Thursday, December 03, 2009

Beautiful Homemade Gifts

Felt Book CoversWe've been encouraging the kids to make their own Christmas gifts but it's not always easy to find good projects that people will actually like.

Here follows some of my favorite projects from around the web--some good for kids, some better for adults--there's still enough time to get a start on some of these.

1. Make felt book covers
You can find good patterns all over the place for felt book covers, I've seen some with cute little pockets for pencils or strings attached with charms on them, this is one of the prettier versions and the link above gives a step-by-step tutorial.

2. Crochet snowflakes
Martha Stewart has a tutorial for a few styles but you can find these too all over the place. Pretty as package toppers or for decorating the tree or a window they're a beautiful little gift. Someone gave me a set of them years ago and we still hang them on the tree.

Hanging Bedside Organizer3. Make a bedside organizer
This is a good gift for younger gift givers and with a bit of glue it can be a project that doesn't require any sewing skills. A good gift for adults or kids, boys or girls.

4. Grow a ginger plant
By using a piece of ginger root you can start your own ginger plant indoors--a nice gift for someone who likes plants. They like humidity and filtered sunlight like most tropical plants so they're not a bad option as a houseplant. The instructions are on the link.

Altoid garden5. Make tiny terrariums
You know I love terrariums, they're just so cute and they always make fun gifts. A few of my recent favorites that I've come across are Altoid tin gardens, and lightbulb terrariums, globe terrariums.

Plants are always a nice gift and tiny is always endearing. The perfect combination.

Sewing Duck6. Make a sewing duck
I love this little guy--I've seen another pattern for one where there is a pin cushion built into the duck's back.

This particular sewing duck was on Etsy and has since sold out though you can get an idea how to make one from the picture. Very clever.

Crocheted Castle7. Crochet knights and a castle
See this cute little toy? A castle with knights, a dragon, a horse and princess--cute beyond words.

And you might even have time to finish it before Christmas if you hurry. Of course if you don't like the castle you can always instead crochet a dwarf battle helmet which is extremely tempting.

8. Make a tea party play mat
This is so cute! You'll need some sewing skills but if you've got the time and the skills it promises to be a gorgeous gift. And since I'm not including a picture with this one I'll just say that it's a tablecloth that has plates, cups, silverware and tea goodies on the fabric just as if it were a tea party set for a princess. Really cute. Did I say it was cute?

Sea Glass Candy9. Make a bottle of sea glass candy
So pretty! I love the packaging too--nearly as sweet as the candy inside.

I think I'd make mine watermelon flavored. I really like watermelon flavoring for some reason--it's weird though because it tastes nothing like real watermelon.

10. Make a survival kit
A great gift for kids to make, you take a tin box (again, Altoids work well) and fill it with things for your recipient's hobby. Fill it with bandaids, gauze, ointment and aspirin for a tiny first aid kit or fill it with wax, a wick and a package of matches to make an emergency candle (both are good things to keep in your car or kitchen).

Fill it with a needle, thread, buttons and tiny scissors and it makes a great sewing kit. Put a bandaid, flash drive, piece of candy and a pre-paid calling card and it's an emergency kit for your college student.

All sort of possibilities.

11. Make your own perfume
I haven't done this yet but it sounds so fun to try. If nothing else, you'd come away smelling so good.

Nutcracker12. Make a nutcracker
All this would take is a bit of drilling and a clamp and you've got a modern and sleek nutcracker, Don't forget a bag of walnuts.

13. Make some slippers
Very chic. The tutorial is there so there's no excuse.

14. Make an outdoor fire pit
I've wanted to do this for a while but there's not much sense in making a fire pit this time of year. No one would stay outside long enough to enjoy it. But still . . . it's a fun project.

Iron on Placemats15. Make iron-on placemats
Another project kids could make. This version has you ironing apples on burlap with fusible webbing but you could easily change it to a holiday picture or you could have children cut out their own shapes and let them decorate it with unique patterns.

Either way it's a cute project and would make a sweet gift.


And you can see previous posts where I've listed other great crafts for kids to make here:

Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make
Crafty Gifts to Make
More Crafty Gifts to Make
Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

Sponsored by Beau-Coup for unique baby shower favors.


Becky said...

Thank you for the fabulous links. There are some amazingly crafty people in the world...

Lori said...

I love the Tea Party Play mat idea! That would be a wonderful present for a little girl.

Patricia L said...

Wow, nice spammy comment. :) Just going to say that Sea Glass Candy is so easy to make it sound festive for Christmas, we call it Stained Glass Candy and do it up in red and green. Thanks for the fun ideas!

owlfan said...

How about something like making a checkerboard. if you don't sew, you could do it out of felt.

Flea said...

I love the slippers! Too darling! I'm making coasters this year for just about everyone. Both the stamped tumbled marble and wood burned wood and cork. Oh, and neck pack that are microwavable and smell like peppermint. Last year it was blown egg Christmas ornaments. I get antsy and creative at Christmas time. And broke.

Kathy G said...

My kids made presents for their aunts and uncles for many years. Some of the better ones were:

a calendar (gluing some of their artwork on a store-bought model)

polar fleece scarves (all you had to do was cut fringe on the edges)

flavored vinegar-dollar store bottles with a sprig of rosemary dropped in the finished bottle for effect (one aunt liked the effect so much she never opened the bottle!)

flavored coffees (I think we might have done this a couple of times over the years)

note pad blocks with two holes punched in the top so it could be held together with ribbon. We covered the base with Christmas wrapping paper.

April Mack said...

I'm making personal pies in a jar, hot chocolate on a stick, a teething doll (similar to that one, but not exactly), and a Waldorf doll (which is MUCH cheaper to make than buy) for some of my relatives this year. All of which I've never done before! Fun!

I've been fortunate enough not to have been affected much by the recession, but many of my relatives are really struggling. In my effort to give gifts they'll enjoy without embarrassing them with something expensive, I've taken a more hands-on approach this year. :)

Janelle said...

I love those terrarium ideas. The globe link is the same as the Altoids link, though.

Patois42 said...

Fabulous ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

CountessLaurie said...

Such great ideas! I am definitely going to try the sea glass candy. Maybe the terrariums. They look cute.

Ah, so much to craft, so little time...

Thanks for posting these!

CM said...

I like the survival kit idea. My 3 1/2 year old loves bandaids and with some help, could put this together. What a cute idea! Thanks.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you for all the wonderful links!
My daughter and daughter-in-law are teachers, and hopefully they will be able to find a project their students can make in class as gifts for their families.

jean said...

The nutcracker idea is my favorite. How very cool. My dad would love it.

Anonymous said...

I love your website. crafts, food, family. You have it all!

Amber M. said...

That is so funny...I made 150 #2s to go on our family's Christmas cards this out for yours!!

* said...

I'm bookmarking this post. Great ideas, all.

PS: I think the crafting felt of the 1970's is making a comeback. Big time. And I love it!

dust in the wind said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I especially loved the terrariums! This is my first time at your blog, and I look forward to reading more in the future!


threesidesofcrazy said...

I've been trying to make the majority of my gifts for the last several years and these are some fun ideas!

Robin G said...

Ginger would make a great plant for bathrooms. I like the felt book cover.