Thursday, 2 June 2011

Making gifts

Image from here
Another month of the Buy Nothing New challenge has passed. It is becoming more of a habit for me now to make do with what I have, or seek out ways to reuse things in a different way.

We managed to set up the veggie patch with only the purchase of the seedlings (which are technically food so allowed I think?). The stakes we rescued from the side of the road during a regular council pick-up in our local area. And we already had the garden beds set up and waiting for some plants to love.

I had my birthday and the Geege and his family got me some 'service' gifts (a massage, a facial, that sort of thing), some 100% organic cotton towels from a small, on-line home-based business and one sneaky new pair of running shorts that will double as soccer shorts (that is a strike). I also got some pre-loved books. My family bought me a couple of things I had been really wanting (but not 'needing') that were new too. Not technically a strike, but a strike nonetheless.

We managed to give three birthday presents without making a new purchase (some pre-loved books for my sister, I shouted a friend to the movies with a free-movie ticket I had and a present from the 'present box' for one of Nugget's friends) but did buy two small gifts for other children's parties.

Gifts. This is definitely the area I am struggling with. I can't see how I can get away with re-gifting, buying second hand or making things for my children or other people's children. They don't understand any of this. Is it fair?

But then I think, you need to get over this if you are going to succeed with this challenge.

So, it is my niece's birthday this weekend and in addition to a couple of lovely clothes I have stashed in my second hand box, I really want to make her something. It is a hard call, given my poor crafting skills.

The Aspiring Millionaire had a great post about making gifts and I have bookmarked it. I thought about making The Badoo a blanket for her dolls, but I won't this time. It is doable though and could be a winner for a new Mum?

And then I came across this fabulous post on a friend's blog, Cook Republic and I thought 'That is it!'. A perfect gift for the Badoo (don't click the link Maxabella unless you want to spoil the surprise).

So I am off to get a few supplies to make a gift. The start of a new journey for me...

Help me out if you can. Do you have any links to great, simple home-made gift ideas? Please, please, please share them below in the comments and give us an idea of the age-group they may be suitable for. I am excited at the thought of having a place to store project ideas!


Alice Becomes said...

wow, i do like the look of that idea. Wont say too much about it so as not spoil the surprise but I think you are on to something. Hand made gifts are hard for me. I can not think of a single suggestion! Off the top of my head: How about jewelery? Bet there are some good sites out there with some simple bracelets and necklaces that can be made from re-purposed items?
Good luck!

Gill xo

alliecat said...

What a great idea. I find making gifts for children not so bad but really hard to make for adults, especially blokes. I can sew, which helps, so why don't you look at doing a sewing course (or better yet get someone to buy you a course as a gift!) and that will open up things for you a bit. You don't even have to make clothing, I hate making clothing but make dolls and soft toys, aprons, crayon rolls, handbags, toy bags etc for kids.

I have recently had to get over the idea that a handmade gift was not enough. I found myself still buying something else (like a book) to go with it, as if all my time and patience and skill - plus materials weren't enough! I LOVE to get a handmade gift so it's time I told myself my gifts were excellent enough on their own.

Loved the links, will see if I can come up with any more for you. BBL.

A Christy Production said...

I set myself the challenge to make as many of the gifts required this year as I could possibly manage. So far it has been very successful, but only because I have TONNES of supplies to make things with. So far this year, I made my mum a box full of greeting cards because she is ALWAYS needing them, a tonne of cute beaded bracelets for my 3yo niece, dinner for my mum for mother's day, and I painted a train shaped mirror for my nephew that I'd found at the thrift store over a year ago. It's really hard to be creative without feeling lame too. But so far everyone has loved their gifts so I'm sticking with it. How about making a personalised library bag for the kids parties? Super easy to make.

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

wow that Cook Republic food pictures are stunning. Thank you for linking that.
Right, you've probably already seen them but... go down to the food hamper idea. Bread is easy to pop in a hamper as you can make it look like anything you fancy. (and a how to on bread post is coming up for the weekend.)
Cards- out of chocolate wrappers, gift tags from old photos, cereal boxes...
For kiddies, I'm making little gnome dolls at the moment.

Tat said...

I can understand how you'd be struggling. I'm trying to go handmade, too, but I am simply not quick enough to make enough gifts, we seem to be invited somewhere every weekend!

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

You are a legend and an utter inspiration x

Jen said...

Inspired by an article in Sydneys Child recently a lack of $ to pay for kids presents I recently made up a "cookie in a jar", I had most of the stuff I needed in the cupboard including the jars and to add a bit extra I bought an apron, hat and wooden spoon to go with it. This was for a four your old boy. It went down a treat! Here is the link to where I got the actual receipe from
I have another birthday coming up for a family friend and was thinking of making a library bag and adding a name in puffy paint.
Good luck!

MultipleMum said...

Wow! Thanks so much for all these suggestions.

@cityhippyfarmgirl - can't wait for the bread making 101. I am totally ready!

@Jen - LOVE this idea. Baking without the baking, just like the sewing without the sewing.

Keep the ideas and tip coming. You are really helping! x

Quill and Ink Handmade said...

We made time capsules for our young cousins for Christmas last year; they were so fun!
We typed up and home-printed a little handmade book with lots of kid-centric questions (ie. Who's your best friend? What's your favourite food? etc) for them to fill out, wrote a big long fun list of things for them to find or make to add to their capsule (Like handprints/footprints, a drawing of your house, a letter from Mum). Because the kids got to write in the booklets themselvevs (and draw heaps of pictures/paste in photos) it became so personal - a real keepsake for them, and parents, to open on a date chosen by you.
And who doesn't love a time capsule??


E. said...

Kudos to you for doing this. I think I would struggle with many parts of it but the gifts part would do my head in.

Great work on making your gifts. I'll sure they will be cherisehed.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I'm so impressed! I haven't even bought her anything yet!

Cottongirl7 said...

I've been making hair clips for most of the little girl parties this year. Some old silk flowers that you can get at the thrift store or a yard sale, some ribbon some glue, a button or jewel, and old clip and your set. here is a picture of the three I've done lately. They also make good bows for presents if you are giving something else. :)

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

I love to make things, but it is hard to find the time! The idea for the Badoo is fantastic! Another thing you could add to it is some recipes from here that are free printables & very kid friendly (& yummy).... she also has a cookie in a jar free printable!

Loving the ideas that people are suggesting and I look forward to seeing what else you come up with!

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

Another gift suggestion for another time could be


MultipleMum said...

Wow! I am so inspired! Keep the ideas coming - I am sure everyone will be able to find something they can make. x

MultipleMum said...

If you are a bit more hard-core than me, this amazing page of links might be right up your alley!

Aren't people amazingly creative?

Sneh | Cook Republic said...

That is commendable! And a brilliant idea .. it is always a lot of fun and extremely gratifying making your own gifts. Thnx for the plug :-)

Maxabella said...

She loves it! We haven't made the cookies, but she donned her apron last night to help me make cupcakes for preschool and was as happy as a clam. Thanks Aunty Coo!! x

Aspiring Millionaire said...

Great post! I think making gifts is a great idea. It is more personal and often cheaper.

The one gift my family still talk about that I made for my brother is chocolate self saucing pudding. I made it in 4 smaller bowls so it was just for him. He thought it was the best thing ever. I intended for them to be frozen and eaten seperately, but he ate them all at once! Apparently the best present ever. lol.

Thanks for linking to me.

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