Home Made Gifts

Home Made Gifts

It’s gift giving time again and the girls and I are trying to come up with some fun, unique, eco and economical ideas.  I like trying to give gifts that will be used and enjoyed.  I hate receiving gifts that I don’t need or can’t use and thus either end up in the garbage or re-gifted to salvation army (though I do love purging and giving the goods to charity).

For the girl’s teachers this year we will be giving these funky pencils which I like to call Elf Pencils.  I figure teachers need pencils and these are so fun who wouldn’t want to do their work with them.  I’m hoping that once the pencil gets too small for the decoration that it will be taken off and placed onto a new one.



This gift was a little hard for my 5 year old and so I helped her with the pencil wrapping part, she did the beading herself.  For this gift you will need some colorful plastic thread/gimp, beads, pencils/pens and a glue gun.  We cut about 36″ for each pencil and started by tying off around 4″ from the bottom of the pencil (you can leave a small chunk of gimp to be woven under the wrap to make the knot more secure).  Next put some hot glue onto the knot so it doesn’t unwrap, now wrap the thread all the way up to the top.  For a different look (not shown) you can stop every so often and add a bead as you wrap to the top.  Once at the top tie the thread to the pencil and hot glue the knot (try not to glue the knot to the pencil-this way the wrap will be reusable).  If there is a tail left you can bead it as shown above and then knot and glue it as before.



Bird seed ornaments are another fun gift to give, they are beautiful enough to hang on your Christmas tree or outdoors as a bird feeder.  I first saw them at MamaPapaBubba.   We tried them last year and will be making them again this year.

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Last year we made peppermint foot scrub for the teachers and it was received very well, who doesn’t enjoy a little pampering now and then.  Check out the post here.




Stay tuned for more fun home made gift ideas!

Home-made Advent Calendar

Home-made Advent Calendar

The last few years I’ve wanted to do something different when it comes to advent calendars, though I used to love the cheap chocolate filled ones of my youth I wanted to change it up for my girls.  In the past I’ve gotten a Playmobil advent calendar and we still use it every other year or so.

This year I made my own calendar with toilet rolls, old Christmas paper rolls from last year, old tissue paper and scrap booking paper.  Though my intention was to keep it simple, containing only little treats which were practical and sweet messages, my husband got involved and now it contains some pretty good gift size items.  Here is a pic of the bigger items.

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I still did keep my sweet message idea though and here are some pics of a few.

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I tried to focus on suggestions for acts of kindness which in turn would make the girls feel great and ideas for activities to do as a family.  Things often get so hectic that we forget to stop and do meaningful activities together, this will be a good motivator for all in the family.

To make my calendar I cut the rolls into various lengths and then flattened and stapled one end shut, next I glued scrapbook paper around the roll (you could paint/colour/sticker etc as well).  I then numbered them with some old number stickers in the craft cupboard and sharpie markers.  Put an item into each roll and fill the top with tissue paper.

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For mine I piled the tubes into an old container left over from a previous gift and placed it on the table.  You could also hole punch them and hang them on a garland or from a mantel piece etc.  Here is a look at the finished project.

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I can’t wait for the girls to open their rolls and start all the fun activities waiting inside.

Tape Resist Artwork

Tape Resist Artwork


Over the years my girls and I have accumulated lots of nail polish and I’ve recently decided that we will not be using them on our nails any more.  Not feeling comfortable just throwing them out I knew we needed to find something to do with all of it and thus…tape resist artwork!!

I had a few dollar store canvases hanging around and some painters tape so we were completely ready to go, of course you could use other materials as well.  Shown above are our tape resist Christmas cards (made on poster board).

I cut thin strips from the tape and had the girls press them firmly all over their canvasses/card.  Once they were ready they painted each section with a different polish.  Wait till the paint is dry and remove the tape.  Its very easy and the polish leaves a nice smooth glossy finish.  My eldest loved the activity so much she continued on her own to make a pile of Christmas cards.  My only complaint is having to smell the nail polish.

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Bored of your nail polish colours or just looking for a fun craft…give it a try, happy crafting!!