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Homemade/Handmade gift ideas  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Judith Browning
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Derek Kanwischer
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This may overlap with another thread, but I was wondering what kind of Do it Yourself DIY holiday gift ideas people have for the holiday season. While not necessarily DIY, the next best thing I know is the ZACC which provides studio space for a number of very talented artists. I recall picking up a few 'local' gift items last year during their holiday fair where everything was made from reused products that had been upscaled to another use.  Any thoughts on sustainable gifts? 


 
Rebecca Dane
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I was thinking recycling old wine bottles and making them into lights.  By feeding a small string of lights (10-20) through the top.  It actually makes a very attractive light! 

Another similar thing a few years ago was to take a gallon size jar, fill it with pottpori and lights and then cover the top with a fancy crochetted doily or cloth and tie it with a pretty ribbon.  It makes an attractive light and also emits a nice smell, although I think potpouri is rather overwhelming and natural herbs and spices would be much nicer 
 
Derek Kanwischer
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Help support local artists and get inspired to make your own gifts too!

The Missoula Holiday Made Fair is this Sunday featuring over 65 local and regional artists showing off and selling their holiday wares.  New location this year: the fair will be at the Elk's Lodge in downtown Missoula from 11am to 6pm.  112 North Pattee.
 
Emma Olson
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I just made a stocking out of recycled fabric. I used an old pair of jeans. I didn't use a pattern though I am sure there are plenty online. It's easy:

Cut out two equal size and shaped pieces of fabric in the sock shape.

Sew them together (inside out looks a bit nicer). Leave the top open.

Sew some lace, a fringe, ribbon or other piece of fabric around the top.

You can add buttons, embroidery, sequins, stitching, whatever.

This is great because you can send things inside them as well.


Bathing Beauties, Selvedge Studio, and Joseph's coat on the hip strip are great places to get inspiration as well as supplies to build upon any remnants and recycled materials you use.

I find that a homemade gift almost always means more, even if it doesn't turn out perfect.

Does anyone know an easy way to make a star (out of recycled cans, or paper mache, or something else) for the top of a tree? thanks. 
 
Jen Holling
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I have been printing pictures for gifts this year. I wanted to make my own frames but don't have the tools and ended up at the thrift stores buying up some interesting pictures that happen to have a decent frame around them. I've found some pre-cut mattes from a couple places in town and now have nicely framed pictures that look great! Why had I not done this before?
 
Abe Coley
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Y'all might be pleased to find out about the ReVAMP shop at Home ReSource. Folks are turning out all kinds of DIY gifts using reclaimed wood, scraps even, from the HR yard.

If actually building things yourself isn't for you, we have a little showroom in HR where you can purchase a variety of handmade items, from $10 toy trucks to a $2600 fir desk; there a wine racks, picture frames, lamps, cabinets, tables, benches, boxes, art pieces.

Check out the website: homeresource.org/revamp

Thanks,
ABE
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If you are at Home Resource anyway, pick up some copper wire and craft some copper wire trees. I crafted two for the Festival of the Trees and they went over really well.
 
Rebecca Dane
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Another crafty festive DIY idea:  take old black and white photos (smaller ones) of relatives, make copies and laminate.  Or you can shrink down larger ones on the copy machine.  Take the laminated copies and glue to a piece of cardboard.  Trim with ribbons and lace and a hanger and use them to trim a tree.
 
Rebecca Dane
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Here is another idea;  This would also fall under recycling.  A lady at the Florence Market did this last summer and I thought it was neat so I am doing it for Christmas gifts. 

Baking banana bread in empty cans.  These are just regular cans (one was a can of corn, another black beans, and another mixed veggies)

The trick is you have to have a special can opener so that the edges are not sharp.  Just so happened my crappy can opener fell apart and I had to get a new one.  Purchased one at Bed Bath and Beyond that slices the lid off horizontally so there are no sharp edges.  And I remembered the lady at the farmer's market. 

These make nice little loaves of quick bread.  What you see in the photos is banana bread.  But any quick bread would work.  You just need to clean the cans, grease and flour them or use a spray oil or baking spray.

The top photo is the bread as it came out of the oven.  The bottom picture is the loaf as it slid out of the can.  You can slice it into rounds and put butter or whatever you prefer on them.



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Rebecca Dane
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I found a website that gives a recipe for regular bread (that rises) and baked in a can.
 
Rebecca Dane
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Great idea on the stocking, Emma.  In fact, I ended up making two recycled from jeans stockings when it got down to the wire.  Two days before Christmas, my daughter didn't have stockings for the kids, so I used your idea.

I also made a yoga bag (otherwise my cat wants to use the yoga mat for a scratching post) out of Jeans.  I just used the jean leg and sewed a piece over the leg hole.  put some snaps on the top flap and a strap for slinging over your shoulder.  Will post a picture soon.
 
Stu Carrol
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I saw an awesome homemade wreath made out of burlap here.

In fact, that site has a lot of cool homemade stuff.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Clothespin art ROCKS! Check out this Pinterest site full of ideas. I especially like the light fixture.

 
Dale Hodgins
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When I show up at your house for a Christmas visit, I don't bring a pointsetta or candy.

I often salvage nearly new electrical plugs and switches from newer additions of houses that are being demolished and I bring these along. Most friends don't need more stuff, but just about everybody has some worn out plugs that need changing. Plugs by the kitchen counter top are the most likely candidates. Bathroom switches and those at the front door and in hallways, seem to experience the most wear.

Would you prefer this or replacement of leaky washers as a Christmas gift, or would you rather receive a box of mints ?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Awesome idea, Dale, and one well suited to your skillset.

I'll take both some rewiring of old lamps AND the mints, please! Preferably the dark chocolate mints - yummy!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Jennifer Wadsworth
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"Life is like a box of chocolates...."

I had to taste them all to find the ones I liked. Don't worry - I put the ones I didn't like back in the box.
 
Brinklen DeSell
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Derek Kanwischer wrote:This may overlap with another thread, but I was wondering what kind of Do it Yourself DIY holiday gift ideas people have for the holiday season. While not necessarily DIY, the next best thing I know is the ZACC which provides studio space for a number of very talented artists. I recall picking up a few 'local' gift items last year during their holiday fair where everything was made from reused products that had been upscaled to another use.  Any thoughts on sustainable gifts? 




As I use up spices, I keep the ones in glass jars and ask neighbors for their jars as well. Ii also purchase spice jars from estate sales for $0.25 or less per jar. For this upcoming Christmas I will create a spice set for each of my family members (starting early, as in NOW!) featuring some useful and commonly purchased spices. I will grow most of the "ingredients" myself or get for next to nothing: garlic powder, garlic salt, onion powder, chopped onion, lemon pepper, fajita seasoning (for the Texans), steak seasoning.

Last year, I collected pumpkins for dirt cheap just after October ended and saved them in cold storage until I could process them. Everyone I know got pumpkin butter (not shelf stable as it cannot be canned), pumpkin bread with homemade cinnamon honey butter, or a decorative-crusted pumpkin pie. My FIL got pumpkin syrup for his famous lattes and LOVED it! Said it was similar to the stuff that big coffee shop chain puts out every year.
 
Judith Browning
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The following thread has been merged with those above.
 
Judith Browning
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I wondered what those who celebrate gift giving might be handmaking for the holidays (or any celebration).
We've usually given our craft work (wooden spoons/bowls and hand wovens) as gifts but for several years now have scaled back a lot.
With six grandchildren and a great I am down to the line..as always.. with my homemade gifts. I'm in the process of stuffing a couple floppy dolls and have a fish pillow to finish. Most everything I make is from recycled clothing. My husband is on his third batch of Springerle cookies with all organic ingredients...using his families springerle molds. We collect small tins all year to put them in to mail off.
I also try to use the stuff in our house as a shopping opportunity...old family books and knick knacks. I once broke down and bought a big plastic truck for our newest grandson and returned it in a couple days...I just didn't feel good about adding to the plastic waste stream and instead bought a friends handmade wooden pull toy that he loves.
Our own dried herbs, teas, and baskets and pottery we've traded for have all been part of our past gift giving.

Please share your ideas and projects...pictures too!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Last year I made naturally fermented sauerkraut and cortido for family and some friends.


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Jocelyn Campbell
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One more. I used new paper lunch sacks, some scissors that cut fancy edges and raffia to package up some nettles for Easter gifts for family. Most of my family has no clue about using nettles, so instructions were needed, too.

This year, I don't know what I'll do!
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Julia Winter
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I gave homemade granola last year and it was surprisingly popular. Maybe more popular than the bath bombs and definitely more popular than the home made soap!

Bath bombs are easy to make (well, relatively easy) if you can get your hands on large quantities of citric acid. I got mine from a local cheese supply place.

I'll be giving home made ketchup this year as well.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Judith or Julia, do you have any pictures? Would love to see them.
 
Judith Browning
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Judith or Julia, do you have any pictures? Would love to see them.


I have no picture posting capabilities...no way to load them to this kndle. I loved your ideas and pictures though...did you decide what you are making this year? Ive been wanting to try a ginger/carrot ferment...sounds delicious.
Maybe Julia can post pictures.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Thanks Judith. I felt my nettle bags were on the simple side, so glad to hear they weren't too atrocious.

The ginger carrots did not turn out the best, unfortunately; though the other two were yummy. I hope to try the ginger carrots again. (Had tried to self-brine from pounding ala Nourishing Traditions, but think it needed an actual water brine.)

Haven't decided yet - been a bit preoccupied. Considering making some flavored sea salts (adding flavors to store-bought sea salt), or possibly fruit curd of some kind.

What about you, any last-minute inspirations?
 
Judith Browning
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Inspirations, not yet, but there is always hope. Julia's homemade granola sounds like a great idea...and another paper sack opportunity. Brown paper bags are my favorite wrapping.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I love making gifts for presents! Here's a list of things I've made over the years, and I'll post pictures if I can find them... Hopefully they inspire someone!

Edible:
- Dried fruit (pears, apples, oranges, pineapple) I put them in pretty tins from thrift stores or Michael's craft store
- Fudge
- Chocolates
- Nut mixes in tins or mason jars, if I were more skilled, I would have seasoned them in some way...

Fiber/Needle Crafts:
- Embroidered bookmarks
- Knit hats and scarves
* The hats are usually Gwen Slouchy Berrets http://laurennell.com/knit/?p=16
* The scarves are either "K1, YO, K2tog" every row; or "k1, p1 for odd rows and k2, p2 for even rows" Really easy patterns that make very flexible, pretty, lacework-looking stitches
- Sewn pouches--usually just used them as pretty ways to hold gifts
- Knit and felted pouches (first time this year!)
- Sewn Pillows

Fine Arts:
- Little clay boxes (from sculpy clay, which I'm sure is toxic...)
- Painted terra cotta flower pots with things the person is interested in (flowers, landscapes, or dragonflies, castles)
- 3D clay "paintings" (I'll attach a picture later of the one I made fir my husband)
- Paintings in acrylic of things people like (e.g. beach pictures, family homesteads, wolves)
- Painted random nature scenes on cardstock for Mothers' Day cards
- Painted flowers and other designs on wooden crosses my husband made

Baby Handprint Art:
- Snowman ornament (http://www.littlebitfunky.com/2010/12/make-these-now-handprint-snowman.html)
- Footprint butterfly (http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/1d/e3/68/1de3685f1c00d9c2cddcb507c3c5c9b2.jpg) on those pretty blue and green mason jars
- Handpriint elephant http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Hand-Print-Elephant.html
- Heart Footprint Ornament (I rolled out sculpy clay and cut it to a heart shape and then stuck baby's feet in it in this shape: http://janyclaire.blogspot.jp/2012/02/old-fashioned-valentines-day-cards.html)
- Handprints on mason jars filled with chocolates
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Scarves and Hats I Knit One Christmas
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Felt pouches, clay boxes (couldn't find one of the lids), and clay "painting"
 
Nicole Alderman
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I think the forum got mad at me for all my editing, and it wouldn't let me re-download the pouch picture, so I've added it here, as well as a painting I did for my sister-in-law, as well as some examples of cloth pouches (the only picture I have). I really wish I'd taken more pictures of things I've given away, so I could re-make them easier...

If anyone ones patterns for the pouches (knit/felt or sewn), I'm sure I can write one up.
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Painting.. the only one I have a picture of...
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Another picture of the pouches, claywork, as well as some bookmarks I embroidered
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Pouches I made for a treasure chest I burruied on my precholers' playgound for them to dig, up, find, and take a "treaure""
 
Kate Muller
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Every year my husband makes Needham candies. They are chocolate covered coconut candies. I call them chocolate covered sugar bombs.
Here is the recipe.

http://www.food.com/recipe/maine-needhams-199796

I also make gift baskets of home canned goods. jams, pie fillings, salsas, barbecue sauce and more. I always shop for baskets at yard sales and thrift shops. I give more generously to people who return the empty jars.

I have made countless pieces of jewelry. Most of it made with beads and wire. I love finding vintage beads at thrift shops and flea markets. Tumbled river stones and sea glass makes great jewelry if you have good source for them I wrap them in silver wire for earrings or pendants.







 
Susan Doyon
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for those comfortable with wood
a hand made wooden trug type basket for gardening or crafts with some goodies tucked in would be a wonderful gift

fir those that work with wool and mohair

felted soaps
use a merino or other soft wool for the face and a rougher wool for a body scrubber , I make laundry scrubbers with coarse wool and mohair , and also use one at the kitchen sink to scrub dishes

felted scarfs


 
Nicole Alderman
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I love all these ideas! It's neat to see that there are so many different types of hand-made gifts, in so many different skill sets. It shows how we all have different things to offer each other, that are as unique as we are!

Susan Doyon wrote: for those comfortable with wood
a hand made wooden trug type basket for gardening or crafts with some goodies tucked in would be a wonderful gift

fir those that work with wool and mohair

felted soaps
use a merino or other soft wool for the face and a rougher wool for a body scrubber , I make laundry scrubbers with coarse wool and mohair , and also use one at the kitchen sink to scrub dishes

felted scarfs


I'd love to see pictures of your creations, if you have any. I've never heard of wool scrubbies; the baskets sound so neat; and I just plain love seeing scarf designs. I haven't tried felting anything other than my two little pouches, and would love to see a scarf felted!
 
Peter Ellis
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I got into spoon carving earlier this year. My Mom had a cherry tree taken down awhile back and I got a couple of pieces from it. Family are getting wooden spoons, spatulas, salad fork and spoon - that sort of thing - made from the cherry tree from home.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I'm with Nicole - where are the pics?!
 
Ann Torrence
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Last year for a few friends I made cornbread mixes using our homegrown and ground Painted Mountain corn. All the dry ingredients fit into a large mouth pint mason jar, with instructions printed on the lid.
 
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