It was really fun to challenge myself to make ALL the gifts our family would be giving this Christmas, and like I have mentioned before I have pintrest to thank for most of the smiling faces of our friends, family, and teachers.
We made 'hand' towels for members of both families, they were well received. Cheetah got very creative with these...he traced (with my help) his hand on to iron on transfer paper (that can be picked up at Michael's, Walmart, or Hobby Lobby). Make sure to select the paper that can be colored OR printed on with a lazerjet printer. Each person recieved 2 towels, one with the hand print and then drew a picture he knew the recipient would love for the other.
The aunt that will be moving into her new house soon received a fancy wipe off board. I purchased a bronzed frame and dry erase markers to go along with the ribbon and scrapbook paper I already had on hand. She loved that something so useful could be pretty too! Great, easy idea!
For godparents, aunts, and coworkers we did hand painted or iron on transfers. I chose items I knew would be used; like aprons, pillowcases, and tote bags. The giftees were delighted with their unique and personalized items.
As my deadline was fast approaching I even enlisted Tarzan to help...little did he know he was helping me finalize one of his gifts. :) I picked 2 fun ideas for his presents; 52 reasons why I love you cards & a family 'portrait' made with our hands. He seemed pleased with both.
The grandmother's and Cheetah's teacher gushed over his 'HAND'made Christmas tree. I must admit it does look really nice hanging in my house as well.
I even went on Shutterfly and made a 2011 family album for my parents, the album included pictures from all three of their children's families. To round out the packages I included homemade pralines and chex mix (both are family faves).
It was heartwarming to see such sincere smiles and hear the praise over something I made on my own. I know Tarzan will try to change my mind but I'm pretty sure I'll be doing ho'made gifts again next year, I'll just have to try for an earlier start date.
Tarzan mostly stuck to the rules as well. I was excited to see a wonderful photo book titled, "How do I Love my Mommy?" and some perfectly precise coupons for my personal use (1 free bug elimination & 1 Chick-fil-a breakfast are 2 examples). So nice to know your SO loved.
I must urge you to try the 'homade' route for your gift giving next year, the gifts felt so much more personal. Homemade gifts can also prove to be easy on the budget, especially if you have a surplus of craft supplies and free-time in the evening. My only advice is to keep within your skill set so your stress level will stay at a minimum as it gets closer to your deadline.