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The Annual Mothering Handmade Gifts Ideas Contest  

post #1 of 121
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The Annual Mothering Handmade Gifts Ideas Contest


Do you have some handmade gift ideas to share? 


We have a contest and a great prize from Quirky Baby!


First head over to Quirky Baby's Facebook page and click their "Like" button as a show of appreciation.


Then come and post your crafty, creative, yummy, and artsy handmade gifts ideas along with a simple how-to (and a pic if you have one) and you will be entered into our Handmade Gifts Ideas contest.


Please post one handmade gift idea per post. The winner will be determined by thumbs-ups for each posted idea - so spread the word and thumbs-up your favorites!


Grand Prize: A Boba 3g from Quirky Baby!




The Two Runners-Up winners will receive a Mothering Supporter Membership and a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate.


Last date to post an entry is December 10th, 2011. US and Canadian residents only. 


A big thank you to Quirky Baby!!


About QuirkyBaby:

New to babywearing or need a new carrier as your baby grows? QuirkyBaby specializes in fun, functional, and fabulous slings and carriers. Top brands include Beco, Ergo, Boba, BabyHawk, Pikkolo, & Scootababy buckle carriers; CatBird Baby, BabyHawk & Kozy mei tais; Sakura Bloom & Maya Wrap ring slings; and Moby Wrap & Wrapsody wraps. Great accessories, including BabyLegs, and doll carriers, too! Need help choosing? QuirkyBaby features extensive information based on years of experience helping thousands of customers. Enjoy free US shipping and QB Bucks rewards points an all orders, and free gifts on purchases of $75+!
post #2 of 121

I am making herbal salves with olive oil, beeswax and herbs collected from the wild and my garden.  Some of them are diaper salves, some are hand salves and all of them are being presented in recyled baby jars- since my little boy just started eating solids.  I am covering the lids with recycled fabric and ribbons.  They look super cute and are personalized to each person I am giving them to!

post #3 of 121

I love that idea!


post #4 of 121

I just had my mother's old sewing machine restored and so I am looking forward to making some reusable sandwich/snack bags for all the mama's in my playgroup.

post #5 of 121



Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate in Decorative Mason Jars

Put the ingredients from below (minus the milk) in a decorative mason jar, place some festive fabric over the lid and tie with raffia, make a handwritten card with the ingredients and directions to attach to the ribbon. Viola! A simple and festive gift for the holidays! (this is best for adults-for children exclude the cayenne pepper.)


  • 1 quart soy milk
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and whisk over medium-low heat until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is steaming hot, about 5 minutes. Serve. Yields 4.


post #6 of 121

I am going to make bath bombs for my family and friends!  I hope to involve my 2 sons in mixing and molding, as I think they'd enjoy it, as they love to help cook, and they can help pick more kid-friendly scents. 


The recipe I'm using is:  2 parts baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to 1 part citric acid (used in canning, baking; can be found at health food stores or online). Mix together, adding food coloring and essential oils for color and fragrance if desired.  You can also add a little almond oil, olive oil, or apricot oil as desired.  Spritz with a bottle of witch hazel, while stirring; just a little at at time, until the mixture sticks.  Don't use too much spritz or your bath bomb can start fizzing prematurely! Then mold using ice cube trays, ornament molds (those little plastic balls that stick together), soap molds, chocolate molds, muffin trays, etc.  Once it seems set, knock gently out of mold, then let air dry.  Wrap in tissue or cellophane for gift-giving!


I decided to make my own after I treated myself to a bath bomb at my local food co-op.  Thought, hmm, this is something I never buy for myself, but I bet they would be pretty cheap to make at home, plus you can choose different scents and formulations.

post #7 of 121
I'm going to make elastic bookmarks for all my book-loving friends. You take elastic used for jewelry/beading, make it into a big loop, and add a pretty charm & some beads to the end. It makes a snazzy stay-put bookmark, so even if you drop your book you don't lose your place!
post #8 of 121

This year I made a ton of birdseed ornaments that could be hung on the indoor tree or hung outside on trees for the birds.  I used star cookie cutter to make them into the shape of stars and ball jar lids to make circles.  They came out great and I can see doing them year after year!


  • mix together the 1 envelope of gelatin with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer while stirring. continue stirring until the gelatine is dissolved.
  • remove from heat and let cool for a minute.
  • stir in 3/4 cup birdseed. adding a little more if there is liquid still in the bottom of the pan.
  • lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.
  • cut your twine, knot the end and push the knot down into your birdseed.
  • continue filling with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and knot.
  • push the birdseed evenly into the cookie cutter until it's full.
  • allow them to dry overnight. turning them over every now and then.
  • remove from the cookie cutters and hang them in your trees.


I know my mom plans on using them on her tree and then putting them out in the spring.  She said she wants to be sure I send more next year so she can do the same again!  I love that they are a bit of holiday cheer but are useful year round!  I also think next year I will use many different colored twines and ribbons!  


post #9 of 121

We are making just about ALL of our gifts this year so here is idea 1:

We took White oven bake clay and rolled it out to about 1/4 thick. Then we used a tree cookie cutter and cut out trees. Then the kids made fingerprints on the trees and using a straw made a hole at the top of the tree to put a ribbon in. We baked the trees and then when they were cool, I painted each finger print a different color. Finally I connected the finger prints with a line of black paint. Our finger prints are now christmas tree lights! I wrote the kids name on the back and the year!fingerprint christmas tree ornaments

post #10 of 121

Those are the hit craft of the year, aren't they?  I've seen them all over Pinterest the past couple of weeks.

Yours turned out really well!



Originally Posted by BrieS View Post

We are making just about ALL of our gifts this year so here is idea 1:

We took White oven bake clay and rolled it out to about 1/4 thick. Then we used a tree cookie cutter and cut out trees. Then the kids made fingerprints on the trees and using a straw made a hole at the top of the tree to put a ribbon in. We baked the trees and then when they were cool, I painted each finger print a different color. Finally I connected the finger prints with a line of black paint. Our finger prints are now christmas tree lights! I wrote the kids name on the back and the year!fingerprint christmas tree ornaments


post #11 of 121

I really like all the previous ideas!


I think the favorite homemade gifts I've given were play dough gift baskets.  I made several varieties of homemade play dough - different colors, scented with different oils, some rolled in glitter.  I put them in small containers.  Each basket contained every variety.  I peppered the baskets with simple play dough toys - wooden tools and metal cookie cutters.  I also included measuring cups, a wooden mixing spoon and the recipe written on cardstock, so the kids could help their moms cook replacement dough, when this set dried up.


True, it required minor purchasing, for the toys and containers.  But most homemade gifts require some type of supplies.  And I found affordable sets of wooden kitchen implements; small containers; and cookie cutters, then divided them among the baskets.  I gave a basket to every kid (or set of siblings) close to me, in the toddler-through-kindergarten years.

post #12 of 121

We made some soy wax candles, scented with festive smells - candy cane, coffee in your pjs, sugar cookie, etc. Gifts for teachers, instructors, grandparents and some just for the festivities.


IMG_1320 copy.JPG


And topped them off with burlap, string and a tag.

IMG_1334 copy.JPG


For the time being, they make a decent festive mantle display.


5lb bag of soy wax,



scents (fragrance oil for candle making)

dye. (color chips intended for candle making)


We used the microwave method - melted the soy wax in a container (1 minute at a time until melted - 2-3 mins),

Remove from microwave

Add color, mix.

Add a scent.

Pour in container and hold wick in place (prop it with pencils)

Let wax set (24 hours)

Trim wick

Cover with burlap or pretty paper!


**edited to add details. (link to my blog post, which contains a link to a soy wax and fragrance supplier)

Edited by SunRise - 12/12/11 at 10:58am
post #13 of 121



Your tree ornaments are beautiful.  Do you have a recipe for the oven baked clay that you could share?



post #14 of 121

I am making home canned apple butter and Hard lotion bars, like these http://www.hardlotion.com/howtomakelotionvideo/  except i bought my own ingredients not a kit.

post #15 of 121

I have made my girls a little dollhouse out of cardboard that I am decorating. So far I have put in the fabric wallpaper with watered down fabric glue. I will do the floors, decorate the outside and add accessories and make some furniture out of old thread spools and various knick-knacks I have around the house. I do a little in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. It is for their lalaloopsy dolls and will accompany the castle we made of styrofoam together and the igloo from wood blocks my middle daughter and I made for her habitat study at school. The roof lifts off that one.


Here is a picture of the base house.



with "wallpaper", still more to do. floors, finishing.etc




I used scrapbook paper that is actually made of real wood for the floors, doors, windows and a fireplace. With magazine photos for the fire and the view out the windows.






I will trim the edges to hide the corrugated cardboard and I found a 3-D wood "puzzle" of dollhouse furniture for $5.00 that I think the girls would LOVE to put together and paint.


  I also found a gold cigar wrap that will be perfect for a headboard. 




rick rack covering edges (outer edges will be done after I decorate outside of house, have been pressed for time. so tired after kids sleep I fall asleep. LOL)




I have been unsure of how to do the roof,I didn't want to just paint it and I went through many possibilities in my mind before solving the problem last night in my dreams. Sandpaper. My Hubs is a handy guy and happened to have some and it was BLACK so it looks even better.




some things I would do differently:

- cut the bottom part of the sandpaper strips sort of wavey to give it a whimsical cottage look.

-cut the doors and windows out completely. Attach the door with bits of thin wire so it could be opened and shut. Use the scrapbook wood paper for the windows sandwiching in a piece of clear plastic, the thicker type that covers the window on toy boxes in the store or macaroni in a box.

-mark out where the walls owuld be and attach fabric wallpaper BEFORE center walls and ceiling go on. 


Still to do:

-make some sort of chimney up the outside of the house on the other side of the wall that has the fireplace

-make outside windows and doors. I think I will use pipe cleaner to make it look sort of like candy canes as the lalaloopsy's are supposed to be small and whimsical.

Edited by Thursday Girl - 12/20/11 at 7:21am
post #16 of 121

Gifts for grown-ups- we are making peppermint bark and packaging them  with a pretty ribbon. Family will get a little ornament made by the kids, and a few special friends will get a key lime juice we squeezed with some of our favorite key lime juice recipes including our much sought after key lime pie recipe.

post #17 of 121

Gifts for kids- Each kid or sibling set will get homemade playdough and a little set of dinner games. Cards that have conversation starters or little games that can be played at the table. The games they get will depend on the ages of the kids.


The cards will read things like-


Imagination Hide and Seek

The person who is it imagines where they might hide in the house and others have to guess where they picked, clues can be offered slowly to try and figure out the spot.


Fireman Fran


One person thinks of a job and describes characteristics such as "She wears boots, a thick coat and rides on a truck. Who is she?" Whoever correctly guesses gets to go next.


It will also have questions like "If a new student came to your school and no one would talk to them what would you do?"

post #18 of 121

Memory Jar


Last year, my siblings and I made a memory jar for our mom.  I sent them all scrapbook paper strips in the mail, with the instructions to write a sweet memory you have with mom on each strip and bring them for Christmas.  I had a large, clear vase on hand and tied a pretty holiday ribbon around it and we placed the memories in the jar. Finished! 


She LOVED this!  We LOVED this.  We sat around the tree while she read the memories and we cried, laughed, and shared together.  It is probably the most wonderful gift I've ever given.  She still has the vase, and all the memories, displayed in her home.  =) 

post #19 of 121

For my neices and nephews I sewed red & green pajama pants, paired with a white t-shirt with the initial of their first name on them.  For my boys I crocheted them each a teddy bear & making them a "manly" change wallet that zips at the top and folds just like a bi-fold wallet, made of black [fake] leather.  For my daughter, I crocheted her a doll.  Then for the adults in our family I made them a "family tree" with sticks, silk leaves & pictures of their grandkids (or great grandkids) mounted in a pretty glass vase with rocks & moss grass with the inscription "My grandchildren; the precious seeds of tomorrows trees".  Trying to be crafty every way I can to save some $$ this year!  joy.gif

post #20 of 121

We drew names and each picked another family member to make gifts for.  We each have a $20 budget for supplies.


I'm making my daughter a pocket scarf (scarf with a pocket sewed onto it, which I will make some small stuffed critter to place inside it), some knitted flower headbands, lavender bath salts, rose body cream, decoupaging a freecycle-gifted cigar box and turning it into a velvet-scrap-lined jewelry box, glitter shell ornaments (we collected these shells together over the summer).....and we'll have to see what else I can come up with!


For all of our neices and nephews, we're making snowy owl ornaments - using a pinecone that we stuff with cotton, adding wings and eyes made out of felt, and maybe some small googly eyes!



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