Homemade Christmas

Christmas is not my favorite holiday. Don't take me for a Scrooge. I love decorating our house, baking goodies, the excitement and anticipation of my children. But the materialism that permeates the television ads and radio waves, the influx of catalogs in mailboxes create distractions from the true meaning of Christmas. To counter the message of the "gimmies" and "I wants" we usually opt for a more handmade, service oriented Christmas season at our house.

We've been busy scheming, creating, sewing, laminating, printing, and sawing. Here are some of our creations. Maybe you'll be able to find some inspiration for some homemade gifts of your own.

Brownie chose the fabric and I sewed up these reversible bags for her to give to cousins. I created them based on some adorable handbags my mom sent the younger girls for birthdays. They seriously are way too cute. My tutorial for making these is here.


It literally took 30 minutes for Bon Bon (age 12) to whip up these crayon rolls to give as Christmas gifts to Cookie and Fudge. The fabric fits their personalities to a T. My instructions can be found on here!
And of course, every year the kids all get new pajamas. This year they told me what they wanted. Almost all wanted horses while my Fudge wanted something to match her beloved stuffed giraffe. I ordered material to make their pajama pants and then bought long sleeved T-shirts for their tops.

To make the shirts match their pants I followed Angry Chicken's tutorial for Freezer paper stencils. Aren't those cool? The best one though has to be the giraffes. See?
I am so going to 'fancy up' all their plain shirts. This was so fun, cheap, and EASY!




For the 'oh so hard to find for' grandpas I etched these jars. I also made some for neighbors and our bookmobile librarian.


What's in all those folders? Why they're family home evening lessons I've been putting together throughout the year. I have all the flannel board stories posted and am now in the process of posting a Family Home Evening lesson a week complete with all the visuals for you to print. They really are a lot of fun and I've tried to make them appealing for all ages. The recipients of this gift (I made several) each received well over a year's worth of lessons as well as a CD with all the flannel board stories. ( I only pictured some of the lessons)


The best handmade gift though is for me. Not only is Mr. Ferrero Rocher busy making jewelry boxes for the girls he is also remodeling our master bath. See the lighter wood on the floor? That's where our tub was. He's going to take out the window and put in a nice big tile shower instead. Bless his heart, it's a lot of work. But he is so good at building and woodworking.

We still have a few more gifts in the works, like headbands and aprons. Sew, Mama, Sew has a wonderful list of Handmade Holidays tutorial links. Go check them out, really!

What are you doing for Christmas? Do you go the handmade route? Buy all your gifts? Or a mixture of both?

30 comments :

  1. All of these gifts are wonderful! I would love to see a tutorial on how you made the handbags and to know a little more about the Family Evening folders. Great stuff.

    http://amomspeaks.com

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  2. You're ripping your tub out and we're putting one in! It is the season for bathroom renovations.

    I'm amazed at all your handmade gifts! They look so great. I'm looking forward to the bag tutorial for sure!

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  3. Ohmygosh! I love those handbags!! All of those gifts look amazing!

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  4. We have a Christmas pajama tradition too, how fun!

    You tore out your whirlpool tub and we finally found a way to clean ours that works this week! Enjoy your shower, huge showers are so wonderful. Paul's aunt has a really huge shower with dual shower heads, one on each wall. It is SO nice. If I ever build a shower, that is what I'm going to put in. Can't wait to see the finished project!

    Oh, and we got your Christmas card yesterday, its adorable. :D

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  5. I hope you do share your handbag pattern. they are so cute. Fun Fabric! You are so clever with all your handmade gifts. I love the pjs.

    The kids are all getting fleece robes, sewn by me, this year. I still have one more to sew together.... I hope I make it in time for that Dec 24th deadline.

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  6. I'm so impressed. I am wondering how you manage to get so much done along with home schooling. Seems like I just run around like a chicken with my head cut off and never get anything finished. At what age do you teach your girls to sew?? Can't wait for the tutorial on the bags. My girls would love those.

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  7. Holy Schmoly! If I could make handmade gifts like these I would never step foot in another WalMart again! I love the bags and the pajamas are super cute.

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  8. Those are the cutest t-shirts ever! Where did you buy the stencils and stuff? Is that a special type of paint for fabric or something?

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  9. ok, I read the link but still want to know where you bought the t-shirts!

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  10. All so cute and it's so organized of you to get this all planned and accomplished!

    I love the stenciled t-shirts! I was thinking, "Goodness, where did she find shirts to match the pants exactly?"

    Man I wish we were neighbors. We'd have so much fun together!

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  11. O.K. I want the burgundy striped bag. LOVE THE COLORS!!

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  12. ave,

    The T-shirts are just from Wal-Mart, Faded Glory brand for $4.44.

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  13. I love to read your blog. You are so creative. I wish I would have made some homemade gifts. I may still have time for the t-shirts. I know this is probably a silly question, but where did you find the siluettes for the shirts? Or did you just hand draw them. And where do you get the freezer paper?

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  14. Kristen,

    The freezer paper can be found next to the plastic wrap and aluminum foil in grocery stores.

    For the giraffes I just traced the ones that were on the PJ fabric. The busting bronco came from a search I did on Google images. Just make sure you use 'silhouette' or 'outline' as search terms.

    Another hint: I printed the bronc rider silhouette on regular paper. Then instead of tracing it on each sheet (I had to make four) I just stacked two sheets of freezer paper placed the silhouette on top and used masking tape to keep it all together. I then cut around the silhouette carefully using an X-acto knife. I then had two templates and used the cut-outs for a reverse template (see the black shirt). The cut-out was ironed on and then I used masking tape to make a square around that.

    Hope that helped!

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  15. Oh those are just fabulous! Man, you can come and make gifts for me anytime :)

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  16. You are so crafty! I just love all of these home made gifts, especially those cute shirts and thanks for adding the link - so helpful!

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  17. I know I say this all the time, but you are simply amazing! I so wish I lived near year so I could learn from you.

    And the fabric on those bags ... I love it!

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  18. I can't say it any better than An Ordinary Mom! Please can I come and live by you?
    :D

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  19. I think blogger ate my comment. I love these gift ideas. The matching shirts especially. Which fabric paint did you use?

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  20. Found you through Corrie and am so impressed!
    Can't wait to see what you'll come up with next!

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  21. Me likey the ideas. I'll definitely come back next year (like in January) to get ready for Christmas 2008. :)

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  22. etching the jars is such a great idea!

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  23. Whew-Hew! Congrats on being featured on Sew mama sew! What great ideas. I'm adding you to my fav's! (another Mormon girl)
    Jana

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  24. Oh. My. Gosh. I'm stunned by all the amazing gifts you made! I was doing good to get the cookies baked for Santa this year! Well done!

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  25. Great ideas! I can't decide which one I like more -- the pajamas or the handbags. Thanks for sharing on tip junkie.

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  26. All of your ideas are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. these are all so fabulous!! i LOVE the etching on the jars and the reversible bags.. i wish i could sew!

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  28. I love the gift ideas. We do a mix of store bought and homemade. My sons, 3 and 6 appreciate each and every gift, homemade or not. I do a little bot of everything, crochet, sew, glass etch, mosaic, embroidery, woodwork, beading, you name it... I love to get creative with the family and make things they really need and want for all holidays.
    Your ideas are wonderful. -Shaylee
    ivyrose_1@yahoo.com

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  29. Cool gift ideas! Wish someone also send me like that. Anyway, I've been looking for topics as interesting as this. Looking forward to your next post.

    -pia-

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