Homemade Christmas

My mom and I are spending today sewing T-shirt quilts for Christmas presents (my son and son-in-law know that is what they are getting…they gave me the t-shirts! They just don’t know what they’ll look like!)

This year is a living with less Christmas for us, so homemade gifts will be a priority this year.

I’m still looking for some gift ideas and I bet many of you are, too. So let’s share some homemade “living with less” gift ideas here.

If you comment on today’s post and share your ideas, you’ll be entered to win Karen Ehman’s Hearts at Home book Homespun Gifts From The Heart.  It’s a great book filled with wonderful gift ideas, too!  I’ll draw a winner Thurday

What “homespun with love” gifts will you be giving or have you given in past years?


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50 thoughts on “Homemade Christmas

  1. I love the idea of a t-shirt quilt! How wonderful!

    OK…what am I making this year? We are having a living on less Christmas in our house too. So here's the list…

    PJ pants for our children and niece and nephews
    A work apron for my step mom
    A frilly apron for my mom
    Christmas aprons with matching placemats for 2 SILs
    A themed bird feeder that we are personalizing for another SIL & BIL
    A Pocket Pal Pillow friend for each of our boys (made out of fabric from clothes at a thrift store)
    PJ pants for my hubby

    My husband is making me 2 blog buttons that I have been wanting (he's teaching himself how because he knows how much I need them)

    that's some of our list of things that are on our list so far.


    Mary Joy

  2. Our (extended) family exchanges gifts every Christmas (by number drawing).
    Last year, we suggested everyone make their gifts.
    We grow grapes; hence, my gift was 2 large jars of our grape jelly & my husband made a caddy for the jars from old barn wood (really turned out nice).
    This year, I hope to put together a "BBQ" basket w/homemade rubs & some grilling items.
    Others have put in their own paintings, quilted casserole covers, floral arrangements/house decor, fleece snuggies, handmade scarfs, woven pot holders, spice tea, homemade fudge, & even a carved walking stick.
    It's a lot of fun to see each other's creativity & sharing of their talents.
    Hope that helps!
    Chrissy Williams
    Chesapeake, VA

  3. I love to make cards to send to family on their Birthdays. Since I love to make cards I am going to make a stack of encourgaement cards for my mother in law who loves to write and send cards. This will cost next to nothing since I have most of the supplies on hand.

  4. This year we're trying to get our finances going back in the right direction so we're cutting back on Christmas, especially for those outside our little family. Our plan is to go out and take a really nice family picture with our own camera and have prints made for everyone. Voila! Family gifts for everyone for only as much as it will cost at Walgreens for some prints.

  5. In the past I've made homemade bath salts and hot chocolate. I decorated baby food and other jars and filled them to give away to daycare providers and co-workers.

  6. I am making tote bags for the kid's teachers, and little wallets and hair scrunchies for my girls to give to their friends..I also make large batches of homemade hot cocoa mix, and fill decorated jars, for bus drivers, Sunday school teachers, or whoever..And I am hoping to finish some quilts that I have started for my kids this year….
    Victoria Ford

  7. If I knew how to quilt I would make a Tshirt quilt. I have a ton of shirts in my garage waiting for me to learn. This year I am making my son a personalized bulliten board with puff paint and paint. I make collage picture frames for the grandparents. I am making my daughter a blanket and decorated onesies. I am giving recipe boxes to other family members.

  8. I am making prayer journals for my sisters in law. I bought composition notebooks for $.50 when they were on sale. I'll cover them with pretty scrapbook paper and stamp their names on them.

  9. We make homemade jam for every one. They look forward to it every year and often get requests throughout the year for a refill!
    Autumn Enright

  10. In the past I made fleece throws for the grandkids. Really easy. Buy some fleece, turn the edges over and blanket stitch around the edges. They loved them and are still using them to stay warm and toasty.
    I'm also knitting dish cloths and crotcheting the tops of kitchen towels for missionary ladies in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan as gifts.
    Pam from Michigan

  11. A couple of years ago our family made Christmas Music CD's to give to our family and friends. We had to purchase A CD kit from Staples in order to make the cover with our picture on it and we had a picture of our family on the actual CD. It was really fun to put our favorite music on a CD and people loved having a personalized Christmas CD to listen to year after year.

  12. One of my favorite gifts is to bake lots of homemade treats. It seems various relatives and friends have their favorites and I like to make sure that they get a big tinful of their favorites. I even have experimented with new recipes I've been wanting to make on those folks willing to try them. My kids love to make handmade cards for people and we hope to give out a bunch when we make our monthly visit to the local senior center just before Christmas. I really liked reading the ideas that other people submitted. Very creative gifts!

  13. We have made throw pillows for our grandmas w/ all of our kids hand prints and names. One year we made the prints look like a Christmas tree and I added a button star on top. We have also made scrapbooks of our visits and braclets w/ birthstones.

  14. I am making one for my baby this year, but have done this for my older two.

    I simply buy fleece fabric from the fabric store and stitch around the edge. I know it's really, really simple, but it's still homemade and my older 2 love having their own blanket made just for them.

    If you're really crafty you can do the tie things on the edges. 🙂

    I plan to post a picture and this idea on my blog: http://www.purposefulhomemaking.com since I'm making one this year.

  15. I bought some inexpensive wooden checker pieces in bulk and would like to make some handmade quilted checkerboards!
    Another great gift idea (though I'm still a learner in progress) is knitted or crocheted stuffed animals for children. They're ADORABLE and totally unique for the individual child. My grandma used to crochet me babydolls when I was little…I still have some of them…precious heirlooms :). Money can't buy great gifts from the heart!

    p.s. Nicole, I LOVE the idea of the homemade CD!! I sing, and I remember one year when I was a teenager; I made cassette tapes for my grandparents with Christmas songs sung by myself. It was one of their most favorite gifts!

  16. We have done homemade gifts for years,primarily for our parents from our kids, since it is more meaningful than "stuff" from "Stuff-Mart". In the past, we've done things like painted pictures and then matted and framed them, creations made from shells (from a family trip to the beach), magnets, etc. However, the gift that the grandparents keep requesting is an "overnight package." In an effort to spend more quality time with their grandkids, they enjoy this one– we select one weekend a month for a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's, and then we give them a couple new kid movies, some bags of microwave popcorn and a certificate with the dates for the sleepovers. We love it, they love it- a total win-win situation!

  17. i make candles and organic soaps – they are really easy to make and you can buy the materials for next to nothing on ebay. Tie them in some cellophane wrap and they look like they are out of a magazine!

  18. This year I am making a scrapbook for my son and daughter in law with their wedding photos. I have been making beaded bracelets for a few gifts. My Dad really likes the rolls I make so I give him the gift of rolls every few weeks during the year. I really like the gift of experiences and time with loved ones and I'm always looking for ideas for that!

  19. I love the idea of the tshirt quilt and will have t start making sure I put some away from my little guy. I myself am a scrapbooker and cardmaker. Also home altered items work well and are always make to the specifics of the receiver. Thanks for the opportunity for the book.

  20. I always make homemade goodies from my kitchen along with jam to give to the kids teachers, etc…also love to make PJ pants for my boys (since they mysteriously grow out of last years pair so quickly?!?!)…this year I am hoping to finish 3 quilts for them in time for Christmas…eek! It is so easy to find GREAT homemade ideas online..there are so many crafty people out there! This year, I have found some new candies to try, as well as some adorable hot chocolate mix gift bags. My oldest son and I went on a trip to Washington DC last spring, so I am trying to get that scrapbook done for him. I am also crossstitching bookmarks for the boys teachers, and am embroidering a design on an inexpensive purchased apron for my sister…my problem is…TOO many ideas and NOT enough time! And, the grandparents always love handmade things from the kids…a painted handprint does wonders for them!

  21. I am making candy wreaths for my kids' teachers. I have decided to use green peppermints for mine, but I've also seen people make them with Jolly Ranchers and Tootsie Rolls.

  22. I make candy cane-shaped tea rings for some of my husband's bigger customers. For our family gift-exchange, I fill baskets that i've picked up at yard sales or Goodwill for $1 or less with apples and homemade goodies. Some of you ladies are amazing with all you do – wish I had your time and energy!!! Best wishes to you all as you "keep it simple" this year :o)

  23. One of the favorite gifts we have received is flannel and denim quilts. (We have one of each and one with both fabrics.) They are easy to cut and sew together with a sewing machine and can be tied with is SO much easier than quilting.

    I want to learn jam making and crochet.

  24. I have made pans of different frozen meals and given them to various family members. As a busy mom there is nothing better than throwing a frozen (already prepared) meal into the oven! I have also scrapbooked a 12 month calendar for grandma and grandpa – they absolutely love seeing different themes each month with new pictures of the grandkids!

  25. How are you doing your t-shirt quilts? I've been planning to do them for years, but haven't gotten that far yet. I have t-shirts from toddlers through college, so they will be good memory quilts.

  26. I am for the first time trying to knit dishclothes for my sisters and sisters in laws. I have 6 children 9 and under so this isquite the task for me. Should be exciting!!

  27. Last Christmas I sewed matching flannel pajamas for my kids, and made them each tote bags for carrying books back and forth to the library. I think I'll be sewing lots of doll clothes this year.

  28. I am making doorway puppet theatres for my nieces and nephews and message boards from scrapbooking scraps for sisters.

  29. Last year we made homemade granola that was a big hit. I found the recipe online.

    We always do homemade cinnamon rolls as gifts.

    I would like to try making the "Corn" bags for heat/cool.

    I am still choosing new ideas for this year.

  30. Vistaprint.com has some great personalized gifts for FREE when you pay shipping (Chr postcards, address labels, etc).

    Candied pecans or almonds in a jelly jar is a yummy gift to give!

    Love all these ideas, esp the pj pants — are they easy to sew?

  31. I am crocheting a cute, round purple pillow with a flower on it for my daughter.

    I am baking some healthy treats to package up as gifts for my husband's church office staff.

  32. I have a BIG bundle of tshirts to start on but not this year :o)
    THis year DD1 is getting a homemade babydoll carrier (easy peasy one long strip of material hemmed on all sides), dd2 baby doll diapers from old flannel baby sheets, ds a bull whip ala indiana jones made from…. duct tape!! I Love ideas from blogs!!
    Grandparents get picture blocks made from salvaged wood from a school book shelf.
    Homemade jam and apple butter.
    Muscle warmers with wheat and lavender.
    If I can do it in time a rag rug of denim for Ds.
    Dh gets marcipan and hazelnut nougat candy.
    Friends get jars of different sizes decorated with white glue and serviettes for tealights.
    Wow Id better get a move on haha 🙂

  33. For past gifts, we have…
    – made coasters (get tiles from Lowes, decopage a picture on it, cover it with a thin coat of clear varnish/sealer, put cork on the back side)
    – put handprints of all the grandkids onto cloth and made it into a pillow and wrote at the top "grandma's prayer pillow"
    – had kids make pics with thumbprints (flowers, bee, etc) – then I scanned them into the computer and printed them onto cards along with the words 'thank you' and printed up several sets of notecards – for teachers and grandparents. Also put thumbprints onto cloth and made into pillows.
    – cross stitch a saying and frame it next to a picture
    – I just made these tshirt backpacks with my girl scouts and they are simple and would make fun gifts. http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/backpack-shirt-922871/ Note: we used a coathanger to thread the string through. Also, if using a printed tshirt, all designs get flipped upside down.

  34. This year I"m making a memorial scrapbook and CD for my mom's family after her father passed away this year. And a framed scrapbook page for my in-laws.
    In the past i have made a college mascot pillow for my brother, purses for my mom and MIL, quilted wall hanging, yummy fudge.

    I enjoying coming up with a special thoughtful gifts and usually average at least 1 each christmas.

  35. I have my grandmother's sewing table, which is FULL with containers of buttons. I thought to myself, "what am I going to do with all of these?" Then it came to me. I bought a picture frame with a large trim around the glass & I am going to COVER it with my grandmothers buttons, put a picture of my grandparents (who are no longer with us) in it and then give to my mom for Christmas.
    The neat thing about this is that last time she looked through the buttons, she could remember certain things that my Grandmother had used most of the buttons for. It will be a trip down memory lane for her each time she looks at a different button. I'm super excited to give it to her. Hopefully I can make it until Christmas. =P

  36. I am so enjoying all these wonderful ideas. One of my dad's favorite gifts from me are freezer meals. He has lived alone since my mom died 24 years ago and doesn't like to cook for himself too much. So, when I make supper for our family of 8, I simply make a little extra and freeze a nice-sized portion in a microwave safe container and put it in the freezer for him!

  37. I plan to make homemade cocoa and use plastic peanut butter containers that I saved….they already have a red lid!

  38. Took my son's baby outfits and cut out a large section from the back and made a quilt out of them. Not sure he would have wanted the clothes later in life but, he has a little quilt to pass on that was made entirely from when he was a baby! Great momento!

  39. There are so many handmade gift ideas online. I have spent way too much time blog hopping getting ideas for this Christmas! 😉 One idea I'm excited about is my teacher gift. My son is in developmental preschool and has the teacher, the aids, his therapists, and bus drivers… its adds up!! So, I'll be giving them cupcakes in a jar. Here is a tutorial.


  40. Last year, I washed milk jugs, put popcorn in it and painted a face on the side of it, glued a stocking hat and scarf on it and made a carrot nose—snowmen. I probably only had $10 in each one and the people LOVED them!!!

  41. Last year I made vanilla for all the ladies in the family because who couldn't use more vanilla and it tastes so much better than the store bought. I got some fun bottles and made vintage looking labels for them. It was a hit.

  42. A few years ago, I made flannel pillowcases for all of our nieces and nephews and used them to "wrap" their gifts. Now that a few more have been added to the family, I am doing it again this year. I love how it makes for a quick, easy wrapping to just stick in the present(s) and tie it up with a ribbon. Great for flying with presents too that you can't pre-wrap.

  43. Over the past couple of years, I have made it a point to take various pictures of beauty around me~from flowers, to snowy branches, to lighthouses, etc.
    Now, I have made prints of the photos I knew would mean something to each friend or relative, will crop them and mat them onto cards~making a personal set of cards for each one of them, adorned with a ribbon!
    In addition, for an uncle who turned 90 in October, a late combination birthday Christmas gift will be photos of the rustic family camp that has blessed generations of the extended family with its simplicity. I will frame the photos of the outhouse that is still used, the white clapboard, 3 -room camp, (no shower, and cold water only). As this uncle and his wife are in a nursing home, he can no longer go to this place that he loves.
    From the kitchen where we boil the water for dishes, to the outhouse above mentioned, to the quaint one bedroom, and the living room where children sleep on cots side by side~this gift will be so treasured by him!
    Love the t-shirt quilt idea~one day hope to make my two daughters some sort of quilt with the dresses I have saved that they each wore.
    Still a novice at sewing~yet great plans for the future!

  44. It's always hard to come up with something for my husband's grandmother for Christmas. Last year my (then) 6 year old and I bought two pieces of fleece and tied them together to make a 2-sided blanket. She loved it! And it was only about $6.

  45. I am actually waiting for my brother -in-law to hand over his shirts to make him a quilt, but it won't make it for this year. I love the t-shirt quilts. We have been doing homemade Christmas for years and with our 2 boys I am continually challenged. But my husband and I both enjoy woodworking. So one thing that I do each year is make a simple wooden ornament meant to represent something that has happened over the year for each person. My husband is into making toy trucks and the such. They are always amazing and this year it is the excavator that has a real moving scoop that has been the show stopper. But with the boys, we have learned to make chocolate candies, flavored fudge, hot chocolate mixes, flavered popcorn, carmel corn, cookies and soups in a jar (the last 2 are great for small children to help measure and they look great!) This year our oldest son has decided to join us in the woodshop and he is making tabletop cornhole sets for some of the relatives on his list!
    Having the ideas is the hardest part, we can always learn a new skill to show off for Christmas too! Would love to have the book giveaway, as I just finished one of her books!

  46. I love the prayer journal idea!! I have a children's cookbook that was given to my daughter when she was younger with lots of "jar mixes" (recipes for a mason jar). I think with all my leftover canning jars, that will make for some easy gift ideas for the grandparents from the kids!

  47. my 8yo LOVES crossword puzzles, so either I or one of my other children will go to http://www.armoredpenguin.com and make several puzzles for her that will be special just to her. ie. one puzzle of the names of all her stuffed friends, one of the neighborhood friends, one of family members, one of favorite chocolate bars, one of places to go, etc. we'll print them out & make a booklet she will love!! i think i'm most excited about this gift, simply b/c it's home & heart-made.

  48. This past November for my sister's birthday I gave her "the gift of time". Sounds silly but I took one whole day and she worked me like a dog. I helped her re-arange furniture, clean, organize, put stuff in the attic, etc. She told me that she wants that for Christmas too! I am also framing wedding pics of my husband and I as we just got married last year. And for my mom, I told her I would do her taxes for her in January. These gifts work good when you have more time than money=)

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