Last year, I felt like we spent a million dollars or something on gifts for Christmas. Since I’m not a millionaire, it turns out, all I remember is the debt we accrued. I can’t remember what we bought exactly, and I’m not sure if they even wanted it. As a lover of gift giving, this was painful for me. In pain, there is a lesson, right? I needed the meaning! Gift giving shouldn’t make us bitter and poor.
So, this year, the kids and I decided to make some homemade gifts for some of the people on our list. Not only are we boosting the meaning behind our gifts, but with our own hands making them, we are bound to remember them, too.
Disclaimer #1: If you are a mama with tiny babies and loads of craziness in your life, please do not attempt to do this with your tiny babes. Tuck it in your pocket for the day that you can breathe a bit, like when your babes are slightly older; or if you are an ambitious soul, attempt during nap time. Otherwise, it is more work than it’s worth, and the gift from the Dollar Spot is probably worth it. I’ve been there. My girls are now 11 and 10 and my little guy is 4, so we are in a decent spot to craft it up. So, if you get excited about homemade things, love to give meaningful gifts, and you’re in the sweet spot of parenthood and able to roll with the idea, see below!
1. Knitted Hats
These are looms:
The looms I bought came in a kit of four different sizes with a hook and a needle. All you need is the yarn. There are lots of places to buy yarn, but I found Walmart has the magical thick yarn that I like to use for these hats. And, I apparently shop at ridiculous hours when no other stores are open. So Walmart it is for my yarn buying. The loom kit itself is about $15. The yarn is $5 or less. The more you use the kit, the more bang for your buck. We’ve made about 15 hats so far since the beginning of November. They are warm, cute, and easy to make. My 11-year-old loves to make the baby hats! Here’s the link to the loom kits at Walmart.
Just remember, I’m an extreme beginner. I had to YouTube “how to find the end of my yarn.” Wow. YouTube is your friend. If I can do it… you absolutely can. Happy knitting the easy way!
2. Homemade Soap
Hobby Lobby has a big block of soap base that can be bought for roughly $10.
Disclaimer #2: Making soap from scratch is dangerous with kids because you are dealing with lye and other crazy stovetop activity. I’m not sure how our founding mothers handled this in the old days. So I recommend the pre-made soap base block instead.
Hobby Lobby also has some essential oils there that you can purchase, along with some scents to add if you’d like. But there are plenty of other places to get your favorite oils and scents if you’d prefer. The short of it? Melt down the block of soap base, add your oils/scents to your liking, pour into a pan and cool. Cut them up, dress them up with some pretty string, and bam! Another homemade gift to warm the hearts of your nearest and dearest this Christmas.
I’m a super garden freak. Lucky for me, the people who lived at our place before us planted some lavender plants as part of the landscaping. This is a pretty plant and makes for a pretty sprig on top of your soap bar, too. Here’s a link for another blogging mama with directions for this pretty kind of lavendar soap making: Homemade Lavendar Soap by The Idea Room.