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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: ChandraNH on August 07, 2018, 08:21:25 AM

Title: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: ChandraNH on August 07, 2018, 08:21:25 AM
Didn't see a 2018 thread started yet, so here goes:

What are you making for the holidays this year?

Prior threads:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/homemade-christmas-2013/

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/homemade-christmas-2014-edition!!/

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/homemade-christmas-2015-edition!!/

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/homemade-christmas-2016/

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/homemade-christmas-2017-edition!/


Sister:  I'm pickling a bunch of okra today and canning some homemade bloody mary mix tomorrow and will use those two, along with booze and maybe pickled green beans, in a bloody mary basket for my sister and brother in law (she's also getting a subscription to YNAB).

Mom:  Raspberry lemonade jam and green tomato and hot pepper pickles I canned last night, plus whatever else I wind up canning this summer.  I think I'll put together some homemade bath oils, soaps, scrubs, along with a photography class as she's finally fully retiring this year at age 68 and will need something to do.

MIL/FIL: Raspberry lemonade jam, green tomato and hot pepper pickles and whatever else I can.

What's on your list?
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: ChandraNH on August 07, 2018, 08:24:49 AM
Forgot something:

FIL:  He and I are the only two who love fruitcake, so I'm making fruitcake for us this Christmas and probably need to get started soaking the fruit so it's ready. 

I think I'll also make some gingerbread cake for him.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Raenia on August 07, 2018, 09:10:13 AM
Homemade gifts are going to be mostly on DH this year.  He's finally gotten access to a wood shop to work in, and he's going to make wood cutting boards and/or coasters for almost everyone.  For a few people who don't need those, I'll come up with something edible.  Maybe brandied pears again, those were popular last year.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: OtherJen on August 07, 2018, 09:14:15 AM
This is inspiring! Last year, I knitted scarves out of fancy yarn for both parents (momís was silk lace weight, dadís was a wool/cashmere blend). I think itís my MILís turn to receive a scarf: something super-soft in cranberry red.

Husband brews beer and wine, we both can fruits and veggies, and I love to bake so I think there will be many food gifts this year.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on August 09, 2018, 09:44:34 AM
I'm just getting started for this year.  I do a combo of sewn gifts, knit gifts, and food gifts, so I'm definitely behind.

Joann's 75th anniversary sale is going on, and they have a bunch of holiday fabric for $1.50 and $1.75 a yard.  I'm going to pick some up to make reusable gift bags and our matching Christmas pajamas.

Here are my projects and their status:

Scarf for DW - half finished
Matching family PJs - need to buy fabric
Gift bags - some are sewn already, need more fabric
Letter beanbags for DD - Cut out and ready to sew
Hot sauce for teachers - peppers are growing in the garden
Layered mason jar soup mix for teachers - the split peas and red lentils require a trip to the Indian market, I have the other beans already
Buckeyes for FIL - need to be made in December

Need to figure out what I'm doing for MIL, my mom, and my son who will be almost 2.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: ChandraNH on August 09, 2018, 12:26:09 PM
Ooh hot sauce is a great idea.  we have tabasco peppers ripening now and can likely get a few bottles out of that.

Also my mom has a ton of pecan trees in her yard, so I may gather a bunch and make pralines.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: centwise on August 09, 2018, 12:39:51 PM
Good timing, great idea. PTF!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Bean05 on August 10, 2018, 04:21:34 AM
This thread so inspired me last year! I ended up having a great time making coasters with fancy paper and mod pod for my girls (and the obligatory ďfirst tryĒ set for myself!) :)

I also generally make a foodstuff, and last year was spiced nuts; I made sweet batches but also savory ones for diabetic friends/relatives last year.

This year Iíve started early with a cross stitch piece for my daughter. Looking forward to following this thread for other creative ideas.

Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Tamster on August 10, 2018, 04:38:26 AM
I'm thrilled to see this thread. I've knitted up an infinity scarf for my best friend - funny backstory on that. She gave me a bag of lovely yarn and asked if I would make her one (since she couldn't figure it out), and gift it to her for Christmas. So I looked on YouTube and found an excellent video. Bonus: she gave me so much yarn that I made matching infinity scarves for her daughters. :)

Still to work on: cross stitch project for my sister, and cross stitch ornaments for the kids.

Looking forward to getting ideas. :)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 10, 2018, 05:37:01 AM
PTF. Need to start planning for this Christmas!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on August 10, 2018, 11:53:37 AM
I'm not sure what I'll do this year.  My dad will get some homemade pie crust mix, as usual (gave it to him once and he's requested it as a gift ever since).  Last year I made all the guys pot holders and skillet handle pot holders (they all cook, everyone uses cast iron), and all the girls got small purses/bags.  Past years I've done dog treats, vanilla, oatmeal smoothie mix, stuff like that.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Need2Save on August 11, 2018, 06:36:10 AM
Oh man. I'm so glad I scanned this thread. I would never have thought about making homemade hot sauce and that is a genius idea!  Does anyone know if it freezes well? The hot peppers are the only thing that is growing like mad in my garden this year and I'd love to use some of them up.

I did make 12 jars of strawberry jam in June that I am keeping in the freezer until December when I'll give them to coworkers with a simple holiday ornament. I just have to find a creative way of making them look gift-worthy. I'm thinking a small bit of fabric and cute coord around the top but need to see what I already have vs. what I need to pick up between now and then.  This is the first time ever I'll be giving a homemade food-item and I'm very excited about it. One girl from my office does homemade doggie treats for the dog owners and another does homemade salsa every year. I really like the homemade touch.

I really like to do a small something for my coworkers each year to let them know how much I appreciate working with them and I am so happy to have something sorted out so far in advance this time. It's a huge relief. Since my husband and I only exchange like one thing for the holidays, and the two sons are 19 and 20 now, it should be an easy holiday gifting year. (they really only want money, chocolate, and maybe a few gift cards to places they like to eat).
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Freedomin5 on August 11, 2018, 07:21:40 AM
Made holiday sugar cookies decorated with red and green icing last year which turned out beautifully, so I may do the same again this year. Since most locals in China don't own an oven, homemade cookies are a special treat. I also made a gingerbread house last year which turned out very nicely. Homemade gingerbread houses are also a rare treat, and I think the staff will enjoy it.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: JustInStarting on August 12, 2018, 05:49:52 AM
Homemade soap, and may be cookies. I have to start another batch of soap soon  to make sure that they are well cured before Christmas.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on August 12, 2018, 08:35:53 PM
I think I'm going to make this for my 2 year old.  Just the Mr. Potatohead set, not the whole quiet book:

http://jocelynandjason.blogspot.com/2011/11/mr-potato-head-quiet-book-pages-10-11.html

It's 9:30 right now and I'm trying to decide if I gather my chi to do some crafting right now.   I might just knit for a bit, or Google up some more gift ideas for my mom and MIL.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: chaskavitch on August 13, 2018, 06:54:26 AM
Last year I made a lot of dill pickles, raspberry jalapeno jam, rosemary garlic bread, and some rolled kolach bread.  I always feel like I should be getting people more permanent things, but then I remember that *I* don't want permanent things either, and maybe food items are the best choice after all.  I'm always glad for this Christmas thread for more ideas, though!

So far the only permanent thing on my Christmas list for me is more beeswax paper to replace waxed paper for food storage.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: ChandraNH on August 14, 2018, 11:22:43 AM
I'm one of those odd people who love getting homemade things for Christmas, versus another dust-collector that I have to remember to take out of storage when the gift-giver comes over.

Don't know if hot sauce can be frozen, but if you're up for it find some fermented hot sauce recipes, I think those will keep out of the freezer and without canning techniques.

Saw a neat gift idea on reddit, a cheeseboard set without the cheese.  The poster made spiced nuts, a couple of jams, homemade crackers, dried fruit I think and paired them up nicely in a gift box with recommendations for cheeses to go with the items.  You could even throw in a gift card for a local cheese shop and you have a great gift for someone who likes to entertain.

got a bunch of melons at the farmer's market this weekend so I'm making melon jam for the first time and that will go in my husband's stocking.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on August 14, 2018, 12:09:23 PM
Like @ChandraNH said, many hot sauce recipes can keep in just a clean bottle.  Any vinegar-based hot sauce will keep outside the fridge, and same for the fermented ones.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: chaskavitch on August 15, 2018, 06:38:10 AM
@SimpleCycle , @ChandraNH , thanks for the hot sauce idea!  My sister and sister-in-law both love hot sauce, and we're growing jalapeno and habanero peppers this year, so I have somewhere to start!  My sister is on a super strict diet for bodybuilding, so hot sauce is a much better plan than jam or sweet bread :)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Stachetastic on August 15, 2018, 07:28:31 AM
PTF

We've done vanilla extract in the past with rave reviews, so will probably check on my supply and make more if needed.  I've gotten away from baked goods because my extended family just didn't seem very appreciative. So last year they got nothing from us (which they were all fine with). Grandma has decided to retire from hosting Christmas, so that side of my family will not be getting together anymore.

I'm having trouble finding my motivation this year. Good thing I've still got a few months.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Mtngrl on August 15, 2018, 11:38:29 AM
One of my favorite threads!
So far I've made a jewelry roll for my best friend, travel sets for my two editors (3 cloth charging cord keepers that fasten with velcro and a matching zip pouch for earbuds, in a matching zipper bag suitable for toiletries), and some of the cord keepers in a different fabric for my husband's stocking. I'm planning to knit leg warmers for my elderly FIL, who because of nerve damage suffers from chronic coldness in his lower legs. I've also canned various jams and salsa, some of which will be gifted.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Slow&Steady on August 15, 2018, 01:56:01 PM
I have done natural stone tiles in the past and they are still used by everyone that I gave them to.

I am trying to get back into crocheting (as a stress reducer) and I am thinking some simple wash cloth sets with craft soaps would be pretty good little gives.  We will see if I can figure that out in time for the holidays.

If you can't tell, I am really just posting so that this thread keeps popping up for me!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: diapasoun on August 15, 2018, 03:14:45 PM
PTF. I love doing homemade things (do some number of homemade gifts every year) but it can be hard to figure out What To Make. I end up doing candies and dog treats every year, and usually some amount of yarn-crafted item, but I'm starting to stymy myself and need some new ideas.

I really like the cheeseboard sans cheese idea -- I may snag that for my boyfriend's dad.

Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Imma on August 15, 2018, 04:22:30 PM
I'd like to join!

So far, I'm making these things:
- cross stitched gift for a friend
- PJ pants for us + visitors (total of 4) - this is a new tradition I started last year and was a big success.
- matching dog / cat collars. Made them from the fabric scraps of the pants, were also received very well.

I need to come up with a LOT more things.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Anette on August 15, 2018, 04:58:16 PM
The chessboard sounds like a great idea for my Dad. Thanks for sharing!I

@Mntgrl  the translate sound interesting to me, would you share the instructions?

Last year I made lunchbags with wax material that were a success and I made notice boards out of pieces of wood ( kitchen cupboard front pieces) that I can always find very  cheap(2-3 Ä) in Ikeas Fundgrube. They usually have a " framed" look and I use self adhesive Velcro ( from Aldi) to attach small laminated cards.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 15, 2018, 07:04:18 PM
I have done natural stone tiles in the past and they are still used by everyone that I gave them to.

I am trying to get back into crocheting (as a stress reducer) and I am thinking some simple wash cloth sets with craft soaps would be pretty good little gives.  We will see if I can figure that out in time for the holidays.

If you can't tell, I am really just posting so that this thread keeps popping up for me!

I was given a gift something like this once -  a "spa in a jar"* - handknit washcloth in white cotton, bath salts, homemade soap, a natural clay mask, a homemade "massage tart" and a tea candle in a pretty mason jar.   A Christmas napkin with a poinsettia replaced the canning lid (the canning ring held it on and the poinsettia was centered), so it was very seasonal.

*Literally, it had a pretty label that said SPA in a Jar.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Megma on August 15, 2018, 07:31:42 PM
I love handmade gifts for people who appreciate them 😀

In the past I've made towels that hang on your oven/fridge handle, soaps, book clutch purse (take a book's guts out, cover in fabric and add a zipper, it was really cute).

This year we're traveling for Christmas, everyone is meeting in a fun destination. I wanted to do vanilla, but since it's a liquid it would be inconvenient for the receivers to take on their flights home.

I sew, so I'm into ideas that are sewn. Maybe infinity scarves? They're quick. Or cute bags but those aren't great for the men.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Mtngrl on August 15, 2018, 08:41:19 PM
The chessboard sounds like a great idea for my Dad. Thanks for sharing!I

@Mntgrl  the translate sound interesting to me, would you share the instructions?

Here are the instructions for the cord keepers -- super useful and easy to make: http://leafytreetopspot.blogspot.com/2013/05/tutorial-diy-cord-keeper-from-fabric.html

This is the instructions for the earbud pouch: https://www.erinerickson.com/2011/11/circle-zip-earbud-pouch-tutorial/

And this is the jewelry roll: https://www.marthastewart.com/1528028/quilted-jewelry-roll
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Anette on August 15, 2018, 11:49:18 PM
Mtngrl, thanks for sharing, I will make some for family and I think these will also be great for the Christmas fair at my kids Steiner School.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on August 31, 2018, 12:14:12 PM
Decided on some crocheted mittens for MIL.  It's a fun to crochet pattern so far!

Made six jars of peach jam.  Two will go to my mom, who loves peaches.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Mtngrl on October 11, 2018, 12:05:03 PM
I had a little extra time this week and used it to make some gifts. A pair of pj pants for my husband, this adorable owl pincushion for my MIL (who collects all things owl) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n687pnKi6oM and flour sack dish towels with funny sayings (also for my MIL). The towels look fabulous and were so easy! I decided what I wanted them to say (One says Life is Short -- Lick the Bowl and the others says My Kitchen was clean last week -- sorry you missed it.) I looked at ideas on Pinterest, then made up an 8 1/2 X 11 poster using Canva, printed it out, laid the flour sack towel over the paper and traced the design with a Super Fine Line Sharpie marker -- then colored in with a Fine Point Sharpie. I let the marker dry, then starched and ironed the towels -- they look awesome and two towels took less than an hour. I bought a four-pack of towels at Target ages ago for a few dollars.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on October 11, 2018, 02:38:39 PM
I decided on giving everyone smoked salt this year.  Bought a big jug of coarse sea salt, and will use mostly mesquite to give it a super smokey flavor.

I might also make and can a specialty mustard.  Not sure about that yet.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Megma on October 11, 2018, 02:40:18 PM
That owl pincushion is darling!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: nessness on October 12, 2018, 02:02:15 PM
I'm making my 4-year-old a fleece blanket, and probably a bracelet or something. Last year I made apricot liqeur and limoncello, which were big hits. I may do something similar this year, although I'm also trying to talk my family into limiting gift exchanging among the adults, and those probably aren't great gifts for kids. ;)

Homemade bath bombs would probably fun for my niece and young female cousins.  I have some molds already. Do boys (age 4) generally like bath bombs?
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Peachtea on October 12, 2018, 06:46:40 PM
Last yearís thread inspired me. I told our families in advance that we planned on only giving homemade consumables for Xmas like candles and cookies, they could reciprocate however they liked, but were not making any Xmas lists for anyone as we had everything we needed. (But in a manner I hope came off nicer/more grateful.) It was pretty successful in reducing the Xmas clutter. Although, I think it helped that Iíve also been trying to avoid ďthingsĒ for the last few years, talking about Marie Kondo and minimalism year round.  F1: oh look at this, wouldnít that be nice. Me: yes, but we donít have a lot of room and you know Iím trying to reduce our stuff. F1: (eye roll) oh yes, your minimalism (said as if a dirty word). I find minimalism a great excuse for frugality in general.

DH and I ended up making candles, soap, cookies (pumpkin snickerdoodle, molasses, and banana pecan shortbreads), peanut butter cups, and kaluhua last year. I think it saved us minimal money when adding up materials, but we didnít plan out that far in advance. More importantly it saved a ton of stress trying figure out what to give everyone and to think up appropriate/varying priced wishlist items to give three sets of parents. (Parents who always demand wishlists and were very displeased Xmas 2016 when I did the unthinkable and made one list for all three.) Plus, something about making gifts put me in the Xmas spirit, more so than I had been since a young kid. So huge thank you to everyone posting ideas on last yearís thread!

The Kaluhua and peanut butter cups went over the best, so Iím doubling those and dropping the molasses cookies. Iím also dropping the candles and soaps and plan on trying out another non-cookie food item. Iím thinking freezer jam or the hot sauce and and brandied pears ideas sound great too! Starting the Kaluhua this weekend. DH got vodka on sale last weekend :)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Rosy on October 14, 2018, 07:44:09 PM
Mtngrl - love that earbud pouch - thanks for the instructions. Somehow seeing that project sparked ideas all around.

There will be homemade cookies again this year. No idea yet what else - it's too early to get in the X-mas spirit:)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Off the Wheel on October 14, 2018, 09:23:44 PM
I've been trying to make batches of things when the mood strikes me, so that I'm ready for any gifting. I currently have loads of home-made soaps, and two kinds of homemade jam, and some dried morel mushrooms that I'm thinking about making into a risotto-in-a-jar type gift.

But, TBH, I'm not feeling Christmassy this year so am tempted to skip the $1000+ it will cost us to fly to my husband's family (it's their year) and go to a cabin with our dog instead.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Megma on October 15, 2018, 07:13:14 AM
Since we're meeting the whole of my husband's family (well his mom's side, approximately 30 people) for a destination holiday I need something plane friendly (for us and the recipients) and inexpensive.

I think I am going to make Christmas ornaments.  The 2013 thread inspired me. I have a bunch of green fabric scraps from another project this year so I might so scrappy Christmas tree ornaments. I'm off on Friday and might do a trial. Though I'm really liked the reindeer ones I saw on the 2013 thread, I'd have to buy supplies for those.

Then for his mom and grandma, I think I will make infinity scarves with little pockets like this one: http://chasecoco.blogspot.com/2018/10/infinity-scarf-with-pocket-tutorial.html

Not sure yet about the men...
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: nessness on October 15, 2018, 01:50:25 PM
@Peachtea the Kahlua is a great idea! Do you use vanilla beans or extract? If you use beans, do you have any suggestions for where to buy them inexpensively?
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Peachtea on October 16, 2018, 06:37:32 PM
We used imitation vanilla extract because we couldnít find cheap beans or extract. It was less than $2 on Amazon. Since it turned out really good last year, weíre doing the same this year. Although the internet says it is much better if you use beans. I think we found a recipe using real extract and then doubled the amount with the imitation.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: MrsDinero on October 16, 2018, 07:15:26 PM
Thanks for the reminder and all the great ideas!

So far I have only 3 gifts planned:
FIL - a crochet blanket
Neighbors - Homemade bread

Mr D and I need to talk about what everyone else is getting. 

Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: nessness on October 17, 2018, 08:53:38 AM
We used imitation vanilla extract because we couldnít find cheap beans or extract. It was less than $2 on Amazon. Since it turned out really good last year, weíre doing the same this year. Although the internet says it is much better if you use beans. I think we found a recipe using real extract and then doubled the amount with the imitation.
Thanks! I have a big Costco bottle of real extract so I think I'll use that.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: diapasoun on October 17, 2018, 11:22:07 AM
Plans:

Mom: an array of framed photos (need to sneakily acquire one of her dog that died this past year)
BF's dad: cheeseboard without the cheese idea from here (going to make a bunch of homemade mustards, as he loves mustard)

Dad: repair some slippers I'd made him + maybe some home-knit socks??
Bestie: homemade candy (probably apple cider caramels) + a donation to charity??

BF's mom: ??? I have zero clue right now. BF's mom seems to be more of an experience person.
BF: ??? (symbol of Sarenrae? is this when I finally teach myself some very basic metal working?)

I think everybody else gets homemade candies/cookies.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: YellowCat on October 20, 2018, 04:11:54 PM
I'm in! I mean, I'm always in, since knitting is one of my main hobbies year-round, and I typically start working on Christmas gifts around July. To keep this additionally frugal I'm trying to only use yarn that I already have (which is....a lot).
And in the non-knitted category:

I'm excited to see what you all will be making! Maybe I'll get inspired :)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Imma on October 21, 2018, 03:37:48 AM
Posting for accountability: my bf is away for the next 6 hours. I need to sew him his gift today while I can use the large living room table instead of the small sewing desk upstairs. Hopefully I'll have enough time to wrap it up and hide it before he gets home. He nearly found the fabric last week, but he won't open a wrapped up gift if he happens to find it.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Mtngrl on October 21, 2018, 08:15:22 PM
Posting for accountability: my bf is away for the next 6 hours. I need to sew him his gift today while I can use the large living room table instead of the small sewing desk upstairs. Hopefully I'll have enough time to wrap it up and hide it before he gets home. He nearly found the fabric last week, but he won't open a wrapped up gift if he happens to find it.

Ha. My husband walked in on me while I was cutting out a pair of pajama pants for him at our table. I literally threw my body across everything and shouted. "Turn around! Don't look!"
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: jengod on October 21, 2018, 08:31:29 PM
following for inspiration
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Freedomin5 on October 24, 2018, 07:55:55 PM
I'm considering gifting Christmas-y...

1) Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti drizzled with white chocolate
2) Cranberry White Chocolate Fudge Bark -- I looked up a few recipes, and bark is easier to make than fudge.

That should do for all of DH's coworkers, all of my coworkers, DD's classmates and teachers, and family friends. A little Christmas basket of fudge and/or biscotti. I'm thinking of buying little cellophane bags to individually wrap the fudge. I have lots of left over ribbon to make the packaging pretty.

Now I just need to find a good recipe.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: diapasoun on October 25, 2018, 09:53:49 AM
Recipes for barks are really easy -- technique is a little more complex, because you have to temper the chocolate if you want a really high quality bark. The basic recipe is:

1. Melt chopped chocolate in double boiler/in glass bowl set over boiling pot of water; add a bit of extract if you're using any to flavor the chocolate (e.g. for peppermint bark I usually use .25 tsp of peppermint extract for a pound of chocolate).
2. Temper chocolate.
3. Spread chocolate on wax paper set on a cookie sheet or other hard, even surface.
4. Sprinkle your add-ins on top.
5. Cool.

Tempering chocolate's not hard, it's just annoying time-consuming. However, it will give your bark that glossy surface and wonderful snap!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Megma on October 25, 2018, 12:09:56 PM
I have decided on scrappy Christmas tree ornaments for everyone in DH's family that we will see for Xmas and they are in progress! I am thinking one ornament per "family unit." I have 5 finished and another 8 cut out and ready to be finished.

Frugal win: I had all of the supplies needed left over from various other sewing projects except for some star buttons I ordered from Etsy to sew to the points.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Freedomin5 on October 25, 2018, 04:13:41 PM
Recipes for barks are really easy -- technique is a little more complex, because you have to temper the chocolate if you want a really high quality bark. The basic recipe is:

1. Melt chopped chocolate in double boiler/in glass bowl set over boiling pot of water; add a bit of extract if you're using any to flavor the chocolate (e.g. for peppermint bark I usually use .25 tsp of peppermint extract for a pound of chocolate).
2. Temper chocolate.
3. Spread chocolate on wax paper set on a cookie sheet or other hard, even surface.
4. Sprinkle your add-ins on top.
5. Cool.

Tempering chocolate's not hard, it's just annoying time-consuming. However, it will give your bark that glossy surface and wonderful snap!

@diapasoun Thanks! Thatís really helpful!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on October 28, 2018, 09:58:20 AM
Smoking the salt today while I'm at work.  I'll see how 10 hours does (need enough time to let the smoker cool so I can cover it and put it away before I go home).
Since salt is corrosive, and I'll be smoking it for several hours, I put parchment paper over my cookie sheet.
Put a large amount of mesquite pellets in the smoker, then will finish it off with a blend (Pit Boss competition blend, got 40 lb bags cheap last summer).
The first three hours, I spritzing just a little bit of water mist from a sprayer over the salt.  The water should help make the smoke "stick".  Don't want to over spray or you melt the salt.
Stirring every hour.
After the first hour, the top layer already has a nice light brown look to it.  Looks like it's going to work really well!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on November 12, 2018, 03:45:01 PM
I finished the smoked salt and put them in nice 3 oz jars for gifting.  Took some to work as well.

I'm almost halfway done knitting socks for my mom.  She has a ton that she's knitted for herself, and has given away hundreds to others, but she'll like that I made them for her :)

My dad will get pie crust mix again, so I'll dig up a tin and throw some of those together later.

I'm almost done!  Usually I'm a big procrastinator, so it's kind of nice.  All I'll have left is finding something for my son.  I'll have to see if there are any plays coming to the area I can get him tickets for.  He'll get the only non-handmade stuff I'm giving.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Imma on November 15, 2018, 03:33:25 AM
I'm doing pretty badly actually. I'm going to try to make some more gifts this Sunday. It's always the same: I love giving and receiving homemade gifts, but I'm just so busy all the time.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Poundwise on November 16, 2018, 10:04:25 AM
Jumping in, love your ideas!!

I spent an evening making 8 lovely fleece neckwarmers... seven for locally settled refugee kids who don't have winter clothes, and one for my own daughter:
https://www.applegreencottage.com/2017/02/neck-warmer-free-pattern-cowl-scarf.html

Cut out many more rectangles so I can make more as needed.

Then I made matching mittens using this pattern and tips:
https://thru-hiker.com/projects/mitten_pattern.php
http://www.thisheartofmineblog.com/2012/02/28/fleece-mittens/

I also cut out pieces to make a fleece robe for my daughter. Now I feel confident that I'll be able to put them together before Christmas. My boys also need winter gear, but I don't have the right fabric for them.  On the fence on whether I should buy more fabric (clutter danger! I've owned the fleece that I just used for over ten years) or just buy the gear. Maybe I'll compromise and get them ski gloves but make ski masks.

I need to find the 2017 or 2016 editions of this thread so I can go back and find the patterns to some sewn Christmas ornaments that I didn't have time to complete last year.

Thinking of making cute pillowcases that would double as wrapping.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Freedomin5 on November 17, 2018, 04:49:50 AM
@Poundwise Links to 2017 and 2016 editions are in the first post of this (2018) thread.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Poundwise on November 17, 2018, 07:38:38 AM
@Freedomin5 Thanks so much! I've been reading in haste, didn't notice I was on the second page of a 2 page thread!

@sparkytheop It's so great that you're knitting socks for your mom!  As a knitter herself, she will truly appreciate all the work and love that goes into them.  As a knitter/crafter, I personally love getting gifts of that sort.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: esq on November 17, 2018, 08:57:47 AM
I have done natural stone tiles in the past and they are still used by everyone that I gave them to.

If you can't tell, I am really just posting so that this thread keeps popping up for me!

What do your recipients use these for? Very interested in something like this.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: freya on November 17, 2018, 09:59:48 AM
PTF!

This isn't exactly homemade, but I've collected a few free or low cost "mathoms" over the course of the year that will end up being used as gifts.  Church fairs and sidewalk sales for example.  Also when I order stuff online direct from a manufacturer rather than Amazon, I often get free extra samples or small items.  Then I just put them into some pretty packaging and voila.

I've also made handknit items.  The biggest hits have been scarves with fun novelty yarns for kids, and fingerless handwarmers for adults (those are fast to make, too).
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Serendip on November 24, 2018, 12:54:37 PM
Good inspiration on here!

I just started chopping up socks to make a stuffed elephant for my nephew as he is the only one I really would like to give something to (my SO & I are completing a no-shopping year for 2018 so that includes C-mas).
I would like to also gift something small to the rest of the family, and since we CAN still buy food/experiences, I will comb through the above recipes for inspiration. Perhaps canned peaches & tomatoes from the summer would be good? ( as my family does not need more sweets due to health concerns--although they would love that bark..) :)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Peachtea on November 28, 2018, 05:48:59 PM
Kaluha and peanut butter cups are done. Hurray! DH is hoping do some batches of cookies this weekend (that weíll freeze to keep fresh). Still havenít decided if weíre going to try doing something else like freezer jam or brandied pears as well.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Poundwise on November 29, 2018, 09:06:20 AM
@Serendip A common gift I do for teachers is spaghetti dinner in a basket... fancy pasta, sauce, and parmesan from the Italian deli, plus sometimes a nice loaf of bread. Maybe you could do something similar with your lovely home preserves... like preserved peaches and biscuit mix, or pasta with tomatoes?
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Serendip on November 29, 2018, 10:05:54 AM
@Serendip A common gift I do for teachers is spaghetti dinner in a basket... fancy pasta, sauce, and parmesan from the Italian deli, plus sometimes a nice loaf of bread. Maybe you could do something similar with your lovely home preserves... like preserved peaches and biscuit mix, or pasta with tomatoes?

That's a great idea @Poundwise, I will definitely do something like this.

Finished my stuffed elephant, which actually turned out really well. Might crochet a tiny scarf for the creature as well..
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Freedomin5 on December 01, 2018, 07:14:03 PM
Finished the first batch of cranberry pistachio chocolate bark, and white chocolate fudge!

Now that I know the recipes work, I will make larger batches over the next few weeks as treats for staff and Christmas gifts for friends.

Next up: Biscotti. I may have to nix the pistachio in the biscotti because I donít have much left. Pistachio is expensive and a pain to shell and chop. I think Iíll just add cranberries, drizzle with white icing and decorate with sprinkles.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: CloserToFree on December 02, 2018, 12:06:29 PM
Found this thread today and it's making me hungry! Thanks for all the great ideas. I especially love the Italian dinner in a basket idea :-)
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 03, 2018, 11:41:12 PM
Oh my goodness, Christmas is in less than 3 weeks! I have no gifts!

I am trying to be a waste minimiser in life so I'm trying to create gifts that are zero waste. Luckily I've got limited friends and family that I need to buy for but even so I'd like to make lots of a few things rather than many different gifts. I also need to give about 20 small gifts to my best clients. Hubby won't get homemade stuff, he'll get zero waste experience gifts (one for every month of the year) and a t-shirt and a second hand thing for the garden that he mentioned he liked.

I've got a few nice jars so I was thinking one option might be cookie ingredients in a jar type thing for those with kids? Is that still too much hassle for them do you think (they would still need to melt butter and beat a couple of eggs)?

My other options for friends and family are:
- spiced nuts (neighbour got them year before last, really liked them.) I think friends would also rate them.
- succulent arrangement - I have quite a few small plants I've been growing that I can put together in small arrangements. I'm just worried that I'm not all that good at presentation. I've put a pic of a teeny one in a little salt pinch type dish that I got from a thrift store. This removes the need for arranging multiple plants but is a bit lame on its own - but a group of three teeny pots might be nice. I could present them on a wood slice (see below).

My clients are a bit more awkward. I've been working on wood slice crafts (using a tree we chopped) and have been making my own stencils for wooden tree decorations. I'm not sure it's going to work and it may be creating an awful lot of work...
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Imma on December 08, 2018, 09:15:11 AM
I'm still working on my gifts and it's almost christmas :( All I need is about one solid day of sewing.

The good news is I'm off on 24 December, so in the worst case scenario I could always spend that day locked up in my sewing room....
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Anette on December 08, 2018, 12:06:09 PM
One of my favorite threads!
So far I've made a jewelry roll for my best friend, travel sets for my two editors (3 cloth charging cord keepers that fasten with velcro and a matching zip pouch for earbuds, in a matching zipper bag suitable for toiletries), and some of the cord keepers in a different fabric for my husband's stocking. I'm planning to knit leg warmers for my elderly FIL, who because of nerve damage suffers from chronic coldness in his lower legs. I've also canned various jams and salsa, some of which will be gifted.

Mtngrl thanks again, have made lots of cord keepers, sold quite a few at the school fair and will give some away for family and friends for Christmas.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Freedomin5 on December 09, 2018, 03:45:00 AM
Biscotti, chocolate bark, and fudge have been a success so far. One of DHís coworkers (for whom DH needs to buy a secret Santa gift) loved the snacks so much DH decided to just gift the coworker a giant gift box of homemade goodies. Bonus Mustachian savings of USD $30 (the recommended cost of the gift)!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 09, 2018, 04:34:16 AM
I took this dish of baby succulents as a hostess gift to a Xmas party. The cost was under $2!

I have some terracotta dishes from posh store bought dip that I can make up similar ones for the neighbours. The cost will be a few cents for fancy gravel topping.

I made a good start on client gifts this weekend.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Mtngrl on December 10, 2018, 08:32:02 AM
I would love to receive those succulents!
I made a big batch of shortbread in little squares. I dipped one half of each square in either dark or white chocolate, and decorated some with chopped nuts or sprinkles. Made up boxes of fancy shortbread -- a big hit!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Stachetastic on December 10, 2018, 10:43:09 AM
DH and I are doing a fundraiser this year for a local non profit that involves us making lots and lots of spiced/candied nuts and puppy chow. The sale has been a huge success, and we should have plenty of supplies left over to make treats for family and neighbors.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Serendip on December 10, 2018, 03:31:45 PM
Just finished making a ridiculously huge wreath made from a wine-cork collection. Now..to find somewhere to hang it!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 15, 2018, 08:38:11 PM
Show us a pic, Serendip! All my wine bottles have screw caps :(

This weekend I have been prepping jars to put goodies in for clients and neighbours... I spray painted the jar lids black to cover the food branding and then made a snowflake stencil and spray painted it white to add a bit of xmassy. I already had the white paint from a previous abandoned furniture project and all the card and knife tools.

They are fairly bodgy but I actually like the imperfect look. Pretty happy with the results.

Have also finished making wood slice tree decorations to hang on the outside (can't show you as sort of branded).

As for the contents I baked some cookies with my business name on to go in them and they didn't turn out that well - so I'm thinking I may have to put shop bought ones in - it's 2.30pm on Sunday and I've run out of time. But the gifts are half handmade!

I can probably still find time one evening to do spiced nuts for neighbours and succulent pots. I've got three free nights left and two hrs Weds am - arrg.

Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: HappierAtHome on December 15, 2018, 08:59:40 PM
Those lids look fantastic, Freshie.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 15, 2018, 09:16:14 PM
Those lids look fantastic, Freshie.

Thanks! It's fun doing this sort of thing.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Megma on December 19, 2018, 09:19:59 AM
I love seeing what everyone has been making, so many amazing ideas! Basically, my facebook account is all maker groups porn, mostly sewing.

Super cool idea I saw on the ChooseFI facebook group (this isn't my photo), that I will be using next year, crocheted dish clothes with soap bars. I already crochet and make soap, but this was brilliant and I never would've thought of this!

I have made my scrappy trees for everyone in my husband's family that we are going to see and I bought some candles at a local craft fair. I made a passport wallet for my MIL. I have fabric to make an infinity scarf + skirts "Mommy & me" set for SIL and 2 nieces but I still need to do that...and maybe I'll be a good wife and hem some of my husband's pants (which I hate doing) as a Christmas bonus for him :)

Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Prairie Moustache on December 20, 2018, 10:41:08 AM
Great thread! I'm procrastinating pretty hard this year... Does anyone have a good "soup in a jar" recipes? I've done a few google searches and a lot of the recipes I've found get sub par reviews based on what you can put in a jar that keeps for some time.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 20, 2018, 11:22:31 AM
I am behind, but will probably pull it off.

Done: these felt bacon and eggs for DD's play kitchen.  I want to make her a few more types of food, we'll see how that goes!
Made buckeyes for MIL and FIL and sent them off.

In Progress: Felt car mat for DS.  Dolls for both kids.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on December 20, 2018, 05:39:06 PM
I brought a jar of my smoked salt, along with a grinder, to work a few weeks ago.  I was just told yesterday that it was really good.  One guy (who doesn't use salt much at all) tried it in his soup and said it really added a lot of flavor.  So, I hope it's a win for the year (each family member is getting a small jar plus a decent sized grinder that I also filled).
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: HappierAtHome on December 20, 2018, 07:24:53 PM
Done: these felt bacon and eggs for DD's play kitchen.  I want to make her a few more types of food, we'll see how that goes!

Those look AWESOME.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Football750 on December 20, 2018, 08:04:50 PM
That is really COOL!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Need2Save on December 21, 2018, 07:25:06 AM
Wow. Loving all the photos above. Very inspiring. I better kick it up a notch next year and learn some new skills.

Although a pretty basic DIY gift, the strawberry jam I made in the summer was defrosted and delivered to work-mates this week and seemed to be a big hit.  I was also able to use fabric and ribbon I had on hand for presentation purposes and all gift bags and tags were from existing supplies.  So no money spent other than the cost for the jars which I got on sale, and with a coupon and for the strawberries. :-)  Probably less than $2 a person all-in.  Yay!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 21, 2018, 10:17:12 PM
Wow. Loving all the photos above. Very inspiring. I better kick it up a notch next year and learn some new skills.

Although a pretty basic DIY gift, the strawberry jam I made in the summer was defrosted and delivered to work-mates this week and seemed to be a big hit.  I was also able to use fabric and ribbon I had on hand for presentation purposes and all gift bags and tags were from existing supplies.  So no money spent other than the cost for the jars which I got on sale, and with a coupon and for the strawberries. :-)  Probably less than $2 a person all-in.  Yay!

That sounds perfect!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 21, 2018, 10:24:28 PM
December 21st setback: I embroidered four doll faces and then realized the eyes ended up under where the hair goes.  Tried to shorten the hair and they looked silly.  So tomorrow I'll re-embroider the faces AFTER I've sewn on the hair.

My wife did an AWESOME job on the car mat.  I did the roads, and she did all the buildings and other features.  I think she had a lot of fun doing it too.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Need2Save on December 22, 2018, 05:04:04 AM
SimpleCycle, that is adorable!  My boys would have loved that when they were totsize (they are 19 & 20 now -haha).
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Raenia on December 22, 2018, 12:31:31 PM
Finally made the board butter (beeswax+mineral oil wood conditioner) to go with the hardwood cutting boards DH made.  Each giftee will get one little jar to go with their board.  If I have time, I may also make a food item to add to the gifts, but as of now the gifts are all ready for Christmas!

ETA: Made crystallized ginger as an extra treat.  I've been meaning to try out the recipe, since I had a ton of excess ginger from another recipe.  Came out quite well, though very strong.  Fortunately DH's family all loves ginger, so I'll make up a few tins once it dries.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 22, 2018, 05:26:38 PM
I love all these things! Good work everyone.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on December 22, 2018, 06:29:22 PM
Finally made the board butter (beeswax+mineral oil wood conditioner) to go with the hardwood cutting boards DH made.  Each giftee will get one little jar to go with their board.  If I have time, I may also make a food item to add to the gifts, but as of now the gifts are all ready for Christmas!

ETA: Made crystallized ginger as an extra treat.  I've been meaning to try out the recipe, since I had a ton of excess ginger from another recipe.  Came out quite well, though very strong.  Fortunately DH's family all loves ginger, so I'll make up a few tins once it dries.

Would you mind sharing your crystallized ginger recipe?  I love ginger, and it helps settle my stomach when I have to transfusion from night shift to day shift.
I make ginger ale sometimes, but it only uses a bit, so i always have lots leftover (i end up peeling it with a spoon and freezing it).
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Raenia on December 22, 2018, 07:33:56 PM
Finally made the board butter (beeswax+mineral oil wood conditioner) to go with the hardwood cutting boards DH made.  Each giftee will get one little jar to go with their board.  If I have time, I may also make a food item to add to the gifts, but as of now the gifts are all ready for Christmas!

ETA: Made crystallized ginger as an extra treat.  I've been meaning to try out the recipe, since I had a ton of excess ginger from another recipe.  Came out quite well, though very strong.  Fortunately DH's family all loves ginger, so I'll make up a few tins once it dries.

Would you mind sharing your crystallized ginger recipe?  I love ginger, and it helps settle my stomach when I have to transfusion from night shift to day shift.
I make ginger ale sometimes, but it only uses a bit, so i always have lots leftover (i end up peeling it with a spoon and freezing it).

@sparkytheop I used this recipe: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/candied-ginger-and-syrup-123111.  This is my first time making it, so it remains to be seen how long they take to dry fully so I can package them, but they certainly taste good!  Reduced the syrup down as well as a bonus.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on December 22, 2018, 10:41:02 PM
Finally made the board butter (beeswax+mineral oil wood conditioner) to go with the hardwood cutting boards DH made.  Each giftee will get one little jar to go with their board.  If I have time, I may also make a food item to add to the gifts, but as of now the gifts are all ready for Christmas!

ETA: Made crystallized ginger as an extra treat.  I've been meaning to try out the recipe, since I had a ton of excess ginger from another recipe.  Came out quite well, though very strong.  Fortunately DH's family all loves ginger, so I'll make up a few tins once it dries.

Would you mind sharing your crystallized ginger recipe?  I love ginger, and it helps settle my stomach when I have to transfusion from night shift to day shift.
I make ginger ale sometimes, but it only uses a bit, so i always have lots leftover (i end up peeling it with a spoon and freezing it).

@sparkytheop I used this recipe: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/candied-ginger-and-syrup-123111.  This is my first time making it, so it remains to be seen how long they take to dry fully so I can package them, but they certainly taste good!  Reduced the syrup down as well as a bonus.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: YellowCat on December 24, 2018, 06:29:35 AM
I'm in! I mean, I'm always in, since knitting is one of my main hobbies year-round, and I typically start working on Christmas gifts around July. To keep this additionally frugal I'm trying to only use yarn that I already have (which is....a lot).
  • Mom, Dad, Brother-in-Law, Family Friend: knitted socks (already done!!)
  • Work Friend: knitted cowl (in progress)
  • Friends' Babies (2): knitted toys, TBD. There are just so many cute patterns out there it's really hard to choose.
  • Grandmother: ?? She already has everything, and I made her socks last year, so maybe a nice warm pair of felted slippers? Those tend to be a big hit and they'll keep her cold feet warm and cozy all winter long.
And in the non-knitted category:
  • Family Friend's Husband: Foodie gift, TBD
  • Husband: ?? He says he doesn't want anything, so maybe I'll have to find a nice foodie gift I can make for him. One year I made this hot cocoa mix with Penzey's cocoa powder and it was a big hit: https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/12/decadent-hot-chocolate-mix/ (https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/12/decadent-hot-chocolate-mix/)

I'm excited to see what you all will be making! Maybe I'll get inspired :)

And my final homemade Christmas tally is in...
And that's it...not too shabby considering I work full time. My husband doesn't get anything homemade this year (though he does get a beautiful and hopefully indestructible computer bag) and unfortunately / fortunately my foodie gifts were purchased. I was also given a lovely wool scarf earlier this year which I re-gifted to my jewelry friend. It's in her favorite colors & she's been wearing it just about every day since. I'll count that as a re-gifting victory and it's definitely helpful with keeping the gifting costs down. 
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Mtngrl on December 25, 2018, 01:23:45 PM
I made four different knitted scarves, using yarn from my stash (much of it given to me by a friend whose step-mother died and left a full yarn closet behind) for the women who work at my church. They all professed to love the gifts.
My FIL loved the leg-warmers I knitted him and said they fit well. (He has nerve damage in his legs and suffers from chronically cold lower legs. These fit under his pants.)
My girlfriend professed to love the jewelry organizer and my editors seemed very appreciative of the cord keeper sets.
My husband loved his all-homemade Christmas -- he put the shirt on right away, tossed his old pajama pants in favor of the new ones I made, and (surprisingly, since they were so simple) raved about the homemade handkerchiefs in his stocking.
Neighbors loved the homemade pickles I gave them -- one says how 'killer' they were every time I see him.
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: sparkytheop on December 25, 2018, 03:00:41 PM
My mom's socks were a success!  She's knit over 200 pair, but hadn't used this yarn/color before :)  My dad enjoyed getting the pie crust mix and plans to use a bag of it later this week.  I try to keep him stocked up through gifts.

Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Poundwise on December 26, 2018, 03:59:02 PM
Got too busy to do any fabric based presents this year, except for a handknitted neckwarmer that made a friend very happy (she said nobody has ever given her anything homemade)  and I baked a lot of gifts that seemed to be well received.  Brioche, orange cake, and cinnamon rolls don't clutter!
Title: Re: Homemade Christmas (and other holidays)- 2018 Edition
Post by: Teachstache on December 27, 2018, 06:47:31 PM
A bit late, but our homemade gifts to extended family were: family photos, homemade jams & fruit butters, homemade muffins, and homemade hard cider & blueberry Mead. The gifts that we loved receiving the most were homemade Christmas ornaments & homemade elderberry wine, along with home-grown pork chops. We really cherish homemade photo gifts & homemade consumable gifts, and several of our extended family members also enjoy giving & receiving those same types of gifts.