Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

With the tough economical situation this year, money for the holiday gifts is tight, but a popular solution to this dilemma is to make handmade presents. If you aren’t feeling crafty, or have no idea where to begin, you can find some fabulous handmade items for sale on sites like http://www.etsy.com. Etsy offers a variety of handmade gifts that will suite any budget. However, if you do want to try something crafty, here are a few ideas that are easy to make and won’t break the bank.

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HANDMADE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT:

Ornament Stuffed With Gold Ribbon

Plain glass ornaments can be found at your local craft store. I got a box of 4 for $2. With a little time and a few simple embellishments, you can turn them into beautifully decorated ornaments that will make a perfect gift for a friend. The ornament in the picture above I made by stuffing it with gold ribbon and then I wrote Merry Christmas on it with a metallic god pen.

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HANDMADE GREETING CARD SET:

Variety Set of Handmade Cards

You can get a set of blank cards at almost any craft shop and personalize them with stamps, speciality paper or scrapbook items. I decided to make a set of cards to fit a few different occasions. I made a few happy birthday, get well, thank you, and congratulation cards that I plan to give as a gift set to a few of my family members.

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KIDS CRAFT BOX:

DABBLE Craft Box for Kids

This gift is perfect for a child, or even a novice crafter. Get a shoe box, or a pastry box and put a few uncompleted craft projects in the box. Just make sure you’ve included all the parts for the craft kit. For instance if you’re giving wooden projects to paint, include the brush and the paints. I created a few craft boxes (like the one pictured above) that I sold through Dabble Arts & Crafts. For $15 I have included a wooden frame, ornament, paints, brush, and fun dough.

OTHER CRAFTY IDEAS:

A DATE IN A BOX:

I gave this gift a few times and each time I do it a little bit differently and I try to cater it to the couple I am giving the gift to. It’s pretty simple, get a large shoe box, or a cake/pastry box (you can find a variety of boxes at Micheal’s for $1 or less). Decorate the outside of the box with decorative paper and the couple’s name. Inside the box, you can put all the items they will need for a romantic “date night”. Some ideas are: a bottle of wine, a blockbuster gift card, a bag of popcorn, dessert mix or chocolates, a massager, oils, basically anything that will fit in the box and can be used on a date!

COOKIE INGREDIENTS & RECIPE IN A JAR:

This crafty gift has been around forever, but I just love it because who doesn’t love cookies? You can usually find a set of empty mason jars at your grocery store, fill them with all the dry ingredients you’ll need to make your cookie recipe. Type up the recipe instructions and print it on decorative paper then glue it to the jar. Wrap a ribbon around the jar with a gift tag adn your done!

HAND-PAINTED WINE OR MARTINI GLASS:

I have seen a ton of these at small boutiques from Maryland to California and I decided to try some of my own. It’s an easy way to personalize a gift not just for Christmas, but also for bridal showers, birthday parties and more. I found the cheapest set of glasses at Linens N Things, or Bed Bath & Beyond because you’ll get more for you money. They cost about $12 for 12 glasses. However, you can buy a single glass at places like Home Goods, or Ross.

Once you’ve picked the glass you like, you then need to get special gel pens that will write on glass (at your local craft store of course). Have fun and decorate the glass with the recipient’s name, the event, flowers, etc.. To set the paint, you will usually have to bake the glass for about 10 minutes or so after you decorate it (the instructions on the pens will tell you if you need to do this or not). If you’ve decorated a martini glass, it’s neat to also attach a favorite martini recipe to the glass with a special tag.

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There you have it, a few simple crafty ideas to use for gift giving this holiday season. Hope you enjoy making your handmade gifts and have a happy holiday season!

-Jeni

Dabble Arts & Crafts

http://www.dabblearts.com

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DABBLE Scrapbook Inspired Frame

I saw these adorable frames while I was traveling recently and I thought there had to be a way to make them myself for cheaper. It took some planning, but I figured it out, so now I want to pass on this technique to you.

Scrapbook Inspired Frame

Scrapbook Inspired Frame

First, I started with a wooden frame that I already had on hand. Price $1

Plain Wooden Frame

Plain Wooden Frame

Then, I painted the frame using Liquitex acrylic paint. I found that when painting on wooden opjects, it is best to use a foam brush because it fills the cracks in the wood frame nicely. Plus the paint turns out smooth and even.

Painted Wooden Frame

Painted Wooden Frame

Next, I picked from my assortment of scrap paper to coordinate with the color of the frame. I decided on a flower pattern that matched the color I painted on the frame. I decoupaged the paper to the frame by soaking the paper in water for 10 seconds (until it relaxed a bit),

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I applied a thin layer of adhesive (also by liquitex, but a thin layer of Elmer’s glue also works) and then I placed the paper on the frame. I smoothed out the wrinkles and let it dry.

paper adhered to frame

paper adhered to frame

Once the frame was dry, I cut the excess paper from the center of the frame with an xacto knife. I then glued  paper flowers with brads to add some decoration the other 1/2 of the frame. I like making asymetrical pieces, I feel it makes for a more interesting outcome. I let the project dry over night, then I was done!

The finished product!

The finished product!