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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Do it Yourself Discussion! => Topic started by: meadow lark on December 21, 2012, 04:30:46 PM

Title: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: meadow lark on December 21, 2012, 04:30:46 PM
So far on my DIY radar are " hats" like the ones from .  They are tubular, and work as excellent hat/scarves.  I've made 9 out of stretchy fleece.  Perfect for the biker/ outdoors type.  I did fleece because it is cold, but the ones for sale are made from a stretchy polyester.  Cut a fabric rectangle 19" x 20".   The 19" side should be stretchy.  Sew the two 19" sides together to make a tube.  Look online for ways to wear it.  I wear it riding to work under my helmet folded into a balaclava.  Covers my head, ears, mouth.
  Also considering making bracelets like the ones from .  They are woven out of para cord, and in an emergency you can quickly pull them apart and have 10-15' of super strong cord.  Lots of instructions on the web, just google para cord bracelet.
  Both of these would work for men or women.
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: swick on December 22, 2012, 08:16:40 AM
I love the idea of the Para cord bracelets! I have one attached to a flint and steel my sister gave me for Christmas a few years ago.

My DIY Christmas gifts for this year were: Foot soak, lotion bars, hand scrub, body polish, arthritis and exema salve, cards we designed and got cheaply printed from vistaprint and allspice liquor.

I am eyeing these for next year: (

Seems like a really great and foolproof introduction for someone like myself with bad childhood memories of trying to learn how to sew and no skills:)
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: Miss Stachio on December 22, 2012, 10:20:48 AM
- cold remedy kits made of lemon balm, rosemary and mullein, all of which can be foraged earlier in the year:

- a fort making kit for kids which includes sheets, clips, rope:

- homemade chocolate truffles or candies (these can be made in a variety of flavors and are really easy)

- thrifted mugs with hot chocolate on a stick/spoon:

- Sometimes I'll save seeds from various veggies and fruits (lemons work really well) and put them into small peat pots.  They'll sprout into cute seedlings in a couple of weeks.  Papaya seeds sprouted like gangbusters but, sadly, died very quickly in the Northeast winter climate, even though they were indoors.
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: Zaga on December 22, 2012, 10:43:49 AM
Nice ideas!  I very much love the sweaters into hats one!  That would be great for a sweater that had a tear or a stain somewhere, but the rest was still good.  That idea could possibly work well also for the hat pattern I posted below.

I'm working on some felt play food for a niece, making a hamburger, 2 fried eggs, a hot dog, a slice of white and pink cake, and a 4 piece pizza.  I also made up a bunch of hats for my brother's family from this pattern:

Some other ideas I've had for kids are things that I used to love like the basic wooden cars, dollhouse furniture, etc.  In the past I have made some nice DIY shelves for my other brother's house.  He liked them so much that when he moved they were requested again for the new house!  They were super simiple, I got poplar planks (1x6x6) and sanded, stained, and clear coated them, then put them up with pretty angle brackets.
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: N on December 22, 2012, 10:14:40 PM
Im giving my mother and father in law preserves. Ive made them some sweet onion jam and some pickled veg.

My daughter has made shrinky dink ornaments for many of our family and friends, and she has made origami boxes as both the gift box and another useful gift.

we used 12 in square scrapbook paper for many of them. very sturdy and we made lids, so you either can use them with the lid, or have two boxes without lids.

I also made glass marble magnets and glass tile pendants for my side of the family. Ive had the materials for ages, and finally got it all together and made a big batch of each. we sold some at our homeschool craft fair and are giving the rest to family.

For my brother, I made him a clock using a quarter panel of a trivial pursuit board game (making sure that the pie piece was his favorite category) and a clock mechanism from the craft store. It cost me 8$ for the clock thing, I had an old game from the 90s that I cut up the board.

I used the rest of the board and cards making these:

oh, and I glued the pie pieces into the pie and made a couple of magnets from those too. (trivial pursuit is a longtime family fave)

Im giving my friend a diy dry erase board using an old picture frame and scrapbook paper. like this:

Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: swick on December 23, 2012, 02:39:32 PM
Lots of great ideas!

Also reminds me I have all the stuff to make marble magnets and have had them for years. Time to do something with them! I really like the idea of reusing old board games.

For Christmas one year we created a family edition of “Masterpiece” an old board game where you buy/sell and auction famous art pieces. We replaced all of the art with 46 photos of our family, special events in our lives and art projects we have made. On the back we wrote a catchy title, caption and who took the picture. To make the pictures more artistic we applied some artistic photo editing effects such as “oil painting” and “Pencil Drawing” It adds a new dimension to the game because strategy goes out the window and friendly competition  ensues because you want a specific picture.

For our wedding in September we are having a camp-out with lots of board games spread throughout for people to play. We are going to be customizing/personalizing Guess Who, Clue, Nukewars and a few others

Edited to Add - I completely forgot a project we  are doing this year since my part of it has been done for a while - I made my future sister in law 5 perfumes based on the temple songs from Zelda Ocarina of Time. The Mr. painted a wooden treasure chest to look like the chests in the game and  has programmed and built the electronics to put into it so that it plays the chest song upon being opened and there are 5 buttons and each plays a different 8-bit song that matches the perfume.  We are pretty excited about this one, should be super neat:)
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: N on December 23, 2012, 05:42:49 PM
I find cheap boardgames at thrift stores sometimes. it can be fun to upcycle them into ornaments, boxes, keychain ornaments, etc.
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: jwystup on December 27, 2012, 09:43:44 AM
My main DIY thing this year was bottles of vanilla extract. Hardest part was finding bottles. Get some vanilla beans, split them down the middle (just through one layer of skin, not all the way in half), add to the bottle, and fill with vodka or rum (I used vodka). Let sit for 1-2 months. I think the proportions I found were 5 beans per 1/2 cup vodka. This will last a long time (years before needing new beans) if you just keep topping off the bottle with more vodka.

The only other thing that I bought for anyone that I had a choice (as in, didn't go in with other people on) was some help updating my parents' bathroom. My mom recently painted and replaced hardware in their very dated ugly main bathroom. I bought them 2 new shiny (brushed nickel - my fav) faucets to replace the super ugly white-with-some-weird-brown-design faucets and installed them. I had some issues with the drain stuff though - in removing the traps the piece further back broke, my mom went and bought some replacement parts and then another piece *further* back broke a little. Had to call in the experts - my uncle wound up finishing the job on the drains, I was just scared of breaking things in the wall! (I got the faucets all working by myself though). Also, a last-minute decision had me buying & installing a dual-flush on the toilet in that bathroom since that toilet sucked - had to hold down the handle forEVer to flush it.
Title: Re: DIY Christmas gifts
Post by: jameswilson on December 28, 2012, 06:42:50 AM
Nice ideas so far! But its little late this year. I would definitely try some of these for forth coming events!