Mixy Matchy Placemats for my cousin whose girls were learning to set the table.
At the time I had off from work during November. "Off track time" (as we call our non traditional school breaks) sounds great, but actually sometimes it was a really lonely time for me. All of my friends work during the day. Infertility, malls, the holidays- the combination can get really ugly. So, I turned my craft therapy into a full on Santa's workshop and for so many reasons, it was one of the best choices I have ever made.
Cookies for a Dallas Cowboy's Fan.
The tradition stuck. It is time consuming, but it helps me feel connected to my family. I think of the recipients while I create. I hope that even if they don't love, need, use their gifts, at the very least they know I love them very much.
Collage covered marble notebook for a friend who journals.
A handmade Christmas saves me money-mostly because I don't go to the mall and see/buy things for myself. Truly. Limiting my Christmas shopping also saves me from feelings of lack that the mall by design brings on. It allows me to be part of the Advent Conspiracy. (Read on, but then check out this video. It always gets me.)
Reusable birthday bunting.
This year our school is on a traditional calendar and I will be celebrating all the December holidays with my beloved Crayons. There will be Christmas shows, report cards and parent conferences. It will put a crimp in my crafty ways. However, I am still commited to continuing my handmade Christmas. A more humble version to be sure.
Here are three things I have learned along the way:
1. Multiples are good.
Rice Heat Therapy Bags (tutorial here) -good for one...
and all! Seriously, the big bulk bag of rice made this project super thrifty!
By the time I made two of these tote bags for my little cousins, I was on a roll. Becoming good at a pattern makes it quicker and much more enjoyable. This goes for any craft as well.
2.The difference between cheap and thrifty is the thought behind it.
This pillow hardly cost anything to make, but I added favorite movie quotes to the patchwork making it very personal. The collage notebooks cost about a buck, but the personalization made it so much more.
3. Men love cookies.
Speaking of handmade Christmas, did you see that I am hosting a Cute & Thrifty Play Kitchen Build Along?
Yup. For the next six weeks, every Wednesday I am going to post step by step directions on how to build your very own play kitchen out of a repurposed nightstand, end table, cabinet or small dresser.
In time for Christmas!
I even have plans for a "no tools" variation! Get the details here.
Be sure to check out all the other terrific DIY ideas at ASPTL and 12 Weeks of Christmas at Reds Writings.