Sunday, December 27, 2009

Handmade Christmas Presents Revealed!

I hope all of you had a wonderful and safe Christmas! Our Christmas was lovely, full of family, food and good cheer. Since my family are readers of my blog, I wasn't able to post the handmade presents that I had made for some of them as I didn't want to ruin the surprise! Now that Christmas has been and gone, here they are:


For my niece, I made some things for her room. The first thing I made was a castle shaped hairclip holder. The hair clips clip on to the ribbon underneath.This was made from a KaiserCraft BTP mini wooden castle album that I modified to form the castle. I then covered it with various scrapbooking papers and embellishments, including rub-on transfers, glitter, and die cut shapes.

I also made her a framed initial to match, using the same scrapbooking papers. I overlapped the cut outs on top of the frame mat to give a more three dimensional look.

For mum and dad, from the kids, I made a perpetual calender with a photo of the kids. I really like the Beyond The Page items from KaiserCraft; the calender was really easy to put together, and because the come without papers, etc, you can embellish and decorate it however you want.
The kids' photo was attached to a chipboard shape, rub-on transfers were added, and then I covered it in dimensional magic, giving it a resin/glass look.

Mum is about to start taking Yoga classes, so I made her a yoga bag based on a tutorial from Sew4Home. I changed the bag slightly, making matching handles instead of using webbing, and adding a pocket to the outside. The instructions were really clear and easy; if you want a yoga bag, I highly recommend this tute. They also have a tute for a more traditional sling bag style yoga tote.

For dad I made a tic tac toe (noughts and crosses) set, also from a KaiserCraft kit. I forgot to take photos, though!

I made this lovely old-fashioned rag doll for Irini. It took me hours, due to the instructions not being that clear for a self-taught beginning sewer, but with plenty of seam ripping and plenty of cursing, it finally came out just perfect. The doll's clothes are all removable, including some gorgeous bloomers underneath. I was planning on making more clothes for her down the track, but unfortunately, I think she is destined to sit on the shelf in Irini's room - she was not interested in it one bit! Maybe in a year or two it will have more appeal, and then I can increase her wardrobe.

For Stephen,I made two large pots of homemade scented glitter playdough. I also made a road playmat as well. Again, I forgot to take photos! Stephen's present was a real hit with the littlies on Xmas morning. They played with these for hours, which just goes to show that for little kids especially, simple homemade toys are often just as exciting as expensive plastic toys.

I also made some food gifts this year. These jars are a batch of desert lime (an Australian native food) marmalade and some Boxing Day Chutney. The chutney is absolutely divine, and is from a recipe I saw on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas, a wonderful British TV special all about having an old fashioned homemade Christmas. You can find the wonderful recipe here. I didn't have dates, so I subbed currants, but it was still lovely. It is just perfect in sandwiches made with leftover Xmas ham and a nice strong cheddar cheese.

One of my nephews loves my hot chocolate, so when I found this idea for Hot Chocolate on a Stick over at Givers Log that uses an almost identical recipe to how I make hot chocolate, I knew it would be just perfect. I made up a dozen sticks for him, and he was stoked!

While I didn't totally go handmade, since most of my in-laws just don't really appreciate home made, I really enjoyed making most of the presents myself. It was time consuming, but the sense of accomplishment at the end, as well as knowing that i was giving a present made for love and care, was absolutely worth it!


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