I enjoy giving handmade gifts all year but particularly at Christmas. There’s not much time left, but if, like me, you enjoy making a little something for a friend or family member, here are some quick and easy ideas. You’ll also have to wrap those gifts so I included a few fun wrapping ideas – they don’t have to take all that much longer than standard wrap/slap on a bow, so give creativity a try.
Make A Christmas Gift
This gift will make the recipient’s holiday decorating so much easier next year. Better Homes & Garden provides complete instructions here.
Giving sweet treats is a failsafe gift idea, particularly for teachers, neighbors or just someone you want to remember (click here for Martha’s classic fudge recipe). If you are a cook, an even better gift is all the ingredients to one of your favorite dishes attractively packaged – soups work especially well for this gift. Be sure to include the recipe and maybe even a snazzy new utensil tied to the jar.
For the environmentalist, indivualist or shopper on your list, try your hand at decorating tote bags. Blank cotton bags are readily available, then decorate in whatever style suits the recipient. These are done using iron on silhouettes but you could stencil, stitch a design, embellish with buttons or ribbon….you decide.
For the young (or young at heart) make a puppet or two for lots of imagination fun. Whether you use felt, paper, fabric or yarn, puppets are sure to be a happy surprise under the tree.
As we’ve mentioned the last couple weeks, gift certificates always make a good gift – especially when it’s for a service the person might not buy for themselves. How about a certificate for YDH consulting services? The friend or family member who recently moved into a new home, who just got married, who’s at a loss about how to finish a room would really appreciate a little professional advice – and we’re just the ladies to help. Just drop us an email and we’ll help make someone’s Christmas really bright! email@example.com
Gift Wrapping Ideas
I always enjoy unwrapping a gift that looks pretty. I pause to enjoy the creativity of the wrapping and appreciate the time that went into it. While I might not put that effort into wrapping a gift for a 6 year old, I certainly enjoy making the gift to my best friend something special. Stuck for ideas? Here you go……..
Cut out a basic snowman or mitten shape from felt, lightly stuff and blanket stitch around the edges. This package tie-on will be a fun ornament to add to the tree next year.
Using plain white paper (how classy is that?), embellish your package with a colored paper strip that you attacked with a hole punch. Use the punch dots as confetti in a greeting card.
A Green Christmas
Now after sharing all those ideas, consider this: “The United States alone produces an extra three million tons of waste over the Christmas period, most of which is wrapping paper, packaging and cards, which could all be recycled. If you choose to buy traditional wrapping paper, select a paper that has a matte finish, because shiny foil and plastic-embossed papers require more resources to be produced and are unable to be recycled. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused or repurposed materials, it has been estimated that enough paper would be saved to cover 45,000 football fields.” (from A Greener Christmas, Dorling Kindersley)
So maybe this year you “think outside the box” and look for ways to use repurposed items for your gift wrapping. How about using an inexpensive terra cotta pot to hold a gardening gift or a kitchen towel to wrap something for a cook? Reuse fabric, shopping bags, maps, calendars or the Sunday comics to make this an environmentally friendly Christmas. Need a bigger piece of paper – just tape various pieces together making a quilt effect.
Work with items aleady around the house: string, raffia (made from a mulberry bark so no trees are cut to make it), old buttons, beads or costume jewelry. Go on a walk and let Mother Nature adorn your packages: use raffia to tie on pinecones, evergreen, ivy or holly sprigs, cinammon sticks, or a branch with berries.
What’s Your Idea?
How can you creatively wrap your gifts this year? Make it your goal to wrap 3 presents using recycled or natural items to do your part to help the environment and show off your creativity. Share your ideas in the Comments section below!