Handmade Gifts Received


My family tries to exchange primarily handmade gifts whenever possible. We’ve found that it has helped us focus on what Christmas is really about and get away from feeling trapped by all the consumerism that surrounds the holidays. I love to see what my parents and siblings come up with to give each year, and I enjoy plotting and planning my own handmade gifts. It’s also interesting to see which ideas are hits (duct tape wallets), and which are misses (the homely crochet-altered t-shirt I made for my mom this year – she actually laughed in my face when she opened it. Strangely, it entertained me rather than offended me.)


I hit the jackpot this year with a great advent calendar my mom made for me. It’s a nativity scene theme, and is really cute! I’m sure we will get decades of enjoyment out of this gift!


My sister made these adorable little packets that are filled with her own blends of loose tea. She sewed sturdy gift wrap into bags, and then sealed them with buttons and added a custom label to each. I LOVE the packets – so creative and cute!


My sister also got lots of mileage out of trinkets received in the Sampler, by attaching them to gifts as gift tags and baubles. I love this handspun yarn on a spool… I’m so sorry, I didn’t get a photo of who the sample is from, and this gift wasn’t for me!


One of my handmade gifts to everyone were monogrammed loot bags. I made about eight of them the day before Christmas Eve, and seriously, the entire project took me two hours or less to sew. I assembly-lined the whole thing (cut everything at the same time, sewed all the monogrammed letters on the corduroy, sewed up the bags, etc.) and it was amazing how quickly the whole thing came together. Oh, and I got to burn through some of my stash fabric! I bought a whole bunch of holiday/winter fabric several years ago when it was on super-sale. It felt SO GOOD to use some of it up!!


The loot bags were also very useful for everyone to put their Christmas swag into. You know how all that little stocking stuff gets all over the place! In my imagination, everyone will put the loot bags in their Christmas boxes (or their stockings?) to use for next year, so I hope it comes true! Or, if they want to keep them out to use all year, that would also be fine! (Not that I attach any strings to gifts I give – do what you want with them, or not, y’all!)


My mom was so nice to fulfill a gift request I made: to make two crib sheets, two pillowcases, and two curtains for the boys’ room. She complied and used some adorable construction vehicle fabric.


Now I just need to paint a mural on the wall, and they’ll be all set!

What did you make or receive this year?

3 Responses

  1. Jeanette Says:

    I made my mom a binder wherein I organized all her garden plant-tags (you know the little cards & tags that come with plants with care advice?) …. I found that some of the slim-style tags fit nicely into photo-negative sleeves, that you can buy at camera stores, and they’re already three-hole punched, and since they’re transparent, you can see the front & back of the tags.

    For my sister, I designed & had printed up on Zazzle.com a “BULLSHARK!” design that I made on my computer vector program (called Macromedia Freehand, which I think is now owned by Adobe, actually…) and I also made a mug for another friend on Zazzle, which features a smirking vintage-style cat. You can see these at http://www.zazzle.com/designene

    For my hubby, I painted some hot-rod rockabilly flames on some new black slippers to approximate the slippers worn & well loved into tatters by him for the last few years. It didn’t quite turn out as planned, since the slippers absorbed much of the paint. But it’s the thought that counts, and at least he now has slippers that don’t have GAPING holes in the bottoms.

  2. Rachel Says:

    WOW that nativity scene advent is AMAZING! I love it! And how cute is the donkey??? I made a ton of handmade gifts and received quite a few too. I loved the earrings my sister made, the rug from my mom and the ornaments from my aunt. Just amazing. And I was so pleased to see so many gift tags downloaded from bloggers. It was so fun to see them on my gifts and remember who created what!

  3. Teresa H Says:

    What awesome gifts you guys gave and received this year – so special!

    I used up some old black wooden frames I’d had sitting in boxes for years by hand lettering “I love my Grandma” “I love my Uncle” and “I love my Auntie” for my Mom and siblings (some pics available on my blog) with metallic pens. I found a cool font on the computer, printed it in the size I wanted, and then “eyeballed” a reproduction of it onto the frame. We also scanned some of Don’s drawings from his travels in France, printed and framed them and gave them to my brother for my secret santa gift to him. Don had my sister as a secret santa, so we gave her a copy of a pencil drawing Don did of Ghandi years ago, again using up one of the old frames we’d been storing.

    I agree that making gifts helps keep the focus of the season. And then you’re left with a gift with so much more personal meaning!