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Topic: Poor Man's Christmas  (Read 3517 times)
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Crafty Goddess
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the fruits of a crafty nirvana...

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« on: November 10, 2004 10:18:27 PM »

Funds are pretty tight this year, and I want to make everyone's christmas presents.  I need some ideas.  This is what I've come up with so far..

husband - I'm going to "reupholster" his old ugly suitcase with StarWars Wrapping paper, make him a duct tape wallet, and bind him a book with some of his short stories in it.

7yr old Son - no idea.  He just got into Karate, so I might make him a bag to carry all his gear in.. any other ideas for this?

4 month old daughter - I was thinking of making her a nursing necklace..something she can play with while she is nursing.  any ideas for her?  She will be almost 6 months at xmas time.

My mother -  She LOVES siamese cats.  I was thinking of making her a grandma's brag book of my kids, but I want to give her something else as well.

Mother-in-law - She loves sewing.  I am making her a grandma's brag book as well, but wanted 1 or 2 other gifts for her

sister - She's a wierd one Wink She's got 2 kids, but is a huge goth girl, smokes, drinks, loves getting tats and things that have dragons/wizards on them.

Brother-in-law - No idea.  He's outdoorsy..likes Kayaking, hikeing, camping, traveling.  He has a 6 yr old daughter and is divorced. He just bought a house last year.  He likes crazy ties and records.  He owns his own hardwood flooring business.

Father -  NO IDEA.  He smokes and loves star treky things. Plays an online game that is like star trek, and he immigrated to the US when he was a young boy, from Portugal.

Father-in-law -  he was in the navy a long time ago.  he loves making movies and taking pictures.  He also loves his music..he used to read his kids lord of the rings and the hobbit as bedtime stories.

Aunt - smokes, drinks, loves to gamble.  she lost her husband to cancer in 2002 (she now has aboyfirend) she is like a grandmother to my kids so she might get a scrapbook as well.  She loves her dogs as her kids

Grandmother - something grandmotherly lol

Grandmother-in-law - something to do with memorabilia or parrots

Friends - the husband is a marine reservist, IT specialist, and martial arts student, the wife is a scrapbooker, and they have 2 kids.  They love the asian themes and lady bugs.

any other quick but some what personal gifts.

Sorry this was so long!!! 


Crafty Goddess
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we are ugly but we have the music

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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2004 01:57:07 AM »

for your friends who like asian themes...
how about paper mache baskets?  You can get baskets at a second hand store and then use various papers to cover them.  this is actually an art form in japan and gets really amazing with calligraphy and ink paintings on top of the paper scraps.  I made some that said 'fruit' and 'vegetables' on them (in japanese) for my mom because she never puts her groceries in the fridge and prefers to leave them out!  You could use some asian newspapers and some art papers for the mache and then add some ink lettering or designs/pictures on top.

for your seven-year old... how about some boy 'dress up' stuff?  I once made a child i baby-sat a small trunk (actually a spraypainted styrofoam cooler with some decorations) with a cloak, magic pouch, etc.  If he likes some characters this could be really fun for him.  (spraypaint some rocks gold and silver- yeah-treasure!) 

your gothish sister might like one of the funky felted knit or crochet bags that are going around.  check out helloyarn.com for one version. 

brother in law... how about some gear bags?  It doesn't really matter what size, he'll find something to put in them... just use some outdoorsy fabric and add a toggle drawstring at the top.  or a nalgene bottle cozy might be fun, you can carry hot drinks in them so it is actually practical as well...

sounds like fun!


now, whether in punishment or reward, through all eternity, she must love and believe in what she did not understand.  -dennison
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2004 07:46:27 AM »

Those are some awesome ideas!  I love the dress up one for my son.  HE LOVES to dress up.  He wears his halloween costume all the time.. oooo I'm starting to gather ideas for "dressup".
That is also a good idea for my sister, maybe I can add something to the bags for her to keep her cigarette and lighter on the outside and always handy (since she seems to lose them haha)
And as for my BIL, I'll have to see what DH thinks.. He knows him better than I do , after all Wink
I have to say the asian idea you gave is thebest.. I have never heard of soemthing like that before! Thanks again!
To other readers: Keep posting ideas!  Thanks

Crafty Goddess
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2004 01:44:14 PM »

For the 4 month old.  Cover small boxes with bright fabric or paper.  My ds LOVES to play with boxes.
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2004 07:26:42 PM »

7yr old
     Capes, vests, jackets, hats, and hand-held props
         hint:  often used sheets, tablecloths, and curtains/draperies from the second
                 hand store can be found even cheaper than the $1/yd material
         Cape:  rectangle of fabric from mid-calf to neck plus 4-6 inches in legnth
                                             as wide as he is all the way around plus 2 inches
                   make a "double fold hem" on all four sides of rectangle
                   at neck, on under side, make a casing by folding material on self so that
                          there is a 1/2-1 inch fold, stitch on under side
                     1) insert 1/2 wide elastic neck measurement plus 2-3 inches and
                           sewing at each end of casing; put snap closure on front
                     2) insert draw string, pull ends even with cape flat, sew draw string into
                          the casing in the back
                   this will result in a 2-4 inch fold over collar
                   optionally:  use felt and fabric glue/stitched felt applique and/or ribbon to 
                      make a Superman emblem, spiderman web, or other character
         Themed Hats:
                 start with a well fitting knit hat or plain base ball cap
                 velcro dots and glue/stitching
                 thinner cardboard
                 felt or other matieral
                 packing tape
                 glue/sew 1/2 of a velcro dot to each side, back, and front of hat
                    draw "ear" type things that can lay flat against the head on
                           cardboard, cover with cloth and glue, put 1/2 of dot on
                           back so that they can be attached to hat
                    draw 2 dimentional "bill" type things with a verticle that will attach to the
                           hat on front, and a bill that will stick out from fireman, policeman,
                           construction worker to animal "noses"; attach bill to verticle with
                           tape; cover with cloth and glue; put 1/2 of dot on front verticle so
                           it can be attached to hat
          Carrying things:
                   stop sign out of PVC pipe, cardboard, and glued cloth
                   wizzards wand if a Harry Potter type
          Second hand store
                    great place for "real" hats
                    brief case/bound note pad and tie
                    vests with which to make construction worker with bicycle dept
                         reflective tape
                    bottom part of a broken fishing pole
                    work-man lunch box
     Tent to go over kitchen table made out of an old sheet or blanket
      Home-made playdough, PVC pipe rolling pin, plastic shower curtain table cover,
         and some cool cookie cutters
      Assembled craft/art box: $.99-$1.50 plastic shoe box or even a real shoe box with
         crayons, colored pencils, sissors, box of paints, ruler, regular pencil, etc... and
         some construction paper.   (The gift iself could be a box that is covered in
         paper, self adhesive shelf paper, or glued-on fabric.  If you don't have a shoe box,
         use a freebie begged from the store that has 4 flaps in good working order.  To
         secure, punch a small hole, across from each other, on each side of the top flap,
         insert an office supply spit tail clip, tie 4-6 inches of dental floss on to split tail clip
         on one side; wrap back and forth in figure 8 to secure.)
     Books make a good gift and can be found at all price levels.
     Divided plastic box from fishing, hardware, or sewing department with removable
       dividers for storage of hot wheel type vehicles or other toy with small parts
    If he already has books - some book ends.  Start with inexpensive metal books ends
       from the stationery department ($2-$7, depending upon store and size) and
       decorate the outside of the verticle:  Cloth sleeve to just fit over the verticle
       which may or may not have a motif (you could do the velcro dot thing with some
       posterboard or cloth designs that he can switch out); covered or painted
       cardboard glued onto the verticle; glued wood or tile on the verticle.
   Cardboard box cubbies from the small on a dresser to larger on the floor of a closet
      (ask when they out things out on the shelves at the stores you shop and if you
       can have some of their boxes before they go to the garbage)  The boxes can be
       glued with various glues upto liquid nails or taped with various tapes upto cloth
       tape in different colors or duct tape.  Depending upon how they are assembled
       and what type of printing is on them, you can pre-decor them with paper, cloth,
       or INTERIOR housepaint (the mis-mixed stuff is ususally cheap) or, you can do so
Crafty Goddess
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2004 10:44:32 PM »

awesome ideas JaneJane and LostCove thanks so much! I'll definately post the link here once I've finished all these projects... hopefully i get them done lol.

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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2004 06:59:58 PM »

I make a lot of goodies for my outdoorsy husband.  Look for ripstop/cordura nylon fabric - similar to what a parachute would be made out of.  Our local Jo-Ann's has it; I'm sure other fabric stores would have it also.  I make "stuff sacks" for him.  I've made some in a regular rectangle shape (like a pilllowcase) and others tubular (took me a while to figure out how to sew the bottom circle on, but well worth it.  I add parachute cord (try EMS or similar sporting goods store) with a toggle clasp for a drawstring.  If you need to thread the cord through the nylon itself, heat a fat needle in a candleflame (use a glove or something to keep from burning your hand!) and stick it through the fabric - it melts slightly, leaving a nicely sealed hole.  You can also melt the ends of the parachute cord slightly to keep it from unraveling.

For DH's delicate stuff, I've made bags that I line with fleece.  I got a really good deal on some blaze orange stuff, which I paired with green or camouflage ripstop nylon.  It's reversible!

Other things DH enjoyed:  A chess/checkers set that I made using a black & white checked bandana and large alphabet beads for the pieces.  A number of survival kits in a variety of containers (matchbox, altoids tin, rubbermaid).  If you type in "survival kit components" on a search engine, you should come up with lots of ideas.  Much of the stuff in them can be found around the house, and maybe you could decorate the container to match his interests.  Decorated journal using a waterproof notebook for writing observations and such in the field.  A "sit-upon."  Did you ever make these in girl scouts?  We made ours in Brownies using clear garbage bags filled with a stack of newspaper to make a wonderfully comfortable ground seat.  I made DH one out of the clear vinyl you can get in the fabric store, and some thin foam.  I sewed the foam into a little pouch made of broadcloth, decorated the broadcloth with patches and fabric paints, and then sewed the whole thing into the vinyl to make it waterproof.  He uses it for kneeling or sitting out in the field.

Hope this helps :-)
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2004 11:48:10 AM »

For the grandparents going of the idea a bit sorry but you could get some cheap plane picture frames like the ones in ikea etc. and put pictures of your children in them. Then get you children to put fingerpaint print things round the edge of decorate them with other stuff ! grandparents love that whole home made/ grandchildren thing.
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