I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s true…it’s time to start thinking about Christmas! I was thrilled this morning to find a post about making Christmas gifts over at Raising Olives, it’s the perfect time to start browsing through Blogland to get ideas for making Christmas gifts. Well, in all actuality, July would have been a better time to start…but I just can’t seem to get in the proper mood before November!
A friend of mine has been been making all or most of her Christmas gifts for a few years now, and has had wonderful success. The kids take so much pride in making gifts to give away and they enjoy the wonderful gifts that their mother makes them. I’m not as apt at sewing or crafting as she is, but I do love to make each child one or two gifts every year.
Our family has always made gifts to give to friends and neighbors, and we have fun thinking up what to do. Actually, the years that we made most of our gifts for the kids were years that we didn’t make many gifts to give away, due to being so busy sewing during the weeks before Christmas. Lesson learned: Start now, friends! You don’t want to be sewing seed beads onto felt sugar cookies at 3 a.m. Christmas Eve. Trust me.
When my kids were very small, we started the “Smiley-Guy Soap Company”. Every year, we’d take a day or two and make homemade soap to give away. The kids created cute labels–the first year we made soap, Middle Child was in the toddler drawing phase where they draw a circle, two giant eyes, a huge lopsided smile and sticks for arms and legs growing right off the head…this became the label we used on the soap and gave our “company” its name. We printed the label out on stickers, wrapped the soap in tissue paper, and secured the paper with a sticker. As they kids got older, we’ve added lotion and even lip balm to Smiley-Guy’s selection of gifts. Making soap is easy…we used the melt-and-pour soap, you just melt it in the microwave, add whatever fragrance you like (you can even get fancy and add dried flowers, or any of the many add-ins soap supply companies offer) and pour it in a mold. We sometimes add little toys in the bars of soap as a bonus. Just let them harden and pop them out…it’s really very simple!
In the past, I’ve made felt food, doll clothes, pajamas, and mini-quilts and sheets for American Girl dolls. This year, I’ll be finishing the felt sandwich set I started last year (just couldn’t do the 3 a.m. Christmas morning thing again last year!), Middle Child has requested that I make her a large, floppy stuffed animal (still working on finding a pattern for that one), and I’ll be finishing doll quilts for the girls’ friends and doll clothes for both girls. I may make a little purse as well. I will probably make some flannel pajama bottoms for Eldest, and maybe for Hubby, too. And I have some cute applique dishtowels in mind as well.
Here are some links to Making Christmas posts from the past:
Mini-Doll Quilts and Sheets: (I’ll put photos up when the girls wake up, and I can photograph the quilts for you)
Free Pattern for Felt Sandwiches (not the one I used, but similar…and free!)
Free Clothes Patterns for American Girl Dolls (these are amazing! They are the real thing, very detailed period clothing made by Pleasant Company but discontinued. They are not easy patterns, but you can make a whole wardrobe from these!)
I’ll be re-visiting this topic in the months to come, so check back again for ideas and photos!