Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy Handmade Christmas (Volume 2)

Last year I posted on the handmade gifts I had given for Christmas and thought I'd do the same again this year.  (Check out Volume 1 - that would be 2012's handmade gift list - here.) I really love making gifts this time of year.  The aspect of it that I was particularly proud of this year was that the majority of what I made was from materials I already had on hand!  I had to buy a few things here and there, but for the most part, handmade gifts this year were taken from my sewing room stockpile.  (It's a pretty big pile...)  As always, I will try to link back to the patterns, tutorials, and inspirations that I used.

The kids also hand make gifts each year.  This year they made salt dough ornaments which I completely forgot to photograph, wrap, and distribute to our family.  They also made these felt Christmas tree wall hangings - an idea I found from Ginny at Small Things via Pinterest! 

And I made...

For the kids' stockings...

Ruth has been begging for a pretty notebook like one of these for a while, so I just decided to make one for each of the bigger kids... to go with the "Smencils" they also got in their stockings!

The tutorial for these simple cloth-covered notebooks is here.

This was a pre-Christmas gift, but here's the peg doll Nativity set I painted... 

I loved doing it so much that I decided to to also paint some saint dolls for the kids' stockings.  I had intended to do two for each but ran out of time.  So Ruth got Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Kateri, Clare got St. Clare and St. Therese, Aaron got St. Francis, and Dominic got St. Dominic.  

I whipped up a couple of crocheted ear warmer/headbands for the girls, but Clare refuses to model hers.  It's fairly similar to Ruth's...  (pattern from here)

And this is my favorite crochet project of the season - these nesting and stacking bowls for Clare.

These bowls are a combination of patterns.  The bottoms of the bowls follow this method here and the sides follow this method here

Gifts for extended family this year included a tag blanket for my new nephew...

a simple wooden-handle purse for one of my sisters...

I used this tutorial for the purse.  

and winter cowl/neckwarmers for my mom and other sister...

These are the patterns respectively...  Butternut Squash Neckwarmer and Cluster Stitch Scarf (I just made it smaller to be a neckwarmer and not a full length scarf.)

For the kids this year, we had decided to give them one big "bought" gift and one handmade gift.  For the boys, the homemade gift was fleece pajama pants - Russ also got a pair - in support of the hometown football team!

I just used a pair of the boys' sweatpants to create a pattern for these.  

And the girls received dress up capes...

The red cape was based on this tutorial here, and the floral one I created using an existing dress up cape I borrowed from a friend.  I'm hoping to make a couple more and will stick with the second version, as I like it better.  

That was the extent of handmade Christmas this year.  But if I get my way, I'll be doing a lot more sewing in the next couple weeks because I'm starting to panic that after the baby is born I'll never do another sewing project again...

I would love love love to hear about the handmade gifts you gave this year!  Leave me comments on your creations, and maybe if I can manage a couple extra minutes of blog time later I'll try to turn this into a link-up. Let me know if you're interested in that and perhaps it will be motivation for me!

* * * * * * 

And...  because I seriously love reading what other families choose as gifts for their children,  I'll quickly tell you what the kids' second (non handmade) gifts were, in the event that you're likewise interested in these kinds of ideas!

For Aaron (age 7 1/2): The book Cool Creations in 35 Pieces, by Lego artist Sean Kenney, as well as three sets of the 35 pieces needed to build all the creations in the book.  

For Dominic (age 6): Melissa and Doug Scratch Art - Combo Scratch Art Set and Holographic Scratch Art Set.

For Ruth (age almost 4): A variety of beads for necklace making, including Melissa Doug Bead Bouquet, Butterfly Wooden Bead Set, and Flower Power Wooden Bead Set, as well as wooden pony beads and alphabet beads.  

For Clare (age 21 mos.): the classic, ever popular Fisher Price Magnetic Doodle Pro (which was much, much cheaper at Target, so um, get it there.)

* * * * * *

and, that's all folks!

P.S. If you read enough of my last post to ascertain that we were all sick and miserable, I'm happy to report that it seems we're on the mend!  No one got sick today and everyone ate dinner, except me  - but that has more to do with pregnancy-related reflux than stomach bug, but who wants to hear about that... 

Happy 4th Day of Christmas!  


  1. What a lovely handmade Christmas, everything is just wonderful! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Oh, WOW! Those are all amazing. You are one talented lady!


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