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.
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:
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….
For my 5 and 7-year-old nieces, I made little purses out of placemats…here are a couple of tutorials on those:
I think these little bags are darling, too….
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.
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. : )
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:
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
And what about these bath fizzies? Use an ice tray for the mold!
Who wouldn’t love a pretty (and yummy smelling) bar of soap in one of these adorable little wraps?
My brothers all got their favorite treats in ridiculous quantities.
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels for Tucker:
No-bake cookies for Jake:
And Brownies for Luke
Here are some other food gift ideas:
Who wouldn’t love a tin of this delicious caramel corn??
And these are adorable gifts that could be used right away or saved for a while…
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:
Wash Cloth Puppets – if these aren’t the most adorable things on the planet, please tell me what is…
Crochet Ball & Blanket – I think these are sooo sweet….
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. : )
Roll-up Crayon Holder
Perfect for the car! Well…in theory it’s perfect.
I love the shape of these…..so cute!
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). : )
Teatowels with Handwritten Recipes
How tender is this? I love it.
Don’t these bookmarks make you happy?
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!
And if you have a little girl who needs an apron, this one is soooo cute!
CLICK HERE for tutorial from raechelmyers.com
We have made these ornaments several times – they smell soooo yummy!!
Fabric Journal Cover
Who knew Shrinky Dinks could turn out so beautiful!? I loooove these pieces!!
Tiny Sewing Kit with Pincushion
Embellished hotpads from the $1 Store!
I love these by themselves…..add a loaf of bread and you’ve got a new best friend!
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.
Pretty Monogrammed Pincushion
Knit Glasses Pouch – so cute!
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!
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.
If it were me, I’d use a stencil, since I’m not really comfortable handpainting anything. I love this.
We found several different tutorials we love!
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.
Beautiful Wire Nest Necklaces
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….
Here’s another spin on the mug…
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.
Knitted Golf Club Head Covers
Golf Accessory Bag
BBQ Spice Rubs
Shrinky Dink Dog Tags
Do you ever see something and think, “why didn’t I think of that!?” I love these cute little tags.
Leather Kitty Toy
Homemade Dog Biscuits