A couple years ago, we went through a rough patch financially…..a really rough patch that lasted a couple of years.  (That’s such an easy thing to say.  It was not easy.)  During that time, Christmas was a challenge.  At first, I dreaded it….knowing we wouldn’t be able to buy gifts.  Then I started doing some research and found lovely (and inexpensive) homemade gifts.  We worked really hard both of those Christmases and I think that Christmas became even more lovely and we grew to love our family and friends even more because of all the time and thought we put into their gifts.  Here are some of the things I made that we gave to our families in those 2 years:

For my niece-to-be, I used this pattern to make a couple pairs of booties.  I think these are soooooo adorable.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Heather Bailey Designs

For my 3-year-old niece, I made a homemade memory game.  I used funny pictures of members of our family to make her memory cards.

Here are a few different ways to make homemade memory:

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart.com

CLICK HERE for tutorial from My Everyday Chaos

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Muffin Tin Mom

 For my 4-year-old nephew, I made a superman cape out of flannel receiving blankets I had lying around.
I think this homemade superhero costume is darling….

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Chiot’s Run
(worth the click even if you just go there to see the adorable little guy who received this superhero get up)

For my 5 and 7-year-old nieces, I made little purses out of placemats…here are a couple of tutorials on those:

CLICK HERE for the tutorial from Kristikoo Handmade

I think these little bags are darling, too….

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Kleas

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

This bag would be darling for a child OR an adult.
Plus, I don’t know about you, but we have LOTS of old jeans lying around that are just begging for a new life.

CLICK HERE For tutorial from Martha Stewart

For my son, my husband, Jeff, made blocks out of wood by cutting them into different shapes and sanding them.
I don’t have a tutorial for this, my only advice is don’t try to sand these by hand.  You’ll quit. : )

BLOCKS HERE

For my sister-in-law and her husband (who LOVE Thai food), we put a basket together of ingredients they would use in curry, which they make all the time.
You can put baskets together for lots of things…here’s a movie one:

CLICK HERE for a couple other ideas from For the Mommas 

For my mom, mother-in-law, sisters and sisters-in-law, I made bath soaps and sugar scrubs.
I was just at Michael’s this week and saw a bunch of pretty little jars you could put something like this in….they were each only $1!
Here are a couple of tutorials for homemade bath stuff:

Salt or Sugar Scrub

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

And what about these bath fizzies?  Use an ice tray for the mold!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Who wouldn’t love a pretty (and yummy smelling) bar of soap in one of these adorable little wraps?

CLICK HERE for tutorial from  live. laugh. rowe.

My brothers all got their favorite treats in ridiculous quantities.

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels for Tucker:

These look WAY better than anything I’ve ever made. : )  CLICK HERE for the tutorial from Andicakes

 No-bake cookies for Jake:

CLICK HERE for this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

And Brownies for Luke

These aren’t the brownies that I made for Luke, but don’t they look YUMMY?!
CLICK HERE for the recipe from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen 

Here are some other food gift ideas:

Who wouldn’t love a tin of this delicious caramel corn??

CLICK HERE for the recipe from Brave Girls Club (that’s us) : )

And these are adorable gifts that could be used right away or saved for a while…

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Sunset.com

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Bakerella

Thinking about making all those gifts and all the time I spent making them and thinking about my loved ones makes me want to put more effort (and less money) into my gifts again.  Christmas is absolutely delightful when you give gifts that mean something…something that takes thought and effort and time…..I just might do it again this year!

Here are some other ideas I found that I am in LOVE with:

FOR KIDS

Paper Dolls

CLICK HERE for the tutorial from Handmade Charlotte

Bubble Wand

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Kleas

 Baby Blocks

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Wash Cloth Puppets – if these aren’t the most adorable things on the planet, please tell me what is…

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Crochet Ball & Blanket – I think these are sooo sweet….

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

SHIRT POCKET QUILT
I know 2 toddlers who would spend ALL DAY putting stuff in these pockets and taking it out again, then putting it in and taking it out, and over and over and over again.  It’s the little things. : )

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Roll-up Crayon Holder
Perfect for the car!  Well…in theory it’s perfect.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Skip To My Lou

Bibs
I love the shape of these…..so cute!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Bath Apron
And what about this for new parents…can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up changing my clothes after giving my kids baths.  Plus this would be super fast and easy to make.  Ten minutes tops (and that includes a snack break). : )

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

FOR WOMEN

Teatowels with Handwritten Recipes
How tender is this?  I love it.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Spoonflower

Bookmarks
Don’t these bookmarks make you happy?


CLICK HERE for tutorial from Country Living 

A Handmade Apron
This first pattern is the only one in this entire blog post that isn’t free, but isn’t it lovely??  I’d pay for the pattern!

CLICK HERE for pattern from Sew Liberated

CLICK HERE for tutorial from You Can Make This

And if you have a little girl who needs an apron, this one is soooo cute!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from raechelmyers.com

Apple-Cinnamon Ornaments

We have made these ornaments several times – they smell soooo yummy!!

CLICK HERE for the tutorial from McCormick.com

Fabric Journal Cover

CLICK HERE for tutorial from OneSheTwoShe

Shrinky-Dink Jewelry

Who knew Shrinky Dinks could turn out so beautiful!?  I loooove these pieces!!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Just Something I Made

Tiny Sewing Kit with Pincushion

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Momtastic

Embellished hotpads from the $1 Store!

I love these by themselves…..add a loaf of bread and you’ve got a new best friend!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from The 36th Avenue

Stamped Rocks

So beautiful and simple.  I think it would be lovely to be on the giving OR receiving end of these….I also think it would be amazing to stamp messages onto the rocks.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from craftandcreativity

Pretty Monogrammed Pincushion

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Lou Loves This

Knit Glasses Pouch – so cute!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart 

Handpainted Tea Towels

If you’re like me, you always think that acrylic paint will wash right out of projects…..but you know it won’t come out of your clothes. :)  The truth is, you can paint something with acrylic paint, let it dry (you can put it in the dryer if you want to feel really good about setting the color), and wha-la!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Etched Glass

One of my very favorite wedding gifts was a glass casserole dish with our new last name etched into the bottom….I love all of these personalized gifts that look so hard, but are really quite simple.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Handpainted China

If it were me, I’d use a stencil, since I’m not really comfortable handpainting anything.  I love this.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Handmade Coasters

We found several different tutorials we love!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Hostess with the Mostess

CLICK HERE for tutorial from The Purl Bee

Monogrammed Slippers

I love the ones at the bottom of the picture…looks like the letters are formed with a whole bunch of french knots.  Love it.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Beautiful Wire Nest Necklaces

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Sarah Ortega

FOR MEN

Maybe I’m late to the game, but I didn’t know there were special pens for writing on/painting ceramic!  The possibilities are endless….but they obviously begin here with the mustache mug….

CLICK HERE for tutorial from geekxnerd

Here’s another spin on the mug…

CLICK HERE for tutorial from designmom

While we’re putting initials on things, how about a towel?  I think this would be especially awesome for a coach.  Only don’t make his towel say Greta.  Initials would be cool, as would a mustache.   And now we’ve gone full circle.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from What Rachel Made Today 

Remote Caddy

CLICK HERE for tutorial from sew4home

Knitted Golf Club Head Covers

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Jana Ford Knits

Golf Accessory Bag

CLICK HERE for tutorial from JoAnn Fabrics

BBQ Apron

CLICK HERE for tutorial from I {heart} naptime

BBQ Spice Rubs

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Kojo Designs

FOR PETS

Shrinky Dink Dog Tags

Do you ever see something and think, “why didn’t I think of that!?”  I love these cute little tags.

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Leather Kitty Toy

So cute!

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart

Homemade Dog Biscuits

CLICK HERE for tutorial from Martha Stewart