Friday, December 25, 2009

Homemade Christmas gifts

I love giving homemade gifts. I like taking the time to think of something special for friends and family, putting the time and creativity into the project, and being able to give something just a little more special than a store bought item. Homemade gifts can be frugal, thoughtful, and meaningful when done right, and given to a recipient who appreciates handmade items. I can't always seem to come up with a homemade gift that everyone on my list will enjoy, and I'm not into giving handmade gifts just to do it, so when necessary I'll purchase a gift. Since I was short on crafting time this year we bought gifts for most of the people on our list, but I still tried to make a little something special and handmade when possible. Here are some of the gifts that I came up with...

baby headbands for my niece (who is due February 18!)... I used stretchy lace for these, cut it to about 14-15 inches, sewed it together, then sewed a fabric flower on one, and an easy grosgrain bow on the other... this was quite an easy craft and turned out so cute!

pumpkin butter... for as long as I can remember I've given my mom a jar of pumpkin butter every year for Christmas, a couple of years ago I started making and canning it myself, rather than purchasing it at specialty shops. I made a few jars this year to send to friends and family. It's great on toast, pancakes, or waffles.

a tie tshirt for my nephew... I've been eyeballing this tutorial for a while and was itching for a chance to do it. This would be great on a onesie for a baby shower gift.

family cookbook... this has been an ongoing project, two years ago I gave these to my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. each page has a recipe, variation ideas and notes, and a picture of a family member taken within the last year. each year I continue to add to these, type up new recipes that we've tried that year and add new pictures. it contains all of our favorites, all of the classic family recipes, and some other fun creations. I gave them in a large binder, divided into sections (appetizers, soups, meat, etc.) and placed each page in a sheet protector so that it's spill proof. then each year new recipes can be added to the back of each section. I did this in Microsoft power point and used an existing presentation template to make this cheap and easy, and I print the pages myself. However any cookbook software (like Master Cook) could be used, or an entire book could be designed and ordered from any photo website comparable to snapfish.

personalized return address labels and bookplates designed in Microsoft Word then printed on labels


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