Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Handmade Gift Ideas

I know. I am so far behind in the listing of gift ideas. I am even farther behind in the making of said gifts. Anyway, here are a few ideas (or sets of ideas) that might help you out this year. Or you can do like me, and hope you remember them for next year.

The thing is, I worry sometimes about giving handmade gifts. I'm never sure if the gifts are wanted or appreciated. Some people just don't like to get homemade stuff. And in the case of food gifts, especially at Christmas. . .well, there is SO much food around at this time of year. How do I know that the recipients will ever eat anything I've made them? And lets face it, standing over a hot stove/oven for hours making something that will never be eaten is not my idea of fun.

I think the best solution is to make sure that the gifts we give are high quality and are things that the recipients would love regardless of where they came from. In other words, don't give your uncle-who-hates-coconut a large tin of handmade coconut macaroons. He will never appreciate that. But homemade nut-caramels for your turtle-loving mother? That just might be a hit.

  • Photo Coffee Sleeve @ The Object Project - I can think of a few people who might like this one, if I can do it this year.
  • Kid Tote @ Just Deanna - Ok, first how cute is the name of her blog? Love it. Second, I think this idea can be adapted with some of the other tote patterns I have.
  • Animal Sewing Cards @ Chez beeper Bebe - I've been looking for ways to make our own sewing cards.
  • Fabric Memory Game @ Chez Beeper Bebe - Too cute, and she sells it in her etsy shop with a fabric box, too.
  • Full-length Apron from Tea Towel @ One Pearl Button - I think tea towel aprons are cute, but I really prefer full-length aprons.
  • Ultimate Handmade Holidays Master List 2009 @ Sew Mama Sew - All of the above ideas I found this the Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays list. This is the link for the master list. Lots of great ideas!
  • Sea Salt Caramels @ Through the Camera Lens - These sound wonderful, and would look so yummy under the tree.
  • Caramel corn @ Orangette - This sounds like a crispy caramel corn that would keep well as a gift.
  • Rag doll @ UK Lass In US - Isn't this doll the cutest? I bet the book where she found this pattern would be in your library or used book store, or perhaps you could find a similar pattern?
  • Edible Gifts @ Simple Mom - This is a huge list of recipes from around blogland, including cookies, gifts-in-a-jar, jams, etc.
  • Edinburgh Rock @ From High In the Sky - This looks kind of like after-dinner mints (but I don't think it is). I haven't tried it yet but it looks like a lot of fun.
  • Coffee Cozy @ House on Hill Road - This might be more likely to get done this year (at this point). I think it would be cute, and those cardboard cozies never block the heat enough for me.

I am also looking through the books Bend the Rules Sewing, Handmade Home and In Stitches to find ideas for this year. These are a few of my favorite sewing books that I actually own and can reference any time. I think the ideas included are gifts that anyone might enjoy.

What are your thoughts about handmade gifts? Do you hesitate to spend the time, concerned that the thought may be wasted? Or is everyone on your holiday list into the handmade treats?


Cheri said...

I was going to make personalized calendars this year. I know the effort would be appreciated and not wasted. I just had to admit I don't have time at the moment.

helena said...

I share your concerns and only give handmade when I have thought of something that I can make to high quality that will suit their tastes or needs. I like to make cookies to give at christmas but tend to take them as a hostess gift for the all the visiiting that happens this time of year, rather than as a christmas gift. My mum always gets something homemade - because I have done so since I was about 6!!

Sian said...

I'm lucky enough to have friends and family who appreciate homemade gifts..thank goodness! This is a wonderful list ..and thankyou for including me :)

Kelli said...

I appreciate handmade gifts because I am married to an artist, I love to craft, and I am a writer (artist). I know the love behind them. I love the thought of having a one of a kind item. I'm not much on shopping stores anyway. I think your ideas are lovely. I have though done a handmade Christmas and watched some people act like they didn't care for the knitted things I made. However, I watched my Grandmother cherish the scarf I made her out of organic cotton yarn in her favorite colors. It just depends on who it is I guess. What the priorities of the person are. I also agree though that the thought behind the gift is important and I think handmade gifts must sincere.

Sunny Snaith said...

Hi Dee ...

I had a "Fun Mama" too! I was an only child with a single mom and we did lots of crafts together, especially at Christmas. The time spent together was the best part.

One thing we did was take the plastic liners from those Airwick air fresheners (smelly wax, shaped like toy soldiers, Christmas trees, etc.) and fill them with plaster. After completely drying, we painted them with acrylic paints. To save time, just buy figurines/ornaments from Michael's and paint them.

I agree that such gifts may not be so appreciated but ours were for each other and our own decorations so that wasn't an issue.

I agree with other commenters that food gifts are great as hostess gifts, since someone at the party is bound to like the food.

I make Rice Krispy Treat sculptures to take a boring-but-widely-loved snack to a new level. Green dye, some redhots, and a red licorice bow add up to a Christmas wreath. Make several little ones for individual gifts.

My masterpiece was three batches of green Krispy Treats, stacked in a cone to simulate a Christmas tree. String caramel corn for garland, add M&Ms for lights, skewer three mini marshmallows for snowmen ornaments (face and buttons with kid's markers), place petit fors around the base for presents, and top with an angel ornament.

Another favorite "Home Made" gift is the gift of service. Many of us have talents that our friends lack. Offer to give a friend a PC Tune-Up (Defrag/cleanup/etc), or to detail their car (carwash and a good cleaning inside), and stuff like that. You can also make fancy movie tickets to treat a friend to movies in the coming year.

With everyone so strapped this year, giving service or gifts spread out over the year can be very welcome.