blog on how to create a ticket journal, I knew I found the perfect gift for him. If you don’t want to spend the time on something this complicated, you can pick up a simpler version for just $11 online.6. Message FrameYou know those motivational posters that plaster the walls in offices? This is so much better. Pick an inspirational word or quote, print it on some nice paper, place it in a frame, and add some decorative touches. It’s a great way to spread warmth and cheer throughout the year.7. Printed CandlesI love this project. Just head to your local discount store and grab some taper or large votive candles, an ink pad and rubber stamps. White or light colored candles work best, but you can use metallic ink for darker candles to get a totally different effect. Throw them in a cute basket for a perfect gift!8. Washer NecklaceFor the girls on your list, consider making these adorable washer necklaces. You can pick up most of the materials at your local hardware or craft store. Pick a single word that holds special meaning, or a date to remember, and add a decorative embellishment to complete the look.9. Wine CharmsIt seems everyone is selling wine charms these days, but you don’t have to pay $20 for a four-piece set of simple charms. Instead, buy some jewelry hoops at your local craft store and use beads, jewelry odds-n-ends, or some other decorative items to make your own one-of-a-kind wine charms.10. S’mores KitIf you have more lint in your pockets than cash this holiday season, here’s a simple and cheap gift – s’mores! You can use simple clear boxes, a jar or even cellophane bags. Tie together the three ingredients (chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers) with a bow and garnish with a handcrafted tag. Regardless of your budget, there’s bound to be something you can whip up in the next week to surprise those on your holiday list. Sometimes, it’s the simple, homemade gifts that mean the most. If you need more ideas, be sure to check out Pinterest. There’s a wealth of creative, fun and inexpensive gifts just waiting for you to make. Happy Holidays!