Making handmade gifts for the craft challenged? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 21 Old 11-18-2012, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
Kaydove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Posts: 897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dh got laid off at the beginning of November so gifts are going to be handmade, spending as little as possible. However, my knitting is always crooked with lots of mess up, paper crafts end glued to me rather than where they're supposed to, and my sewing looks like a kindergartener did it. I'm awful at following directions, they use so many words. Help! Any suggestions for cheap, easy to make gifts?

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012! 

"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
Kaydove is offline  
#2 of 21 Old 11-18-2012, 03:42 PM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

What sort of people are on your list? You have a 10 month old dd, judging from your signature...

 

Skip exchanging gifts with any adults you can. Maybe you can give relatives a photo of dd in a craft store frame that you decorate or somehow turned into an ornament. You can bring baked goods as a hostess gift if you visit people. If relatives send gifts for dd, you can get not get her anything as well. At 10 months, she'll enjoy crumpling wrapping paper as much as a toy;-)

 

Crafting can get expensive so the main way to do it frugally is to use materials you have (like fabric from old clothes) or can gather (like pinecones). Or things you can get cheap and make look personalized or special, like decorating dollar store candles.

 

Check out the Arts and Crafts forum because there is a holiday crafting thread. And check out the Finances and Frugality forum for Christmas on a shoestring type advice.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#3 of 21 Old 11-18-2012, 04:30 PM
 
mommariffic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: the rolling hills, New Jersey
Posts: 1,794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

How much are you willing to spend total?

 

How many people do you need to buy for (adults + children) 


blogging.jpg    fambedsingle2.gif  homebirth.jpg  read.gif  happy momma to DD 8/07 and DS 6/10
mommariffic is offline  
#4 of 21 Old 11-18-2012, 10:42 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mostly adults or kids?

Can you bake? Cookies, brownies, homemade vanilla extract, etc.

How about tech stuff? Could you make mix CD's? A family slideshow DVD?

Coupons to babysit, cook dinner, clean house, etc.

You don't have to craft to do homemade/cheap gifts. smile.gif

For kids... last year for my DS we did a couple of books, a craft kit, & a toy -- all from Savers -- plus a few handmade stocking stuffers and some from the Target dollar bin. I think I spent less than $15 on him total. Money is tighter this year so it will be even harder but we'll do the best we can. Your DD is young enough that you can get away with just about anything, she'll have no pre-conceived expectations. It was hard for me to get over my family traditions of mounds & mounds of gifts but DS (who was almost 3 years old last Christmas) was really happy with just a few gifts and didn't care that they were used.

For others' kids... you can do coupons to do something special with you (come over for movie night, come bake cookies, etc.) Art supplies, homemade CD's, playdough mix (just salt, flour, cream of tartar), a cardboard box filled with recycling materials that they can craft with, a bag of dirt and a cheap pot and some seeds to plant...

If you do want to actually craft something, Pinterest is a good place for ideas & inspiration, sometimes there are surprisingly simple & easy projects!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#5 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 02:17 AM
 
LaughingHyena's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

How about the layered in a jar mixes, we were given cowboy cookies last year and the kids thought they were great, there are lots of recipes for cookies, soup mixes and all sorts of things.

 

For grandparents and other family how about getting photos of your little one printed, we do a selection from through out the year and arrange them in an album with some captions. There are also places you can get photo books or calendars printed and there are usually offers on at this time of year.

 

For kids I  make homemade playdough, again there are plenty of recipes out there, my favourite are the cooked ones. We sometimes add glitter for festive dough. A couple of colours of dough and a few cookie cutters make a nice package.

LaughingHyena is online now  
#6 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 03:32 AM
 
katelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,747
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Spiced nuts are easy to make and you can just put them in a jar with a hand-written label and a bit of ribbon or tinsel tied around the top.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is online now  
#7 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 06:05 AM
 
Ragana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Tied fleece blankets are super easy, and you could probably get the fleece at a thrift store:

http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/tied-fleece-blanket.html


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

Ragana is offline  
#8 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Caneel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Small town in a rural area
Posts: 3,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am a big fan of consumable gifts.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post

How about the layered in a jar mixes, we were given cowboy cookies last year and the kids thought they were great, there are lots of recipes for cookies, soup mixes and all sorts of things.

 

We did chocolate chip cookie jar for a birthday party present.  The mom emailed me and said how much they really enjoyed it.   The quart jars were $9 or $10 for the case of 12.  We will be doing the same for DS's teacher and after school program staff.

 

I accidentially bought quart jars the first time around so I will use those for spiced nuts.  I am making this one -

 

http://www.chow.com/recipes/14260-roasted-rosemary-walnuts

 

you can do a mix of nuts, it doesn't have to be all walnuts.  I bought almond and pecans on sale today.  Go light on the salt!


Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
Caneel is offline  
#9 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 11:46 AM
 
onlyzombiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 7,413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

For kids:

not very crafty- buy an inexpensive cup and fill it with candy.

One year we made sock creatures for kids and it was okay if they weren't perfect.

Homemade play dough

sanded wood blocks and shapes- painted or unpainted

melt broken crayons to make large crayons

collection of craft materials to make their own project

 

 

older kids or adults-

put together a cookbook or recipe box of favorite recipes with an apron or potholder

bake bread, cookies, chocolate covered pretzels

hot cocoa mix

photo of your family or child in a frame

ornaments

s'mores kit

give them a bag or box with all the craft project materials with instructions so they can get crafty


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

onlyzombiecat is offline  
#10 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 01:37 PM
 
spughy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 5,293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In past years DH and I have made homemade cleaners (tub scrub and spray cleaner) and those have always been really well-received, with people coming back to ask for refills!  You can make them smell however you like (DH did a really nice one that sadly I haven't been able to replicate) and they actually work really well.  We use recipes in the "Clean House, Healthy Planet" book and get containers from a local paint & plastics supply store.  It works out to just a few dollars per gift.  We make labels for them and put a bit of ribbon on them too.


Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

spughy is offline  
#11 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 05:05 PM
 
kitchensqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Posts: 3,223
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)

If you have recipients who like to drink spirits, infused vodka or schnapps is great. You can get a gallon jar of bottom shelf vodka for about $10, and that'll make four small bottles. And it's super easy to infuse - I like to make apple spice schnapps - cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, a nutmeg, a piece of fresh ginger (or candied ginger) and a couple of apples. You need to let it infuse for a minimum of two weeks, but longer is better. Limoncello is equally easy. 

 

Framed photos are good too. Look for specials on Shutterfly to print your photos - they have 50 free prints when you sign up if you're new to the account (which is free to have). You can put fun borders and captions on them for free before uploading to Shutterfly using PicMonkey (free and you don't have to download anything. Dollar stores frames are cheap and can be dressed up with a coat of paint. 


Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things. 

 

kitchensqueen is offline  
#12 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 06:10 PM
 
KristyDi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The 'burbs of Atlanta
Posts: 2,731
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sugar scrubs and bath salts are really easy to make and pretty cheap. Put in a jar (either a mason jar or you could use an empty condiment jar) and tie on a pretty ribbon with a printed label.

The sugar scrub recipes sometimes call for expensive oils, but I usually use a light olive oil mixed with cheap coconut oil. Oh and I recently saw one labeled "garden scrub" fro cleaning potting soil off your hands made from just white sugar and the pink dawn dish soap. The bath salt are basically Epsom salt with essential oil and sometimes glycerin. You can google for recipes.

If you have you young kids on you list homemade play dough is very easy and I like it better than store bought. I made a batch recently with pumpkin pie spice that smelled awesome.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

KristyDi is offline  
#13 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
Kaydove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Posts: 897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Such awesome ideas!! Thank you so much!

So I realised that I may have freaked out a little early. I started making a list in my head and realised that we don't really have many people to buy for. We moved from Seattle to San Diego and aren't traveling so we have each other, our parents, and DH's grandmother - that's it. We would love to get friends presents but I'm sure they're going to be understanding if we don't. I also have two gifts cards to Shutterfly that I need to find, I'll do pics of DD for our parents and grandparents and DD's godparents. 

 

For DH, I think I'm going to make him a gift set for his feet, he has athlete's foot really bad so he's always trying to make them look better. I'll just give DD some pumpkin pie and she'll be thrilled ;).


DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012! 

"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
Kaydove is offline  
#14 of 21 Old 11-20-2012, 09:32 AM
 
mommariffic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: the rolling hills, New Jersey
Posts: 1,794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Oh I second the vodkas! I am going to be making fig + vanilla vodka in bottles for my family members that are impossible to buy for. 

 

I also am going to be making "Christmas in a jar" which is just cinnamon, cloves, some dried orange and apple slices in a mason jar. Just simmer in water on the stove and it smells lovely. 

 

Last year I did scrubs + homemade soap for people. You can find easy soap recipes online and I made baskets for people with a small scrub and little slivers of different soaps. I think things like that are much more fun to make + give than something you just pick up. 


blogging.jpg    fambedsingle2.gif  homebirth.jpg  read.gif  happy momma to DD 8/07 and DS 6/10
mommariffic is offline  
#15 of 21 Old 11-20-2012, 10:34 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

There are some great ideas here!

 

I'm giving one couple in our church a tiny fruit cake, which has been ageing nicely for several months - I made a fruitcake for the woman's birthday because it's her favourite, and I had a bit of batter left over. (Her husband actually paid me for the ingredients, so technically they bought their own present! But I'll ice it nicely and I'm sure she'll like it.)

 

What does one do with infused vodka? I don't drink, but I use grog in cooking all the time (especially rum, recently... I've been adding it to everything. Good stuff, rum.) Can you use it for cooking, or are you meant to drink it... straight? Mixed with stuff? I'm a bit clueless about alcohol. Actually I'm not sure of anyone I could give it to; I just like the idea of making it. :p I wanted to make homemade vanilla essence this year, but the guy at the bulk vanilla website never got back to me.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is online now  
#16 of 21 Old 11-21-2012, 06:26 AM
 
Ragana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have done the flavored vodkas, too - cucumber (probably the easiest - soak a peeled and seeded cuke in vodka overnight, then remove) and lemon. We drink them in mixed drinks, i.e., mix with a coordinating mixer or juice (lemonade for the cucumber and just about anything with the lemon - soda and more lemon/lime and a little syrup). Tasty.
 


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

Ragana is offline  
#17 of 21 Old 11-22-2012, 07:19 PM
 
kitchensqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Posts: 3,223
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

What does one do with infused vodka? I don't drink, but I use grog in cooking all the time (especially rum, recently... I've been adding it to everything. Good stuff, rum.) Can you use it for cooking, or are you meant to drink it... straight? Mixed with stuff? I'm a bit clueless about alcohol. Actually I'm not sure of anyone I could give it to; I just like the idea of making it. :p I wanted to make homemade vanilla essence this year, but the guy at the bulk vanilla website never got back to me.

 

Personally, I like to drink it neat to enjoy the flavor, but a little goes a long way for me. I'll sip a shot glass of schnapps for a few hours. You could also cook with it - I think apple spice schnapps would be really good in a version of rum cake - instead of rum just use the schnapps. Or come to think of it, a pepper vodka might be really good in a chicken dish (like how you'd make chicken marsala).


Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things. 

 

kitchensqueen is offline  
#18 of 21 Old 11-23-2012, 05:06 AM
 
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 10,584
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)

Moving to Arts & Crafts 


Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
IdentityCrisisMama is offline  
#19 of 21 Old 11-23-2012, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
Kaydove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Posts: 897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I like the idea of the infused vodka but we don't do hard alcohol in our house - DH is half native american so fire water bad ;). Amazingly he can drink tequila until the cows come home no problem. I know this would be for other people not DH, but I still don't like it in our house at all. 


DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012! 

"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
Kaydove is offline  
#20 of 21 Old 11-24-2012, 02:51 PM
 
kitchensqueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Posts: 3,223
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydove View Post

I like the idea of the infused vodka but we don't do hard alcohol in our house - DH is half native american so fire water bad ;). Amazingly he can drink tequila until the cows come home no problem. I know this would be for other people not DH, but I still don't like it in our house at all. 

 

You could do flavored oils or vinegars - pretty much the same concept, only no hard alcohol involved. :-)


Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things. 

 

kitchensqueen is offline  
#21 of 21 Old 12-05-2012, 10:34 PM
Administrator
 
cynthia mosher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: An Arabian kingdom far far away
Posts: 28,862
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on our contest for handmade gifts. You'll find it here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1369582/the-annual-mothering-handmade-gifts-ideas-photo-contest/0_100

 

We've had some great entries in the past so we're hoping to see even more this year. thumb.gif


cynthia mosher is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off