A D.I.Y. Christmas: Be Your Own Elf- Part 2

Like I said I would, here is the rest of the D.I.Y. Christmas presents that are fun and easy to make. I remember last year I didn’t have plans for Christmas Eve, since there was an ice storm and my Dad told me not to drive to see him, so instead I slaved away in my room ALL DAY to make presents for everyone else I knew I would see that year. As much as my fingers and sewing machine foot hurt (as well as the smell in my small room from glue and wood stain…) It was well worth the look on everyone’s faces when they opened home made gifts, and not gift cards.

Antique Books: It’s easy to collect antique story books from a thrift store or antique mall, for little to no cost. You can get a collection of children’s books for a kid in your life, or you can get some literary favorites for the antique buff you know. Tie them up with a ribbon, or strap them together with an old leather belt for that old schoolhouse look.

Home Made Granola: You can make this granola year round, for any occasion, and add colorful candies per season. I once made home made, oven baked granola for everyone and put it in canning jars with raisins, m&m candies, peanuts, and almonds. Here’s a great Martha Stewart Recipe-  Granola Recipe here!

Gingerbread Houses: It’s a great way to make a present with children, while having fun. You can do it the easy way, with graham cracker cookies, and frosting in piping bags, or you can make the Gingerbread pieces shaped like the pieces of a house. Use christmas candies, or just random candies like reece’s pieces, m&m’s, peppermints, and other candies. Use vanilla wafers or frosted wheat cereal for the roof shingles, powdered sugar for snow, and peppermints as stepping stones. Get creative!

Memory Jar: This is a great idea for an older relative. Spend some time getting in touch with relatives, and collect photos for the gift recipient. You can make copies so you won’t be keeping the originals. Then write one memory of that person on each of 365 business card sized pieces of card stock, or the back of the photo. On the written memories, fold them in half. Place them all in a big jar, and for each day the next year the recipient can pull out one memory and see what the other people cherished in them.

Check out this Gingerbread House. 

Mixed CDs: I know what you’re thinking… This seems so middle school. But this is a gift for the music lover, or someone that loves to discover new music. You can make one or many mixes of music, make the CD covers, and personalize collections per person in your family or friends.

Make your own cards: You can make more than gifts for people you know. This is also a great money saver. If you scrapbook, or know people that do, you have a supply of paper you can get your hands on- this is a great idea. You do plan on sending out cards, don’t you? You can get paper at craft stores, and envelopes, even just blank ones that are brightly colored. Then you can draw designs on the front, and personalize messages on the inside.

Do it yourself Travel Collages/ Scrapbook: Martha Stewart had a great idea for someone close in your life. You have to purchase a few items to make this work, but consider this a larger gift, and you can forgive yourself for spending money. You’ll have to get a large poster frame, or scrapbook. Collect the mementos from a trip you took with someone close to you. Take the pictures you took, (or get some new ones online) and put them together with mementos like travel tickets, maps, hotel business cards, and get them enlarged to fit in your frame. You can also get foreign food labels, candy wrappers, menus, and other packaging from your trip to put in the college. It’s a great way to remember your travels!

Here’s one example of a travel scrapbook.

Here’s a “No Glue” approach to scrapbooks. (Martha Stewart)

Here’s an example of the larger Travel Collage. (Martha Stewart)

School Days Scrapbook: This is a great idea for a grown relative, brother, sister, or child. A few years ago I reconnected with a cousin from the east coast (I am from Wisconsin) and she had a baby book of mine from age 0-6. The pages were pockets, and in the pockets were photos i’ve never seen. The pages were little questions like “my favorite food” and “my favorite toy.” This is a very cherished keepsake I have, and am so happy someone held onto it. Check out this similar link: School Days Scrapbook

The Romantic Map: (For your spouse) Think of the places you’ve gone together. Your first date, first movie, kiss, his favorite restaurant, the coffee places you love to go, etc. Make a map of your city, or buy one, and mark all the special places. Use glitter, stickers, markers, and string to jazz it up. You can make the map look rustic by burning the edges of the map, and rolling it up and tying it with a ribbon.

Rice Heat Pad: If you have basic sewing skills, this is a no brainer. Last year I used a pack of washrags I got from Walmart, and some patterned flannel to make little square heat pads for sore muscles. You can make larger “U” shaped ones for people with sore necks too. I made mine with folding the wash rag in half, and only making half of that the heat pad, so the other half could be folded over if it was too hot. Fill with rice, and add some lavender for a relaxing scent.

Toaster Pastry Ipod Cozy: This is just one of the many things you can easily make with felt… Last year I made his and hers wine bottle cozy’s with felt, where the guy’s looked like a tux, with a tie that tightened as the fastener at the top, and the ladies had a dress made of felt on the side. All with felt and ribbon, and some beads. I’d post pictures, but sadly they were lost in the great laptop switch of  January, 2010. This is an adorable post I just came across and had to post! It looks super easy, just a little felt, and some beads. Give it a shot: Directions for Toaster Pastry Cozy Here!

There you go! Some more simple ideas for making crafts, and saving a buck or two. Happy Holidays, and happy crafting!


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