71 Free Gift Ideas They’ll Totally Love

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Inside: 71 fabulous and totally free gift ideas your recipient will love!

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The holiday season can be hard on your wallet – but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be!

It’s difficult to plan Christmas gifts when you have no money, but you can let it inspire you to find something truly meaningful.  

Whether you’re shopping for a birthday, anniversary, or the upcoming holiday season, the thought you put into your gift is much more important than the amount of dollars you spend. 

Here are some great low-cost and no-cost gift ideas to show someone that you really care – without breaking the bank. 

71 Ideas for Gifts That Cost Nothing.

While these gifts might be low cost, the real magic comes from the amount of love you put into giving.

Gift ideas without spending money are often even more valuable to your loved ones, because instead of a generic item they’re receiving something chosen and crafted with love and attention.

It truly is the thought that counts, so put a lot of thought into choosing the right gift, and don’t forget presentation.

You can make a free gift idea look a million bucks if you pay attention to how it looks. Don’t forget to include a heartfelt inscription to make your gift even more meaningful. 

Regifting Ideas

1. Unwanted gifts

When you’re looking for free gifts, unwanted gifts you’ve got stored away are a great place to start.

Storing generic gifts like books, chocolates, gift cards and wine that you don’t really want gives you plenty of options for regifting. 

2. A treasured item

If there’s a special item you’ve loved, and you know someone will feel the same – consider adding a personal inscription and gifting it from the heart.

A beloved book, movie, or painting with a heartfelt dedication could become a treasured heirloom. 

3. A puzzle (with all its pieces)

It’s all in how you present it, but puzzles are great to re-gift if they’ve got all their pieces and are in good nick.  

4. Vintage clothing or baby items

You probably don’t want to just wrap up your castaways, but for the right person, your vintage clothing or special baby items are even more special for being pre-loved.


5. Dried Flowers

Dried flowers can be turned into lovely arrangements, or pressed into a frame.

Dried petals can be added to a bath kit for a beautiful bath. 

6. Driftwood

Take a stroll along the beach, and collect some driftwood.

It can be crafted into some boutique-looking hangings and decorations with minimal effort.

7. Plant cuttings

Plant cuttings are great free gift ideas for friends. You’ll need to start ahead, but many common household plants can be successfully propagated or grown from cuttings – it only takes a few upcycled jars. 

8. Potted herbs

If you already have your own, take some cuttings and make some potted herbs as gifts – they’re practical and beautiful.

9. Pumice Stone

It will depend on your location, but pumice stone can be found at many beaches and is a great addition to a low or no-cost beauty hamper.

10. Seeds

Whether you’ve harvested your own or bought them at a very low cost, seeds make great free gift ideas for teachers or customers of a small business – especially with a slogan like “Thanks for helping us grow”, or something that reflects your business. 


11. Playdough

It’s easy to make with ingredients you’ve probably got in your cupboard, and playdough is always a win.

You can make it even more seasonal by adding cookie spices to make it smell like the holidays. 

12. Slime

Slime is great for keeping kids busy and is very inexpensive and easy to make. You might add glitter or small toys to make it even more special.

13. A fort kit

If you’ve got a bunch of old sheets, bulldog clips and anything else your imagination can dream up, why not make a fort kit the kids can take home and play with throughout the holidays?

14. Bubble kits

Bubble kits can be made even more special by adding some glycerin to help the bubbles stretch even bigger. 

15. Bath crayons

There are plenty of recipes for bath crayons online, and they’ll make getting clean a fun experience for all. 

16. Movie night kit

A movie night kit is perfect for those special family nights, with treats, popcorn, and a favourite movie. 

17. Board game kit

The same goes for a board game kit, giving the gift of a fun family night together. 

18. Make-up kit for dress-up

As long as they’re safe for kids, many little ones would cherish any make-up or beauty items you haven’t used or can simply make from gentle ingredients. 

19. Coupon book

The ever-famous coupon book is a fun idea– an extra bowl of ice cream, a movie outing, some special time with parents, breakfast for dinner, or whatever motivates your kids. 


crafty gifts

20. A bookmark

Every reader needs a bookmark, and a beautifully hand-sewn placeholder is a perfect gift. 

21. Tea towels

Either creating tea towels or adding some crotchet to make them into hanging hand towels is a practical and lovely addition to a kitchen.

22. A heat pack

As a great sewing gift idea that also doubles as a practical aid, making a rice heat pack that’s great for aches and pains is simple. 

23. Wine tote

A wine tote is an easy shape and a fun, practical, personal gift. 

24. Zipper pouch

Whether it’s used for stationery, make-up, women’s hygiene items or just a multi-purpose hold-all, a simple zipper pouch uses small amounts of fabric in a useful and creative way. 

25. Travel neck pillow

For the travel-lover in your life, a travel neck pillow lets you send some love away with them.

26. Infinity scarf

Warm, fashionable and easy to create. There are plenty of patterns for infinity scarves online. 

27. Lavender bags

For those who love a bit of therapeutic calm, lavender bags have plenty of uses and make great gifts.

28. Scrap Quilt

A unique gift only for an exceptional person, a scrap quilt uses small pieces of fabric, lots of time, and lots of love. 

29. Oven Mitts

Oven mitts are another universal kitchen accessory that everyone will appreciate. 

30. T-Shirt pillow

A t-shirt pillow made from a treasured old t-shirt is a simple but very sentimental gift, especially if it’s made from the clothing of someone who has passed on or lives far away. 


31. Macramé

It really just takes some cords and knots – macramé wall hangings and plant hangers are seriously in fashion and will be welcome gifts. 

32. Paintings

Even if you don’t consider yourself a Picasso, many styles of paintings are very achievable for beginners.

Consider acrylic pours or masking tape art – but tread carefully, as art is highly individual. 

33. Cross-stitch

If you can sew, why not create a design and put it in a frame.

Semi-ironic cross stitches with modern scenes and phrases are very popular decorating items. 

34. Christmas ornaments/decorations

Ornaments are the perfect no-money gift idea for Christmas.

Decorate baubles with glitter and other add-ons, or try baking and decorating salt dough shapes.

Related: 28 DIY Christmas Decorations You Can Make With the Kids

35. Craft starter kit

If you’ve got plenty of craft supplies and want to get someone else hooked, making a craft starter kit to share your passion is one of the best gift ideas when you have no money.


bath bomb gifts

36. Cookies

Cookies are a great gift and simple to make with ingredients you should already have.

You could opt for rich, indulgent cookies or beautifully decorated sugar cookies. 

37. Preserves

If you’re good at getting things when they’re in season, preserves are a present most people love but won’t buy themselves.

They look beautiful enough to be a feature in someone’s kitchen.

38. Fudge

All it takes is a bit of love and some basic ingredients, and you could be gift-wrapping delicious fudge. 

39. Sundae kit

Food kits are thoughtful, practical – and delicious. Why not create a sundae kit with everything they need for a delicious dessert? Just add ice cream. 

40. Hot chocolate kit

Everyone loves hot chocolate, but a hot chocolate kit can take things to the next level.

As well as powder, include marshmallows and chocolate melts for a drink to remember. 

41. Dehydrated fruit

If you have a dehydrator or a lot of patience with your oven, dehydrated fruit is delicious. Try orange slices dipped in dark chocolate for a classy treat. 

42. Infused oil

You can create a stylish and delicious gift with some recycled jars, some herbs or spices, and a bit of oil.

Infused oil adds a dash of flavour to a dish and looks beautiful on the shelf. Consider rosemary, tarragon, chilli, garlic, or lemon. 

43. Bread

Put your quarantine skills to good use and give the gift of bread.

Zucchini, banana, pear, and raspberry bread are great choices – wrap them well to make them special. 

44. Jar mixes

Similar to the kits, consider beautifully layered jar mixes. Find your preferred recipe, and layer the dry ingredients in a recycled jar.

Attach the extra ingredient list and method onto the jar using a beautiful label; they’re ready to bake! Cookies, brownies, and simple cakes are a great option. 

Bath and Beauty

bath bomb gifts

45. Bath bombs

Bath bombs are simple to make and an indulgent treat. You should have most of the ingredients at home. Add some dried herbs or flower petals for a special touch. 

46. Body butter

With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a rich body butter that will smell great and keep their skin soft and hydrated. 

47. Scrubs

Scrubs are an easy, effective option. A beautiful sugar lip scrub can be made with only sugar and oil, or save your coffee grounds to combine with oil and peppermint to make a coffee body scrub. 

48. Handmade soap

It’s easy to make your own soap, and the result is a luxurious product that is free from chemical nasties. 

49. Homemade lip balm

Homemade lip balm is great to store in a purse or next to the bed, to help keep lips soft and moisturised.

50. Foot soak

Treat your loved ones to a foot soak to help them soak the stress away. 


candle in an upcycled jar

51. Plants in jars

Jars with plant cuttings just take a bit of pre-planning, but you can easily propagate many household plants. 

52. CD Jacket Art or book illustration

If you and a friend have a special movie or song from the past, why not hunt for the CD or DVD and frame the jacket art?

If you can access a good printer, you can print an image instead.

53. A framed book illustration

Similar to a CD Jacket, a framed book illustration from a meaningful book can look fantastic. 

54. Secret Compartment Book

Secret compartment books take time but are simple to make and are an exciting and unique gift to receive. 

55. Teacup candle

With a lovely tea cup and an old candle, you can combine them to create a teacup candle that makes a beautiful free present.

56. Mixtape/playlist

If you attended a music concert with someone, a printed and framed playlist can make a great memento.

Alternatively, a mix tape or Spotify playlist would be great.


57. Babysitting

Giving some free babysitting is an invaluable gift for parents, especially if you are on their list of people to call. 

58. Pet care

In the same way, taking care of pets can be difficult.

Offering pet care to friends and family members can help take the load off.

You might offer to walk pets, petsit over holidays, or do basic grooming tasks.

59. Meal voucher

If you’re a good cook, make your own meal voucher so they have a better option next time they don’t feel like cooking. 

60. Car detailing

Car detailing takes time, care, and patience – so take the load of someone’s shoulders by offering to do it for them. 

61. Yard Work

Yard work is always there to be done, and you could help your loved one save time and money by offering your services. 

62. Cleaning services

Hiring a cleaner is a luxury, and you’re giving a quality gift by gifting your own cleaning services.

Make sure you specify how often and what you’re offering to do. 

63. Tutoring

Make the most of your skills by offering to tutor.

Whether it’s helping with a school subject, woodworking, playing a musical instrument, or giving cooking classes, you have something you can teach someone else. 

64. Maintenance work

If you’re skilled with cars or general handiwork, taking on maintenance jobs can be a big relief for your loved ones. 

65. Coupon book

Coupon books are a traditional idea that can be fun and thoughtful.

Gift a book with services that can be redeemed at a time of their choosing – back rubs, a meal cooked, or whatever you’re prepared to offer.

Don’t forget – you’ll have to follow through!


photo frame gift

66. Family Recipe Book

If you are a cook in the family, preserve your family’s treasured recipes by creating a family recipe book.

67. Framed photo or photobook

Photos are always a welcome gift – carefully choose precious memories to print out and frame, or create a photo book.

68. Family Genealogy

If you’ve spent time learning about your past, sharing your family genealogy is an exciting way for them to learn about their distant past.

69. Inspiration Jar

Stuck for ideas? An inspiration jar helps keep your loved ones on their toes, giving them ideas for dinners, date nights, family nights, ice-breaker questions – whatever you can imagine!

70. Framed quote or verse

A framed quote or verse that’s meaningful to the recipient can be a beautiful, personal, and treasured gift.

71. Stuffed animal keepsakes

If you’ve got old clothes with a memory attached and are good at crafts, sew stuffed animals from the fabric.

Try one of these free Christmas gift ideas this holiday season and give a gift filled with love and thoughtfulness.

By using things you already have or making small purchases, you can make your gift beautiful, memorable – and easy on your wallet. 

Free Gift Ideas They'll Totally Love

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Stuff, NZHerald, Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.