Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Crafty Gifts to Make

Make Fruit CordialsI know the holidays are pressing closer and time is getting short but if money is also short here is a great list of crafts that make cute gifts. And if you've already finished your shopping list, most of these would make fun projects to do with kids home from school for the break.

Last year's list can be found at Crafty Gifts to Make.

1. Make Homemade Fruit Cordials. Did you ever read Anne of Green Gables where Anne intends to serve cordial to Diana at a private party but instead accidentally serves her friend wine and gets her drunk? As a child I was fascinated about what cordials were--if Marilla gave some to Anne did that mean they were okay for kids? They sounded tasty, what were they?

Towards Sustainability has the recipe to make your own cordials which would be fun to bottle as gifts for friends--or to use for your own Avonlea party, who knows? At any rate I'm going to give them a try.

Knitted Ballet Flats2. Knit Some Pleated Ballet Flats. Coco Knits has a hip pattern for these warm and cute slippers that you could whip together before the holidays if you got right to it--though the days are shrinking and you'd better hurry! I'd make them in black I think.

3. Make Your Own Designer T-Shirt. Neither Hip Nor Funky has a tutorial on using freezer paper to decorate a t-shirt and I've had this in my bookmarks for over a year.

I just reread that last sentence and it's rather confusing if you didn't know that "Neither Hip Nor Funky" is the name of a blog. Oh how I love the intricacies of language!

I keep meaning to give this idea a try but haven't so far, maybe I can squeeze in some time when the kids are home and looking for a fun project to try.

Strawberry Bread with White Chocolate Truffle Icing4. Make Strawberry Bread with White Chocolate Truffle Icing. If the name alone doesn't convince you to make some of this white-chocolatey goodness I don't know that I could say anything more that would do the trick. What part of "truffle" or "strawberry" don't you understand?

5. Make Lotions and Lip Balms. I'm not sure why but it's very satisfying to make your own skin products--maybe because you get to play around with scents and essential oils, finding the blend that smells just heavenly. Indie Fixx has a tutorial on making them and having made some before I can promise that they really are very easy to put together. Wrap the finished products up in a piece of tulle tied with a ribbon and you've got a sweet gift.

Fabric Dollhouse6. Make a Felt Playmat. Felt Jungle has the cutest (I repeat THE CUTEST) pattern for making a felt playmat. My kids have always loved little plastic animals, we have so many around here that we've had to segregate the animals into separate bags for reptiles, dinosaurs, cats and insects because they all couldn't fit in one bag (though my kids thought it was because we didn't want to leave the herbivores to the mercy of the carnivores vicious habits).

This playmat would have been a fun gift to make for them and would have gone to good use. Wonder if they're too old for it yet?

7. Make a Fabric Dollhouse. And if gluing felt is too easy then you can crank it up a notch and make this toteable fabric dollhouse from UK Lass in the US which makes me run for the tissues it's so adorable. Boy they never had cuteness like that when I was a kid. Just those crazy ugly Monchichi dolls [shiver].

8. Make a Cake Stand. If you have friends who love to entertain or spend time in the kitchen try making this gorgeous terra cotta cake (or cupcake) stand from Once Wed. You'd never guess what it was made of would you? Okay maybe I gave that part away but still . . . very creative huh?

9. Make a Magnetic Flower Vase. This Curbly tutorial so cool that even if you don't try it yourself you have to at least click and view the video and appreciate someone else's creativity. WOW. All I can say is "WOW!" Well, that and that I might have to make a trip to Lowe's this afternoon to pick up the parts.

Make a Canvas Outdoor Chair10. Make a Canvas Outdoor Chair. For the outdoor enthusiast on your list make up one of these portable camping chairs that really look quite comfortable and stylish. The tutorial at Instructables looks manageable enough--and even I could enjoy the outdoors with a seat like that. Assuming it was placed on a beach. With sand. And LOTS of sun.

11. Make a Wooden Bookmark. Again from Curbly, one of these classy and sophisticated bookmarks would show the reader in your life how much you love them--or that you really want them to read more, I'm not sure which.

Make a Wooden Bookmark12. Make Some Hamster Ornaments. The word "hamster" paired with the word "ornaments" should be enough to get you to try these cute little guys from Snarky Dork. What says Christmas more than "rodent under glass"?

13. Make a Gold Leaf Journal. Buy an inexpensive notebook then dress it up for something fancier with this tutorial from Maquette.

and one more for good measure just because it's so "WOWZERS!"

14. Make a Trailer Camper. Just in case you have too much time on your hands and are just kicking around waiting for things to happen here's a project to keep you busy. Until next summer. The ULTIMATE do-it-yourselfer.


Real MemoriesAnd if you don't have time to make gifts and need suggestions for quick things that won't require a trip to the post office can I suggest the following?

Real Memories is an online site where you can upload a photograph, pick out custom framing materials and the company puts your order together for you and ships it out to your door. They gave me a chance to try it out and I was really, really impressed. We uploaded our 8 x 10 inch family portrait, picked out a maple frame and custom mat and it was put together and shipped out to us within a week.

If you're looking for a good gift that you can ship with just a click (anything to avoid that post office, right?) and that has lasting value this would be it. The photo and framing are top-quality and the cost is very reasonable. To have something that size custom framed here in town runs at least $100 but the price of this framing was under $75--and that's with $30 in shipping to Alaska.

Good last minute ideas for those who shudder at the thought of tackling a craft project. You can't go wrong with a framed photo.

Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions--for the Serena and Lily Bedding Collection for Children.

Technorati tags: Christmas, crafts, holidays, gifts,


Michemily said...

Those ballet flats are so cute!

Laurie said...

Very nice family pic. And I liked Inkubook. I plan on making another inkubook soon.

grace @ sandier pastures said...

Your family is picture perfect! Every one of you looks so happy and beautiful.

patty w said...

That is a wonderful photo!

Lots of great ideas there too. Hamster ornament? I didn't check it out yet but ...I dunno :)

Karen Olson said...

Love those ballet flats. I don't knit, but my daughter does and she'd love them.

A wonderful family photo!

Janet said...

I'm back temporarily. Did you miss me? :)
I read all the posts I've missed since holiday hair, but I'm not going to try to comment on all of them. These are some great projects, I LOVE the beaded snowflake ornament, I'm very sorry you were ill for the great Christmas tree expedition, and Andrew's Build-A-Bear story has struck fear into my very soul. I probably won't be around again until after Christmas, so if I'm not, Merry Christmas!!!

Annette Lyon said...

The knitter in me is really liking those slippers.

The Source said...

Wonderful ideas here! I think I'll pick the strawberry bread. Because umm...I can't knit. But I can bake! And it looks so delicious!

Gray Matters said...

Thanks for all the great ideas - I'm definitely going to do a felt playmate and if Santa brings me a sewing machine, I'll tackle the doll house.

Randy and Ally said...

Ok, now I want to watch Anne of Green Gables. And knit some ballet flats. And eat strawberry bread . . . darn normal life I need to attend to! I'll have to bookmark some of those for when I have a little more time.

Jenna Consolo said...

These are fantastic ideas! How do you find them? I'm afraid it's too late for this year, but I'm already excited to start a homemade Christmas for next year!

And yes, lovely family.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like you could be Brooke White's sister?

chelle said...

Wow I am loving those ideas. I can start for next year! hehe!

Agreed your family portrait is amazing!

Damselfly said...

I was just going to say GAAH! I need to run from your blog before I find any more projects to do a week before Christmas. But then look at your family! You people are just gorgeous. A great idea indeed.

Munchkins and Music said...

Great family pic! I'll need to check out that website, I didn't know you could do that!

J at said...

I love your family portrait. :)

I made family photo albums at (or's on my iPhoto), and it was fun and easy. Oh, and cheap!

Those slippers make me almost want to learn to knit.

Alexis said...

What wonderful ideas, I so need to put the crafty hat on this year. We did photo books for the grandparents, which was great when you have 50% coupon.

Love the family picture, we did that also I pick them up tomorrow I hope our looks as good.

SarahHub said...

Such great ideas! I love the ballet flats and felt playmat!

page2 said...

Boy, I'd forgotten all about Monchichi dolls. Now I can't get the tune from their commercial out of my head! We actually had one of those ugly things. Thanks for the great ideas. I think I'll make a fabric doll house for my daughter.

thediaperdiaries said...

THis list hurts my head :)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome Christmas craft ideas you got in here! I love the photo frame. I think I'll have our family picture framed also.

Lei said...

I can tell you what NOT to make! The photo project I posted about today! Lol!

Musings of a Housewife said...

Love the family photo!!! Gorgeous.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

What a great photo! And I must knit up some of those flats!!!


Kathy G said...

When my boys were little, I hung a Christmas countdown calendar and filled each day's pocket with some type of activity to do. One day we made presents for the aunts (every female got the same gift) and another day was uncle presents (again, all the same).

The boys are grown, on their own, and long past the days of countdown calendars (and homemade gifts for that matter), but I'd certainly use some of your ideas if we still made things.

Diane said...

So many cute ideas, I had to bookmark several of them to make in my 'spare' time this winter. There's some great gifts for the kids.
And I adored the hamster balls, however I shall refrain from showing them to my kids lest we have a Christmas tree full of hamsters in glass.