If you’re crafty, you probably started thinking about what you could give away as hand-made gifts already…
But if you work a lot of hours right before the holidays or are a student just finishing up your last exam, I thought I’d share with you some of the projects I’ve done in years previous (nope, I’m not sharing any of what I did this year – since my gift recipients read this blog!) to inspire you.
(After the holidays I’ll share what I did this year!)
If you are striving for “consumable” gifts this year to reduce the amount of “stuff”, how about making up some meals in a jar, like I did with a group of friends one year? There are lots of great websites with recipes ranging from Caramel and Peppermint Hot Chocolate to Soups and Brownies. I just decorated my jars super simply, with pretty holiday fabric and a few small ornaments, but you could also really decorate your jars too, or use fancy jars that your gift recipient would want to keep after the holidays (and the meal or treat was consumed!).
On a similar theme, I also packaged up some loose leaf tea one year to give away as little gifts. I love loose leaf tea (as any of those of you who follow my other blog know well and this was a great way to share the love. I just picked up some simple tins, and decorated them with tea-stained custom labels with graphics from the Graphics Fairy. If you wanted to make this a more robust gift, you could include a teapot or teacup from a local potter, maybe some home-made tea biscuits, or a purchased strainer.
On a more decorative theme, one year I made up beautiful miniature moss terrariums. You could do this with moss, small plants, or air plants depending on how savvy your friends are with plants. Moss is super low-maintenance, and I love the lush green look – it makes me want to lay down in it like a soft bed! These miniature terrariums, could be made in a fancy glass container, or something simple like a mason jar depending on what look (and budget) you have in mind, and the supplies are inexpensive. You get a LOT of terrariums out of the materials, so this would be a good group or ‘bulk’ craft project too.
While I was making the terrariums, I also made some little miniature terrarium ornaments. These use dried moss though, so they can be packaged away for next year without worrying about keeping the moss alive. (However, since I added little feet to the bottom of the ornament, it certainly could use live moss and be enjoyed year-round too!)
For the dogs in my life (and their human companions) I made up simple, soft dog blankets one year too. These were pretty quick to make (the slashing probably took more time than the sewing!) which is good, because a well-loved blanket becomes a well-chewed blanket in short time. My own dogs love their blankets, and I heard that the ones I gave away to other households were well-loved by their canine recipients to. You can read more about the dog blankets by following this link if you want to make your own.
A few years ago I made picture pendants. I kept one for myself of course too, and even had a few left overs that are great “last-minute” gifts. The materials are relatively inexpensive, and you can make a lot of pendants from the supplies, so this is another good group or ‘bulk’ craft for pretty gifts. I’ve even turned a few of them into Christmas ornaments for the holidays, and the same techniques could be used for sun-catchers or key chain identifiers too.
I didn’t make any this year, but I might make some kiss-frame coin purses for little gifts next year. These involve a bit of sewing, but have HUGE potential for decorating, embellishment, and personalization. Plus, who can’t use a little coin purse to keep mad money, foreign currency, wrapped sweets, or other things organized in a bigger purse or backpack? I’ve even made a bigger one for myself as a costume purse – it fits my phone, credit cards, lip gloss, and keys – just enough for an evening out once I added a strap.
I also wanted to show off the custom crafty gift tags I made last year with friends too. If you’re sticking with giving away gift cards (Coffee and iTunes seems to be popular) then maybe your crafty creativity can be sated with making a cute card to enclose the gift card with!
Here’s hoping this gives you some good ideas and inspiration! If you want more, consider checking out my Pinterest boards, like Holiday crafts, General crafts, Jewelry, or any of my other boards! Feel free to follow me too!