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Homemade Christmas Presents

Updated on December 27, 2009

Making homemade Christmas presents is not just a way to save money, it is a way to tuck a little bit of yourself in amongst all the paper and ribbons and prefabricated, mass manufactured, well, stuff. A way to show those special somebodies that you cared with time, rather than cash. And it is a way to release your creative impulses which have been smoldering there, maybe since childhood, when a grownup made you put your crayons away; those impulses that are part of who you are and never really go away...

But enough philosophizing. Let's get on with the fun stuff!

bath theme gift assortment
bath theme gift assortment
assembled gift basket
assembled gift basket

Gift Baskets for Homemade Christmas Presents

Baskets and tins of assorted sizes and shapes can be collected for a few dimes apiece at any thrift store. Fill them with anything you are good at making- peanut butter fudge, cookies, small crocheted or knitted items, homemade hot cocoa mix, peanut butter fudge, framed photos of your family, custom designed calendars, did I mention peanut butter fudge?

Or pick a theme or two, or several. Here are some ideas.

1. Bath Theme. Crochet or knit an assortment of washcloths for each person, add some natural soap and homemade bath salts using epsom salts, sea salt and a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, or mix in soothing, chamomile tea. Garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary, another tension relieving herb and complete the charm with a votive candle or two.

2. Meal Theme. Such as Italian. Make a dry mix for pizza dough, add a can of tomato sauce, a seasoning mix, a small shaker of parmesan cheese, and a few simply sewn napkins of red checkered cloth. Garnish with a couple garlic bulbs and a nicely decorated recipe card. Pasta could also be substituted for the pizza dough mix. Or how about a Mexican meal theme? Make a bean soup mix, layering beans attractively in a jar. Include seasoning mix, recipe card, a bag of tortilla chips or a corn bread mix and a jar of hot sauce. For napkin fabric, choose oranges or reds in earth/clay tones.

3. Gift Baskets for Bookworms. Look for books that would be of interest to each member of your recipient's family at your local thrift store or on half.com. Design bookmarks using cross stitch art, collages from magazine clippings, watercolor decorations, pressed flowers and leaves, etc. Preserve paper or cardboard decorated ones with clear contact paper or packaging tape. Add a tassle with colorful ribbon, yarn or embroidery floss.

4. Kitchen Theme. Crochet or knit matching dish cloths, pot holders and hotpads. Or sew a simple hotpad from sturdy fabric squares and fill with rice and cloves for a fragrant table. The aroma will be released when a hot dish is set on it. As a nice touch, add a few tapered candles and coordinating holders from thrift store finds.

5. Hot Beverage. Look for holiday mugs at thrift shops. Accompany these with hot cocoa mix, flavored coffee mix or Russian tea in a canning jar. Place a square of festive fabric over the lid and secure with the screw on ring, adding a cute tag with serving instructions. Make matching coasters using some of the many free crochet patterns online.

6. Homemade Play Dough Mix. For this mix, stir together one cup flour, one half cup salt, one tsp. cream of tartar and one packet flavored drink mix, such as Kool-aid. Place in a pint sized jar. Include the following instructions: Place mix, one cup of water and one tsp. vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until dough is thick and forms a ball. For your gift basket, make mixes for several colors, using different flavors, and add some cookie cutters and fun, colored plastic cutlery, such as zoo pals.

7. Kids Art Theme. Forget those expensive art kits. Compile your own for just a few dollars. Fill small jars with buttons, colored pasta, dried beans and cut up colored drinking straws. Add some balls of leftover yarn, scraps of felt, needles and thread. Create a customized coloring book by printing some of the millions of free pages from the internet and include a small box of crayons, some glue and colored paper.

And remember, never put your crayons away.....

Sew Liners For Gift Baskets

Homemade Christmas Presents Video

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    • bumbus profile image

      bumbus 

      8 years ago

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 

      8 years ago

      Great ideas. I can't spend alot this year so I will be making gifts.

    • PromoTom profile image

      PromoTom 

      8 years ago from scranton

      I am a big fan of home made gifts. I make them for most of the people I really care about.. even if I am buying them something

    • Sara W. Harding profile imageAUTHOR

      Sara W. Harding 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Thank you all for the kind words! I've added a link and a couple video tutorials for anyone interested in learning to knit or crochet. The videos I chose are very close up, slow and clear, but you need to close the pop up ads to read the subtitles. Why not give it a go? Fiber arts can be very meditative, relaxing and even healing, as well as exhilarating to discover a new gift you didn't know you had. :)

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 

      9 years ago from India

      Lovely ideas and a great hub!

    • Info Help profile image

      Info Help 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Sara!

      Great ideas in this hub! I love to be creative, but I don't know how to knit or crochet. I am going to bookmark this for reference. Thanks!

    • Sara W. Harding profile imageAUTHOR

      Sara W. Harding 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for the comments everyone, and the links, Christa. I'll check them out.

    • anglfire693 profile image

      anglfire693 

      9 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      These are great ideas! Unfortunately I will have to substitute on some of them as I don't knit or crochet! But I love the ideas! Great, useful hub!

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Hi. I do have some some website to suggest, for men's washcloths.

      http://monthlydishclothkal.blogspot.com/ -it is part of a yahoo group, for a knit along, so this years cloths are all listed day by day, but last years are easy to read.

      http://homespunliving.blogspot.com/2007/11/waffle-... -I love this pattern, though I usually make it all one color.

      For men, I like to take a basic stitch pattern and knit it up with an even # of repeats, to make a cloth. This site has a number of stitch ideas: http://theghanaproject.wordpress.com/

      Good luck!

    • profile image

      Making Crafts 

      9 years ago

      Be original, get creative, it doesn't have to be expensive.

      Good list, Sara!

    • profile image

      Home Made Candles? 

      9 years ago

      I always love receiving home made stuff that someone put their heart into making them. It makes me feel special. And these days I don't really care for receiving something I really could buy myself.

      I love candle making so I gladly give and receive anything along these lines.

      Great hub, thanks!

    • Sara W. Harding profile imageAUTHOR

      Sara W. Harding 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks Christa! I'm doing a bath theme this year and am trying to see how many different washcloth type things I can make before Christmas. Got any ideas for guys? So far I haven't come across any guy wash cloth patterns.

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I love these ideas. Last year I did bath themed gifts -- something different for everyone, but similar enough to be easy for me.

      I love the book worm idea.

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