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Topic: A Year of Homemade Gifts! - 2011-2012 - Are YOU in?  (Read 72260 times)
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Teamama
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« on: July 29, 2011 06:06:08 AM »

Update:

Here is our list of members crafting a long with us for the coming year. Hopefully these links will all work in case you're looking to contact another craftster with a question or message. So glad you're all taking part in our year of Homemade Gifts!

1. Teamama
2. idioskosmos
3. 2Kids2Craft4
4. jo_mama
5. IsikkahJai
6. infinitelyjen
7. j_KIEVIET
8. Acherontia Aether
9. pincushion_queen
10. Hermetus
11. WhiteSheep
12. Fullmoon
13. Maxxev
14. A2JC4life
15. Meleriffic
16. NotKnit
17. Kara B
18. pollyprissypants
19. mellybelly81
20. KLKing
21. butterflyangel
22. lieutenant_crunch
23. Vixen72
24. creativeangel89
WOW! 22 23 24 Craftsters have commited to making a Year of Homemade Gifts! Fantastic!

A Year of Homemade Gifts!


Hi all,

This year, my hubby and I decided that we were going to try and do a "Year of Homemade Gifts". We generally do a "homemade Christmas" for our family anyways and we thought - why not extend it for the whole year? It came about sort of naturally for us, as we were participating in a finance course at our church, took a look at our gift spending (and realized we were spending WAAAAY too much money on presents) and thought - this is a challenge we can get on board with. Well, challenge is the right word, but so far - so good! We're not only doing birthdays, but also Mother's and Father's Day, and other special occasions. It's been tough sometimes (like the fact that between hubby and I we have 3 siblings with birthdays 4 days apart in July... my sister still hasn't gotten her gift... just an I.O.U.) and we also set out some boundaries like "we're going to purchase gifts for our children - aged 1 and 3 - but they should be ideally a)seriously discounted or b)secondhand but gently loved".

In any case - idioskosmos contacted me with a couple of questions and out of our discussion - this idea for a craft-a-long was born!

So we want to know - can  YOU commit to doing a "Year of Homemade Gifts" from September 1, 2011 to September 1, 2012? We think you can! And we'd like you to join us here for ideas, support, encouragement, and of course - sharing pics and stories of the wonderful things our friends and family members will be receiving!

To start it off - I will state:

I, Teamama, am committed to making a "Year of Homemade Gifts" from September 1, 2011 to September 1, 2012 with the following conditions: that if I am unable to make a gift for a person or occasion that it be either secondhand and gently loved, or seriously discounted as to remain frugally responsible. I also commit to sharing my successes and failures with the Year of Homemade Gifts Craft-a-long on Craftster.

Here's some of the things I've come up with so far this year:
Chocolate Easter Eggs for Easter gifts:



Zombie T-shirt birthday gift

Freezer paper stencil dress (insanity!)


5 year anniversary gift (hubby made this for me)

T-shirt quilt:

Knit shell:

Cheeky flasher card for bridal shower:



So - also (not shown) we've baked cookies and made fancy boxes for them to go in, made glasses out of wine and beer bottles, made rings and other jewellery out of beer bottle tops, caps, beads, etc, made several other freezer paper shirts, and I'm currently working like crazy 'cause my mum and dad's birthdays are 5 days apart in August. Eep!

Also - you can see that things like the shirts and dress for the freezer paper stencil were purchased (obviously I'm not going to sew and dress and THEN f.p.stencil it... I mean I'm crazy but... well...). And although I made the card for my sister's bridal shower, I did not make the lingerie... but I did purchase a regularly $30 item for $6. So I felt that fit the "seriously discounted" option of our year.

ANYWHO! That's a tonne of info and I really truly hope that you'll join myself and idioskosmos and that we'll all have a fabulous Year of Homemade Gifts!

Are YOU in?

~Teamama
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011 05:44:09 PM by Teamama » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Join us for the  NEW 2012-2013 Year of Homemade Gifts: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=413499.0

*LOVE to swap ATCs, and tw/inchies! PM Me!*

Jewels: www.bypatriciabrown e.weebly.com
Le blog: www.talkandtealeave s.blogspot.com
shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PLBrowne
2Kids2Craft4
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011 07:09:53 AM »

I'm already doing this, so I'm certain I can keep it up for the next year!! I have 19 nieces and nephews, most living nearby.  We have a party every 4 months for about 6 or 7 of them at a time.  (Single parties would kill us!)   I've been making them presents since 2009 and I don't intend to stop.  Last year, I expanded on that and started making Christmas presents, Easter basket items and adult presents too!

I have a bit of a hard time trying to upload my pictures, but I will try. 

I have a party on Saturday and made/am making presents for that. A list of those gifts:
Spiderman keepsake/game tin  - My first time decoupaging a present.
Felt Dollhouse - A very simple one.
Felt TV - with 2 interchangable screens
Mail Set - Letters, postcards, dvds & stamps
2 crayon books
I'm also making mini monster faces to go in the goodie bags


I look forward to seeing what everyone has made/will be making!!
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Teamama
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011 08:00:47 AM »

2Kids2Craft4, I'm so glad you'll be joining us!

It's funny that you and I are sort of opposites (I started with Christmas and expanded and you vice-versa!). Your felt projects sound amazing! Is it felt you buy from a craft store and then sew with? Or are you felting wool and then sewing/knitting that? I'd be interested to see, hopefully we can figure out a way to get your pictures working.

Glad to hear you've been at this for a few years now! That's encouraging!

~Tea.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Join us for the  NEW 2012-2013 Year of Homemade Gifts: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=413499.0

*LOVE to swap ATCs, and tw/inchies! PM Me!*

Jewels: www.bypatriciabrown e.weebly.com
Le blog: www.talkandtealeave s.blogspot.com
shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PLBrowne
jo_mama
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011 08:17:42 AM »

i am a hand-made gift enthusiast.  i've done all handmade for extended family christmas for a few years now, and try to continue with it into mother/father's day, easter, etc.  for my own kiddos, though, i feel like we have to dish out the cash at christmas as they get the handmade all the time, and i've not perfected the art of making dvds (ha!).  but for my nieces/nephews, who have parents on not-so-tight budgets, handmade is an awesome way to get them something i know they don't already have.

so i am game for the challenge, or continuing the challenge as it were.  i have amended the pledge slightly to allow for the buying/trading of handmade goods made by others.  i think that handmade is important across the board, not just financially, but for increasing the appreciation that people have for handmade goods and stimulating local economy (where applicable).  if we don't support each other - who will?

i, jo_mama, am committed to making a "Year of Homemade Gifts" from september 1, 2011 to september 1, 2012 with the following conditions: that if I am unable to make a gift for a person or occasion that it *may be handmade by somebody else*, be either secondhand and gently loved, or seriously discounted as to remain frugally responsible. i also commit to sharing my successes and failures with the Year of Homemade Gifts Craft-a-long on craftster.

i have lots of ideas brewing.  my first occasion coming up is halloween.  anyone else including costumes in this pledge?
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Teamama
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011 08:22:34 AM »

Jo-mama - I'm glad you amended the pledge - I hope everyone feels free to do the same. I do like the idea of including handmade by others as well... *brain starts ticking... maybe next July doesn't have to be SO insane!* and I agree - we definitely need to support each other. My best friend makes cards, and when I feel my (not-totally-awesome-but-still-decent) card making skills aren't up to snuff, I definitely buy hers!

Costumes! I have to admit, Hallowe'en is HUGE at my house. Literally huge. We build a big haunted walk-through on our front lawn every year, and I'm usually a vampire or zombie or ghost or something equally spooky without being "terrify the neighbour children to death" scary. But yeah, hallowe'en costumes are DEF. included... mostly because I just want to see what everyone else makes! Cheesy
*(PS - I always tell people I love Hallowe'en because it's the only holiday I'm allowed to stand around in front of my house and scare the neighbourhood children... they frown on that when you do it at Christmas Tongue)*
~Tea
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Join us for the  NEW 2012-2013 Year of Homemade Gifts: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=413499.0

*LOVE to swap ATCs, and tw/inchies! PM Me!*

Jewels: www.bypatriciabrown e.weebly.com
Le blog: www.talkandtealeave s.blogspot.com
shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PLBrowne
jo_mama
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011 08:50:26 AM »

we definitely don't go all out for halloween.  3 of the last 4 years i have worked halloween night at six flags because our town does more safe halloween stuff and less door to door trick-or-treating, but i digress.

so my priority for halloween costumes is the ability to use it again, or reworking what i've already used in the past.  here's some handmade costumes that we've done (hope it's alright to post past photos for brainstorming - i'll remove if ya want) . . .


super georgia!  not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.  leotard and tights from her dance class, a handmade cape (on the back it has a logo similar to her belt), and a wig from my punk fiend days.  then i made her belt, mask, and cuffs from fun foam.  super fun.


last year i had to make her a black sheep costume for her kindergarten graduation, so i reused bits of it to turn her into a butterfly.  i made her headband and was going to make her wings, but found those at the dollar tree.  then painted her face.  we won the costume contest that year!


and for his first halloween, to go with the butterfly we had the "brother-fly" (ha - get it?).  sigh.  anyhow, i took a set of old play fairy wings that were all but dead, covered them with black nylons, and spray painted them shiny black then shiny white.  i knitted his hat and made his antennas.  the eyes are reflective stickers.  the black bodysuit was from georgia's first costume when she was a ladybug.

last year i actually made money on halloween.  we spent $1 on costumes and won $25 in the costume contest.  this year i am leaning towards the entire family as woodland critters.

jo
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Teamama
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011 09:01:31 AM »

Ah! I love the brother-fly! That's so cute!
Also - PLEASE post pics - no worries there!

Our littlest one's name is Jack... so we're always kind of leaning towards funny "Jack" costumes. Like last year he went as a "Jack-o-lantern" - we had an orange sleeper that I sewed a face onto and some green stuff for leaves around the collar. A little matching sleep hat with a stem and off we go! I'll have to try and find a picture.

But in the future I think I'll be making a lot of interesting costumes for Jack. Jack-a-lope, Jack-in-the-box, Jack-be-nimble, Jack-n-Jill, (for when he's older he can go as "Jack & Coke"- like the drink... but we won't bring that up for a while". There's about a ga-jillion ideas for that.

We have a hard time "making" gifts for our little ones though... it IS tough because they're really too little to understand $$$ and they don't really get excited about clothes or anything.

We did however SCORE majorly for our big one's 3rd birthday though - a couple at our church had a play structure in their backyard that was in need of some serious cleanin' TLC and they said if we came and got it - we could have it! So a little soap and some major powerwashing later (the thing was an earwig hotel - yuck!) We had a totally free playstructure that we saw in the "Stuff-r-us" (you know who I mean) flyer for $200! Woo hoo!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Join us for the  NEW 2012-2013 Year of Homemade Gifts: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=413499.0

*LOVE to swap ATCs, and tw/inchies! PM Me!*

Jewels: www.bypatriciabrown e.weebly.com
Le blog: www.talkandtealeave s.blogspot.com
shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PLBrowne
LadybugsAndBumblebees
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011 09:36:02 AM »

Yes, it's good to be frugal, but especially at Halloween, when costumes for ONE DAY can be SOOOOO expensive!  I've been going to the thrift store for several years now to find costumes for my two girls.  Usually I can find something that's perfect as is, if not, it needs just a little altering.  Saves money either way.
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IsikkahJai
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011 10:41:08 AM »

This craft-along doesn't really seem like a stretch for me since my family don't celebrate holidays HOWEVER----I feel that giving gifts just because is a better mentality for myself an my family and it's always nice to be surprised with gifts "just because." I feel like I can definitely do this if I stick to that kind of thing!  Wink Maybe I can choose a couple people a month to craft for (inbetween swaps  Grin) and say "Thank you for being born. I love you."
   Now all I have to do is learn to do SMALL crafts, like jewelry or polymer clay. I'm a quilt/cross-stitch/poppet kind of girl so it literally takes ONE MONTH to do one craft, lol Or maybe I could just down-size my projects  Cheesy

  Teamama, this is probably the most practical and fun idea I've heard about on craftster. Seriously, I mean, WE'RE CRAFTERS!! Out of all the media driven merchandise out there WE, as creative geniuses, can guarantee that our families can receive a never before seen gift that has two things store bought doesn't---LOVE AND PATIENCE. (Standing in line to buy that sold-out video game or expensive piece of jewelry for hours doesn't count <.<)  Grin

               ~Ahem...not offense to anyone ^^ (I've always hated Christmas time)  Roll Eyes

There fore, I, IsikkahJai, am committed to making a "Year of Homemade Gifts" from september 1, 2011 to september 1, 2012 with the following conditions: that if I am unable to make a gift for a person or occasion that it *may be handmade by somebody else*, be either secondhand and gently loved, or seriously discounted as to remain frugally responsible. i also commit to sharing my successes and failures with the Year of Homemade Gifts Craft-a-long on craftster.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011 10:53:23 AM by IsikkahJai » THIS ROCKS   Logged
idioskosmos
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011 11:16:52 AM »

I'm totally in!   And very excited!!

I made a personal vow a few years back to only give handmade gifts...unfortunate ly, no one has been getting many gifts from me.  I'm hoping that with the support of this group that will change  Smiley

So far this year, I have made the following:

Knitted scarf for my best friend (who is an incredible knitter and I was really nervous about giving her something I made, but she loved it)

Knitted baby sweater for my first neice (extremely plain since I'm a novice knitter)

Two baby quilts made from "cheater" fabric - I was really touched by how well these were received.

Knitted snake scarves for my two youngest kids - these were such a big hit that I'm making a bunch more!

Teamama - I love your zombie t-shirt and that gives me a great idea for my husband!

Jo_mama - Your halloween costumes are incredible!  I can see why you won a contest.


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