Sunday, November 2, 2008

Handmade Christmas

I know, I know, Halloween is still going on in my little college town and I'm already thinking about Christmas. The truth is, I've been thinking about it for awhile. I think I'd like to try my hand at a handmade Christmas, where all or most of my gifts would be handmade.
This will not be the first time I've done this, in 2006 I tried really hard. I made pretty much everyone scarves and hats. The problem was, I was new at crocheting, and I couldn't size anything. The hats were all either too big or too small, and some of the scarves came out more like ascots (sorry, SIL B!) which I guess would've been cool had I intended to make ascots. So I wont be doing that again. I remember being in a crochet frenzy the weeks before Christmas, and I'm pretty sure my fingers formed a claw for the rest of the year. I also handmade soap, which was a blast. The only problem with doing that was it was really expensive. I split the cost with a girlfriend from work, but I really don't think even that is an option this year. For the men, I borrowed my mom's dehydrator and made beef jerky, which would have been awesome if I had been able to keep my husband (then fiance) from eating it. I ran out and didn't have anything to give his brother. Awkward.

So anyways, I'm going to put the last time I tried this behind me. It was a mess, and I was stressed and it was not really fun. (Although like a year later my sil told me she thought it was sweet, and that she couldn't remember what other people gave her that year, she remembered she got a handmade scarf and hat from me, and that made me feel better :)

November is also a tad late to start this project, especially since my free time is so sparse. Luckily, I've finished all the old seasons of LOST so I won't have hulu tempting me all the time. Today I'm just gathering ideas until I have to work, and I'd really like to get started next weekend (I've got a four day weekend, so I feel like I can maybe get some stuff finished).

For the pre-teen nieces, of which I have 3, I'd like to make Journal covers, similar to this, but maybe not patchwork. I think I'll sew on some simple felt appliques instead. (I'll purchase the simple hardcover blank journals at our local art supply. I always thought a blank paper journal was more inspiring than a lined one.) I found this picture on sewmamasew, a blog which is an amazing resource for handmade Christmas ideas.

I think my 4 year old niece would get a kick out of a cute purse, like this one. I just have to be sure to sew a cut out of a tree frog on there somewhere. (again, this picture is from sewmamasew)
For my sweet baby nephew, who will be ONE next week (holy flying time, batman!) I think I'll make him a little cap. Boys are hard to make gifts for, and he'll be too young to think a handmade gift is more fun than it's wrapping, but I think his mom will get a kick out of an adorable hat. I also may try my hand at these shoes,

but he's walking now, so I'll make them out of fleece so they can be house slippers. And of course I'll make them a little more manly (picture from On Pins and Needles)

And for Dh's brother and SIL, who just announced that they are pregnant (yay!) I found this idea for bibs from JennyGarland I thought were adorable, and maybe another pair of the shoes, but really tiny. The baby is not due until May/June, but babies are just fun to make stuff for. I'll also make them cloth napkins that match their dining room colors.
That's as far as I'll get today. The one person I'm having trouble thinking up an idea for is my 10 year old nephew B. Any ideas, Riah?
Here are two awesome resources for handmade Christmas ideas:
Sewmamasew (obviously, I referenced them about a million times up there)
Crafty homemaker -- Her Friday Craft links are full of ideas, that's where I found both the bibs and the shoes.


  1. I am going to make a couple of baby blankets for my friends who are expecting. I made one for my mom's bf's granddaughter and it turned out SO cute! And it was the easiest thing. I am not very good at most crafts, but if you are interested, I may have a way to make a cool beach snow globe. My aunt made me one when I was sick and I love it so much!

  2. You've chosen great gifts. I wish you all the best getting them made. I'm sure it will be better than last time.
    :- )

  3. Thanks Rhonda, I hope so too!