Thursday, November 11, 2010

DIY Christmas and a giveaway

I’ve always hated the fact that everybody seems to skip the Thanksgiving holiday altogether and dive straight into Christmas after Halloween. It’s a little ridiculous to hear Christmas carols in November don’t you think? However, I realized that I am guilty of this too because it never fails… as soon as November 1st hits I start to panic! Christmas is less than 2 months away! That’s only 2 non-rent checks we have to buy presents for everyone! I can’t help but freak out! This year is especially tight on money so I’m doing everything I can to figure out what I want to get everyone as early as possible.

Between Mando and me we have a lot of people to buy for. You ready? There is: my mom, sister, and nephew, my other sister, brother in law, and their new baby on the way. Then we have: 2 aunts, a cousin, and her son. On Mando’s side of the family we have: his mom, dad, 2 brothers, their wives, a niece and nephew, and a family friend and her 2 girls. Lastly there’s my best friend, her husband, and their baby. Whew! Just typing it out makes me break out in a sweat. In order to save money and give everyone something meaningful I decided this year I’m going to take the handmade pledge and make everyone’s gifts! The only store bought items will be for the babies because I have a few fun toys in mind.

Last year I made everyone Christmas gift baskets. I filled them with a glittery snowflake ornament for the tree, handmade gingerbread soap, a recipe in a jar (chocolate chip cookies) as well as a cookie cutter, a red coffee mug filled with candy and hot cocoa, and butter toffee popcorn.

I really liked how they turned out and I was thinking of doing something similar this year. I have a few ideas floating around, but I can’t decide what I want to do for sure! This is where you guys come in. Help me pick 2 ideas to make and give to everyone! I have 5 ideas and inspiration pictures are below….

Idea #1

Photo blocks. I started seeing these when I started scrapbooking every week at my local scrapbook shop and I fell in love! They are simple, sentimental, and beautiful! I also love how there are many options of how to decorate… You can make each one a little bit different and customize for any holiday! We are getting family Christmas pictures taken this weekend so I was thinking of making a 3.25” wooden block with our Christmas picture one side and fun Christmas patterned scrapbook paper on the others then stacking a smaller block on top with a cute saying like ‘JOY’ or even just ‘2010’. Then just tie them together with a ribbon and tie it in a bow!

Pro: I think the end result would be beautiful if I can pull it off right
Con: Materials could be a little pricey


Idea #2

Hand-painted Christmas mugs. Last year I purchased red mugs but I think it would be fun this year to paint them myself! I can browse my local antique shops to find several different shaped mugs paint them with glass paint. Using painters tape I could make them look like sweet little candy canes with red and white stripes! Then I can find a good recipe for homemade cocoa and put some with some candy canes!

Pro: Simple and affordable
Con: Similar to what I did last year


Idea #3

Chipboard albums. I am obsessed with them. Long ago when I first discovered the world of Etsy I found the most amazing shop called Paper Silly. I adore her creative and unique style of chipboard albums and I’ve wanted to make one ever since. My best friend recently made one for her new baby girl and it turned out STUNNING. For this idea I would make a mini chipboard Christmas album filled with pictures of family and Cayden. I have a picture of every family member holding Cayden so I could personalize each one.

Pro: Sentimental gift that everyone will love
Con: Making 10 chipboard albums would take A LOT of time


Idea #4

Picture frames. I was recently browsing the stands at my local swap meet when I saw sweet little picture frames being sold. It was a very simple frame made out of what looked like cream cardstock with baby footprints inked on the sides and a sentimental quote. I was thinking of taking our family Christmas picture and finding a similar frame to put it in and then putting Cayden’s footprints on the side and a quote about family on the top or bottom. Or I could personalize each frame for the recipient and put a picture of them holding Cayden inside. I still haven’t decided which.

Pro: Simple and affordable
Con: Lacks the ‘wow factor’

Idea #5

A tin or a basket filled with baked goods. Last year my sister made the most amazing cake balls for Mother’s Day and I’ve honestly been thinking about them ever since. I know she’s planning on making them again this year for Christmas and I had the idea to do something similar. I have a ton of holiday recipes saved and I could make 4 or 5 different things and fill either a basket or a round tin with an assortment of yummy baked goods!

Pro: Easy enough to do and pretty inexpensive
Con: Not everyone likes sweets

See why I need your help? So many options I’ll never be able to pick on my own! Tell me, which ones are YOUR favorites? I will be forever grateful for your feedback!

Each person who leaves a comment telling me their favorite idea is entered to win a sweet handmade Christmas goodie made by yours truly! I won’t reveal the prize just yet, but I promise it will be worth the wait!

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