Handmade/Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas/Patterns

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Given out horrible financial state, we are making gifts/ornaments/etc.... out of what we have and what we can find for free. I am doing a lot of cross stitching, gift bag making, etc... plus making some simple and fast ornaments out of scraps of fabric etc......

    I have been scouring the web for free cross stitch designs/charts from all sorts of places. I know many of you don't cross stitch, or don't want to do big charts, etc..... Those that don't cross stitch can use the charts for plastic canvas, latch hook rugs (small ones), rug hooking (my mom uses some of my charts for this and says they work very well), or even for those perler beads that you arrange on a pegboard and then melt with an iron to make a shape that lasts.

    I will HAPPILY send files to you if you want them. MANY are fairly small, 50x 50 or smaller, and can be done fairly fast with any of those methods. If you have an idea of what you want, Christmas, religious, snowmen, crosses, trees, cats, dogs, etc..... let me know and if I have something I will send it.

    Heck, if you wanted you could use paint and either make dots to look like the stitched piece or use it as a basic outline to paint the design.

    I know many of us are on tight budgets, so I thought this would be helpful.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm afraid to add any new projects to my list at the moment. I want to get done what I'm already working on and planning to do first. lol

    I had a duh moment when you said the patterns transfer easily to plastic canvas.........I never thought of that, what a cool idea. Wonder if there is somewhere that sells burlap these days? We used to do that in school. Older kids LOVE it, and it's easy to see where to put your stitches and uses a yarn needle so they can't hurt themselves. I think we made tote bags out of them when I was about 11. :)
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hobby stores and fabric stores sell burlap. I would check a fabric store first because usually it is cheaper off the bolt than packaged for needlework. They also have some interesting new fabrics that are like aida in that they have very clear places to put your needle but they are fewer stitches to the inch, like 10 or even 8 depending on the one you get. About 5 yrs ago my mom signed me up for a needlework kit of the month deal from the stitching shop I like (the owner is a nationally known designer and she made the kits) and it used lots of different fibers and this 10 stitches per inch fabric. Mostly I didn't like the designs, so I have some nice hunks of the fabric that I have never used and probably won't. I like 14-20 stitches per inch, the tinier the better. Not sure why, I just like them more. Is this something that Aubrey is getting to an age to start? I doubt the charts from the kits would appeal, but any small design could be done on the fabric. You would just use either flower thread, perle cotton, or 4-6 strands of the regular embroidery floss to do them.

    Jess is my kid - she likes the littler stitches, but not as little as I like. So she isn't that interested so far. You would use a yarn needle, just not one of the newer plastic yarn needles (they are hideous, in my opinion, because they are too big for even the 7 ct plastic canvas that I have - you have to really force them through). You can use yarn on these if you wanted, lots of the new fancy expensive fibers they sell for $3-$10 bucks for 3-6 yards is basically yarn, in my opinion.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think Aubrey is still a bit too young yet. Which is why I've held off on teaching her crochet. I'm guessing maybe by next summer or fall she might be ready.

    My kids (Travis included) were learning crochet by 4. But I was doing it all the time, which meant they were watching me all the time, and they had more ability to sit still a while than she does right now. She's getting there though and she has the fine motor skills once she can sit still long enough to listen to instructions lol

    It would be a cool idea for kayla but katie wouldn't have a clue so there would be no one around to really help her with it. But I am looking into some crafty gifts to keep her busy this winter.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Those plastic yarn needles are worse than useless - even on the big plastic canvas I've broken them trying to force them through.

    I make my own cross stitch patterns by creating a design on graph paper. Honestly, the last "packaged" one I did, for my Mom about 11-12 years ago, almost broke my brain.

    I like 14-count - no bigger, no smaller. I can't see the smaller ones.

    Right now I'm working on crocheting an afghan. It's solid royal purple, matches my bedroom (curtains are royal, walls lavender). husband knows I'm making it, but it's a gift for US.

    I can't knit, but I can crochet, cross-stitch, plastic canvas, craft foam flowers, painted sweatshirts... Sew if I need to. I love this stuff.

    A really good idea for younger kids is what we used to make in grade school, called an "ojo de dios" or "god's eye". 2 toothpicks and embroidery floss or popsicle sticks and yarn.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Any one have any kitchen/cooking ideas for those of us who just do not have any time for sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc? I HAD planned on doing most of my holiday baking Thanksgiving weekend, but now that we're traveling to Pittsburgh (just shoot me) for Thanksgiving, that weekend is shot. Thankfully, all the big school stuff is out of the way, so at least I don't have big time papers due or anything!

    I was thinking of making those jars with the cookie mix that you add liquids to. Also, I was thinking that I would go hog wild at the farmer's market and can a bunch of pickled veggies. I have some apple sauce also and some cranberry-orange chutney as well. I don't think we're doing a big holiday gathering this year, but I like to have a few items for close family, drop ins and neighbors, Know what I mean??

    Another idea I have is that this coming weekend a lot of churches are having their craft and holiday fairs. I thought I may be able to pick up some inexpensive items there - we shall see. I like the idea of shopping locally if I'm going to be shopping at all.
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I actually do alot of cross stitching for ornaments at the holidays. Even if I just give them to the kids' religion teachers it's two inexpensive gifts that, I think, are really nice to receive.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    The cookie-mix-in-a-jar stuff is great. Also homemade preserves! I love getting that stuff.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Baking ideas......

    We bake large batches of cookies, put them into tins with a nice ribbon and bow and give them out.

    You could probably do the same with various breads, get that pretty red and green saran wrap and then put a ribbon and bow on it. mother in law used to do this. I'm just now starting the breads.

    Muffins would be good too, heaven knows there is a wide variety to chose from. lol

    There are places that sell candy molds really cheap. Just melt the chocolate, pour into the mold, add a stick if you want and poof......you've got homemade candy. :)
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have a lot of mix in a jar recipes. Big tip for great results? DON"T put brown sugar, or anything that would add a lot of moisture or hoover the moisture out of other ingredients into the jar. If they have to go in, have them in a sealed ziploc baggie. Otherwise you end up with hard lumps of brown sugar and/or brown sugar so hard you can't mix it in. This isn't a big deal if it he jar is used in a week or so after it was made, but if it lasts longer then it is a HUGe problem.

    I will post some recipes tonight or tomorrow.