Still stuck for ideas? Here’s a selection of handmade gifts that have been made by or for me.
1. Homemade Lamp
All you really need is an old lamp, either that you have lying around or you can easily find one in a charity shop. To personalise it you just need to get your creative head on as to how you want to make the lamp-shade.
The base and bulb-fitting I took from an old lamp and made a few adjustments. I used wooden skewers and twine to form the box shape. I stretched material from an old top around each side, and then sewed the edges together down each corner.
2. Notice Board
I made this for my husband (who is an author), designed to stand up on his desk so he can arrange his notes for writing. I fixed pegs to this one, which suited the way he arranged his notes at the time, but have since removed them so that he can use it with drawing pins instead.
It’s actually pretty easy to make – thick cardboard cut to the size you want, then I firstly stretched a piece of a quilted mattress-protector over it, and then secondly stretched a piece of old blue curtain over the top. This meant that it was squashy enough for pins to be stuck into it. For the border I cut rectangular ’tiles’ out of thick card, then wrapped each one in nice paper, and used a glue-gun to stick them around the edges. The hinge was made from obscure bits and pieces, but if you wanted to make one with a hinge, just buy a door hinge and either superglue it on or screw it on!
3. Board Game
I made this for my brother a few years ago, based on a series of detective stories I used to write for him when we were young. It’s soooo much fun to make these, and all you need is card, nice bright colouring pens, a fine black marker, and sticky-back plastic to cover it when it’s finished. You can even make game cards and counters… get as creative as you like!
4. A personal painting or drawing
I painted this for my Auntie quite a long time ago – she is a violin player in a folk band and adores violins and treble clefs! (Something about the shape of them…) So I decided to do her a textured painting – the treble clef is made out of modelling clay, glued onto the canvas and then painted over the top. The sheet music I printed out and stuck on, with paint over it. I used acryllic paint and scratched into the surface… I just kinda made it up as I went, and think it turned out pretty well! But the point is, if you make something personal for someone, they will want to keep it forever.
5. Vanity case filled with handmade natural beauty products
See yesterday’s post for details of the items included in this.
6. Mobiles and wind-chimes
There are so many ways you can make these. using all sorts of bits and pieces. This one is made using shells, with tiny holes made to thread the string through, and a simple wooden cross shape to hand them from. It sounds lovely in the breeze!
This one was made for me by my sister. She bought it plain and then hand-painted images onto it. I love it, it’s so personal and special.
7. Bookmark to accompany a book you’ve bought
This bookmark was made for me by a friend when I was a teenager, and I still have it all these years later. It’s such a good idea – a simple lace with wooden beads, and it makes a really good bookmark! A hand-made bookmark gives a nice touch to a bought book I think.
8. Knitted gifts
If you can knit, your friends will never be short of a good gift! There are so many things to make, such as the following:
A tea-cosy knitted for me by a friend (this is in the shape of a sheep as I am originally from the Yorkshire Dales, England)
Fingerless gloves, also knitted for me by the same friend
And my same good friend made this gorgeous blanket for my new-born baby
Cardigans… This was knitted for my baby by a friend of my Mum’s
9. Homemade toys
I made this for my son using one of his organic cloth nappies! I wanted something made from organic material that would be okay for him to chew when he started teething. So the white body & head is made from a Disana nappy-wrap, and the coloured parts I made from an organic hat he grew out of. I put a couple of bells inside it so it jingles when he shakes it. I’m happy to say he plays with it a lot!
Yep, any excuse to get a photo of one of my cats in…
10. Rain sticks/Jingle sticks
I am yet to do a post on how I made these, but the idea of rain sticks isn’t mine so you can do a search online for other people’s instructions. Most instructions I found made these with nails or tacks, but if you’re making them for very young children like I have, then I’d say use something less sharp, like split-pins. They are lots of fun to play with and a relatively quick thing to make… a guaranteed hit for a child you have no idea what to buy!
11. Hand-painted clothing
My sister bought plain white baby vests and painted these wonderful designs onto them for my baby. But this idea isn’t limited to babies – you can make adult versions too by painting onto plain t-shirts, skirts, hats, scarves, whatever. Just make sure to use fabric paints!
13. Recipe books, notebooks, etc
These can be made very simply. This is a quick one I made – squares of different coloured card with holes punched through one side, and ribbon threaded through to hold all the pages together. I then printed out recipes and stuck them onto the pages. You can spend more time making the cover look really nice, but this is just to give you an idea!
14. Homemade edibles
You can’t go wrong with homemade goodies in hand-decorated jars or boxes. You can make chocolates, truffles, cookies, pastries, loaves… anything you want! These are just a few examples of my own original creations…
15. Personalised ‘Memory’ Pictures
This is a gift I made for my husband when we lived in Connemara, Ireland, each image in it symbolising something important to us about the area. This I called Our Connemara World (of many stories).
If you enjoyed this post, please follow me for more seasonal crafts and healthy recipes throughout December!
All photos in this post are my own original.
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