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Home-made Xmas Gifts? Ideas? - Page 2

post #21 of 53
What about handmade soaps? Lip gloss? Bath/shower gel? Bubble Bath? Bath bombs? I have made all with great success. For guys you can make musk or bay rum scented soap or shaving soap in a mug. And add a nice brush.
I get most of my supplies at www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com
post #22 of 53
I really like the christmas potpouri in a jar idea. What do you do about the light cord? Drill a hole in the jar or let it come out the top? I'm thinking of crocheting a nice doilly and the chord could go through the stitches.
post #23 of 53
Originally Posted by cinnamonamon
Re: the lights in the bottle -- you can add less lights & add some popourri (sp??) -- the heat from the lights warms & increases the scent. If you use a canning jar, put a doily on top to allow for scent to be released into room.
Eep! No! That's a fire waiting to happen. The fire would probably self-extinguish in the bottle, but you risk an electrical fire from the wires melting. Christmas lights get pretty warm (not hot enough to burn your fingers, but fairly hot), and the enclosed environment of the bottle and all those lights together will amplify that. The dry matter of potpourri and the essential oils that are used to scent it are quite flammable.

You could, however, put a cotton ball in the neck of the bottle and put a drop or two of EOs on it. If you leave the seal wrapper on the neck of the bottle to hide it, it won't look ugly. Plus, it'll be easily rechargable - potpourri always seems to start smelling dusty after a while. And your recipient will be able to choose what scent s/he wants.
post #24 of 53
The last year that I did gifts (Isabel was in the hospotal last year) I made homemade truffles (Martha has a good recipe online, I think) and soaps with essential oils and seeds in them.

I do like the idea of felt ornaments - sounds sorta retro.
post #25 of 53
Originally Posted by tboroson
Eep! No! That's a fire waiting to happen. The fire would probably self-extinguish in the bottle, but you risk an electrical fire from the wires melting. Christmas lights get pretty warm (not hot enough to burn your fingers, but fairly hot), and the enclosed environment of the bottle and all those lights together will amplify that. The dry matter of potpourri and the essential oils that are used to scent it are quite flammable.
tboroson -- I was worried about the same thing when I heard about this. I was assured it was okay, but since I never believe anyone, I had to check for myself. I stuck my finger all around in the jar to test for hot spots, and there was never anything more than a pleasant warmth. I also use the really short strands -- 15 or 25 lights at the most, and used a canning jar instead of a wine bottle.

dogmommie_annie -- I just pulled my cord out the "backside" of the jar -- I tied the doily in place by putting a ribbon around the rim with a bow on the frontside.

Persephone -- sweets would probably be good -- the more nasty caffiene the better :LOL You can also check out http://www.thinkgeek.com for cute/cool novelty stuff. I shop for my dh & my brother there all the time.
post #26 of 53
Oh, I remembered one more...for the drinking crowd... And I don't know that it's very "natural," but anyway...

Homemade coffee liquor (Kulua type but has coffee flavor already):

1 quart water
10 tablespoons instant coffee -- not a cheapie brand; Tasters Choice works well
3 cups sugar

Bring to a boil, let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When completely cool, add:

3 Tablespoons vanilla
1 Pint Vodka (ahem...my dh uses the highest proof he can find...his mother gave me this recipe & uses a more moderate proof...)

We also tend to let our mixture simmer a little longer -- the mix ends up stronger & the flavors a little more pronounced.

It tastes great mixed with milk (don't add more vodka to make "white russian"!), and my friends enjoyed mixing it with their coffee.

Now if I could just NOT be pregnant or almost exclusively nursing a young child at some point in the next few years, I might get to enjoy a little more than a taste or 1/2 a drink... :LOL
post #27 of 53
Just subscribing to this wonderful thread.
post #28 of 53
Thread Starter 
HeatherE- A 30-foot strand will fit into a 1.5 pint bottle.
And as for a fire hazard, my mother started making these years ago, bringing them out every christmas, and I've personally never felt them get hot, or spark, or anything like that. I'm making them now, 'cause I've got lots of new inlaws that haven't seen them yet.
post #29 of 53

Great ideas!

You all have some great ideas! I was thinking of starting a few scrapbooks for a few family members...my nana, etc. With all of the supplies I already have, it should get me started!
Can't wait to see more ideas!
post #30 of 53
I am thinking of making everyone some LTK mocs. I made some today for my 3 year old and they are awesome. Totally beautiful and very durable with the bulky yarn I bought. I am sending dear friends a sweater made by me for their new babe, making my mom a scarf out of silk and another scarf for whomever I get assigned to. DH has a large family and we exchange names.

I really like painting ornaments for everyone or making felt ones, that is really something to remeber every year.

If I get good a knitting, I will attempt to make some socks but the mocs really are easy and would be just as good I think.

What about sewing up a nice reusable bag that could be used a wrapping paper.
post #31 of 53
great ideas ladies!

cinnamonamon - love the thinkgeek link. perfect for my brother!
post #32 of 53
Last year I made red felt cardinals for family members.

I cut a streamlined bird shape in profile out of the felt and whipstitched with red thread, stuffed it, added wings cut out of 1 layer red felt & blanket-stitched around the edges. Sewed on red & silver glass beads, shiny black beads for eyes & added a "crest" & tail of red feathers and a hanging loop of narrow red ribbon.

I was thinking these wold be attractive machine-sewed, too, if the edges were cut out with pinking shears.

For DH, ds, & then-in-utero-dd, I sewed birds too, but out of small scraps of luxurious silks & velvets, with more elaborate embroidery.
post #33 of 53
I'm making collage iron-on transfers for flour sack tea towels. The collage is crazy food-themed lady, which I will print out onto transfers and take to a place with one of the iron-on machines to iron them onto the tea towels for me. I bought two done flour sack tea towels with a collage on them for $8.50 a piece at a book store recently, which gave me the idea. After all my costs, I'm making them for about $6.50 a piece.

Crocheting slippers for my niece.

Making felt hand puppets for my nephew.

CD-box set for my other nephew (burning CDs, designing groovy covers).

Finishing a quilt I started a long time ago for my grandparents.

Made a quilted bag the other day for my uncle.

Making biscotti to go with the tea towels.
post #34 of 53
A few other ideas I'm working on....

1 - one of Kea's set of blocks came in a wooden box, and I'm using it to make a shadow box for a friend. Kea is really into mermaids, so I'll use photos, shells, sand, etc to make a 3-D collage of the two girls as mermaids.

2 - a friend went to a wedding where they created "blessing boxes" for all their guests, and I just love the idea. Basically, they printed 20-30 different cards with various quotes/blessings and the idea is to pull one before a meal, and share it before eating. It's not tied to a specific religion, though I guess fairly spiritual. I just like the idea of bringing family together for a couple of calm moments in the day with time to reflect and be thankful for all that we have!

3 - it's often easy to find cheap sources of flannel with neat prints on them, so I'm going to make some pillow cases for people

4 - a bit crazy, but every year I decorate a pair or two of underwear for DH to put in his stocking. Last year I had fabric markers, and traced my hands on his buttocks and decorated it all, and this year I'm going to cross-stitch some funky pirate stuff on it. It's kind of become a tradition, though one of my friends asked incredulously, "you're going to cross-stitch J's undies?!!!" Could be fun with cheap socks, too - oh and one year I had some leftover funky silk from nepal with dragons all over it, and I sewed a very simple tie with it by tracing out another tie, and it looks very sharp!
post #35 of 53
We always do some sort of homemade gifts for family and friends (and now for the army of teachers for the boys, LOL!) Last year for MIL I did this quilt for my MIL. It was really easy, teh pockets were the toughest part and they are heavyweight vinyl, just sewn on with a striaght stitch (use tissue paper over the vinyl so it'll go through the machine easy, then just pull it off afterwards) It's just fat quarters cut in quarters, then sewn into a patchwork, then sew on teh vinyl, layer with batting (I used warm and natural cotton batting cause I have a boatload of it, LOL) and muslin back. I'm pretty sure I got the idea online, so if you do a search for picture quilt you'll find better directions, LOL.

I also love doing snowmen from warm and natural tea dyed batting. I dye the batting (usually a 1/2 yard or so, then I can get 3 or 4 snowmen from it) with tea, about 4-5 teabags to a big pot of water. Let it dry, then use a salad plate to trace a circle (for the bottom of the snowman) and then a coffee tin or something similar size circle for the top of the snowman. Use needle and thread to gather the circle edge, but don't pull closed yet. Stuff with polyfill, then pull the thread tight (I usually triple the thread or use fishine line so it doesn't break when you pull tight) Do the same with the smaller, then sew them together. use embroidery floss to do primitive face details, scarp fleece for a scarf, and if you want use rusted tin wire for arms (or find nice twigs in the yard) I used to have pictures of the snowmen I've made in years past, but can't find them on my harddrive anymore, and my site crashed so they got wiped out from there. Oh, forgot to add, once you pull the bottoms tight, you should cut a circle from teh batting to cover it and whipstitch the circle on (so you don't have any exposed open areas.) You can also weigh the bottom with beans or rice. These are SO cute and everyone always loves them for decorating their house. My MIL has a set of them that she puts on her mantel every year

ETA, I found a pic on a CD Here's my snowmen The joy stars are buttons that I threaded onto the tin wire before I poked the wire into the sides And here's another pic THe flat guys in this one are the same tea dyed batting, but cut two in teh shape of snowmen, sew (leaving space at top to flip rightside out) We use them as ornaments

Okay, last idea, LOL! A few years back I did quillows for everyone I knew. Basically a simple rectangle of fleece, about 40 x 60, with a square sewn to the bottom cneter of one side (square shold be 18 x 18 or so) you fold the sides in and down then stuff in the square to make a pillow You can usually get fleece really cheap around now at wal-mart or using the coupon from joann's, and I made at least 5 of these for about $20 total.
post #36 of 53
Im trying to think of some things I have done in the past. Most of my christmas gifts are not hand made though, I never have enough ideas LOL.

Light bulb snowmen: I finally found a use for those mismatched baby socks and used burnt out frosted light bulbs on the internet last year. Don't let this picture I found online fool you, mine was SO much cuter, I dont have a picture, and it's still packed away in last years christmas ornaments.


here is another one that I found while trying to find the pic of the previous one.


You can also take clear glass bulbs, and use acrylic craft paints and squirt some in there, roll the colors around, I did silver, green and red last year, they were pretty, I tied a red ribbon at top...
post #37 of 53
Can you knit? for the video-game-loving teenager how about a knitted Space Invaders scarf? here's the URL http://www.livejournal.com/community...rs/219411.html

good luck
post #38 of 53
Knittin' in the Shade, those snowmen are so cute!!!! I want to make some but Im not sure Im 'crafty' enough! and Im not sure what batting is, did you mean the cotton batting? wouldn't that tear easily? In the picture it looks like a flannel type fabric. sorry for all the questions but I really love them and want to figure this out.

Also wondering if anyone knows how to make those packs that you can microwave and put on sore muscles... I think they are flax filled : or something like that.

Im also thinking of doing flavoured olive oil if I can find the bottles, I found instructions on one of the links someone provided - thank you
post #39 of 53
the warm and natural cotton batting is like a thick flannel sheet almost, it's not like the poly batting. you can work it very easily, not hard at all the snowmen really are easy to do, and the more primitive (read: non-crafty) they look, the cuter they are!

you can use flannel if you can find it cheap, just tea dye it the same way and use a hairbrush to fluff it up and give it that snowy look
post #40 of 53
Originally Posted by Astrid
Also wondering if anyone knows how to make those packs that you can microwave and put on sore muscles... I think they are flax filled : or something like that.
Here ya go! http://www.save-on-crafts.com/arpil.html

I'm making these for my mom, sis, and SIL. I've made muslin inner bags and I'll fill them with organic flax seeds and lavender. Then I'm going to make a removable (washable) outer made of cotton/rayon velour that I hand-dyed lilac. I'm going to enclose them in cut velvet zippered bags that I bought from Dharma Trading and hand-dyed lilac too.

The ladies are also getting a relaxing body scrub made from kosher salt, apricot kernel oil, and lavender essential oil. I'll put the scrub in jars that have tight fitting lids (I have to ship them).

My brother and BIL are getting LTK felted wool mocs made from Peace Fleece worsted weight wool - I'm using Baku Black and Patience Blue and they are coming out great. They are also getting navy blue fleece lounging pants that looks super with the Patience Blue wool. If I have enough time, I'll make matching mocs and pants for 2 small nephews to match BILs and I'll make mocs and pants for DH and DS.

DD is getting a bunting doll made from a kit at Weir Dolls. DS is getting a box of dress-up/pretend clothes that I'm hoping I can talk my mom into making. DS is also getting 2 Maxim Tumble Treehouses and I'm going to make a set of small dolls and/or gnomes to live in the treehouses.

So much to do!
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