Chatting about Handmade Christmas Gifts

Have I told you that I grew up in a family with eight children? I am number 6, and as you might imagine with a family that large, finances were extremely limited. Our Christmases while I was a child were largely handmade. We all wanted to give presents to each sibling and our parents, so we would spend hours locked away from the others making some token or trinket to give. There were many bookmarks given over the years, several ornaments, some beauties, and some craftfails. My older sisters, would often work with my mom on sewing projects, making dolls or fabric dollhouses for us younger ones. For some reason, the year they sewed us each our own tissue box covers kind of stands out in my mind.

my daughter wrapped this gift by herself last year. I was impressed. I don’t know how to do that.

Fast forward several years: I have half the number of children my mother did, and while finances always feel tight, we don’t have to struggle and stress nearly as much as my parents did. It seems like it isn’t always practical to make homemade gifts, nowadays–in fact, it can sometimes cost more. The demands on our time are such that the idea of carving out time for handmade gift-giving seems rather daunting. Yet, despite all of this, I feel strongly compelled to encourage and assist my children to make their gifts to each other and help me in making gifts for neighbors and friends.

There are lots of wonderful gifts that can be bought! There are a few of these, I’m really hoping Santa leaves under the tree for me. So why do I care about handmade gifts? I think, perhaps, it is because when as a child we crafted construction-paper bookmarks and glittery photo ornaments, we were giving all we had to give–little bits of ourselves.

Sorry to get all sentimental on you…Christmas kind of does that to me.

Today I’m going to share some of the gifts my children made for each other last year. Then I hope you will join me over at The Motherhood at 1:00pm Eastern tomorrow, where I will be discussing meaningful gifts along with some other fantastic and crafty bloggers.

I helped my then 3-year-old to make these cute snowpeople ornaments, inspired by the ones I had seen on the blog 1825. We used inexpensive pieces of wood instead of canvases.

She painted the backgrounds and we used one of her fingers to form each snow person. She loved helping paint the falling snow with a toothpick. I added in the details and glued on the ribbon.

And we have a whole family of snow people now!

I helped my oldest daughter print off this vintage paper doll image from the internet on to magnetic paper. She cut out the pieces and mod podged the scrapbook paper on to the Dollar Store cookie sheet.

She made a robot version for her brother, too, but I don’t think she had had time to get it cut out by Christmas morning. 🙂

Stay tuned and I will show you the adorable fairy houses my son and his dad built for the girls and more about the homemade neighbor gifts we have given in the past.

Here’s the info for the chat I was telling you about where you’re sure to get lots more great ideas!:

What: Be Merry and Bright: Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas, a live, text-based chat in The Motherhood.  Do you agonize over buying or creating meaningful gifts for friends and family? Sometimes you just need inspiration from other creative minds. Join us to trade gift ideas and step-by-step instructions for making beautiful gifts by hand – or share your favorite ideas for thoughtful store-bought gifts.

When: Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. ET.  We will chat for 30 minutes!

Where: The Motherhood

I will be co-hosting with these other talented craft bloggers:

Heidi from Honeybear Lane
Kelli and Kristi from Lolly Jane
Rachel from Family Ever After
Vanessa, The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

Oh…and please come back tomorrow, for what I think is the biggest, most-exciting giveaway I’ve had on this blog, EVER!!!


(Visited 1,653 times, 1 visits today)


  1. I adore these thoughts and gift ideas. Maybe for next year!

  2. Must keep this in mind for future Christmases! Our littlest ones in the family are beginning to show some crafty skills, so it would be great to start a handmade Christmas gift tradition!

  3. What Cause Bone Cancer says

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thank you
    for providing this information.


  1. […] Some other home-birthed gift ideas I like… Aloe vera plants (seen at Organic Mama Cafe) Monogram mugs (seen at Design Mom) Fingerprint snowman ornaments and Vintage paper doll sets (seen at My Insanity) […]

Speak Your Mind