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the handmades of Christmas 2012

Every year I think, “There’s nothing new we can make for Christmas gifts we’ve done it all.”  Then we find really cool ideas all over the place.

Some of the things we made were repeats and some were new…all were enjoyed.

Phoebe and Benjamin worked together to make a set of double six dominoes for each family in our extended family.  They used a really thin oak board that was about 4″ wide and cut them in 2″ sections.  Then Benjamin used a drill press to burn in the dots.  Carl helped by using a pencil to mark where the dots go.  Then they sanded them and stained them.  Phoebe made stamped drawstring bags to keep them in.  I will say that this project too a little longer than any of us thought it would so if you decide to do this start early.

Gabriel gave all the adults honey and made these marshmallows guns for the cousins and his younger siblings.  These are really fun blow guns and really easy to make.  You just need a 1/2″ pvc pipe a couple of elbows, T’s and end caps.  He painted each one a little differently so that there would be no sharing.

Josiah made a set of pick up sticks for each family.  He took a very small wooden dowel and cut it into 10″ lengths.  He used a pencil sharpener to make the ends pointy and then stained them.  He painted on in each set blue for the “special” stick.  He also sacrificed and drank some Frapaccinos in order to have a cool looking jar to etch for storage.

I made all the younger cousins matching  pajamas.  The boys were red (no photo – it dissappeared) and the girls were purple. My older boys are the only older cousins and they don’t appreciate matching pj’s anymore so I didn’t make them any.  My sister’s children liked these so much last year that they requested them again, that made me pretty happy.

Carl and I made name signs for each family.  I got the idea from Jamie’s “joy” sign.  I found some rectangle photo frames that I spray painted to match each family’s home.  Then I bought paper at Hobby Lobby and printed out each family’s name.  I took the name to Office Depot and had them blow it up.  I you have a good quality printer you can probably not to that but ours doesn’t print very dark.  Josiah was kind enough to cut me some thin wood the size of the glass.  I decopauged the paper onto the wood and then added the letters.

Carl cut out all the letters …something about not wanting me to use the xacto knife.  I can take the mockery….I got out of cutting 50 letters.

We don’t only give handmade gifts each year.  But in the midst of toys, clothes, movies and gift cards there is always a place for handmade gifts.

What handmades did you make or receive this year?

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the Grant life
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  1. says

    Beautiful gifts and great ideas. I like them all. I wish my kids would use a little more of their skills to make things rather than buy things. They mean so much more. My oldest crocheted gifts for every single girl in the youth group. I was amazed, but sad that she didn’t make anything for her own family. She has a lot of talent. You already know my 8 year old intended to make the pillow dresses, but it was a bit more difficult than planned. She did sew some of the straight stitches.

    • says

      That is so cool that your daughter crocheted all those gifts. I think sometimes the idea of making “so many” gifts can be overwhelming, esp. for a child. We start really early talking about what to make. Also, most of my children didn’t give each other handmade gifts.

  2. says

    Oh my goodness, Angi, you put my little gifts to shame – what an endeavor! And I’m super impressed that your kids made those domino sets (awesome!) – no way mine ever would’ve had the patience for that. 🙂

  3. says

    How funny – just found your blog and you and I posted the exact same thing today. My family exchanges handmade gifts as well. I love the dominoes and the marshmallow blow guns are hilarious. I’m pinning some of these for ideas for next year!

  4. says

    That is AWESOME! LOVE Homemade gifts! Problem at our house is having the tools to make stuff. Robby really needs some tools at our disposal. Any suggestions?? (BTW, we literally have no more than the basics…saw, hammer, drill, screwdrivers…i think we have a nail gun!) 😉

    • says

      LOL! We just kind of collected tools as we neeeded them and after 20 years we have quite a collection. A dremel is a pretty cool, inexpensive tool…but only if you’re going to use it. When the big boys were preschoolers, Carl built a set of bunk beds with a hacksaw and electric screwdriver. It turned out pretty good for not really having any tools.

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