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Gift Ideas ... the GROWING LIST ...add your ideas/instructions here!

46077 Views 137 Replies 89 Participants Last post by  Emilyyy23
Gift Ideas - A List ...
I put this together with the last two years of being online...I'm sure I could add more to it by now, since I haven't added to it since last holiday season, so feel free to add your ideas!!!

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, tub tea etc.
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 online
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
27. Liquors
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!
31. Learning boards -you could make a montessori style board set for very cheap that teaches how to do buttons, zippers, velcro, snaps etc. 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.
32. Doll slings are still kind of fun in cool prints!
33. Or treasure sacks in some print the boys will like with little inexpensive gifts such as coloring books, clay, etc.
34. 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!
35. 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
36. Make a photo album alphabet style book for a child.
Make a simple book with paper and string or buy one premade and write a letter on each page in lower case. Then glue photos of real life objects from THEIR lives that they know to help with the phonic connection!
You can use puffy paint or felt for the letters to give them a texture for learning purposes.
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Laminated Place Mats -

I took all of the paintings that my 4yo DS makes at preschool and cut them into 11 1/2" x 17 1/2" rectangles, glued them to 12" x 18" cardstock then laminated them at home with clear contact paper. Then we did the same thing with 4" circles and made matching coasters. We gave them to an aunt and grandparents for their recent birthdays. They were absolutely thrilled. They kind of had a 50's retro look to them. (cost us about $5 for the contact paper.)
Recipe Books
This is what I am doing for my female relatives and dear friends this Christmas. I bought those little metal rings which hold together papers that have a hole punched in them -- I got them at Office Depot for about $1.00/5. Then I bought two packs of 100 4x6 index cards. I seem to be the keeper of quite a few of our family/good friends' recipes. I typed them up on the computer, added graphics, punched a hole in the upper left-hand corner, and voila, they are about ready to go! I still want to laminate the covers, but they are almost finished. I thought I could send a few recipes through the year to be added as well.

Kid Ornaments
We went to Michael's and bought little wooden flat ornaments in shapes of gingerbread men, Christmas Trees, stars, etc. I let my Jacob, for the last 2 years, paint these at various times during the weeks before Christmas, like when I was doing crafts, cooking, needing a minute to myself, etc. He had fun painting thse and adding coat after coat. Then I took a picture of him and made copies, cut out the face, and glued it on the front. He gave these to grandparents. We just bought more to make today for this year.

Scented Bath Salts
Last year I made simple bath salts for my gal pals and sisters/moms. I found a simple recipe using epsom salts, essential oils, and glycerin. Then I packaged them on clear cellophane bags or jars.

Poor Girl Doll Houses
I made one for my little sister a few years back. I found 3 or 4 boxes which fit inside each other. With fabric, a glue gun, and a few other random sewing notions and trimmings, I created rooms for her to play with her Barbies. I made a bed by using foam cut in a square, bed ruffle with lace, material for blanket, pillows, etc. I made a vanity out of two styrofoam cups upsode down with a rectangular piece of cardboard for the vanity top. I would cut windows and then make curtains. For wallpaper I would use fabric or wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper, or sometimes I would just paint the room. When she was playing she could put the boxes in whatever configuration she wanted, either spread around her or piled up like a two story house. When she was done the boxes fit right back into eachother, accessories inside, and you are left with only one box.
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This is a gift for a child to make. I read this somewhere in the last few days -- I don't think it was from MDC.

Using a clear glass ornament from a craft store, take off the top and put a bit of paint in it. The child can swirl the ornament to spread the paint.
those are such great ideas!

when my son outgrew his baby blankets (before we knew we'd be able to have more children!) i took most of his old baby blankets and made them into a bunny for him. he sleeps with the bunny every night.
he calls him Baby Bunny.


also, an idea i got off of Martha Stewart's website: get some felt peices, and make a quiet time book... sew the pieces of felt together, and sew on things like zippers, buttons and other manipulatives, or shapes made of different types of cloth... that way they have something tactile and homemade to look through.

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Every summer I dry a variety of flowers to pull out over those gloomy winter months. In the fall we dry out a variety of leaves. Then in the winter (or anytime really) we get some glass picture frames that you can hang on the wall (from Ikea or Pier 1) and some handmade paper. We lie the paper on the inside of the frame, then arrange the flowers and leaves and press it together by placing the glass section of the frame over them. No need for glue! There are so many options, you can mix different papers, flowers, and leaves. These make beautiful gifts.
Here's an idea for an adult gift. How about a sewing kit? My sister keeps lamenting the fact that she has no sewing stuff and wouldn't really know what to do with it if she had - but she wants to learn. So I'm going to make her a nice sewing kit to give her a kick start. (Maybe she'll learn to hem her own pants now... darned short people
) Teenagers heading off for college often find themselves stuck when a button falls off or they find a *great* vintage coat at Goodwill but it needs a patch.

I plan to use a big old cookie tin and line it with fabric glued over paperboard (like an old cereal box.) The largest expense will be a good pair of scissors, though that cost could be reduced with a cheaper pair. I'll make a pincushion - I'm going to experiment with dying roving wool with koolaid and then felting it. Needles, pins and a handful of buttons from my own stock, a tape measure, seam ripper, tailor's chalk, black and white thread, thimble, perhaps a few other notions.

I figure, not counting the scissors this'll cost me less than $10 unless I get too crazy with the "other notions" part. I don't have a good sized tin handy, but they run $1 or less at thrift stores and yard sales. I'll use scraps of fabric that have been accumulating over the years in bins in my attic. I have a bag of white roving handy that I didn't like very much for spinning; If you know any spinners or felters, they'd probably be happy to give you a handful of fiber or sell it to you for next to nothing. Or you can make a pincushion with fabric scraps and some sand.

You could also make a much smaller travel kit for even less. For someone with no interest in doing anything more exciting than replacing buttons or patching up a split seam, you'd need a pair of cheap snips, two or three needles, some of the small cards that are used for winding embroidery thread (wind a few colors of thread from your own collection onto these,) a couple safety pins, a couple of buttons and maybe a thimble.
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my dd is turning two...any goody bag ideas, the more unusual the better!

Originally Posted by suzukibeane
my dd is turning two...any goody bag ideas, the more unusual the better!
I usually buy individual gifts for all of the attendees, rather than a bunch of little cheap things that they can't use. But you also could make little things for them -- doll slings would be a fast, easy, and cheap one.
I made prarie dolls for the girls at my son's birthday party this past Saturday. They were really simple and they loved them.
A friend gives paperback books to all the kids, something to do with the theme of the party, which I think is a great idea! She spends about $5 on each book, and I find it far more useful than a bunch of plastic junk! Another great idea is mini flower pots that the kids can paint at the party, with some seeds for them to plant when they get home. Or a big ball for each kid for summertime in the park. Or a big thing of bubbles. Two year olds are pretty easy to please!
That reminds me: On another thread regarding reusable party decorations, somebody suggested beach balls instead of balloons, and then giving each kid a ball to take home.
It was raining yesterday and the kids were bored. We took an old sheet. Held it up to the top of the top bunk and the kids used a pencil to mark where to sew ties corresponding to the rails on the top bunk. We sewed on yarn for ties and painted on the front: a door, a window, vines over the window and flowers and grass along the bottom edge (with watered down fabric paint Made it look like watercolour- and dried faster). Hung it up and the bunkbed was instantly a tent/ house. My friend came over with her allmost three yr old. The wee one loved it. We're gonna make her one for her birthday.
A gift idea for kids to make for grandmas/aunts:

I bought plain aprons at Joann's for $2 each (on sale.) Then my dd used fabric markers to decorate the aprons!

We also did something similar for my sister's baby shower--we used the fabric markers on plain onesies and bibs. The guests of the shower decorated them! It was a fun shower activity, and it was fun for my sis to take home all of the decorated items.
Some grown up gifts-
*Sew up some simple pouches that you can tie with ribbon or leather. Good for traveling jewelry cases.... I keep a little crazy-quilted pouch in my diaper bag with a few shiny pennies in it. I call it my lucky penny bag, and whenever we pass a fountain, K always has a penny to wish with.
*Paint some small smooth rocks with runes, or sayings.
*Find a funky frame at your local thrift store- paint the frame, take out the art, paint it with blackboard paint and re-insert. Instant message board.
*Decorate a special jar for keeping your birthday candles and matches always on hand. Funky old thrifted jars with copper wire threaded with beads, and the word "celebrate" written in glitter fabric paint work well!

For kiddos-
*A spring-loaded curtain rod hung with some fabric draped over it makes a great doorway-puppet theater. If you're not a sewer you can buy some inexpensive rod-pocket curtains and cut them to size!
*A CD compliation of favorite songs all on one disc. You could do themes like - birthday songs, bedtime songs, dress-up music..... etc
*sew up a dress up apron, with plenty of pockets and include an resteraunt order pad(from office supply store) and pencil for authenticty!
*a specially decorated box of unique thrifted dress up finds- all vintage purses, or all funky hats etc

A great goody-bag gift- we have taken those wedding bubbles (8 for a dollar at the dollar store) and decorated them with fabric paint, then tied some hemp with beads on around the neck of the bubbles. Makes a great bubble necklace!

Oh the possibilities! I love hand made gifts!
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Maybe already on the list, but Ive started saving all my jars, and using them for jelly preserves. Baby food jars would work, Ive kept olives, mushrooms, etc. And people always love them because those jars are usually more curvy then regular mason jars. Tie with a ribbon etc. And the small jellies are nice for those living alone who dont go through as much jelly as those of us with PB&J loving kiddos.
One year I made Vanilla extract to give as gifts -- soak whole vanilla beans in vodka (for a couple months, I think? Don't remember now... :LOL shake every week or so...) I got some pretty glass bottles from Pier 1... Nice!
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I don't remember seeing these on the list ~ sorry if it they are repeats.

Infused olive oil for dipping sauce and homemade bread.

Infused vinegar for making salad dressing

Scrapbook ~ grandparents love getting presents featuring their grandbabies

Felt board for kids - our library has a die cut machine. It is simple to use all you need is felt and a felt covered board to use as the background. It is way cheaper than buying the felt playsets.
I got a massage the other evening (ahh...) and the massage therapist had a hot rice bag that she put on my hips or lower back or wherever she wasn't massaging. She mentioned that they are easy to make, and I wondered if anyone has found instructions for sewing them on the web somewhere? They would be expensive to mail, since they are heavy things, but otherwise they seem like they would make GREAT inexpensive presents.

Another idea I ran across somewhere fairly recently, was making a texture/fabric book for a baby. This is something one would make from remnants and one's fabric stash - a page of fake fur, a silk page, a polyester page, a corduroy page... just a bunch of different textures bound into a little book for a baby to chew on and such. If I had a serger I would probably want to serge the edges? Since I don't, if I make one I will sew a pocket and turn it right side out and sew that into the book. Tell me if you think I'm missing something!
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I've decided to make dress up clothes for the kids this year for Christmas (I'm starting early!). I'm going to go to JoAnn when they're having a $0.99 pattern sale, and look through all the halloween costumes. I'm planning to make a very frilly, fun fairy outfit, perhaps a princess dress for DD. DS will probably get a superman cape. I'll buy the fabric a little at a time using 50% off coupons.

Another idea for wrapping gifts... I've made a bunch of fabric gift bags with drawstring closures. You can find holiday themed fabric for CHEAP out of season, and they're super easy to make. Plus, they're reusable, and it keeps wrapping paper out of the landfills!

ETA- hooded towels and slings are a great new baby presents. And both are relatively easy to make.
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