I love love love receiving and giving handmade/homemade gifts. There’s nothing more wonderful than the beauty of something that someone took the time and the effort to make for me. I also love taking the time to think of the perfect gift to make for someone else. With my family we celebrate “homemade” holidays. My sister often will give me jams/jellies or frozen corn for the holidays. Every time Mr Chiots and I enjoy some corn with our meals we are very appreciative of the time she spent doing this for us. My mom also gives jams and jellies which Mr Chiots LOVES on toast and freshly baked bread. This past year my nieces & nephew made me these wonderful stepping stones for my garden. Normally I’m not a garden ornament kind of person, but these are truly lovely and I love seeing them peeking out from between the plants.
I also love to make gifts. I know that I can make something that’s personalized to the tastes of my friends and family. This past year for Christmas I made our best friends a Frand Lloyd Wright mission style tree skirt to go with their mission inspired home. They have always had a very country kind of quilted tree skirt that they got for their wedding and I knew they would love something a little more in tune with their grown-up tastes. After searching around I found an image of an octagonal stained glass lamp that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for one of his clients. I knew it would be a perfect design for a tree skirt. I bought some velvet and some ribbon and set to work.
I even customized the tag so they would know where the design came from. They loved the gift and they love knowing that it’s a one of a kind piece that fits beautifully into their lovely home. I always like to include a tag that lets people know the gift was handmade. I do this to hopefully inspire them to make homemade gifts as well, and nothing sets off a homemade gift like a beautiful thoughtful card explaining the gift.
This past year for Christmas I made doll bedding for my nieces doll bed (which my sister found a garage sale for a few dollars and was giving them for Christmas). Mr Chiots even got involved by knitting little matching afghans for their doll beds. He learned to knit just for this project. They certainly loved seeing the photo of their uncle Brian knitting!
Our little nephew Orin requested a cape, and I knew right away that a store bought one would not fit his personality. So a reversible custom cape was made complete with wristlets and a mask to disguise himself. I don’t know if his reaction would have been as good had his cape not had his name on it. My sister said the next morning he was up early running around in his cape, and nothing else.
Now’s the time of year to start thinking about your homemade Christmas gifts. When you’re making homemade gifts you sometimes need a little extra time to come up with ideas and time to make them. I’ve started working on a few of mine already and I’m still trying to come up with good ideas for others. There’s nothing worse than realizing two weeks before Christmas that you haven’t thought of anything to make yet for a specific person. (I think one of Kim’s purses made from a sweater would be a great gift idea)
Do you appreciate handmade/homemade gifts? Do you have a favorite handmade/homemade gift you’ve recieved?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.