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Topic: Let's Share Our Christmas Gift Ideas!  (Read 8813 times)
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« on: November 19, 2006 04:00:25 PM »

Hi I just joined craftster today. I've gotten kind of frustrated looking for gift ideas online because everyone has such specific needs. I thought it might be cooler and easier if we all just said what we're already planning to make for our own friends/family instead of asking for ideas from other folks. It may spark new ideas.

So I'll start:

For my little sisters (11 and 14) I drew the two of them as Gryffindor students. (I'm a professional illustrator)

For my brother and dad: I'm still brainstorming, but I've already made pencil holders out of old floppy disks. That works well because we all work with computers a lot.

For my sister in law: We got some old records at goodwill and we're going to try melting them and forming them into useful things. I've never done this before, but my mom says she did it a lot in the 70s. Smiley

For my sister in law and my step mom: Homemade coasters (I'm just covering wooden blocks with fun paper and painting a sealant over- oh and putting some cork on the bottoms). Oh, and my step mom has been asking for a drawing of her dog for about 3 years, but I hate drawing animals. But if I get around to it, she'll get that as well.

For my mother: She used to LOVE the show WKRP in cincinnati and I just happen to have some old hardware for converting VHS files into digital files. So if I can find the old hardware and get it all hooked up right I'm taking some of our OLD tapes of the show and putting them onto DVD.

For my dad/aunt/uncle: my aunt gave me a HUGE batch of old family photos which I put about 60 hours of digital retouch work into (I also used to work as a retouch artist at a photo lab). So I touched those up, but I kind of did too good of a job because I brought them to wal-mart for printing, and wal-mart (QUITE rudely) refused to give them to me because they looked so professional (because I WAS a professional) that they thought I was stealing the images. There were three photos that really HAD been taken by a professional, but that was about 40 years, 80 years, and 95 years ago. The rest were taken by family. So I don't know if I'll be able to get these printed off or if it was wasted effort.

I have a few more folks to figure out. My old college roommate's always tough, and I have a new step-dad and I don't quite know what to get him. And there are a few others. I never feel like I can give baked good or anything because when we get together everyone from the family brings many batches of cookies and candy and everything anyway. there are always so many cookies and whatnot that it'll last for WEEKS after Christmas is over.

Oh, and  I'm starting a new company and I have no money at all, but a LOT of time for crafts. That's why EVERYONE's gifts need to be homemade.

SO- what are you guys doing?
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2006 04:18:13 PM »

my ideas:

most of my guy Friends: candy candy candy...they all love it, some are getting candied pecans, some fudge, and some saltwater taffy (holy crap so fun to make).

most of my girl friends: some are getting apple butter preserves, and some are getting bracelets made out of sculpey (lemons, they sound silly but they are insanely cute)
1 female friend of mine (not putting her name here, she uses this site too) is getting a hand-stenciled hoodie ( i designed the stencil myself)

amother female friend(i've known her since i was 2 months old): a handmade purse with a stencil of a bleeding heart bush(that i made up)  on it.

my best friend: a stenciled "six string samurai" shirt, again, made up stencil myself

2 guy friends are getting plushie mooses

my mother: panda sculpture, and something i bought

my father: i had to buy for him: size 14 red chuck taylors

my step-mother: hand-stenciled t-shirt(they live in fla) of her kids.

female cousin- lemon bracelet, and cash

male cousin- cash

aunt- a purse (hand made of course)

grandfather- ?

granmother: bag, scarf, and apple butter.

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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006 01:14:27 AM »

What's salt water taffy? And is it hard to make? My sister loves sweets  and i am at a total loss as to what to make her Huh
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2006 08:55:51 AM »

 Smiley I had another fun idea!

Both of my step-parents really enjoy sudoku puzzles. So I'm creating little pocket sudoku books. I'm using puzzles that I've found online and I'm going to create decorative edges and bind them together. They should be small enough to literally fit into their pockets although I imagine they might really go into purses and briefcases. You might even be able to make a wallet-sized one if you have a real sudoku fanatic to make a gift for.
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2006 01:14:28 PM »

What's salt water taffy? And is it hard to make? My sister loves sweets  and i am at a total loss as to what to make her Huh

salt watter taffy is a kind of taffy tha was invented in 1883 at the jersy shore

its easy as long as you dont mind manual labor Smiley

Here's the recipe i use:

-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 cup white corn syrup
-1 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp glycerin (can be purchased at a pharmacy)
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-7 drops of food coloring (if you want color, white taffy is pretty nice looking too...)
-2 tbsp butter

- mix sugar, water, corn syrup, and glycerin in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook to a temperature of 258 degrees F (a candy thermometer would be necessary here)
- Remove from heat and let stand for two to three minutess. Then add vanilla extract, color (if you want), and butter and stir vigorously intill butter is melted. pour into a buttered cookie sheet
-cool untill lukewarm, and taffy can be handled
- Begin to strech and fold over and over untill taffy turns paler in color, about 10 min. you may want another person to help you with this.
-Roll taffy into long rope. Cut inot individual pieces and wrap in wax paper

i hope your sis likes it!


Comment allez-vous ce soir? Je suis comme ci comme a
 Yes, a penguin taught me French back in Antarctica
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006 12:49:29 PM »

So I'll also be making these cool marble magnets for people. I found a SUPER helpful guide to making them and I'm providing the link. Once I got all of the supplies, they aren't taking too long at all to make, and the end result really isn't too bad.

I couldn't find the right size magnets that they suggest in the guide so I bought one of those magnet strips and I'm simply cutting those to the right size. Seems to be working for me.

I may actually have gotten this link from a different post on craftster (I can't remember!) so sorry if it's a double-post or something.

Oh, and thanks for the saltwater taffy recipe! I think I may try making that too. It's different enough from the normal holiday treats that people in my family may really dig it.
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006 02:55:10 PM »

how'd u make the pencil holders out of floppy discs? i'd love to try to make one for my boyfriend!
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2006 06:57:34 AM »

I went to Goodwill and bought a couple of packs of old floppy disks. I got lucky because they had super cool translucent neon-colored ones that didn't even have any labels on them. But any old floppy disks will do. You'll NEED five, but I'd recommend getting plenty of spares because the disks like to chip sometimes. I'm not very good at it yet, so for my first one I had almost as many mistakes as I had good disks so I used 9 or 10 disks even though I only needed the five.

Okay, now the disks SHOULD already have two holes in the bottom of them (you may have to slide the lock in one of the bottom corners to open up the hole). And usually you can see little circular indentations on the other side of the disk- you can use these as a guide (the circles should be near the silver part of the disk). My step-dad has a "plastic drill" (that's what he called it anyway- I don't know anything about power tools) that I was able to use to drill the last two holes in four of the disks. I then took clear cable ties and loosely connected all four of the disks. Don't tighten the cable ties just yet- it's easier to get everything into position if they're a little loose right now.

For the last (bottom) disk you are going to have to put the two holes in a slightly different place. This is where the majority of my disks chipped, because the holes are going to have to be a little closer to the edges of the disk. You can kind of wing it here, but watch out for some of the internal mechanisms on the disk. If you get translucent ones like I did you'll be able to see these little springs on the inside and I think a few of the times I cracked the disks it was a result of catching one of those springs. But I was just figuring the process out as I went along, so guess and test should work for you okay (as long as you have plenty of spares!).

Alright, once you get the last two holes drilled into your bottom disk you should run cable ties through the side disks to hold the bottom on. Oh, and always start by running the tie from the inside to the outside and back in again. This way the ugly part will be hidden inside the pencil holder.

I'm sorry, I don't normally do tutorials or anything and I'm a really visual person, so it was hard for me to explain this stuff without being able to show you. Let me know if you need me to explain any of this further. I'd be happy to! Oh, and this one isn't mine, but this is where I got the idea: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5011725

For mine, since I had multi-colors, I chose one color for three of the sides, and then I did an accent color for the fourth side and the bottom. I really like the result of that. I have an orange one with green accents for my brother, and a clear/white one with blue accent for my dad and I think that one is amazingly cool looking. I'm going to try to get more of the white-ish colored ones so I can make myself a white and pink one.

Good luck! I hope it works out for you. Let me know if you have any questions.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2006 09:56:07 AM »

i'm making microwaveable rice bags for all of my friends...there are a bunch of them so every year i tend to make the same thing for them with personalized variations (i.e., the fabric).

my sister is getting a quilted tote bag
my mom is getting quilted greeting cards (this is the coolest project EVER) and maybe an apron? i like to quilt.
my other sister is probably getting another pair of cabled mittens because she lost one of her last pair i made her. this time i will attach them with a long string  Wink

my dad is fairly impossible because he always goes shopping right before christmas to buy himself things. that's the dumbest idea in the world.

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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2006 09:34:15 PM »

thanks shamelesslyahippie i looked on google but the instructions were  all so confusing  and different! I will have to give it a go! Cheesy
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