Wednesday, December 15, 2010

handmade holiday tips

We'll I've been spending a year making gifts.  It's been wonderful and fun and overwhelming all at the same time!  Along the way, I've learned a thing or two about handmade gift making and giving. 

And it's not too late to make even just one gift . . . it's not too late to give one gift that has been labored over and loved on. 

Check out the tutorials and gifts idea page or go visit One Pretty Thing for a few ideas, and keep in mind these tips:

1) Be realistic about your skill set. It’s not necessarily the time to learn a new skill two weeks before the holidays. If you do not know how to crochet, do not start now in an attempt to make scarves for all your friends. Think about something simpler like painting and distressing a picture frame that will hold a special picture of you and your friend.

2) Keep in mind the recipient of the gift. What does she or he like to do? Is she an avid cook? Make a unique apron and oven mitt. Is he a golfer? Make him a few monogrammed ball towels and tees. Lavender-infused drawer sachets may not be a good gift for someone who is sensitive to scents. A homemade messenger bag may not be the best gift for a friend who prefers high-end bags and purses.

3) You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a special gift. Handmade gifts don’t have to cost a lot. For example, if you don’t know how to sew but you have an avid cook in the family, collect a wide range of recipes, print them neatly on recipe cards and tie them with a ribbon.  Do an internet search for free printable recipe card templates for added flair.

4) Personalize it. Take an old standby and personalize it with a monogram, name or an appliqué. For example, make a monogram taggie blanket for a baby or buy an inexpensive plain t-shirt and add an appliqué of a dinosaur for a budding adventurer.

5) Step it up a notch. Do you always give a book to your husband? Well, go ahead buy him one more this holiday season, but make it part of a set that includes a coffee mug cozy (because every bookworm loves to drink coffee or tea), a pen-holder/bookmark and a coupon for two hours of uninterrupted reading time.
6) Don’t forget food gifts. Almost anyone can buy ingredients and assemble “in-a-jar” gifts. Do an internet search for “in-a-jar” recipes, place the necessary ingredients in a mason jar and place a recipe tag around the top of the jar.

7) Children don’t need that must-have gift. Avoid the long lines and waiting lists for the must-have toy of the season. Handmade toys can increase imagination and encourage creativity. For example, my children love to pretend that they work in a post office. They spend hours stamping and delivering mail all around our house. So this year I made them both a pretend and play post office set complete with a fabric mailbox, stationery set, and mail carrier bag. I predict hours of fun in our future.
8) Include children in your gift-making. If you have kids or grandkids, pick out some simple, gift-making ideas and include them in the process. However, put away your need for perfection and get ready to make a mess!

There you have it . . . eight tips to get you started and finished by Christmas!

Craft on!

**Have you checked out the DIY Life eZine yet?  Do it!  I had these tips printed in this season's issue, and it is chocked full of other holiday ideas.


Amanda said...

Love these! And don't forget even something simple like candy can be made into a super cool gift with the right packaging! :)


Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

I love this post. It reminds me that it's not about the actual gift, but the thought and love that goes into it! Thanks, Elizabeth!

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