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A Heart For Home: Homemade Holiday :: Gift Ideas

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Homemade Holiday :: Gift Ideas

I've been making homemade gift since I can remember. Tim and I have carried this tradition into our marriage and have enjoyed creating a variety of gifts for family members over the last 5 years.

Homemade gifts are often less expensive and are often more appreciated due to the thought and time we put into them.

Another reason we typically opt for making gifts is that it keeps us at home rather than rushing around in the holiday madness trying to find the perfect present for everyone on our list!

One thing I have to come to terms with is that my handmade gifts can't be as elaborate as I would wish them to be. Even though I am saving time not fighting crowds at the store I still need to use my time and energy wisely.

Would you like to join us in creating a Homemade Holiday?

First you'll need to evaluate your skills! I know I don't want to plan on making a sweater for my mom, because while I can knit, I've never knitted a sweater before and I know I'm not talented enough to pull it off on my first attempt. I can bake and sew fairly well, so I normally use these skills when it comes time to make homemade gifts.

Here are some ideas for inexpensive gifts we've made in the past:

1. Photo Gifts/Personalized Gifts - New pictures of the grand kids are always a great way to bless grandparents and personalized gifts don't have to cost an arm and a leg. We get of these types of gifts from sources like VistaPrint when they are offered for free and just have to pay shipping. We recently got a free photo wall calendar, free personalized t-shirt and free personalized tote bag from VistaPrint. These gifts can be completely made online from your home!

2. Sewing Gifts - There are lots of great free patterns online. This year we're combining my love of sewing with our desire to be better stewards of God's Earth by making cloth napkin sets for a few different family members. I'll also be making an apron and another scrappy belt.

3. Baked Gifts/Gifts in A Jar - Everyone likes homemade goodies, especially when they don't have to take the time to shop for special ingredients, make them from scratch or clean up the kitchen! You can find lots of recipes online of jar mixes for anything from brownies to seaoning mixes and beverage mixes. Here are some great places to start looking for ideas: Razzle Dazzler RecipesGifts from the KitchenTipNut’s Recipes & Resources, & Good Housekeepings Easy Homemade Holiday Food Gifts (like the Curried Lentil Soup pictured above). If at all possible get these gift done early. Even if you're baking, you can normally freeze the finished product then just thaw and deliver!

4. Themed Basket Gifts -We've made these for several families and for a variety of occassions. Choose a theme that revolves around a favorite hobby and get creative. One of our favorites is a "Family Night" basket with a game, snacks, movie, etc. For a ton of great ideas, visit Homemade Gift Basket Ideas or TipNut’s Ultimate Guide. You can easily find baskets for a great price at your local thrift store or dollar store.

5. Paper Crafts - If you have scrapbooking or card making supplies you can easily make personalized picture frames, a set of blank notecards, or even a themed scrapbook. We've made and given handmade cards to my mom who loves to send notes to friends and family. Also, I know as a busy mom I'd love a scrapbook with a page or two for each month or holiday, several empty spots for photos and a blank journal box for me to record our memories in.
What are some handmade gifts you've given or received? Are you planning on making gifts for this Christmas? We'd love to hear about your ideas.
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Blogger Blondee said...

Last year I made jars of homemade bath salts as gifts for all of the important ladies in my life. The kids helped, and it was a fun project. They are inexpensive, and easy to make with Epsom salts, essential oils, and the kids loved mixing scents and decorating the labels by hand. We even made a few jars for merely test our product, of course! lol ;)

November 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Tim, Allyson, and kids said...


Great idea! I know a few ladies who may be finding jars of bath salts under the tree :)

November 4, 2010 at 5:37 AM  
Blogger Jaedyn said...

I'm planning on doing homemade gifts this year. I like to do photo gifts for family and then sew what I can for friends and family - I'm still a beginner at sewing so I'm not real confident yet, though. :)

I did find a tutorial for making homemade no-sew knit scarves and I'm definitely doing that for all the women in the family! You just cut the knit fabric into scarves and you don't have to hem or anything. And who doesn't love a nice soft scarf? :)

I'll look into those gifts in a jar recipes, I always love the way they look and they're fun to make, too! Great gifts for church friends. :)

November 4, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

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