Posted by: angelnorman | November 19, 2010

Handmade Christmas gifts on the cheap!

I am feeling super crafty this morning. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ve actually been feeling super crafty all week. I have been reading all these blogs about Christmas, and as you might remember from my last post, looking on Etsy for Christmas-gift inspiration, and I feel really inspired to create something. So in a little while, I’m heading out to a Dollar Tree to find some supplies to make some Christmasy wreaths, which is probably my most favorite craft to tackle these days.

I came across some really awesome handmade Christmas gift ideas. I will share them with you now if you promise me that you won’t be upset when you possibly receive some of these. I know I shouldn’t ruin the surprise but these things are good, and cheap, ideas and I feel compelled to share them, especially since they may always remain inspiration instead of something I actually make… You know me. I have these fantasies of being Martha-ish, and most of the time I end up doing nothing.

1. Monogrammed Hand Towels. Oh that Martha, she has the best ideas! I can see the Moms getting these… With maybe some clever utensils (like silicone spatulas or whisks) from World Market, tied in a bow of baker’s twine. I love this idea, especially since you can get plain tea towels at a place like World Market on the cheap, and then dress them up for not much more using a stencil and some washable fabric paint. It’s a personal touch with big impact that won’t break the bank. How could that be bad?

2. And on that same thread, how about a Tea Towel Calendar? I think this is a really neat-o idea. I have never been good at iron-on transfers but I like this idea so much I just may try it. And look! You barely have to do anything since they have the template for the calendar right there. Maybe I could make a calendar one for the moms, too, coordinating of course with their monogrammed one. (Also: measuring spoons are a good idea for something to include with these towels… Ooh! You know what would rock? Ironing on a recipe for something, like apple pie for instance, and then making it into a “kit”, including spices or oven mitts… See! Inspirational.)

3. An afternoon Tea Set. I thought this was a good idea for a teacher or for any friend you have who likes a good warm beverage every now and again. I’ve done this before with coffee– I’ve put flavored coffees in the mugs instead of cookies. But there is something about tea and butter cookies, isn’t there?

4. Another sweet gift for your lady friends: handmade jade beaded necklaces. You can’t beat how freakin’ easy this is. Find your friend’s favorite color in bead and ribbon, and just thread some on. Glorious. I can see the nieces getting these.

5. All kinds of bath products! Martha has recipes for salt or sugar body scrubs (go with sugar– salt will hurt freshly-shaven legs and you’ll be a bad friend to not include that warning :)) , and bath fizzies. Not everyone likes to soak in a tub, I know (though it’s hard for me to imagine!), but you can’t go wrong with scrubs. You simply grab a handful of the mixture, rub it on your body (obviously not on your private bits), paying special attention to your dry areas, like elbows, knees, heels, etc. Then turn the shower on and rinse away!

The very first scrub I ever used was Origins’ Ginger Salt Scrub, and I’ve been addicted ever since. When I found out how easy it was to make my own, I decided I’d never pay for one unless I absolutely loved something about the brand. Origins’ Ginger Salt Scrub was $25 back then, and the jar wasn’t very big. You can make half a dozen scrubs for $25. It is the perfect gift to keep on hand if you need hostess gifts or gifts for your friends. Seriously. If I can make them, so can you.

I have a recipe for a coffee scrub that uses real brewed coffee grounds in it, to give your skin a jolt of caffeine (did you know that you can absorb caffeine through your skin?  You totally can!). It looks awful going onto your skin– looks like you’ve rolled around in the dirt– but it leaves you feeling fresh and soft (and smelling like coffee, but some of us don’t think that’s a bad thing :))

Martha has a lot of good gift ideas, as does BHG.com, and so many blogs around the ‘net! I am truly excited about gift-giving this season. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of these crafts and see what I can make!

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