Dec 092013
 

Looking for a gift to give your neighbor, co-worker, or favorite yoga teacher?  Handmade gifts are always a super thoughtful, unique, and fun way to show your appreciation to the people in your life that deserve the extra effort a gift made with love takes.  Here’s a collection of my favorite homemade gifts to give to my favorite folks during the holiday season.

Click on the photo to get to the recipe/instructions for each gift listed below.

Gifts to Make with Pretty Paper

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This is on the list of best gifts I’ve ever received, for sure!  A DIY Cookbook is the perfect gift to give if you want to share family recipes and traditions or if you’re the type of person who has a mile-long list of favorite blog or magazine recipes.  Inspire your foodie friends or pass on your most-loved kitchen secrets to cooking-newbies.  Julie has some wonderful recipe cards as a free download for you to use, too!

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The best part about these coasters is that you can very easily find a design to match any personality on your list! Have an LSU fan to gift to? Find yourself some purple and gold paper and you’re set.  A Disney lover as your Secret Santa match?  Look for some Mickey and Donald paper at your local craft store.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Gifts to Make in Jars

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I love this uber easy DIY gift ffor rich and fudgey gluten-free brownie mix.  Perfect for your favorite chocoholic! This recipe also includes dairy-free and vegan options, too!

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This mustard is one of my favorite food gifts I’ve ever received.  The recipe includes steps for canning to preserve, but also includes a note for instructions if you want to give it as a fresh, use-soon gift, too. Partnered with a loaf of fresh baked bread is a wonderful gift to bring to a holiday party, too.

A classic gift that can be fancied up with extra goodies worth the splurge [think gourmet crushed peppermint candies or your absolute favorite chocolate] or a mug that perfectly fits his personality.

 

Gifts for Wearing

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Sometimes life gets away from you and you need a last minute gift and PRONTO.  I once decided to make these fabric flower brooches as a party favor for all of my ladies-night guests one evening while I was getting ready for the party, which was less than an hour away.  They were ready in plenty of time for me to clean up the fabric pieces from the living floor and make a party play list.

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If you’re a knitter and ready to graduate from the gifts of scarves and wash clothes, this hat should be your next gifting challenge.  In this post Kelly shares her favorite knitting projects for winter – all of which would make great gifts!

A favorite, simple gift to make and give.  I love making a color coded set in the recipients school colors or to match her favorite color scheme.

 

Gifts for the Bartender in Your Life

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Spiced simple syrup makes a great gift because it can be used to fancy up anything! Cocktails, of course, but also coffee, tea, oatmeal, and desserts, too.

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A jar of homemade maraschinos is what takes your bar from good to great.  Pair this with some fun cocktail glasses or accessories, or a bottle of booze for mixing for a great host/hostess gift.

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Gifting homemade liquor and infused spirits is downright fancy, if you ask me.  Who doesn’t love booze made with love?

 

Gifts to Pair with Presents Bought

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This DIY Tea Travel Kit makes the perfect gift for the tea-lover or travel-maven on your list.  I received a travel tea kit last Christmas and carry it with me on the regular.  Add your loved ones favorite flavors when choosing your tea for the kit, or add a luxury tea or tea-of-the-month gift to really splurge on someone.

These pretty clip magnets are a nice addition to gifts of funds.  Checks, cash, gift cards or certificates – they are all a lot more fun to receive when you have to unwrap something more than an envelope, wouldn’t you agree? Clipping these magnets to your gifts add a bit of extra fun to your giving and your gift-getters receiving, too.

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Popcorn Gift Boxes are a fun DIY gift to give to the person (or family!) who loves options because this box comes with a variety of seasonings.  I really love the idea of pairing this DIY with a DVD from the recipient’s wish list or Netflix gift subscription.  Throw in a large box of milk duds and you’ve got yourself a movie night gift pack.

 

Gifts that Taste Like Christmas

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These cookies have a sweet and spiced flavor that you won’t find in regular sugar cookies. They are perfect with a mug of hot chocolate or even some eggnog!

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If someone showed up to my door with a plate of Cranberry Bliss Bars purchased from Starbucks, I’d be elated.  But if they showed up with a healthier version crafted with their own two hands, time, and energy – I’d be blown away.  This bar is a holiday treat I hold close to my heart (and tastebuds!); perfect gift giving, if you ask me.

Dec 122012
 

Back in 2010, in an effort that can only be described in hind-sight as ridiculous, I set out to have a 100% Homemade Christmas.  Every gift I gave that year was either made by my own two hands or purchased directly from an artist who made it themselves.  I adorned my tree in handmade paper decorations and spent many hours in the kitchen creating gifts from the stovetop and oven.

Since then, I’ve dialed it back a little, finding a manageable balance between the homemade and the purchased.  I love putting the time and care into crafting a unique gift for my loved ones, but also know that dedicating all of my free time to making things by hand overfills my plate and keeps me from truly enjoying the holiday spirit in the air. 

This year, I’m doing some knitting [scarves!], some baking [poppy seed crackers!], some kid gift creating [craft kits!], and a little bit of paper craft, too. Here are a few of my favorite DIY tutorials if you are on the look out for fun, DIY gifts to give to your friends and family this year! 

For the foodie or chocolate lover: DIY Handmade Cocoa Mix Jars

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For the lady who loves a unique accessory: DIY Vintage Style Button Earrings & DIY Fabric Flower Brooch

vintage styled earrings

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For your fitness fanatic friends: DIY Workout Journal

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For the little ones: DIY Alphabet Blocks

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For the person always on the go: DIY Coffee Koozie

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For decorating the tree: DIY Button Ornaments, DIY Knit Heart with Inspiration Ornament and DIY Cute Cupcake Ornament

button ornaments knit heart ornament

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What are you crafting up this holiday season?

Mar 012012
 

When I decided last April that I was going to finish 28 projects during my 28th year, I didn’t have any one project in mind.  After cleaning out and reorganizing my craft/storage room a handful of times in the past 10 months, a few solid ideas started to form.

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One Saturday this past fall, I spent several early morning hours sorting through each and every box, shelf, bag, pile, nook and cranny in the small space.  I made new piles, refilled boxes in a more organized manner, and took the time I felt I needed to prepare for some creativity to flow through my life more freely. [says Hippie Heather.]

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In all my sorting and devising, I dedicated two large boxes for projects I declared needing to be finished. In some instances, this meant a scarf I’d started knitting in 2010 or an unfinished wreath I’d once dreamed up.  I deemed these “growing projects,” creative ideas that were born but haven’t reached their full potential.  Other “growing projects”  included a material I once purchased to do something with one way or another, or a stack of photos I’d like to display in some fresh way.

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A stack of handmade greeting cards I’d collected over time was one such growing project.  My mother and her best friend, Miss Judi, are hand-stamping, paper-crafting ALL STARS and have sent their beautiful creations to me for every holiday, celebration, and even just-because for years.  In recent years I’ve added cards made by Danielle, Julie, and Laura to my stack.

Of course, part of the reason I keep all these cards around is for the sentimental value.  I’ve left the greeting half of many of the cards, especially the ones with hand-written notes.  But the other reason I was holding on to all these pieces of paper is that I love looking through them for lay-out and technique inspiration as I am designing my own handmade cards.

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I was considering making a scrapbook filled with the cards, as a paper crafting reference, but as I added other materials to the boxes of “growing projects” I came across a package of large binding rings.  I simply punched a whole in the corner of each card with a single whole punch, and added them to one ring.  I’m adding a hook to a shelf in my craft space to hang the ring-o-cards for easy access to inspiration when I get my card-making on.

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