Thursday, July 19, 2012

Christmas In July

Every year at this time I start getting serious about my Christmas to-do list.  Let's face it, if you're a crafter or sewer and you are planning to make any gifts you have to start at least getting your game plan in order during the summer months.

Some people do not like giving handmade gifts for Christmas, and I think that's because over the years they have gotten a bad rap for being cheap (in a bad way) and something that just ends up in the trash.  I am not one that has this mindset,  I grew up with the idea that a handmade gift was a thoughtful, loving gesture and a gift that would be a keepsake.  Any time a holiday or special occasion comes up my mind immediately goes to "what can I make?" or "what can I create?", it never goes to "what can I buy?"

Last year our budget was unbelievably tight and our list of people we gift to was bigger than ever at 21 people (my mom says this is a crazy number of people to gift to at Christmas and we need to cut back, but I love giving gifts, it's a sickness haha).  I already have my mental list going and it really helps to get it all out to get a visual on the matter.

For Grant I have very few things I plan on buying him.  He already has loads of toys so other than a few staples like age appropriate puzzles and the Mr Potato Head I have been dying to buy him since birth, my shopping list is small.  However my "to make" list is growing.

Superhero Cape
We have been using receiving blankets to get the same effect so I think it's only fitting that I make him one of his very own.  This is also what I plan on making my neice Sophie.  For projects like this I don't usually use a tutorial because I find it easier to just wing it but I did find one here that seemed to be easy to follow.

I have been on the lookout for wood blocks but haven't been able to find them at a decent price so this year I'm enlisting the help of my stepdad to cut some out for me.  I also want to make some personalized ones like these from Just Deanna 

I am hoping to find a nightstand at a yard sale to turn into this:
He just started showing interest in toys like this.  I've seen similar ones made from dressers, entertainment centers, etc.  google it or look on pinterest and you will find as many ideas as your heart desires.  I've had this on my to-do list since before my little man could crawl so I'm really hoping I find the stand I need.

I recently found this idea for an ABC book that I fell in love with.

Grant is just starting to become interested in coloring so I want to make him a crayon roll (like I made here) with the fat crayons inside for his stocking.

I noticed my mother-in-law's checkbook cover is looking pretty ragged and I already have the perfect fabric leftover from my mom's kindle case.  This will only be part of hers.

There's a great tutorial over at Small Fry & Co if you're in the mood to make one yourself.

Since we will probably be celebrating with my side of the family early and my sister doesn't have much of a Christmas movie selection, I decided so far on a Christmas movie basket for her and her fiance.  She has become more difficult for me to craft for and since she is living with her fiance they get a couples gift, which makes it even more difficult.

I used to buy my sister an ornament every year that said something about sisters.  Since my son was born I have intended on making her an aunt ornament since I can't seem to find one in the stores.  I want it to say something about best aunt or favorite aunt.  I love monogrammed ornaments and these are where I'm getting my inspiration.

My neice and nephews on my husband's side of the family are getting at a tricky age.  They are becoming more and more difficult to buy for and twice as difficult to make things for.  I came across the idea of marshmallow shooters last year and my husband wasn't crazy about the idea, this year I'm gonna have to talk him into it so I can play with one myself.  There is a great tutorial here.

I have had the idea to make a Christmas game for my mom for a while but couldn't quite nail the idea down.  After I found the Family Memories Game on this site I knew exactly what I wanted my mom's game to be like.

If everything works out the way I plan with the game I will have a tutorial and all the steps with how you can make your own family Christmas memories game.  I love the idea of all of us around a table sharing all our childhood Christmas memories.
I found another example of a Memory Lane game Here if you want to get ideas.

My sister-in-law loved her bathroom gift basket last year so her and my husband's aunt are getting them this year.  Let's face it money is tight for everyone and when it comes to toiletries you can spend a small fortune.  I've gotten pretty good at couponing so I don't spend nearly what others do, which makes baskets like these perfect inexpensive yet useful gifts.  The bonus is I've known for a couple months I wanted to do these gift baskets and have been on the lookout for specific items at great prices and I have already bought everything I need so I can mark these 2 gifts off my list.

Lastly, my husband's cousin (who is around 9) loves to draw and color and do anything with art supplies.  I always have a hard time thinking of what to get him and this year the light bulb went off at the perfect time, school supply time.  I'm purchasing art supplies like markers, crayons, colored pencils, water color paints, and drawing pads.  I already found the markers and colored pencils for $0.97 each.  I want to make him a travel art folder too.
Of course the one I'm making will be a little more mature than the one above haha.  There is a great tutorial here if you're interested.

Is it bad that just looking back over this post I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed.  I think I need to take a trip to Hobby Lobby to calm my nerves :)

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