As many of you know, I've been at home due to illness for several months which created some new factors for our Christmas this year (and was the motivation behind starting this blog). Firstly, with me not working finances were more tight than in previous years. Secondly, I had a lot more time on my hands! Because of this we decided to do almost entirely homemade Christmas gifts this year, which was a delight and perhaps a new tradition in the making! The only gifts we didn't attempt to partially home make were the ones we shipped (sorry to those of you we shipped to, maybe we'll be more on it next year).
The idea originally began the first year we were dating when I received a lovely homemade fleece blanket from my love.
Then last Christmas my husband and I decided to do only homemade gifts for one another. What a joy this was to be able to put so much time, effort and thought into a gift and to know that the whole time I was making it I was thinking about him. I made him a chessboard and chocolate chess pieces and he made me a wonderful fountain for our future front patio area.
|Chocolate Chess Pieces|
|Fountain, the dogs approve!|
As you may guess a true homemade Christmas starts with homemade Christmas cards (actually our making process ended with these as we were further behind on gifts than we had planned, but alas I think most of them arrived by Christmas).
Our cards (next year hopefully the embossing works a little better, I'm still playing with this):
This was followed by peppermint themed gift baskets for some of my local and dear friends and their families. They included:
White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Oatmeal Cookies:
|Layered Cookie Mixes|
Peppermint Hot Chocolate:
|Layered Hot Cocoa|
and Peppermint Sugar Scrub:
One had Peppermint Play Dough as well for her kiddos.
I think they turned out rather well.
We made several magnet boards this year, one for both of our moms, and one for my dad. I even made the magnets.
|Dad's for his shop|
|Dad's with magnets|
|Mom-in-laws with magnets|
|Mom's for her sewing room|
|Mom's with magnets|
My parents just moved which inspired some of our choices for them as they are still working on getting settled into retired life and their new house. In addition to the magnet board for my mom, we made (with my dad's help) a thread and bobbin holder for her sewing room.
|Thread and Bobbin Holder|
The folks love spending time outside and have a wonderful campfire area at their new place so for my dad we made a set of cornhole boards. I even sewed the bags (with serious supervision and tutorials from my mom, I'm not much of a sewer at this point).
|Tree design on one board|
|Deer design on other board|
|Cornhole bags (4 of each kind)|
We were so blessed to get my brother's girlfriend this year for Christmas and for her my folks and I made a photo ladder. We had the birch branches from some trees my parents had cut down this fall. I've now decided I like it so much I must need to build one for myself!
|Photo ladder out of birch|
|Chess board side|
My father in law also got a chessboard (as you can see each one comes out slightly different and unique), though the backside was an entirely new creation. An intricate cribbage board with a photo my husband took of the mountains where we grew up in the middle. Let me tell you, drilling 242 holes in the right spot takes time!
|Cribbage side with picture|
|Chess board side|
On to my husband's gifts this year. We have been experimenting with transferring pictures to wood and have have been successful as long as we make sure the paper is correct (trust me this is very important). So, in cleaning out papers in the office I happened across a sketch I had done years ago of the mountain range where we grew up and my husband loves mountains. So, I scanned it in, added a poem, inverted the image and wallah:
I also made for him a table that folds up for his side of the couch/love-seat as we don't have one there since it's a high traffic area.
|Table in down position|
|Table when it's set up|
For me, he made a beautiful bath tray to hold my drink, book, iPad, etc while I enjoy our jetted tub. This will be put to good use!
|Beautiful router work on the edges and a separate drink spot!|
After all that we wrapped everything up in brown paper, tied bows with red tulle and labeled packages with photos of who it was to and from. That was very fun, I'm sure we'll keep up the photo labeling!
Phew, that's it for the gifts we made, here are the homemade gifts the rest of our family made.
My brother's girlfriend made a myriad of delightful bath salts and scrubs for me (anyone else feel like the bath is beckoning now?)
|Bath salts and scrubs|
For my husband (and dad and brother) she sewed reversible hunting hats which turned out great!
My folks knew I had been wanting a memory board in our office forever and my decorating theme in our house is canoes and cabin and outdoor based. So I got this beautiful memory board and matching pillow!
My husband had been wanting a rice bag & a long blanket for the winter as he always complains the blankets aren't long enough to cover his feet when he pulls them up. Not an issue anymore! My mom made him this tree blanket and rice bag:
My brother outdid himself this year. As I said earlier, I love canoeing and the decorating theme is prevalent in my house. From shelves to figures to pictures and maps, etc. For years, I've been eyeing this canoe shelf wine rack that I've seen online, but at over $2,000 I couldn't even bring myself to semi-seriously consider it. I've just held out hope that someone would make one for me someday. And guess what, this Christmas my brother did! He had been given a couple of canoe shelves by a friend and he refinished it to match all the wood furniture in my house and added the wine rack. How beautiful is this!?!
|Canoe wine rack|