one thing that just come to mind is to do a plaster of babys foot or hand?
plaster of paris is very cheap and easy to use, and you could paint it up to personalize each persons "plaque"
for kids gifts maybe you could go to a party store and get a few of their cheap little party favors, like bouncy balls,pencils,figures and make a little gift bag for each of the kids. maybe that sounds too cheap. hmmmm i would also suggest to start going out all the time you can get to garge sales and trift stores, theres a gold mine out there if you just keep looking.
I bought some nice blank postcards at the craft store (in the rubber stamp section) and a cheap black inkpad. I made prints of DD's feet, wrote her name underneath, and put them in matted frames. They turned out so good that my MIL wished she hadn't pushed for the expensive flowers! For Christmas, I'm thinking about making a greeting card set for mom using Ariana's handprints.
Two years ago, I made everyone a loaf of stollen for Christmas and wrapped it up all nice an' perty in colored plastic wrap, but I don't think anybody appreciated the work that went into it. It took me two batches to get it to come out right.
Photos of the kids are also good, inexpensive gifts. I take the pics myself and get cheap reprints at snapfish.com.
What I did one xmas was to make trivets - I went to a tile outlet and got small tiles, like the ones used in bathrooms. Then I glued felt on the bottom. I made Jam that year too.
I just saw an interesting craft show on tv where the woman had clay that you bake in an oven. She took ordinary lightswitch plates, used them as molds, and made lightswitch covers. She added embellishments made from the clay and using other things for molds to make flowers etc. It looked so easy and fun. Also napkin rings made the same way. Check your craft store, Ben Franklin even has classes.........
Everyone likes treats too -- cookies, homemade candy, etc...
mom to dd-99, dd-01, dd-born still@40w 7/04, ds-05, dd-08, dd-10, dd-13
love and light
Has mix-in-a-jar recipes as well as other ideas.
If you do decide to do mix-in-a-jar, test the recipes 1st...we did them one year and one of the recipients said, "Your's actually tasted good, unlike the other one we got." Sort of made me wonder, ya know?
Cards are nice. Have a stash of finger prainting that are more or less "scribbles" If so cut the slightly smaller than a note card and glue. package them in groups of 10 and gandma not only has a keepsake or herself but self boasting stationary to send notes to all her friends on.
Date night is good for sibling/cousins/friend your age. Get a $5 gift certificate to blockbuster, a bag of microwave pop-corn, a couple of packets of gourmet hot choclat if they have kids offer to babysit. They have a date and you have a really nice gift for under $10 (hech, I wouod settle for just the babysitting).
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Watercolour paints can be incredibly inexpensive and you can get the paper at most department stores now ( i have some left over from those before child days)
I was planning on doing simple landscapes, nothing too detailed, and nothing very realistic. Easy monochromatic colour schemes too--sepias, browns, ochers, yellows, and earthy theme.
Those mix in a jar things do look cool too.
I got it from a magazine. Search for "watchmaker" in the search engine at www.leevalley.com
If you buy 5 or more, they are just 5.50 each. They are the aluminum ones (15 per case containers).
I used Avery labels the ones that come 80 per sheet. I've got a ton of spices: before we organized our spice pantry we bought more than we could use. I can fill them up with what we already have for the most part and buy just what more we need at the health food store or local Indian market.
I can't wait for Christmas! One girlfriend in particular will love it, I am sure.
Last year we made ornaments from clear glass balls and acrylic paint. Take the cap off, swirl the paint around inside, let dry and there it is. We added a cool ribbon to the cap for hanging, too. Drying takes a loooong time, though. Experiment a lot with colors and techniques.
I think this year we're making origami crane mobiles with little brass bells. I'm considering making aprons for the kids. My dd loves hers.
Candles---most turned out fairly ugly, not doing that one again.
Bath Salts---looked very pretty, very easy to make, didn't keep any for myself, so I don't actually know how they turned out.
Herb Soaps---turned out very pretty, and were fairly easy to make.
Liquors---this was a huge hit, but some didn't turn out great. The Kahlua was absolutely perfect. I need to make another big batch, but feel weird going into the liquor store with my big pregnant belly:
Jar mixes---very economical, esp. since you can find the jars at goodwill, garage sales, etc.
This year we are thinking tye die...I need to get started soon. Baby is due Christmas week, so even though we are usually good about doing lots of shopping by Nov. this year I want to have it all done, and everything wrapped so I don't have to stress about the perfect Christmas, you know?
Let me know if you want any of the recipes, etc. I'd be happy to share.
Thanks for all these good ideas, I will really need some this year!
cloth blankets and quilts
oyster shell santas*
personal fridge poetry*
crystal window hangers*
dried fruit dipped in chocolate
Harvest Soup mix*
HoHo Cocoa Mix*
browine sand castles mix*
Picture frames with mosaic tiles
decorate candles with dried flowers / herbs
dolls (waldorf style)
1. Candles- Make candles and or buy candles and decorate them with dried flowers, using melted parafen wax to make them stick!
2. Create a cookbook with your favorite recipes and recipes you've collected online
3. Cookies, Jams, Breads, etc
4. Jelly, Applesauce, Salsa, Herb Vinegar, Oils
5. Lavender dream pillows
6. Calender with pics of your family and or friends
7. Bath Salts
8. Homemade soaps FUN to make
9. Build a puppet stage and make puppets
10. Build a simple dollhouse
11. Make fleece throws
12. Pillows and blankets for living room
13. Dolls for children are fun to make! Free instructions on sleepingbean.com
14. Basket, stuffed with a strand of white lights inside, put dried flowers and eucalyptus out the top of the basket and a simple fabric bow at top
15. Make Paper, or buy pretty paper and make envelopes, creating a stationary set!
16. Photos in decorated frames make great gifts
17. Brownies or Cookies in a jar! Layered
18. Quillow (quilt that folds into a small pocket and becomes a pillow)
19. Scarves, hats
20. Paint flower pots, give them as gifts with some seeds and a trowel for children
21. Placemats and napkins from cloth
22. Weave a basket!
23. Bead jewelry
24. Buy a wooden rack/tray/decoration from the craft store, and paint it, decorate it, get creative!
25. Take some shells and fill them with wax and candle wicks, viola...candles by the shore!
26. Bath kit or massage kits
28. Bath Bombs
29. Caligraphy (frame a saying, poem, or song)
30. Personalize a journal. Buy a blank book for $3 at the bookstore and insert old postcards, pictures, sayings, poems, whatever! Make it special!
Ready in 2 to 4 months
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
2 cups water
1/4 plus 2 Tlb instant coffee (freshly opened jar)
3 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean split
2 3/4 cups vodka
3/4 c brandy
1/4 tsp choc. extract
1 drop red food coloring
heat water in med. saucepan. When hot, add coffee and stir until dissolved. Add sugar and vanilla bean, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Immediately reduce heat so that a very low boil is maintained for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
Pour vodka and brandy into afinf container. Add the cooled coffee mixture and the chocolate extract. Srit well. Cap and let age in a cool dark place for 3 weeks. After initial aging, strain liqueur though a cloth lined wire mest strainer over a large bowl. Repeat until desired clarity is reached Stir in food coloring. Bottle cap and let age an additional 1 to 3 months.
I am doing that with about 10 moms and I anticpate I will have all of my xmas gifts covered through swapping. That way I don't bore my family by giving them the same homemade stuff year after year
PS I love all these ideas...I think I've got all the adults gifts planned now!
You just cut these things off of old clothing and either sew them together onto a fabric cube, stuffed with poly fill, or tack them onto small boards with furniture tacks. You could paint the backs with numbers, letters etc.
For boys 2-5 I think doll slings are still kind of fun in cool prints!
Or treasure sacks in some print the boys will like with little inexpensive gifts such as coloring books, clay, etc.
You can give a child age 3-7 a homemade clay set with the ingredients needed, instructions, and a tool or two to use with it. Then the child can make their own clay, then play with it!
A dress up / magic box is a decorated box with homemade simple costumes (a cape, a silly hat, glasses etc). You could put together a theme of some sort and give it as a gift
The older boys get harder to make things for...
I'll have to think some more about it!
LaLa, did you make the kahlua? and what did you think? what about some of the cookie/brownie/soup recipes? I think some of those are the same ones I made last year.
p.s. I found I great place to get the bottles online, very inexpensive too. I'll see if I can find the website address for you.
For the boys;
How about buying tees, hats, etc., dye and squirt bottles (from the craft store for the older boys). You could give each 2 colors and then they could all share if they wanted a rainbow design and they could do the simple tye dye method, which just involves spraying colors on a bunched up shirt, then rebunch, then spray. You can find the dye, bottles, instructions at most craft stores. Although, the parents may hate this. It will be a lot of work for them too.
you guys are gonna make me a hit this x-mas, thanks so much for sharing.
J&G's mom,i hope you find that link, also would you mind telling the name of the liqure making book so i could try to find it for myself?
Similar to SueZVudu's. When dd1 was a baby, I put her in a Johnny Jumpup (thingy that hung from the doorway). I had a large roll of brown craft paper & painted one foot red & one green. She stamped her feet on the paper to make Christmas wrap. Everyone loved it and many saved it. I'm sure it was more memorable than the actual gift.
Look up bottles on the index page, I tried to go sorta small as to stretch my supply but everyone complained that I needed to use BIG bottles next time so I think the wine size or the one size smaller would be good. They will help you with the cork sizes too. I had ordered the wrong ones and wrote on the order form to just correct it if I had choosen the wrong size and they fixed it for me. Plus, you can find corks at hardware type stores too.
The name of the book is Classic Liqueurs; The art of making and cooking with liqueurs by Cheryl Long and Heather Kibbey. I think that I found it at Powells here in Portland (www.powells.com) but it may have been on amazon or bn.com. If you have problems locating it, I can PM or email some recipes.
Last year this thread got really long and I'm sure it will this year too
I made herb vinegars one year too and they turned out very pretty. The website above has bottles that could work for that too. I also have a few recipes for those if anyone is interested.
Okay, I must go feed my STARVING children now....