Posted on July 3, 2015
Preparing Homemade Gifts in Advance
As everyone in our family except me has an autumn or winter birthday, I have decided to start thinking now about gifts I could begin making for the ‘birthday season’. For the last few years, our family has been trying to homemake more of our gifts and presents for friends and family. As well as saving money, it is a fun way of being creative, and the resulting gifts are hopefully more meaningful, and have had more thought put into them, than presents bought at the shops ‘just for the sake of it’ might have done.
One of the nicest gifts I have received from wider family in the recent past was a gift hamper put together by my brother- and sister-in-law. This included lots of different food items that they knew I would enjoy, plus a few household items, all packed in a cardboard box which they had done up in wrapping paper. This was much more personal than any shop-bought hamper would have been.
We have always tried not to spoil our children by overdoing gifts for them, while still giving them special presents that are relevant to their personal interests, and will be a positive thing for them, rather than just another possession that they don’t need. This has included shop-bought items, secondhand items, and homemade gifts.
Last year, I knitted this scarf for our oldest daughter’s birthday, using wool which my parents had given me for Christmas the previous year. She was very pleased with it, and although it was just plain knit, I was happy with the way it turned out, due to the lovely colours of the wool.
My husband also made a hand drawn map for my son of their favourite camping spot, and framed it. This was something that was really special for them both.
My daughters and I made lavender heat pads for my mum, sister, and sister-in-law last year, using these instructions at Alice and Lois blog, and adding a couple of tablespoons of dried lavender to the rice in each bag. The one in the picture below was made by our elder daughter for my husband:
Without giving away too much to family members who may be reading this, so far I plan to make:
- A knitted headband for a ‘younger relative’, along the lines of those my elder daughter made in this post
- Homemade vanilla essence, using the recipe from Nancy on the Home Front, found here. Those who are uncomfortable using alcohol to make the vanilla essence may want to read a post by JES of Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth here, or follow her tutorial for making glycerine based tinctures.
- Homemade jams, marmalades and breads. We like to use this free online Jam Labelizer tool to make personal labels for these gifts. Here you can see some Redcurrant Jelly made by our son last year (I have blurred out his name on the photo, so the labels look even better in real life!)
- Wooden book/ tablet stands like these, and wooden herb or bulb boxes. I must be honest here and say, it will be my husband using his woodworking skills for this. Here is a herb box he has made already:
These are my ideas so far, but I intend to add to them over the coming months, in the hope that we will not have to spend too much on gifts, and that the gifts we do give others will be thoughtful and will have involved effort on our part. I will be updating my progress on these homemade gifts here periodically, so please stay tuned to see how I get on!
You can also see my Homemade Gifts board on Pinterest for more ideas.
Do you have any ideas for preparing homemade gifts in advance that are both frugal and fun to make? Please share them in a comment, and let me know if you are planning ahead to make gifts yourself.
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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Mom 2 Mom Monday, Good Morning Mondays, Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop, Titus 2sdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What is Good, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Wholehearted Wednesday, While I’m Waiting, Hearts for Home , Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Weekend Wind Down Party, Fellowship Friday and Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday.