Personally, when I give gifts, I ask myself two questions: 1. Is the gift suited to the person? 2. Is it practical?

Ideally, a gift should be something the receiver will use. I know that sometimes it’s easiest to buy a gift certificate and call it a day, but I find it more fun if the gift is something tangible that can be unwrapped. When you personalize the gift, it shows the receiver how much you appreciate them.

When I got married, I put a lot of thought into my bridesmaids’ gifts. Silver-plated, monogrammed book marks for the voracious reader; sterling and enamel compact for the girl on the go; carved jewelry box for a DIY jewelry-maker; earrings for the girly girl. Believe it or not, three of the four gifts I purchased were under $20, and everyone LOVED their gifts.

Just like any other bride, I was on a budget. As economic times have gotten tougher, brides are more concerned than ever about saving money. I’m featuring ten fun suggestions for great bridesmaid gifts under $20.

1. e.l.f Makeup
This incredibly inexpensive and high quality makeup can be found at Target or on www.eyeslipsface.com. I’ve heard great things about it, so I purchased the $5 smoky eye kit. I LOVE it! It comes with a kick-butt eyelid primer, six eye shadows, and a little black eyeliner. Today I used the primer, the chocolate brown shadow, and the eyeliner. The shadow went on great and didn’t flake at ALL (unlike the dark colors I have from MAC), it didn’t crease, and it looked great all day. I’m quite impressed. They have makeup sets ranging from $5 to $20, as well as individual items.

e.l.f. makeup

2. Earrings
Every girl loves earrings. I particularly love Betsy Johnson jewelry – it’s fun, cute and kitschy. I never pay retail for ANYTHING. All three pairs of my Betsy Johnsons were purchased on eBay for around $6. At those prices, you can get a necklace to match.

3. Handmade Bracelets
Every town has a bead store with all the supplies you’d need to make bracelets, and most stores have employees that will teach you how to do it. The girls will appreciate the effort that was put into this personal gift.

4. Handmade Face Polish
I used to spend a lot on sugar face polish from a French company called Fresh. I ran out and didn’t want to spend the insane amount of money to buy more, so I started making my own with coconut oil and sugar. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and if you buy the unrefined, it smells like coconut, which is delightful. Or you can buy the refined, which is unscented, and add tea tree oil or any essential oils. Find out how to make it here: DIY Sugar Face Polish

5. Box of Chocolates
What girl doesn’t love chocolate? There are great selections of deliciousness out there, such as See’s, Godiva, and Lindt. Find out what their favorites are and put together a box at See’s or a candy basket from Lindt.

6. Bottles of Wine
You can get a GREAT bottle of wine for under $20 at Grocery Outlet. Seriously. They carry some great wine. Other good places to shop for wine are Cost Plus, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh & Easy.

7. Vintage Silver Jewelry Box
I found mine at Unique Boutiques for $16. You can usually find some great ones at estate sales and yard sales, as well as shops that specialize in vintage items.

8. Personalized CDs
This one could take some work and time, but it’s a great personalized gift. You can pick out music that is meaningful to your friendship with each girl, burn each girl a different CD and include notes. I made a personalized mixed CD for my BFF Sarah and sent it to her office. She called and said, “Are you TRYING to make me cry at my desk?”

9. Subscription to a Fashion or Fitness Magazine
Purchase one copy of each girl’s fave magazine (VOGUE, Vanity Fair, Cosmo, Self, etc.), attach a note saying that she has a year’s worth of the magazine coming, and wrap it up. She’ll love it!

10. A scarf in their favorite color
I have a scarf addiction, so whenever my BFF Sarah goes out of town, she brings me back a scarf. I love it! They’re beautiful (she has good taste), and whenever I wear them, I get compliments, and I say, “Thanks! My friend bought it for me!” You can find some beautiful scarves at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or online for under $20. I’m currently eyeing one on etsy.com.

More gorgeousness!