Preparing Homemade Gifts in Advance

Preparing #Homemade #Gifts in Advance - An Island Family By Grace


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.

Hand Knitted Scarf - Preparing #Homemade #Gifts in Advance - An Island Family By Grace


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:

Preparing Homemade Gifts in Advance ~ An Island Family By Grace } Homemade Heat Pad

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!)

Preparing Homemade Gifts in Advance - Jam Labelizer ~ An Island Family By Grace

  • 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:

Homemade Wooden Herb Boxes - Preparing #Homemade #Gifts in Advance - An Island Family By Grace


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.

Follow Gwen An Island Family By Grace’s board Homemade Gifts on Pinterest.

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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16 Comments on “Preparing Homemade Gifts in Advance

  1. Some useful ideas-thank you!
    We are growing African violets from leaves and hoping to use some of these as presents. I will try to put a tutorial up soon but recently planted on some little plants and forgot to take photos!
    sarahelisabeth recently posted…Musical notation made easyMy Profile

  2. Hello from England!

    I am next to you on the Art of Homemaking bloghop, so I guess that makes us neighbours this week.

    I love the idea of making gifts in advance, it takes the pressure off Christmas and other celebrations if you start early. I had to make emergency Christmas stockings one year! I found a really good book of ideas for gifts by Deborah Nicholas called “Gifts from Your Kitchen” which you might find useful.
    Alison Bayne recently posted…How to Build Up a Warm or Cool Nude RepertoireMy Profile

    • Hello Alison! Thanks for the book recommendation- I have one called Simple Gifts, but I like the sound of a food-based one 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

    • Your plans made me smile Abi- placemats and rugs are excellent ideas. Hope you manage to use up all those T-shirts! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. I love these ideas Qwen. I want to home make presents each year but time seems so illusive in this household and I seem to run out of it very quickly! I am highly impressed by all your ideas and beautiful results!
    Claire recently posted…Reflecting on our TermMy Profile

    • Thank you Claire! We often run out of time too, but I suppose as we get more practiced at making things, it will not take quite so long…

  4. Love these gift ideas! I made scarfs ( extra wide and long) for Christmas gifts last year and it turned out to be the coldest winter in many years. My niece said it sure made going home after work (11:30p.m.) a lot warmer. I am going to try making raspberry jam this year ( one of the men said he could go for some with hot biscuits).

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