Friday, December 27, 2013

Handmade Holiday 2013

This holiday season has really gone by quickly over here. Christmas seemed to come up so fast and I didn't get as prepared as I would've liked, but now it's over and I can relax again. Last year, Andrew and I did our first handmade holiday. We committed to making every gift we were giving for Christmas excluding the gift exchanges and white elephants that required a certain budget. We started pretty early and we were able to get everything we wanted made fairly easily. The whole idea of doing everything handmade was to help keep us from overspending so we wouldn't completely blow our budget which worked out well. This year, we were so stressed out and started too late that we decided handmade wasn't going to be realistic for every gift. We supplemented some store bought gifts with homemade and vice versa and I think we finally found a good compromise. I have been pretty much doing this all year with most gifts anyway so it only seemed natural now. Here's a round up of my favorite gifts this year.

Homemade vanilla extract

For the neighbor and family gifts, we made some vanilla extract from Sweet Anna's recipe HERE. It was super easy to make and it pumped out a ton of bottles that we'll definitely be keeping around for the future. When it came time to decorate the bottles, I was able to find a great free printable and decorating idea HERE. Together, they made the best looking gift that I was proud to hand out.

Catching Fire Katniss Cowl

For a Hunger Games obsessed friend of mine, I decided to knit her a Katniss cowl. I found a tutorial that I liked at Anaid Design's Etsy shop HERE. It definitely took the most time out of all the things I made, but it was so worth it in the end. The pattern was really easy to follow and great for beginning to intermediate knitters. I will be making myself one soon too.

DIY Tent Kit

For Jadon, I was at a loss of what to make until I stumbled upon THIS amazing idea for a DIY Tent Kit. Jadon loves building tents and forts and I thought this would be a fun, easy gift that would help with his creative building skills. He loved it when he opened it. I got all the supplies at the dollar store except the sheet which I got at Walmart.

Holiday outfit

Isabelle didn't get a handmade gift but she did get a handmade outfit to wear for all the Christmas events. The skirt was the same from her Easter outfit and I made her a new top following THIS tutorial.

From massive boxes to smaller, convenient stacking boxes.

I decided to make something for Andrew to organize his Dominion card game and expansions. I worried that he would want to play Dominion while I was secretly doing it, but luckily we never did. It was a great surprise when he opened his gift because he had no idea. The three small plastic boxes fit all three of his current games plus it will soon also house another expansion he got for Christmas.

Other things I made this year included knitting hats, crocheting cowls, and sewing capes. Next year, I'm definitely going to get started earlier than early December so that I can make sure I get everything I want done with plenty of time to enjoy the holiday with my family and friends.
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1 comment:

  1. Looks like all your homemade gifts turned out great. We are excited to try out our vanilla extract.