Homemade gifts

Is it too late to write posts about the holiday season?  I’m going to go with NO and write what I want to write.  🙂 I hope you all will allow me this slight delay in theme.

First, a little history.  I had a slight inkling back in the fall that I might be out of a job at the end of 2012 and as each month went by I was more and more sure of that feeling.  It was finally confirmed about a week before Christmas that I was indeed being laid off and my last day would officially be December 31.  I had already been planning for this and stopped any unnecessary expenses in November and decided that this Christmas, some people would be getting a few handmaid items.  Fortunately for them I had been expanding my repertoire of crafts and was able to make them something more than just a macaroni noodle collage of our faces.  Here is what I did!

 

Knitted Headbands105

This year I learned to knit for my Mom’s birthday gift.  Weirdly I didn’t take any pictures of her gift but I knit her washcloths/dishrags.  Sounds like a weird gift but it was what she wanted.  Every time she looks at dishrags or uses one of the ones she has she complains that they get moldy so quickly and they aren’t made like they used to be.  When I moved in with my roommate, I noticed she had hand knitted dishrags, that they were awesome, and didn’t get moldy.  So I asked her to teach me how to knit them and I set off making them for my Mom.  She received quite a lot of dishrags for Christmas.  I’ll try to remember to take a picture when I’m at my parents’ house next and update this!  Needless to say she was quite happy with them.

106When I realized how easy knitting was I started looking up directions on how to knit other things and came across this headband and saw that it used the same stitch I had been using for the dishrags.  I just needed different yarn!  So of course, off I went to the craft store and bought a ridiculous amount.  110I kept one of the above headbands for myself and the other went to my Grandma who is always cold.  160Emily requested a bow for her headband so of course I figured out how to make a bow.  Here I am modeling how it can also be worn as ponytail decoration.  I actually made her two bows.  This one and a gigantic one.  Again, I forgot to take a picture.  So this year Emily and her sister Lauren received headbands and bows.  I still have to finish a headband for Becky and my Mom but so far everyone has loved them!  I wear mine on my freezing cold runs outdoors, btw and it keeps my nice and toasty!

 

Picture Tile Coasters

I wanted to make my roommate something special and personal for Christmas and when I came across these coasters I knew I wanted to make some for her.  I love the idea of using quirky paper, but I knew Dashielle would appreciate something more personal.  So of course I became super sneaky and removed pictures she has in various places throughout the apartment and took them to Staples to make color copies.  Teehee.  I then used those color copies of her photographs as the paper for the coasters.  If you want to do something similar just make sure you resize the copies to fit the coasters, brighten or darken the pictures as needed on the copier, and leave plenty of time for the ink to dry on the paper.  It takes longer than you’d think.  And accept that there still might be some ink smearing when you apply the Mod Podge.  If you don’t want to risk any ink smearage than don’t do color copies!  Becky also made these and she used cute scrapbook paper and they turned out so fun!  Total cost?  About $4!

043

(I messed up on the bottom left and there is a crinkly in the paper)

Stamped Stationary

Dashielle and I share a love of stationary so I wanted to incorporate that into the gift as well.  Becky and I went to the craft store to search for ideas and came across some stamps I loved that I thought fit Dashielle to a T.  Of course, I didn’t take pictures of the ones I made her but here is an owl one I made for Emily.  108

I bought 4 different colored inks, a few different stamps, alphabet stamps, and plain white stationary.  On each envelope I stamped their names in the return spot.  This envelope is a little wonky… they got better with each one I did.  By the end I was a pro!  There is a matching color envelope for each card.  They turned out so cute!  Total cost?  About $10!  Dashielle, Emily, and Becky each received a set!  I tied each set with a curled ribbon to make it a little fancy.  Word to the wise? The quality of ink matters!  I bought ink for $1 each the first time and when I tried to stamp with them they came out too light and cheap looking.  I returned them and bought better ink with the 50% off each item the craft stores always have.  (PS there are Michaels and Joanns iphone apps that allow you to bring up the coupons really quickly and easily!)

I definitely had fun coming up with unique gifts and finding the right materials.  Fortunately I love to craft so these were totally a labor of love!

Did you make gifts this holiday season?

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One response to “Homemade gifts

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