Crafty Dopers.. Christmas presents?

So who of you out there is making gifts this year?

I’ve decided I want to make some gifts but certain types I’ve limited. ie knitting. I know I’m not a fast knitter, I can maybe do a couple things to gift but nothing big or fancy.

Otherwise I’ve been looking for some quirky, simple(ish) and inexpensive gifts. It’s a tight year, and it’s hard to gift to some people so what can I come up with?

I’m thinking a few people can get Snowman soup which is cute, quirky and can be given to some people where Snowman poop might not be taken so well.

Anyone have ideas like that? Or feel free to share anything you’re making.

I made for the neice and nephews Mushroom Cap and I am working on another one for another nephew for his birthday.

I’m making some Masonic Lodgesocks for my dad (in Knitpicks’ Stroll Basalt Heather).

I’m also attending a Make Your Own party on Saturday. A couple times a year, I get together with friends to drink a lot of wine and make our own household cleaners, lotions, lip balm, etc. This time, we’re going to make presents for the holidays. I think we have these items on the agenda: lavender linen spray, coconut lip gloss, bath fizzies, honey cleanser, and a cocoa mocha drink mix. I Can’t Wait. It’s always a fun party.

Do you crochet? I’m making elf slippers for a lot of people this year. You have to sneak around a bit to find shoe sizes and then translate that into a foot measurement, but they work up really fast and are ridiculously cute, especially for kids. They don’t take a lot of yarn, either–out of a single skein I made a pair of these, a hat and a scarf for my niece.

Sugar scrubs are always popular, and they’re very inexpensive if you can find jars at the 99-cent store or thrift shop. My preferred formula is equal parts white sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable or almond oil, with some cocoa powder or vanilla extract put in for fragrance.

The year I was simultaneously unemployed and planning a wedding, I made a lot of Christmas ornaments. There were wire and bead dragonflies, butterflies, stars, and Christmas trees, and salt dough critters painted to look like people’s pets. The pets were ahem rustic in effect due to my limited abilities as a sculptor and painter, but they had a certain charm to them.

Another one I like is to make stockings for people. Flannel can be gotten for under $3/yard and you only need about a foot of your main fabric plus whatever you want for the cuff. Three seams and 10 minutes and bob’s your uncle. And they’re so insanely easy to customize to someone’s personality. And you don’t have to use flannel if it doesn’t suit the person. When I made them for everyone in my immediate family, they were all quilting cotton because that was what fit each of them.

We’re making basil digestif and my husband designed a fantastic old time apothecary label for it. We just made a test batch and we’ll be tasting it Thursday, so we don’t know if it’ll be good, but it’s smelling pretty nice.

I’m making coasters for several people: 4 inch squares of two coordinating fabric and one 4 inch square of black fleece in the middle. Sew around all four sides, a half inch or so in from the edges. I then cut the edges into fringes.

One of the coolest homemade gifts I ever saw was a stool made for sitting in front of the fire. It was just a chunk of log that was even on both ends so that it didn’t wobble and it was comfortable to sit on. It was varnished on top so it was attractive. There were handles on the sides so that it was easier to move. And there were initials carved on the sides by different family members. What a treasure!

And it could be used for a footstool too.

This year, it’s a small recipe book for family members.

Since I seem to be the repository for my mother’s recipes (a lot of which were handed down from either grandmother) and Mom has memory issues, different siblings have taken to giving me a call or e-mail whenever they wanted one.

I’ve done papercraft for years and what better way to utilize these skills but to put together a stand-up recipe mini-book of stuff we grew up on. Behind each one, there’s a pullout with memories and sometimes a pic of meals featuring the dish. Mom’s pic with a tray of biscuits (one of her specialties) ready for the oven will grace the cover. Printer ink has been my biggest expense so far (ran out of black).

Years past, I’ve done family calendars with a theme (Sisters, Mamas and Papas, Ancestors, Babies, Cousins, etc) complete with all of the birthdays and anniverseries, spatter painted jammies made from long johns, crocheted hats, scarves and mittens and my (world famous) fudge.

Cucumber Vodka.

YUM! Please tell more on how to make it!

I’m getting married three weeks after Christmas, so my fiance and I can’t afford gifts for everyone this year. We’ve told everyone that, and we’re not expecting gifts from anyone either (they’re putting enough time and money into it; travel, tuxes/dresses, a gift for us, bachelorette/bachelor parties, etc.). But what we’re giving everyone is kind of cool. We’re buying Christmas cards and writing heartfelt letters with a memory, story, etc. that means something to us. It’s not really a tangible gift, but it’s something that touches the heart.

I’ve made card models for people, a couple of years—Fiddler’s Green had some nice ones. A couple of bucks for the model, and a few more for printer cardstock and some glue, and you’re good to go. You can even scale up the design to make a bigger model—I made my uncle an Aerial Steam Carriage with a three foot wingspan.

Earlier this year, I went hunting for micrometeorites, and mixed what I got with some black paint. With that, I painted the stars on these small pendants, which I then filled with resin to give it sort of a glossy finish and more three dimensional look (sorry about the picture quality – the resin’s still wet here, it didn’t dry quite as high-glossy, but I was rather happy with the way they turned out).

One of those (the one in the first photo where the star actually looks like a star) I gave to my girlfriend for her birthday, complete with some corny line about taking down the stars for her or somesuch. :wink: I’m thinking about making some more for the female members of my family for Christmas…

I made several Fabric dollhouses for nieces and nephews last year. They were well received but not quick. Easy but they do take several hours to put together. I did sew the batting instead of using tape, though, because I wanted the houses to be washable.

For adults I’ve also made a couple of vinyl letter projects. You can do plaques or even those glass block things.

Crayon rolls and kid sized aprons also go over well with the young ones. Include craft supplies with the crayons and home made play dough with the aprons or some cute bright colored cooking equipment.

If you do paper crafts, a stack of note cards are always nice to get.

Um, this is pretty much the coolest gift I’ve ever heard of. Do you ever find any micrometeorites that are visible to the eye? I’m thinking my husband might appreciate something like that.

I agree! I want it to rain so I can find some micrometeorites! Off to google to find out more.

It’s all about the crochet for me. I made a menagerie of amigurumi animals and creatures for my great-nieces.

And if I ever get them done, scarves for the older nieces, and dishcloths, pot holders and bookmarks for friends and others.

This looks soooooooo good.

Thanks for posting it!

My wife and I are making a baby alphabet book, that’s specialized, amusing, and will give the parents a real kick. “D is for Dragon” (they’re big D&D fans) and “I is for Native American” and “K is for knight” and so forth. My wife wrote it, I drew the illustrations, and we’re laminating and spiral binding.

I’m knitting an area rug for a friend of mine, and I’ll probably whip up some more salt and sugar scrubs for family.

If you’ve got the eyes, hands, and patience for fiddly work, I used to paint Christmas decorations for gifts. You can get unpainted white ceramic ornaments at any craft store, paint them up, and tie a bit of satin ribbon through the hole for the hanger. They look pretty damned amazing for the cost when you’re done. If you want fast but still fairly awesome, get angel ones and just dust them with gold paint, leaving a lot of the white showing.

Here’s sort of an example - these are fired, but you could do the same thing with unfired ceramics and a sealant.