Author Topic: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!  (Read 22707 times)

TabbyCat

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #200 on: August 15, 2017, 04:43:14 PM »
Got two fruit cordials started on their 'brewing' yesterday.  Starting to run low on our supply of cheap vodka.

Would you mind sharing the recipe/directions used? Will they be stored in the freezer, or did you find a good shelf-safe one? I really want to try this but all the directions I've found say to store in the fridge for a few weeks or the freezer for 6 months, which is tricky for a gift and for not having any freezer space. I'm guessing "don't get sued" is a factor in saying it needs to be in the fridge/freezer but I'm still hesitant to go out on a limb.


Snow

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #202 on: August 16, 2017, 08:12:20 AM »
I'm in!

Although, it feels a bit like cheating, since previous years I have just given charity donations in a card to really drive home the idea that I would like them to give me the same, if they have to give me anything.

SO's mother is getting spruce shoot syrup. That stuff is liquid gold. We only have the one bottle, because I was living with a friend during the shoot season and left most of the bottles with her as a thank you gift, but next year we'll make loads more. I did not understand syrup on pancakes until we made this. Amazing.

Another frugal friend is planning on hosting a truffle-making evening before the season hits, and we also have some baking planned. Plus I am sending out one of those mails about "I'd rather not get anything, but if you feel like you have to get me something, please do something homemade, don't spend a minute in malls on my behalf."

TabbyCat

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #203 on: August 16, 2017, 01:26:44 PM »
Thanks, Drole!

Izybat

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #204 on: August 27, 2017, 01:46:06 PM »
I have made a small amount of progress on this. We had a tree come down on our house (thankfully no damage and we got the power company to take it off the roof for free), but I used it to my advantage. I picked out several appropriately sized branches and had my husband show me how to use his table saw. I now have 60 neat looking wooden disks drying in my dehydrator. I'm going to paint them as Christmas ornaments to give as gifts!

Imma

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #205 on: August 29, 2017, 05:20:10 AM »
I have ordered flannel fabric to make flannel pyama pants for ourselves and the friend who's visiting. We always spend Christmas lying on the sofa and watching Netflix, so this seemed like the perfect gift. Last year we were so immersed in a movie we forgot to go to church .... but this year we'll do gifts and traditionally we wait with the gift giving until after church on Christmas Eve, so I'm sure we won't forget to go.

We don't normally give gifts at Christmas, but this year we will. The visiting friend is an extremely generous person who always helps us out without wanting anything in return. She's managing on a very low income. We want to put a pile of gifts for her under the Christmas tree to spoil her. We are still staying mustachian: we won't give random expensive stuff, but mostly homemade, frugal things that I know she'll appreciate. We have a lot more money so we could shower her with luxury things from the shop but we'd all feel awkward.

FrugalAussie

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #206 on: September 17, 2017, 05:23:45 PM »
Seville Oranges are in season here.  We were gifted a couple of kilos so made a double recipe of Seville Marmalade.  15 jars of assorted sizes, total cost $6. We'll use these as gifts throughout the year and at Christmas for English grandad who loves it.

rdaneel0

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #207 on: September 17, 2017, 06:51:11 PM »
So, I need to make:

18 cards
5 boxes chocolate bark
2 'home sweet home' cross-stitch patterns, framed
3 big bottles coffee liqueur
8 batches cookies (for DH and I to take to work)

That should take care of my Christmas gifts, aside from whatever I get for DH! I think I'll start gathering the materials (bottles, paper for labels) now and start on the cross-stitch this coming weekend!
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lexde

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Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #208 on: September 20, 2017, 09:23:23 AM »
I'm thinking about making foam-core mounted photographs for some people. Yesterday I made a DIY thread about homemade Mixtiles and went out, got everything I needed, and made 3 of them yesterday of the 16 prints I made. I'll make more tonight. I think making a set of 3-4 for each person would be a nice and thoughtful gift. I'd just have to find good photos to use for them. Is something personal like that not a good gift idea? I was thinking it was easy for people with kids and pets but maybe home decorations are too personal to gift.

They cost about $3.50/ea to make.


Mtngrl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #209 on: September 21, 2017, 03:26:07 PM »
I, personally, would love to receive a gift like this -- especially if the pictures were of me with the person who made the gift for me, or of my pets!

I'm thinking about making foam-core mounted photographs for some people. Yesterday I made a DIY thread about homemade Mixtiles and went out, got everything I needed, and made 3 of them yesterday of the 16 prints I made. I'll make more tonight. I think making a set of 3-4 for each person would be a nice and thoughtful gift. I'd just have to find good photos to use for them. Is something personal like that not a good gift idea? I was thinking it was easy for people with kids and pets but maybe home decorations are too personal to gift.

They cost about $3.50/ea to make.



Poundwise

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #210 on: September 21, 2017, 04:50:37 PM »
A couple of years ago, I got two unpainted wooden Advent calendars for the price of one. I painted one and it came out beautiful.  I am going to paint another one midnight blue with golden stars, angels, etc. for my brother-in-law's family.

sparkytheop

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #211 on: September 21, 2017, 06:04:14 PM »
I'm thinking about making foam-core mounted photographs for some people. Yesterday I made a DIY thread about homemade Mixtiles and went out, got everything I needed, and made 3 of them yesterday of the 16 prints I made. I'll make more tonight. I think making a set of 3-4 for each person would be a nice and thoughtful gift. I'd just have to find good photos to use for them. Is something personal like that not a good gift idea? I was thinking it was easy for people with kids and pets but maybe home decorations are too personal to gift.

They cost about $3.50/ea to make.



If you know your recipient well enough, I don't think it's too personal at all.  I would think it was a great gift!  However, I do know some people don't like to receive any decor, or even handmade, items, so I'd keep that in mind.

KBecks

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #212 on: September 30, 2017, 06:22:32 PM »
Ok guys now it seems like the time of year to get rolling on Christmas gifts!  Also I want to take some photos of my family for our holiday cards.

Raenia

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #213 on: October 01, 2017, 06:26:37 AM »
Yesterday I finally sat down with my SO to make a list of who we need gifts for and who will get what.  I made a batch of brandied pears, which will make gifts for a few people, and today I'll  be making a batch of poached plums in rum syrup for a few more.  We need to acquire some materials for the rest of the gifts, but now at least we have a list of what we need.  Progress!

Rosy

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #214 on: October 09, 2017, 10:19:14 PM »
Christmas 2017 - 10 weeks away???
Hmm - I guess a list is a good start:) Then I'll have a look at my pinterest account for inspiration and join the secret pinterest account for even more inspiration.

So here goes nothing - my preliminary list:

A gift for five couples - all are foodies. Keep at $10 or under. Anything goes - food-chocolate-scents-air fresheners.
A gift for a couple in their late thirties - who have everything - he's a foodie, she would go for something classy - like lavender sachets or similar (laundry additive - fancy healthy snacks.
A gift for a young couple - early twenties - possibly jewelry and chocolate related.
A gift for my SIL - chocolate related - and/or ready made food, so she doesn't have to cook - she'll appreciate that.
A gift for a dear friend and hubby - not a foodie - garden gift or beauty or goat milk soap - she mentioned she liked fig scrub......maybe a bag with a photo of her 65 Mustang - meant to do that last year, but didn't.
A gift for a friend and her daughter - I'll make jewelry for the daughter - possibly Tia Maria style liqueur....
A gift for two couples - one not foodies - possibly soup in a jar for one - garden gift for another - jewelry?

Rum cake???
 I have a pan with six mini bundt cake forms - I could do rum cake - using an old Bacardi recipe with brown sugar and nuts for topping and old fashioned icing, marbled cake with chocolate glaze, blueberry with lemon icing, vanilla with vanilla-raspberry swirl icing, lemon with lemon icing.

Maybe something with peanut butter or pistachios or Nutella or cashews for about five of the guys???

I made killer french coconut confection from a very old recipe last year, if I can find that recipe again... - not entirely easy to do, but oh so so worth it.

I'll be back once I have a better idea as to what I want to go for - then I need a schedule.
 Jewelry can be made well ahead, but I need to find out how long that Tia Maria style liqueur is good for. Maybe three or more bottles?
Soaps or anything scented can all be started now.
I certainly want to do the shopping bag with the photo of her antique Mustang. Possibly make her a bird bath from thrifted glass?

The jewelry gifts may not cost me anything, since I have a nice stash of gemstones and beads as well. Possibly three necklace and earring sets.
I do like the mini bundt cakes idea, but I'll have to research wrapping and transportation - since that could be a problem. Mushed cake would not be attractive:)

Rum balls??? - not sure that I have a good recipe - how long do they keep? Container? The ball jars in that antique french blue look great and they are not too large either. Also, the dollar store had pretty sealed jars, like antique cut glass, candy jars - small ones, I could do a set of three which would look fancy...

Looking forward to doing this - although I've shied away from anything homemade in the past for fear that my gifts might not be enjoyed as much. But, I've dabbled a bit here and there, so hopefully I have a good grip on what might be well received.

... and while I'm at it - who has a killer caramel - soft caramel - recipe - idea? I love caramel... :)
 

HappierAtHome

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #215 on: October 09, 2017, 10:32:22 PM »
I recently made this blackberry liqueur and it was delicious and easy. Just in case anyone is looking for an easy crowd-pleasing alcoholic gift!

Fresh Bread

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #216 on: October 09, 2017, 11:12:31 PM »
Posting to trawl through later for ideas for neighbour gifts. Edible gifts are ideal but on one side there is a family including 3 gym junkies who don't eat carbs or sugar (they got spiced nuts last year).

I read a book recently where someone had a rosemary bush trimmed in the shape of a xmas tree. I hadn't seen that before but I figured (ok this is a very long term plan) that if I could propagate some rosemary bushes, at some point I would have a handy gift ready. Likewise chillis with the red fruit and a bit of xmassy sparkle added could be good.

frooglepoodle

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #217 on: October 10, 2017, 05:04:58 AM »
Rosy, I've been making these caramels for a few years and they're always well received. Just leave out the bourbon and dial way back on the salt for normal caramels.

I've got three stained glass crosses made with help from a friend for DH's extended family who I never know what to get for.

Knitting:
A pair of house socks for my best friend - started last week and almost 25% complete
A beanie for my brother's girlfriend - the Koolhaas pattern is my go-to but I've got my brother subtly asking questions to find out what color and if she'd prefer something plainer
A Daniel Tiger sweater for my son - just a simple red hoodie with a trolley patch stitched on.

I've recently become intrigued by the concept of bento bags, and am thinking of sewing some up with the Christmas fabric I have stashed to use as reusable gift bags. Last year I did furoshiki style wrapping with Christmas fabric for gifts within my family (so I could get the fabric back to reuse).
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chaskavitch

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #218 on: October 10, 2017, 06:41:52 AM »
Apparently I'm the food-producer in the family, which is weird.  I'm guessing I'm just the one who enjoys it the most.  I've recently gotten requests for:

- Reece's Peanut Butter cup banana bread
- Jam
- Homemade rosemary and garlic bread
- Kolach (I actually don't know how to make this, but she "has a recipe" for me, lol)
- Shortbread
- Sugar cookies
- Tiramisu (which I also don't know how to make, so I guess I get to experiment)
- Liverwurst
- Muddy Buddies/puppy chow for everyone

So, everyone in my immediate family is getting food :)  Easy enough for me!  It is a good plan, honestly, because my aunt and uncle live in a little house with no room for extra tchotchkes, my parents have lived in the same house for 25 years and need nothing, my mother-in-law is trying to downsize so she can move, and my sister and sister-in-law live in bedrooms in other people's houses.  Now if only I could get them to give me consumables for gifts too...

Imma

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #219 on: October 10, 2017, 06:59:15 AM »
I'm making 3 pairs of flannel pyama pants as gifts today. One will be for myself :D The others for my partner and a friend who's coming over at Christmas. We are planning to watch Netflix in our pyamas.

I will also do a lot of cooking, but for our guests, not as gifts. In my country, gift-giving at Christmas isn't that big of a deal as it seems to be in the US, luckily.


 

Rosy

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #220 on: October 11, 2017, 05:08:43 PM »
Rosy, I've been making these caramels for a few years and they're always well received. Just leave out the bourbon and dial way back on the salt for normal caramels.

I've got three stained glass crosses made with help from a friend for DH's extended family who I never know what to get for.

Knitting:
A pair of house socks for my best friend - started last week and almost 25% complete
A beanie for my brother's girlfriend - the Koolhaas pattern is my go-to but I've got my brother subtly asking questions to find out what color and if she'd prefer something plainer
A Daniel Tiger sweater for my son - just a simple red hoodie with a trolley patch stitched on.

I've recently become intrigued by the concept of bento bags, and am thinking of sewing some up with the Christmas fabric I have stashed to use as reusable gift bags. Last year I did furoshiki style wrapping with Christmas fabric for gifts within my family (so I could get the fabric back to reuse).

Oh my - thank you ever so much froogle poodle:)! Sweet-salty-boozy, why YES please. I'll try a coffee liqueur and dark rum instead of the bourbon - just for fun and of course plenty non-alcoholic salty and non-salty caramels too.
Giving that a trial run this weekend - yes, ma'am:)

You know I like the idea of using Christmas fabric to wrap or make a bag - I'm not good at sewing, but I think I could handle that. If I just stitched it together and then used pinking shears instead of doing a nice corner sewing job - maybe attach some jingle bells? and use a pretty ribbon instead of sewing a proper threaded band?
Maybe make a couple of placemats?
Then again, the caramels might look prettier in a box or a fancy glass jar...

If I did a trio or mix of something - say three different mini bundt cakes and three kinds of "adult" chocolates or confections - maybe rum balls - caramels - ?
I think it will be fun doing a creative presentation.

Off the Wheel

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #221 on: October 15, 2017, 12:29:36 PM »
Is mid-October way too late to be planning to do an all homemade Christmsas?! Eep.

Feeling very inspired, and looking forward to getting access to the Pinterest board. My ideas:


Dad: Healthy food trio (he's recently vegan-ish) - spiced nuts + apple rings + chocolate covered espresso beans
Mom: Jam trio (plum, orange marmalade, maybe raspberry?) + jar of granola that she loves (http://www.badgirldiy.com/2016/10/30/the-best-ever-granola/)
Brother: Homemade Kahlua, or if I can get my knitting game strong enough in time - a toque (beanie for you non-Canadians!)
Husband: "Man-Bombs" = manly bath bombs! Going to try to find some fun flavour/scent combos. (http://abeautifulmess.com/2015/03/homemade-bath-bombs.html)
Father-in-Law: Homemade Kahlua?
Mother-in-Law & Sister-in-Law: Soap + sugar scrub + moisturizer combo? A girlfriend made this for me years ago, and spraypainted the top of small mason jar lids gold, and glued gold-painted animal figurines on top. It was very cute (and pretty) to have these little jars with gold giraffes, hippos, etc on top)
Brother-in-Law: "Man-Bombs"
5-year-old Nephew: Hidden toy soaps? http://homemadeforelle.com/homemade-soap-kids-hidden-toys/
2-year-old Niece: Pom-pom scarf http://sheepandstitch.com/shop/the-baby-pom-scarf-pattern/
Grandma: Jam trio + jar of granola

For work and for the friends that stop by I'll have extras of the jams and snacks, plus I'll do some baking.

Imma

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #222 on: October 15, 2017, 12:51:53 PM »
I sewed up the first pair of pyama pants today! It was easy to do and really fast. The only problem i have is that they take a little more fabric than I thought they would - 2,2 yards instead of the 2 I calculated, so I'm ending up more than half a yard short if I want to make 3. I'm trying to find some more of this fabric, or a different fabric all together for the last pair now.

My youngest brother is moving out around Christmas, so I'm thinking of making something for his new place. I'm still deciding what I'll make.

BlueHouse

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #223 on: October 16, 2017, 11:54:43 AM »
I've been thinking of trying to pickle Daikon Radish, and have found a number of recipes online, but I thought I'd check here first to see if anyone has a tried and true recipe? 

I LOVE pickled radish and it's the perfect complement to spicy food (especially Asian), so I think it would be a great gift to friends who LOVE spicy food. 
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MBot

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #224 on: October 16, 2017, 09:39:01 PM »
I'm thinking of making "simmer pots" with fancy labels and dried ingredients.

Like this, sort of:http://www.nestofposies-blog.com/2014/11/christmas-jar-mulling-spices/

Apparently bulk "mulling spices" are about $7 a lb, and contain orange peel, cloves, cinnamon and most spices.

If I use dried orange slices (DIY) and pine sprigs, my only question is how well the fresh cranberries keep.

Does anyone know how well fresh cranberries keep out of the fridge, or if something like this would be OK out of the fridge for a few days?


I've also thought about selling some at holiday craft fairs, but I wonder if I'd have to separately baggie the cranberries inside the jar and give it a "lifespan" in the fridge.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #225 on: October 16, 2017, 10:51:03 PM »
I'm thinking of making "simmer pots" with fancy labels and dried ingredients.

Like this, sort of:http://www.nestofposies-blog.com/2014/11/christmas-jar-mulling-spices/

Apparently bulk "mulling spices" are about $7 a lb, and contain orange peel, cloves, cinnamon and most spices.

If I use dried orange slices (DIY) and pine sprigs, my only question is how well the fresh cranberries keep.

Does anyone know how well fresh cranberries keep out of the fridge, or if something like this would be OK out of the fridge for a few days?


I've also thought about selling some at holiday craft fairs, but I wonder if I'd have to separately baggie the cranberries inside the jar and give it a "lifespan" in the fridge.

Use dried cranberries maybe? Would it work?

MBot

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #226 on: October 16, 2017, 11:32:36 PM »
I'm thinking of making "simmer pots" with fancy labels and dried ingredients.

Like this, sort of:http://www.nestofposies-blog.com/2014/11/christmas-jar-mulling-spices/

Apparently bulk "mulling spices" are about $7 a lb, and contain orange peel, cloves, cinnamon and most spices.

If I use dried orange slices (DIY) and pine sprigs, my only question is how well the fresh cranberries keep.

Does anyone know how well fresh cranberries keep out of the fridge, or if something like this would be OK out of the fridge for a few days?


I've also thought about selling some at holiday craft fairs, but I wonder if I'd have to separately baggie the cranberries inside the jar and give it a "lifespan" in the fridge.

Use dried cranberries maybe? Would it work?

I think it would SMELL fine, but the visuals aren't as great as fresh pine/cranberries.

Raenia

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #227 on: October 17, 2017, 05:58:49 AM »
I'm thinking of making "simmer pots" with fancy labels and dried ingredients.

Like this, sort of:http://www.nestofposies-blog.com/2014/11/christmas-jar-mulling-spices/

Apparently bulk "mulling spices" are about $7 a lb, and contain orange peel, cloves, cinnamon and most spices.

If I use dried orange slices (DIY) and pine sprigs, my only question is how well the fresh cranberries keep.

Does anyone know how well fresh cranberries keep out of the fridge, or if something like this would be OK out of the fridge for a few days?


I've also thought about selling some at holiday craft fairs, but I wonder if I'd have to separately baggie the cranberries inside the jar and give it a "lifespan" in the fridge.

Cranberries should be fine on the counter for a few days.  I'd think they'd last about as long as the pine before starting to turn (depending what kind of pine you use, I guess) - fresh ingredients are never going to last that long, but they should be good for a few days, as long as you inspect them for soft spots, etc before adding them in.

ElleFiji

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #228 on: October 18, 2017, 06:55:31 PM »
I'm not hand making my entire Christmas... but I have almost 20 work gifts and a handful of friend that I want to make things for:

Sugar scrubs
Herbs in recycled containers
Banana bread
Shortbread
Maybe rum balls

Mtngrl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #229 on: October 19, 2017, 01:05:39 PM »
We started a batch of Christmas Ale this weekend -- using hops we grew. We'll bottle this in Grolsch-type bottles with a fancy label and gift it to friends and neighbors -- always a hit.

So far I've made some zippered pouches out of fancy fabric and filled them with useful desk items (band-aids, lip balm, nail file, breath freshener, etc.) for a couple of friends. I knit my MIL a pair of slippers. I was shopping with another friend and she was oohing and ahhing over these fancy patchwork and lace hearts, so I made her a couple of those. I'm going to make some jewelry for my MIL and a couple of other friends, and several food gifts. My husband and I are taking a big trip to Alaska next June and have agreed to only exchange stockings this year, so I'm still trying to think of a few little things to go in his stocking -- and something for my FIL, who wants or needs nothing. I have a good supply of homemade jams to hand out to our mail carrier, choir director, etc. I usually give an assortment and they have always been well received.

PMG

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #230 on: November 03, 2017, 02:19:08 AM »
finished.  Made a block print and attached calendar pages to it, like an old timely hardware store calendar.  It's pretty cool, but was a really low cost gift. I'm traveling, so left them all with a sibling to hide them under the tree.  Will be a surprise for most of the rest of the fam.  It's a small gift so I guess the surprise will add weight to it.

18 gifts. My only expense was a roll of plain dollar tree paper to wrap them. I cut snowflake name tags out of scrap paper. And supplies for the rest were on hand, left over from previous projects.


Mtngrl

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #231 on: November 03, 2017, 12:05:14 PM »
Oh, I really like the calendar idea!

We bottled the Christmas Ale this morning -- most of it in our collection of Grolsch bottles. All that's left is to  make a fancy label. It looks and tastes fabulous.

MBot

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #232 on: November 04, 2017, 07:13:29 PM »
finished.  Made a block print and attached calendar pages to it, like an old timely hardware store calendar.  It's pretty cool, but was a really low cost gift. I'm traveling, so left them all with a sibling to hide them under the tree.  Will be a surprise for most of the rest of the fam.  It's a small gift so I guess the surprise will add weight to it.

18 gifts. My only expense was a roll of plain dollar tree paper to wrap them. I cut snowflake name tags out of scrap paper. And supplies for the rest were on hand, left over from previous projects.

Do you have pictures? I love this idea!

PMG

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #233 on: November 05, 2017, 07:43:00 AM »
finished.  Made a block print and attached calendar pages to it, like an old timely hardware store calendar.  It's pretty cool, but was a really low cost gift. I'm traveling, so left them all with a sibling to hide them under the tree.  Will be a surprise for most of the rest of the fam.  It's a small gift so I guess the surprise will add weight to it.

18 gifts. My only expense was a roll of plain dollar tree paper to wrap them. I cut snowflake name tags out of scrap paper. And supplies for the rest were on hand, left over from previous projects.

Do you have pictures? I love this idea!

No photos. Sorry Mbot.  Maintaining anonymity on these forums.  My art is too revealing. 

I can give a little more of a walk through.

I used a heavy cotton paper roughly 12 inches wide by 15 inches long.

I registered it so that my 8.5x11 block print was centered L-R and 2 inches down on the page.  After drying I scored and folded the top 1.5 inches of paper toward the back and glued it down to prevent sagging. Punched a hole for hanging (reinforced some holes with packing tape hidden on the back, punching after taping.

Calendar pages are stapled under the print.  I formatted each month to print 4x11, two to a page of regular sized landscape printer paper.  This made it really cheap to print, but it looked less like a standard size. This fit my stapler so I didn't need a long arm.  You could use any size and staple from the sides vertically, but I wanted the staples horizontal.

It would be easy to use a family photo or kid's drawing, slap it on poster board and add calendar pages. 

I wanted something that played between practical and fine art.  Each one I made is an original print, signed and numbered.  But they are casual.  My family will enjoy these, but not be obligated to keep a piece that might not fit their aesthetic.

Calendars have been my thing the past couple years. The older generation loves to have something so practical be something personal, and they always need a new one each year!  My siblings are all digital, have never used a paper calendar, but I know they are going to be into this quaint but modern take on it, with no strings attached to the gift.  They are also inexpensive to mail and about the right time investment for me. 

sparkytheop

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #234 on: November 05, 2017, 08:03:11 AM »
A friend asked me to make items for a table for a bazaar she is running.  I'm not interested in selling my stuff at all, but agreed to help her out.  I will make some tote bags, some reusable gift bags, little zippered coin purses and small zippered bags, pot holders, skillet handle pot holders, etc.  I'm using "fun" fabrics with Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, Nerds (the candy), frogs, etc, rather than Christmas fabric.  Whatever I have left after the bazaar will likely end up going to family as gifts. 

Rosy

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Re: Homemade Christmas - 2017 Edition!
« Reply #235 on: November 05, 2017, 02:19:05 PM »
Update:
Made a little bit of progress...

1. Found two cool, fancy, red velvet lined Christmas baskets at the thrift store for $3.99 each and discovered I had a third, a plain gold basket suitable for re-gifting, once I spray it with glitter white/gold.

At the discount store, I found a white china bowl with gold antler handles perfect for packaging up baked goods and/or rum balls. Adding in some fun Christmas kitchen towels and one of my gifts and nice presentation is done!
(I know it will match her china and decor)

2. Still dealing with outdoor projects, so I doubt much will happen before the 15th of Nov - trying to have my studio work area set up by then, so I can start making the two, perhaps more, jewelry gifts. I don't like to be rushed when I design my jewelry, but I checked to see that I have everything, except I may need to pick up a couple of different closures-depending.

3. It will definitely not all be homemade, but I was happy to find some exquisite, quality scented candles at Marshal's at a good price. Scented candles and sweets are always appreciated by 80% of my friends and family. So there will be baking and caramels and rum balls for everyone along with the candles.
The other 20% is a little tougher to find appropriate gifts for.

4. Ordering a set of canvas shopping bags in three sizes to be printed with my photo of my friend's 1965 turquoise Mustang. Can't wait to see how that will turn out. It is from my own photography website, so I will get a discount, thankfully - since that is rather pricey, but I think the end result will be worth it. She takes her bags to Saturday market etc...

5. Found two serene, grey Buddha head planters for only $5.99, which I will plant with herbs (maybe lemon balm for tea or a spiky zebra grass for show). Maybe I'll add in new garden gloves and a couple of seed packets or a new windchime. We are all garden buddies, so I know that gloves, seeds and wind chimes are always welcome.

6. The third gift basket is also practically done, except for the baking - set of Christmas towels (her old ones are wearing out), found several brand new mystery books at the local thrift store for one dollar each-her favorite read:), a frozen casserole - she hates to cook:), but I love to cook:) and a bottle of Bailey's - decorated in a Christmas theme.
Pinterest had some amazing ideas, can't wait to give it a try - I love decoupage projects mixed with other art media.

Great ideas and some very talented people on this thread - enjoy the season:)
Each holiday season only comes around once in your lifetime...