Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homemade gift ideas part 2

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" ….especially in my craft room. It looks a bit like a few elves came to a craft party and didn't bother cleaning up. I think my plan of attack is going to be: grab a huge box, hold it under my desk, swipe everything in, and tape it up. Yup, that might happen. We are moving in 10 days. DO NOT attempt to move in December. It is NOT fun.


Here are the rest of my homemade gifts that I made this year.

Peppermint Body Scrub
with Organic Coconut Oil

I used Organic Coconut Oil from Whole Foods and regular sugar. The oil is solid, so I stuck the whole jar in the microwave for a minute, add time as necessary, until heated through. I poured it into a large bowl. I then mixed in the sugar. Start with 1 cup, and add more slowly while stirring the mixture. You want it thick but still enough oil to hold all the sugar together and be a bit "watery". Next pour a few drops of peppermint oil, I got mine at Whole Foods. Stir until combined. I got two medium jars and two small jars from one batch. Once cool, the scrub will return to a solid, so you will need to heat it up again prior to use. I wrote instructions on the back of the little tag. The two medium jars are both up-cycled. I spray painted the lids. The "ribbon" is torn fabric strips. I cut about an inch in the fabric and then ripped. It makes a perfectly even strip. It's pretty awesome.

Beaded Necklaces
Made by Austin

I didn't think to snap a picture of the necklaces while we were making them, but I thought you might like the packaging idea. I precut some tags from card stock and then let Austin draw pictures on them. We slipped the necklaces into mini paper bags, sealed with a gold sticker and punched a hole on top.

Embroidered Art
made by Austin

I gave Austin some white fabric and a black thin marker and let him draw. He decided on robots. Shocker. After he was done, I cut around each robot and stitched them onto green fabric. I then taught Austin how to "sew" along the lines. He did 80% of the top one and about 60% of the bottom one. I was surprised how much he enjoyed stitching them and how well he did. After the stitching was complete, I put another piece of fabric behind the robot to hind all the thread. I slid it into an embroidery hood and called it done. It can be hung on the wall or left leaning against a wall for show.

Rosemary Olive Oil

I love rosemary. I enjoy using it in the kitchen, I love the smell of it, and it's super easy to grow. It is a very hardy plant and will live during the winter months. Our plant is huge now and was calling to me to  use it for something. I saw these cute little glass bottles at TJ Maxx and knew they would be perfect for holding a flavored oil. I cut some sprigs of rosemary and stuffed them into the bottles. Then I poured in Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fill the bottle. So simple and so lovely. Chalkboard tags are from Target. On a sweet note, I was pretend shopping online the other night at Anthropology and saw these exact jars for $20. I got mine for $3.99. Huge score!

Snow Dough

Again, so simple. One of my favorite gifts for kids. Homemade play dough with white glitter. We call it "snow dough" because the kids enjoy making snowmen all winter long. I had originally planned to make Snowmen Making Kits, and had purchased polka dot buttons, google eyes, and popsicle sticks for arms….but Austin decided to raid my stash one day while I was in the shower, so that idea was short lived. Plan B, add a cookie cutter. I saw these simple Christmas Tree shapes and loved them instantly. I'm sorry I can't remember where I got them! Walmart I think? Can't be sure. I tied them on with some red bakers twine and green fabric strips.

Teachers Gifts

I went with the same gift for Austin's teachers this year as last year. Anything that can be picked up at Target and snuck onto the grocery bill is a winner in my book. This happens to be a Mrs. Meyers hand soap in green (basil) wrapped in a pretty dishtowel. I liked the apples because they were green and red, plus they kinda scream "teacher gift". I had an apple stamp that matched perfectly, so I made some little tags to tie onto each one.

Hand Print Ornaments

This is another one I do every year. I started when Austin was just a baby, so this marks our fourth year. I make one for each child, and I make one set for us to keep and one set for each of the grandmothers. I use Crayola Model Magic. It is light weight, dries nicely, and remains soft so it won't break if dropped. You can use one regular size pack ($5 at Target and Michaels) for two hand prints. I just made Austin's a bit larger, giving him about 60% of the dough and Paige 40%. To make, line a baking sheet with foil. Divide dough, press flat with fingers into a circle, and make hand print. You will  need to press down hard on each finger and the palm. Use a straw to poke a hole for hanging. Let dry on the foil overnight. The next morning, flip over and let dry overnight again. You can write the child's name and date on the back with a Sharpie. I used some vintage seam binding lace for the tie.

Hand Stitched Felt Heart
made by Paige

While working on Austin's stitched robots, Paige kept asking to sew too. I have to say I didn't think she could do it and was weary about letting her use a needle. But then I decided, embrace it and try it. She did awesome! I gave her a large blunt needle and sat with her the whole time. To make, cut two hearts of equal size from felt. Use two safety pins to hold the felt together in the center of the heart. Using embroidery thread, begin stitching around the heart starting on the inside so the knot will be hidden in between the two layers of felt once sewn all the way around. Once it is started, hold the heart and let your child stitch. It will be messy, and I had to guide her quite a bit, but she did it, and she was so proud! I actually loved this little heart so much I couldn't part with it. I kept it and it will be going on our tree. I attached a small tag on the back with her name and date. Again, I used a fabric strip at the top. I just looped in through one of the stitches.

Pom Pom Dishtowels

I made these a while back for myself and they make me so happy seeing them hang on my oven, I decided to make some more as gifts. I got a four pack of white flour sack dish towels at Target for $5. I had the pom pom binding already, but you can find this at JoAnn's. You will need 1 yard for each dish towel. Line it up along the bottom, and sew it on. So simple! You can throw it right in the washer too. I even bleach mine often, because I love white towels, and the pom pom remain yellow. I made some red and green ones too! So festive!

Homemade Dog Treats

You can find my recipe for these homemade all-natural dog treats HERE. I make these every Christmas as well. They are a favorite, and my kids love to help make them. I packaged them in plastic treat bags from Michaels and tied with basic twine from Home Depot. I tied tags on them and wrote the names of all our dog friends after I snapped the photos. Wouldn't want to give anything away ;)

That's it folks! I hope you enjoyed these ideas and find some, or all, of them do-able for you! Homemade and handmade gifts are the best gifts of all.

Happy Making!

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