handmade

handmade holidays

A note to my family: Please stop reading this post or you will spoil your Christmas. Unless you don't mind potentially knowing what your gift will be. And in that case, you're a fruitcake. (But I love you anyway.) A few posts ago I mentioned hand-made gifts for the holidays and Jacqueline prompted me to share some ideas I've been toying with. I think hand-made gifts are especially good in this craptastic economy. Plus, when making gifts, I love to focus on whoever it is I'm making it for. It's like a little meditation on the people I hold dear. I wonder if they can feel/taste the love that went into them...

Added bonus: avoiding the mall/shopping (which is one of my own personal versions of hell.)

So handmade. I haven't settled on anything yet (or have I?!)... but I've been gathering ideas. Below are just a few. (I must also note that I am not a very crafty person... in fact I stink at crafty things, so these are probably super basic to those of you who are craft-superheroes. My apologies.)

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- Banana bread My mother in law, a few years ago, gave her recipes out in little photo albums and in there is a killer recipe for banana bread. It's super easy to make and is oh-so-delish. Here it is:

1 C sugar

1/4 C Crisco

2 eggs

1 C mashed bananas

2 C Bisquick

Grease and flour one loaf pan. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (till you can stick a knife in and have it come out clean).

You can tie it up with pretty strings or with tissue paper, like these:

photo from Martha Stewart.com

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- Speaking of recipe books. That would be a great hand-made gift, huh. Good thinking MIL!

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- No sew fleece blankets. I haven't done this before, but it looks really easy and I love soft fleece. (The teddy bear pattern, not so much.)

photo from craftelf.com

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- Bath salts. I would probably leave out the herbs though because they stick to the bath tub, pretty as they are. I did bath scrubs one year and they were well received I think. I had a lot of fun designing the labels, too, which I made with a peppermint theme.

photo from Martha Stewart.com

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- Snow Globes. I made these a few years back, too. Turned out pretty well. That was probably the craftiest I've ever gotten, too, which made me feel proud. :)

photo from Martha Stewart.com

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- Knitting scarves. I was a knitting fool last year and knit scarves for my whole family. I enjoyed it and I love to see them worn this winter. :)

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These are just some ideas. And like I said, I'm not a crafting expert. Here are several other links I've bookmarked for ideas: Sew Mama Sew, Instructables, Martha Stewart.

Do you have any more ideas that you've tried (and were easy) and loved the results? I'd love to hear them!

Also, another question: what do you do for people you know who wouldn't appreciate a hand-made gift (or say, a gift from Etsy, an artist's shop, or a donation to Heifer in their name?) Do you concede and just get them something store-bought?

Happy friday, friends!