Author Topic: Homemade Christmas 2013  (Read 60696 times)

Frugal Vegan Mom

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #100 on: September 27, 2013, 02:31:05 PM »
I got a fantastic book last year called Vegan Food Gifts.  It has recipes for baking mixes, soup mixes, ready to eat treats, jams, liqueurs, etc.  Plus ideas for themed gift baskets and inexpensive wrapping ideas for those of us who aren't so creative. 

lcg377

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #101 on: September 27, 2013, 03:50:19 PM »
A couple years ago, my sister who is NOT crafty wanted to join in the homemade stuff the rest of my family loves.  She sat down with my nephews and made fleece blankets for a few people, and they ROCK!  We keep ours on the couch in the winter time, and humans and dogs alike battle over it. :)

Later, when my dad had surgery, we made him a Marine Corps one, and he also loves it.  You can buy fleece in all kinds of prints: military, camo, cartoon characters, sports teams, etc.  So you can totally customize them for any person.  They may not be worthy of a Pinterest board, but they are great if you're a northerner! ;)

http://familycrafts.about.com/od/nosewfleeceprojects/ss/fleecetieblank.htm


MelodysMustache

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #102 on: September 29, 2013, 08:34:31 PM »
Here is the project that got me started on my homemade Christmas.  This is a scarf for my son made from grey merino wool.  I have about 10 more rows then it will be done.




Next up, I am going to try my hand at making some jewelry.  The jewelry won't save me much money over what I would normally spend because I am using high quality materials.  I put in the order for the materials today.  The ladies in my family will be getting necklaces in colors and materials that I picked out to specifically to suit them with crystals, silver, freshwater pearls, and/or handmade centerpieces. 

I still have to figure out what to make for the rest of the gentlemen in my family.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 08:36:33 PM by MelodysMustache »

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #103 on: October 10, 2013, 12:17:25 PM »
You guys. I need advice.

What do I tell the spendy person in my family about spending on Xmas? I will go ahead with my plan, yet.... Maybe my question really is how do I not feel like a cheapskate when she shares her copious expensive presents with family members...while our presents are homemade and/or more modest?

Someone tell me just not to worry about this. =-)

MelodysMustache

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #104 on: October 10, 2013, 04:21:31 PM »
It's fine and you don't need to worry.  The important thing about Christmas is not how much you spend, but that you give (within your own comfort level) with a loving heart.

To give an example - My family ranges from poor to wealthy, with me somewhere in the middle, and we simply do not compare.  The holidays are about family and good times.  I like to give things that are thoughtfully created for the specific person, and at a price point I am comfortable with.  I often receive things that are out of my price range or below it, and that's ok because the giver was simply happy to see that I liked the gift, and love the person who gave it.   I have never had anyone think any less of my gifts because they were homemade.  Usually it is just the opposite because they know that care and love went into the gift's creation, even if the raw materials were inexpensive.



oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #105 on: October 11, 2013, 07:37:38 AM »
Thank you. I appreciate it!

Freckles

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #106 on: October 12, 2013, 01:56:59 AM »

Lemon curd is also a good use for excess lemon juice. I don't have a recommended recipe for lemon curd, I'm sure a good one can be found through Googling.

Oooh, lemon curd is a good idea for gifts, too.  It's really easy to make but those little jars they sell of it in the grocery store are so expensive.  Thanks!

The knitter

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #107 on: October 12, 2013, 04:06:19 PM »
I've been toying with the idea of cooking some good freezable dinners and giving them to my busy sisters for Christmas. It's cheap, easy and so helpful when you don't feel like cooking after a long day of work.

But I'm not sure how to package this in a way I can wrap up and give to them.... Any suggestions?

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #108 on: October 13, 2013, 06:00:45 PM »
I've been toying with the idea of cooking some good freezable dinners and giving them to my busy sisters for Christmas. It's cheap, easy and so helpful when you don't feel like cooking after a long day of work.

But I'm not sure how to package this in a way I can wrap up and give to them.... Any suggestions?

How about creating and printing out a  menu in a fancy font that describes the dishes? You could also include your heating directions and side suggestions.

This way you could arrange a time to drop off the meals and won't come up with space problems like "I just bought a bunch of on sale meat, or shot a moose, and have no room in my freezer" If you package it nicely, maybe in a fancy scroll or folio (with the recipes?) then she will have something to open as well.

C. K.

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #109 on: October 23, 2013, 06:17:02 AM »
I don't think anybody has mentioned this, but wrapping with "alternative" wrapping materials saves money and the environment, and a lot of times people who "get it" will think it's really cool!



I wrapped gifts in cloth one year. On the little card with their name on it was an explanation of the furoshiki style of wrapping, in which the wrapping is also a gift. You could use it as a table cloth, a scarf, whatever. They appreciated my explaining it. That made it special.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #110 on: October 23, 2013, 07:48:54 AM »
Does anyone have ideas for ornaments? I would like to make ornaments for 10 children (son, nieces, and nephews) -- most are under 6, but there are 2 teenagers. I pinned some ideas (http://www.pinterest.com/staplerconfesh/frugal-giving/) but I would love to get more ideas. In my teenage years, I embroidered stockings and tree skirts from those kits you get at craft stores. I looked to see if I could find the same kind of thing now, at least to give me a template that I could copy 10 times, but the craft stores these days appear to just have glue-together projects. I like the felt animals / angels, like this, but with an animal (no one here would know figgy pudding): http://folksy.com/items/1022113

Any suggestions for ornaments?

smalllife

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2013, 12:29:28 PM »
Does anyone have ideas for ornaments? I would like to make ornaments for 10 children (son, nieces, and nephews) -- most are under 6, but there are 2 teenagers. I pinned some ideas (http://www.pinterest.com/staplerconfesh/frugal-giving/) but I would love to get more ideas. In my teenage years, I embroidered stockings and tree skirts from those kits you get at craft stores. I looked to see if I could find the same kind of thing now, at least to give me a template that I could copy 10 times, but the craft stores these days appear to just have glue-together projects. I like the felt animals / angels, like this, but with an animal (no one here would know figgy pudding): http://folksy.com/items/1022113

Any suggestions for ornaments?

If you do needlework at all you can find a book of small patterns and put them in some sort of frame to hang.  The pre-made ones in the stores are cheaply made, but it can't be hard to DIY or fine an alternate solution. Something like this http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/12/4/sweet-stitching-with-erin-cross-stitch-ornaments.html but not necessarily a pillow.

abhe8

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #112 on: October 23, 2013, 05:11:41 PM »
i'm in! some of these may be stretching the "homemade" definition a bit, but they are all heavier on thought/work then cost.

jamie pants, recycled crayons for the kids and nieces/nephews
playsilks (bought the silks, dying myself) and wool rattles for the baby
vanilla cookin away for grandparents (will do photos/frames, photo books too)
wool dryer balls for all the ladies/mamas in the family
some placemats with aplique for my boys (to learn how to set the table)
converting all the old VHS home movies to DVDs for my dad

KatieSSS

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #113 on: October 24, 2013, 11:42:40 AM »
What sort of homemade gifts have you all made for men? I have plenty of ideas for the women in my life - bath salts, pretty scarves, etc. - but what about the men? And teenagers?

CommonCents

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #114 on: October 24, 2013, 12:14:26 PM »
What sort of homemade gifts have you all made for men? I have plenty of ideas for the women in my life - bath salts, pretty scarves, etc. - but what about the men? And teenagers?

Food.  I might be doing a Harry Potter themed gift basket this year.  Technological help (years and years ago, I bought my dad a CD and copied it onto a tape along with a few others so he could listen in the car driving to work).

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #115 on: October 25, 2013, 05:45:53 AM »
Does anyone have ideas for ornaments? I would like to make ornaments for 10 children (son, nieces, and nephews) -- most are under 6, but there are 2 teenagers. I pinned some ideas (http://www.pinterest.com/staplerconfesh/frugal-giving/) but I would love to get more ideas. In my teenage years, I embroidered stockings and tree skirts from those kits you get at craft stores. I looked to see if I could find the same kind of thing now, at least to give me a template that I could copy 10 times, but the craft stores these days appear to just have glue-together projects. I like the felt animals / angels, like this, but with an animal (no one here would know figgy pudding): http://folksy.com/items/1022113

Any suggestions for ornaments?

If you do needlework at all you can find a book of small patterns and put them in some sort of frame to hang.  The pre-made ones in the stores are cheaply made, but it can't be hard to DIY or fine an alternate solution. Something like this http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/12/4/sweet-stitching-with-erin-cross-stitch-ornaments.html but not necessarily a pillow.

Those are great. Thanks!

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #116 on: October 25, 2013, 02:58:32 PM »
What sort of homemade gifts have you all made for men? I have plenty of ideas for the women in my life - bath salts, pretty scarves, etc. - but what about the men? And teenagers?

Ideas for men: The Purl Bee blog has a nice tutorial for a men's Dopp (toiletry) bag:  http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2010/7/16/mollys-sketchbook-zippered-dopp-kit.html.  My guys love also homemade socks but this is certainly a greater time commitment.  I am making my husband some hand hemmed linen handkerchiefs for Christmas.  Not exciting but useful for him. 

Have you considered making some sort of flavored alcohol? The fabulous Northwest Edible blogger (who is also a Mustachian) recently had a great article on this:  http://www.nwedible.com/2013/10/infuse-your-booze-a-complete-guide-to-diy-flavored-liquors.html.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #117 on: October 26, 2013, 12:05:17 AM »
I've just remembered that my three year old niece is obsessed with pearl jewellery. What could be easier than some freshwater pearls beaded onto kid-friendly elastic? This will be great!

Freckles

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #118 on: October 26, 2013, 10:25:15 AM »
lgannon, thank you for sharing the fleece blanket idea.  My cousin's little girl is very attached to having a soft blankie for comfort, so I showed my kids your link and we're going to make her (and maybe her mom, too) a blanket for Christmas.  I love finding something the kids can help make!

imustachemystash

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #119 on: October 26, 2013, 08:12:05 PM »
It's definitely time to get cracking on these homemade gifts!  I found these cute felt superhero masks on this site http://www.cutesycrafts.com/2012/07/superhero-party-masks.html

I'm going to make them for my 2 boys and my nephews.  If I have time I will make them the capes too! 

KatieSSS

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #120 on: October 28, 2013, 11:14:11 AM »
Infused alcohol! What a great idea! The only thing is I am flying home for Christmas - is it possible to bring something like that on the plane?

CommonCents

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #121 on: October 28, 2013, 11:39:33 AM »
Infused alcohol! What a great idea! The only thing is I am flying home for Christmas - is it possible to bring something like that on the plane?

Checked bags. 

KatieSSS

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #122 on: October 28, 2013, 02:08:16 PM »
Infused alcohol! What a great idea! The only thing is I am flying home for Christmas - is it possible to bring something like that on the plane?

Checked bags.

Yeah, I try not to check bags. But maybe in this case I will have to.

Splendid

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #123 on: October 28, 2013, 06:01:44 PM »
I just arm-knit my first scarf (http://www.simplymaggie.com/arm-knitting-how-to-updated) and it came out amazing! I don't have pictures, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. The yarn was $6, and it made a nice, long, soft scarf. And it only took me two hours! I'm sure the next one will go quicker. I think that's what all my female friends will be getting!

geekette

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #124 on: October 28, 2013, 06:21:46 PM »
I just arm-knit my first scarf (http://www.simplymaggie.com/arm-knitting-how-to-updated) and it came out amazing! I don't have pictures, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. The yarn was $6, and it made a nice, long, soft scarf. And it only took me two hours! I'm sure the next one will go quicker. I think that's what all my female friends will be getting!
Very interesting - I'll have to try that!

ichangedmyname

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #125 on: October 28, 2013, 07:17:43 PM »
I just arm-knit my first scarf (http://www.simplymaggie.com/arm-knitting-how-to-updated) and it came out amazing! I don't have pictures, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. The yarn was $6, and it made a nice, long, soft scarf. And it only took me two hours! I'm sure the next one will go quicker. I think that's what all my female friends will be getting!

That is SOOOOO cool! Is it cheaper to make it yourself? It looks very cute though.

Splendid

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #126 on: October 29, 2013, 08:00:38 AM »
I just arm-knit my first scarf (http://www.simplymaggie.com/arm-knitting-how-to-updated) and it came out amazing! I don't have pictures, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. The yarn was $6, and it made a nice, long, soft scarf. And it only took me two hours! I'm sure the next one will go quicker. I think that's what all my female friends will be getting!

That is SOOOOO cool! Is it cheaper to make it yourself? It looks very cute though.

Yes, it definitely is cheaper to make yourself. Since I didn't have to buy knitting needles, that $6 was my total cost. The scarf itself ended up about 6 feet long. I did take pictures today, and if I can attach them properly, you can see the width of the scarf and how big the stitches are when you use your arms, and then how it looks on a person when it is looped once around the neck. I used 2 skeins of Charisma bulky 100% acrylic yarn. Each skein was 100 m and I used the whole thing.

ichangedmyname

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #127 on: October 30, 2013, 11:11:56 PM »
I would really love to try this. Where's the best place to buy cheap practice yarn?

kt

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #128 on: October 31, 2013, 01:05:11 AM »
5 jars of strawberry jam sat on the side ready for labelling and wrapping.
can't believe how much fruit it takes to make so little jam but i think i have enough!

fallstoclimb

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #129 on: October 31, 2013, 12:45:36 PM »
I don't have children but I put together a fort kit for my friends' kids.  Instructions here: http://www.armommy.com/ideas/build-a-fort-tutorial/

I really like this fort idea.  I have a 6-7 year old nephew who I'm pretty sure would be all over this.  I need to figure out what to get my 8-9 year old niece - I was just talking to my sister about how they get a ton of gifts and don't even use most of them, they're spoiled rotten.  Unfortunately they live several hundred miles away so I feel like I need to buy their love  (I know, I know) because I rarely get to see them.

I'm thinking I'll do the fort tutorial, as cheap/nice looking as possible (thrift store sheets maybe, well washed?), something similar for my niece, and then a little cash for both of them because when I saw them last they liked talking about how much money they had.  Is $10 a laughable amount for elementary schoolers these days, or would they be into it?

My niece currently wants to be a chef, so something kitchen-related might be nice, but all those DIY play kitchens seem maybe a little young for her.  Any other suggestions for a 4th grade girl?  (Or is it 3rd grade?  I'm the worst.)

We have a total of 19 people to get gifts for, I'm trying so hard to do this cheaply but it is HARD. 

Splendid

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #130 on: October 31, 2013, 04:21:31 PM »
I would really love to try this. Where's the best place to buy cheap practice yarn?

I bought my yarn at Michael's. If you don't have them in your area, try Hobby Lobby or any craft store. You can also buy online, but I like to feel how soft the yarn is before I buy it, so online is not for me.

ichangedmyname

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #131 on: October 31, 2013, 07:07:24 PM »
I would really love to try this. Where's the best place to buy cheap practice yarn?

I bought my yarn at Michael's. If you don't have them in your area, try Hobby Lobby or any craft store. You can also buy online, but I like to feel how soft the yarn is before I buy it, so online is not for me.

Yeah I wanna do that too. I might drop by Michael's then. Did you knit before this? I have never knitted before so I want to practice first. I saw a video of a guy doing this but on a much larger scale and he's using old shirts, sheets and whatever fabric just cut up in strips.

4alpacas

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #132 on: November 01, 2013, 11:41:32 AM »
I taught myself how to knit from a book that I bought at JoAnn fabrics (about 10 years ago).  My first project was an acrylic scarf that I gave to my bf at the time.  I'm sure he tossed it!  :)

Villanelle

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #133 on: November 01, 2013, 03:12:41 PM »
You guys. I need advice.

What do I tell the spendy person in my family about spending on Xmas? I will go ahead with my plan, yet.... Maybe my question really is how do I not feel like a cheapskate when she shares her copious expensive presents with family members...while our presents are homemade and/or more modest?

Someone tell me just not to worry about this. =-)

I don't think you should worry about it, at all, but I do think that if you are deviating from the way things have been done in the past, it will make everyone more comfortable if you mention it.  "We are really trying to keep holiday spending down this year, so we are going with more modest, homemade gifts, but I think you are all really going to love the things I've got planned!"

That way, if they are people who are into tit for tat giving, they can adjust accordingly.   If they continue to spend extravagantly, then they are doing so with full knowledge that they can't expect the same in return.  I think a heads up just decreases the awkwardness on Christmas morning and prevents everyone from wondering if the reason for lesser (expense-wise) gifts is personal in some way.

I made wine charms a few years back and they were extremely popular.  I bought assorted glass beads in bulk on ebay (many bead stores sell mixed lots as well, or beads by the pound), sorted them by color, and then put them on wire circles made for making hoop earrings (found at a local craft store).  I used a small pliers to make a hook on one end.  The other end came with a loop.  That's it!  Super easy!  I put them in tins and jewelry boxes I collected from other gifts and purchases, and made sets of 8 or 12, depending on the kind of entertaining the recipient did. 

I don't know if it counts, but I also like to do Kiva gifts.  I pick out a cause and/or location that is near and dear to the recipient, and make a donation in their name, with the promise to keep reinvesting the money in similar causes, as it is paid back. 

TGod

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #134 on: November 05, 2013, 10:27:04 AM »
I am also going to throw down the gauntlet on this Christmas challenge. I usually spend at LEAST a $1000 on Christmas presents (husband, 2 kids, nephew, 2 sets of parents, SIL, the odd friend), plus whatever my husband spends on me, and then the extra for random xmas crap. Tons of cash for stuff we don't need. The issue has always been that I love Christmas. I love Christmas decorations, food, and giving gifts. I will generally try and make something for my girlfriends, last year it was awesome wide infinite scarves made out of scraps of really nice wool material that I had kicking around with flowers from different material sewn on. Turned out really sharp, and of course I made one for myself.
This year my challenge is to spend $200 on gifts. Thats it. For many that might seem like a lot, but for me its a huge drop. Ideally I would have even cheaper but there are some tough ones out there, mainly my dad and my husband to a lesser extent, plus I need to get some supplies for crafts. Anyone with ideas for men are greatly appreciated. My dad is a horder, disorganized, if he cant find it he buys a new one, has tons of stuff, has zero financial control etcyoure probably getting the picture. I like to get him something nice, but am always unsure. One year I got him a Canadian tire gift card, cause he always shops there, but he just gave me this WTF look..and said what do I need a gift card for I can just pay with my visa. He does get semi-regular massages from a massage school tho, so I thought a few prepaid visits to that and a bottle of baileys (which I already have stashed away in a cupboard from a recent trip through the US duty free).
These are some of  my ideas for gifts:
Felted wool bowls for my lady friends. I have a few skeins of cowichan wool from ages ago that I can use. I would love a gift like this. http://www.heavydutydesign.com/alicethelma/2009/03/free-pattern-felted-nesting-bowls/
Stenciled beer glasses for my husband (he loves skeletons and bones, we have weird spine sculptures in our home) so I will stencil skeletons on them. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=314891.0#axzz2jnC2AGid
My husband also loves metal, so Im thinking this for him as well. http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Clock-out-of-a-Bicycle-Brake-Disc/
Im going to do a few batches of melt and pour soaps I did this a few years ago and it was a hit with everyone.  Bath bombs etc as well.
Some stuff out of cement, because we have a few bags that are just sitting around, so free free free
http://www.papernstitchblog.com/2012/06/22/9-cool-things-you-should-make-with-cement-this-weekend/
We also do calendars every year for parents, grandma, SIL. Generally we just do this at Walmart and they cost us about 20$ per calendar, so we spend about $100 on them. I would like to do this myself, by designing it and then printing it at Staples or something and binding myself or using staples. Maybe not as nice, but definitely cheaper.
The kids are a hiccup to the plan havent thought too much about them. But we may introduce them to a toned down Christmas this year, since weve had big expenses moving this year and we are planning a big family vacation in the spring with my inlaws to cuba or something for their 50th.

Any other cool knitting projects or crafty gifts ideas for men would be greatly appreciated.

Villanelle

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #135 on: November 06, 2013, 02:14:53 AM »
Check Apple and Shutterfly for calendar prices as well. 

Would you be open to charitable gifts?  You could spend a day working on X charitable project in the name of a friend, so it is a "free" gift but that person knows that good was done in their honor.  As I get older and most of my friends are well-enough off that they have everything they need, I find these types of gifts are extremely appreciated.  Frankly, a lot of people are probably relieved not to get kitchy or gimmicky or just-not-quite-right stuff that they have to figure out how to deal with.

Similarly, you could knit scarves or blankets out of any leftovers you may have (or yarn you pick up cheap) and donate to a local children's or veterans' hospital in the name of a friend.

If you think you dad would appreciate something like that, it sounds ideal since it is less for him to hoard.

I love charitable gifts and spend hours every year researching charities, trying to match up a friends interests with a great charity. (MMM did a piece on how to select a charity, I believe, which helps with the money side of things).  Educational charities for a teacher friend, breast cancer charities for a survivor, charities that donate books to kids for a reader, etc.

Also, because you mention duty free, be aware in the future that those are often not especially good prices and you can frequently do better at a large liquor store, especially when they do specials, which you can track year round if you are looking for a specific item (like Baileys).  Even many grocery stores  put stuff like that on sale occasionally, and that may well beat a duty free shop. (Too late for this year, but in the future...)

And since you mentioned felt and soaps, you could also make felted soaps, which are a nice consumable item.

artistache

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #136 on: November 06, 2013, 06:01:27 AM »
Not quite all homemade, but meaningful and inexpensive: we're doing "instagram gifts". Calendars with a photo of an appropriate family event/birthday person each month for the grandparents, various other things for different folks. Mismatched tiles with prints mod lodged to them as coasters, etc.
I loved the superhero masks idea, but my nephew is obsessed with one thing: Trains. Anyone have an idea/pattern for something similar but train-themed?

TGod

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #137 on: November 06, 2013, 10:29:07 AM »
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And since you mentioned felt and soaps, you could also make felted soaps, which are a nice consumable item

I have never seen this before!!! It looks so beautiful and easy and unique, great project for the kids to help with. Thanks for the headsup, I want one for my own. As for the duty free, we actually bought the booze  at the grocery store not at the actual Duty Free, and trust me it was WAY cheaper than what we can get it in Canada for.

I've chatted with a design friend regarding the calendars, and I think I've got a DIY plan figured out. But geez, it's already November 6, time is a tickin!

TGod

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #138 on: November 06, 2013, 11:08:56 AM »
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My niece currently wants to be a chef, so something kitchen-related might be nice, but all those DIY play kitchens seem maybe a little young for her.  Any other suggestions for a 4th grade girl?  (Or is it 3rd grade?  I'm the worst.)

FallstoClimb - my son (he's 8) loves to cook and help in the kitchen.  A couple of years ago I made him a skull apron, black apron with a felt skull and cross-bones on it, and give him that as well as some smaller kitchen utensils, think small whisk, flipper. They were all  handy gadgets to have in the kitchen, not toys, so I didn't feel like I was wasting money and I get to use them all the time.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #139 on: November 07, 2013, 09:41:07 AM »
I am thinking I spread myself too thing. I have a leather jewelry project I want to make, a knitting project, food projects, etc.

As I think this over (and feel overwhelmed), I am thinking I would be more relaxed about this if I focused on two areas, such as food and knitting or food and paper craft.

Thinking out loud...

Also, where are you guys finding time for this? My family is always around so it's hard to work on their gifts. Maybe I need to hide myself away to get their gifts completed.


TGod

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #140 on: November 07, 2013, 12:44:00 PM »
oldtoyota, I don't know about anybody else, but most of this is in my head for stuff that I plan to do. I've barely started. I have my craft weekend with a friend in a couple of weeks which will hopefully jump start it all, but other than that evenings after the kids are in bed, i'll put in an hour or so, or knit while watching a movie with the hubby..

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As I think this over (and feel overwhelmed),

Try not to get overwhelmed, that's a great way to get to the point that you throw your hands in the air and say I can't do it. I've been there.  I have tons of things I want to make people, realistically I will probably make a quarter of them. What I plan though is to do large batch things (the soap, hand painted linens etc) things that I can make a bunch of at the same time and parcel out for gifts and then a few specialty items.

This should be about doing something that we enjoy and have fun at, while also saving money and making something meaningful for someone.

geekette

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #141 on: November 07, 2013, 04:02:40 PM »
I may have mentioned this before, but all knitters should follow the Yarn Harlot (www.yarnharlot.ca)  She's a fabulously funny knitter who knits a lot for Christmas (and generally goes a bit nuts).  Today's blog will bring a tear to your eye (even though it's not about knitting OR Christmas).

NinetyFour

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #142 on: November 07, 2013, 04:23:51 PM »
I am sensing some stress in some of these posts.  Makes me glad that I no longer give gifts.

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #143 on: November 08, 2013, 06:59:43 AM »
These are really great ideas.  I will have to try the Lemoncello.  I am going to make some s'more infused vodka and this http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-apple-pie-ala-mode-moonshine/.  I also want to make some solid perfume for my mother in law and sisters in law.  I am hoping to pick up some old jewelry to put it in. http://www.crunchybetty.com/handmade-solid-perfume.  I also am knitting some pot holders.  It is about all I can knit. 

KatieSSS

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #144 on: November 08, 2013, 02:23:50 PM »
I am sensing some stress in some of these posts.  Makes me glad that I no longer give gifts.

I'm adopting a hybrid approach this year. Make approximately half of my gifts and buy the rest. This way, I won't get super stressed about it.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #145 on: November 09, 2013, 09:40:01 AM »
I am sensing some stress in some of these posts.  Makes me glad that I no longer give gifts.

Do you mean me? If so, I am not feeling stressed exactly. I am feeling overwhelmed by my grand ideas though. I think it'll all work out if I narrow down the craft types to one or two. I am really good at making food gifts. Leather work is a stretch. =-)


NinetyFour

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #146 on: November 09, 2013, 11:31:30 AM »
Perhaps I was projecting a bit.  Back when I was in touch with my sibs and nieces and nephews (14 folks total), it was stressful trying to figure out what to get for everyone. 

I like the idea of homemade gifts, but I wonder if some folks still might be stressed about the upcoming "deadline" of 12/25 (or whatever other holiday they might observe).  I much prefer MMM's approach of no gifting, although I think he said that he and his family will occasionally make a gift for someone?

Anyway, have fun, and I'm sure your creations will turn out nicely!

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #147 on: November 10, 2013, 07:37:31 PM »
Perhaps I was projecting a bit.  Back when I was in touch with my sibs and nieces and nephews (14 folks total), it was stressful trying to figure out what to get for everyone. 

I like the idea of homemade gifts, but I wonder if some folks still might be stressed about the upcoming "deadline" of 12/25 (or whatever other holiday they might observe).  I much prefer MMM's approach of no gifting, although I think he said that he and his family will occasionally make a gift for someone?

Anyway, have fun, and I'm sure your creations will turn out nicely!

I agree with you a bit. I floated the idea of no gifts for the adults to my mom. She thought about it and then realized that would mean not getting gifts for her kids. That idea bothered her, so we're back where we started with a few changes.

She wants photos of my kidlet. Her present is going to be a photo book. She loves them and doesn't care that we gave her photo books of other years in the past. They make her happy. My dad loves key lime pie, so he will get that. I am making granola for my sister.

My mom is old, and I decided she is getting her way on this one. And, if she gives me a gift, I feel like I have to give her a gift. I also buy the gifts for her to give to my family (strange to some but seems normal now) and I have to say that I do not enjoy acquiring these things. I try to get as little as possible and then she says I should spend more. I also tend to stick to items I need anyway (or think I will need) like some clothes for work or something utilitarian.

Eventually, I think I'll get to a point where I don't bother with the gifts yet I probably won't do it while she's alive.

One neat outcome of all of this is that I am a lot less stressed than past years. Up above, I sounded overwhelmed by all my grand plans. The good news is that I am "out of the matrix" in terms of shopping in crowded stores, getting frustrated in mall parking lots, freaking out that I did not get the right thing, having to return items that do not fit, etc, etc. That is all behind me. Yay!

« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 07:39:04 PM by oldtoyota »

NinetyFour

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #148 on: November 11, 2013, 04:31:22 AM »
I understand regarding your mom.  I would do the same thing--unfortunately she died a few years ago.

Actually, sort of the reverse was happening when she was still alive--I saw HER get stressed every year about what to get for her several kids and several more grandkids.  I tried to encourage her to just give $$, but she wouldn't do it.  Well, she no longer has to deal with that stress!

And it sounds like you have definitely taken most of the stress out of the holiday for yourself.  I'm happy for you that you no longer have to deal with the malls, the parking, the pressure!

Villanelle

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #149 on: November 11, 2013, 08:32:12 AM »
I do think that when going homemade, it's best to limit yourself to 2-3 items, and give those to everyone, especially if you aren't starting until November. 
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I'm a bit stuck on my parents this year.  They are retired and thanks to a very MMM life, they have everything they need and then some.  They buy what they need and what they want (though their wants are well-restrianed).  I want to get them something, but have no ideas, and they are very anti-stuff.

My sister and I are going to ask a cousin (who my parents love and who has a small graphic design business) to design a couple logos for them, which we are going to use to make pads of paper, something they seem to go through quickly.  My dad makes beer so his will be a logog for a pub, as soon as we come up with a name, and they love to entertain (and my mom to cook), so hers will likely be a fake Bed and Breakfast with their last name. 

So they aren't homemade, but they'll be fairly cheap and will support a struggling cousin. That may be all they get, but I think (hope?) they'll appreciate it.