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The Annual Mothering Handmade Gifts Ideas Contest - Page 4  

post #61 of 121

For my daughter, I made a couple of simple, Waldorf-inspired dolls.


This one is a baby doll and it has poseable arms and legs. There is a free pattern I made that can be found on my blog and printed out here: http://doingwithout.livejournal.com/41229.html


You will not need extravagant sewing skills to make this doll and there are complete and detailed instructions on the blog.


babydoll5.jpg   babydoll4.jpg


I also made DD a regular Waldorf-style doll using a simpler pattern for anyone that would like to try a doll with non-posable limbs first. I love their toes! This doll was made from 100% upcycled materials. You can find instructions for this doll on the same blog here: http://doingwithout.livejournal.com/30295.html


doll1.jpg  doll2.jpg

post #62 of 121

This felt busy book was sewn by me, but you can use hot glue if you don't like needle and thread. Hot glue makes the work much faster. I use eco-fi which is felt made from 100% post-consumer recycled bottles. You can get a pretty good idea of how to make it just by the photos, but I have some simple instructions on the blog page for anyone wanting to know how I did something specific. http://doingwithout.livejournal.com/32572.html


bb1.jpg  bb2.jpg

bb3.jpg  bb4.jpg

bb5.jpg  bb6.jpg

post #63 of 121

100% Wool Alphabet Bean Bags


These are quite easy to make, even for a novice sewer such as myself :) Because I am making two sets of these this year plus many other handmade gifts I have recruited the help of my mom. This is a picture of the first set I made last year for my own daughters (bean bags I am making this year are not yet complete). Upcycled and felted wool or cashmere sweaters were used for the squares (approx 4.5x4.5). I purchased 100% wool felt (not cheap, but its nice to have bc then you can label the set as 100% natural wool fiber and the felt does go a long way when cutting out the letters). As for the letters I started to free hand, but then ended up using templates I found online and printed/cut out. Sew letter with a straight stitch one square then sew squares right sides together leaving a small opening to fill and sew this opening by hand after filling is complete. I like to fill mines with lentil beans bc they make a nice weight bean bag that is not at all bulky. Enjoy making and thanks for the contest!!


Set I just finished for this year!!

Edited by Kelly Ebejer - 12/7/11 at 5:24pm
post #64 of 121



I made my 5 month old a "Huggie" stuffy that is as big as she is and super squishy. I also made her an ABC book about her with pictures of things in her life. Fiona's ABCs. my 2 year old loves hers.


I made my 2 year old two new books about events from her life. Everyday things or yearly rituals work really good. Our new titles are "My New Sister" and "Apple Picking". The books include pictures from the event and a story written by your truly. She loves reading about herself! These ideas have made my 2 year old a "book-aholic".



Alaphabet book

post #65 of 121

I have been working on felting bars of soap in wool!


I did make soap, but store bought bars work great too.  I like rounded bars for this project.


First, take soap and wrap generously in loose wool, making sure that all of the soap is fully covered.

Then insert wool wrapped soap into the foot of a pantyhose stocking.

Run under HOT water.

Work into a later, rub, rub, rub, scrub, scrub, scrub.  (This is a great time in the project to include kids in on the work!)

It is helpful to work on a washboard or sushi roller.

After at least ten minutes (or longer), remove form pantyhose, quickly rinse, then towel blot dry and allow to full air dry.


Wah la....


It is like a bar of soap wrapped in a washcloth!  Great for in the bath with kids!


post #66 of 121




Hand-Print Reindeer Christmas Tree Ornaments. Your kids will have fun making this keepsake and makes a great gift for the Grandparents too. Get Creative with the Materials and Just Have Fun! (ideas for the body--sand paper, card stock, construction paper, cardboard. You can also use buttons, pipe cleaners, eyes, stickers, cotton, glitter, paint, markers, crayons, ribbon, etc. Use what you have on hand.


post #67 of 121

I will be making homemade "Nutella" for our family and friends this year: I love Nutella but we never buy it because the ingredients aren't great.  So here is a great way to enjoy a delicious snack that is healthier than store-bought!


Recipe is here:  http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/02/homemade-nutella-recipe-chocolate-hazelnut-spread/

post #68 of 121

Recycled Crayons


Here's a picture of one of my batches of recycled crayons. I also make hearts, flowers, cupcakes & dinosaurs. They are made by breaking up all the old bits of crayons and melting in a mould in the oven.

post #69 of 121

I'm making organic vanilla extract ~ which is normally very expensive.  All you need is organic vanilla beans (order online for significant discounts) and organic vodka (I found this at Winn Dixie liquor store ~ very surprised to find it there but WD actually carried 4 different types).  For 750ml (typical size bottle) you need about 16 beans or so (the more you put in the stronger and faster the flavors will be absorbed)... what most people are used to is Madgascar vanilla beans (for extracts) so I have tried a few smaller bottles with different combinations of Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla beans to see what the differences, if any.  So you take the beans and carefully split them lengthwise and insert them into the bottle/bottles.  Once a week or so for 8 weeks shake the bottle(s).  After that you can pour the extract into really pretty bottles attach a decorative label and I like to include a very simple sugar cookie recipe that really allows you to taste the vanilla in action. 


Thanks Mothering and Quirky Baby for a great giveaway ~ so hope I win the carrier ~ we're expecting in summer 2012 and have heard really good things about the BOBA especially when it comes to back issues (which I am currently dealing with). 

post #70 of 121
My kids will be making a set of paintings for each set of grandparents. I bought 8x10 canvases and will use vinyl letters to write inspirational words on each canvas, such as Peace, Hope, Joy, Love, Faith, etc. The kids will then paint the canvases - over the letters - with a variety of cheap acrylic paints from the craft store. They'll be allowed one color family at a time and after one dries they can go for another, so as not to muddy all the paints.

Once the painting is all done, we'll remove the letters, revealing the words in the middle of the paintings. The grandparents can display the paintings together or separately, but each will be a unique creation from their grandchildren.

Handprints will work well on these, too, which will be part of the pieces made by my 12.5mo.
post #71 of 121
post #72 of 121
We're making emergency olive oil lamps for family & friends this year. A few out of town family members received theirs at US Thanksgiving and they were *huge* hits. http://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2011/09/olive-oil-lamp-for-emergencies.htm

post #73 of 121
Could you tell me how to make a hand salve? I would love to do this as well...!!! I've been googling it and can't come up with much as far as truly natural and organic
post #74 of 121

This year I am making my children books on cd.


All I'm doing is recording myself reading their favorite books on the computer.  I'm using a program that can also be used to make podcasts so I can add fancy sound effects to turn the page, etc.  After I finish recording about 10 books for each child, I'll burn the audio files to a cd.  Because my children are all pre-readers, I'm finding the pictures of the book covers online and will print out a visual table of contents for each disk.  


Of all the gifts that my children will receive this year, I fully anticipate this to be a favorite.  What could be better than mom's voice (or dad's!) reading their favorite books with the style and inflection that they are used to?

post #75 of 121

My husband and I came across a box of old photos while sorting through storeage-- photos of  both my parents as children, their wedding photos, us kids growing up through the years, photos of my dad when he was in the service, letters from when he was in the VA hospital recovering from an accident and more. So many memories spanning almost 70 years. As I write this, I am still ''recovering'' from the tremendous emotion that somewhat overwhelmed me while looking through all of them. And then we realized what an amazing gift it would be to recover all of these ''lost'' memories and place them in photo\ memory books for both my mom and dad. Its so much more meaningful than any gift I could possibly think of-- the gift of memory, some of them bittersweet and others pure joy. I am looking forward to completing these and gifting them this holiday year!

post #76 of 121

I made these letter blocks to give to my mother for Christmas. I took some scrap 2x4 and cut it down to size, wrapped each piece in a different piece of Christmas scrapbook paper, wrote the letters on each block (wanted to use paint but I don't have a steady hand for that so I used a sharpie), then I used glue and silver glitter around the edges, and also put glue and black glitter on the letters. I love how they turned out. I'm going to make a set that say Noel too!


post #77 of 121

I always try to find something that is practical, unique, and FRUGAL gifts for our daughter's day care teachers. As a teacher myself, I always appreciate the simple gifts and those that take time not money to create. For me it means there was thought put into the gift. 


So, this year our daughters teachers will be getting mitten warmers.  We live in Canada, snowy, cold weather is arriving bit by bit and these seemed the most logical, simple and FRUGAL gift of all! These women are outside with 15 toddlers for 2 hours a day to minus 20 celcius.... so they NEED these!


I haven't started them yet-cutting the fabric as we speak, but will post the final pictures. Basically, if you can make a bean bag, you can make these!



cotton squares 10x10 (palm sized)


sewing machine



funnel or some way to fill the pocket

rice, flax seeds, beans, ceramic pie beads


With right sides facing each other, sew around the edges of the squares, leaving a small opening to turn and fill the pocket.

Turn right side out

Fill pocket with chosen material (rice etc)

Hand stitch the opening closed


Add the following information to the gift tag:

Heat for 1 1/2 minutes in microwave

Add to mittens

Enjoy the chilly weather.


The heat will last for approximately 30 minutes after heating.


I can't wait to get started on them!  I am using scrap broadcloth as a double liner with winter themed flannel on the outside, just to keep the sharp rice edges from ruining the pockets.


Happy Crafting!

post #78 of 121
Wow! I would love to do this too- what program are you using? I've got to do this! Could you provide more in depth instructions?
post #79 of 121
Wow! I would love to do this too- what program are you using? I've got to do this! Could you provide more in depth instructions?
post #80 of 121

I learned to crochet and I've made hats for all of the kids in my family.

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