Growing up we used to draw names within our family and then we were responsible for finding gifts for that one person. Every once in awhile my parents would declare a "handmade only" gift exchange. Everything we gave our chosen family member had to be made by us (with help from parents if we were young). Looking back, now that I am a parent, it was probably because those were the years that money was extra tight. But as kids we just thought it was a way to change things up. Funny thing is, I can remember the homemade gifts more than the store bought ones.
We have done the same thing with our kids and this year happens to be a "handmade" year. The gift from Shane and I to the kids will be photo albums. I am finally getting around to printing off all our pictures from the past 6 years (holy expensive batman!) and getting them organized into photo albums with all the details and memories written out.
Whether handmade is already a tradition in your family, or if you want to start doing it this year for the first time, I have some ideas for you today. All of these projects are found in my book, Natural Accents.
My boys collect rocks. They hoard them like they are the most valuable possessions in the world. If grey, normal rocks were valuable then I would be writing this post from the island of Fiji while I sun bathed on the sand. While they are not worth their weight in gold, you can use them for so many projects like these photo holders.
Do you have someone in your life that loves to have cut flowers in their homes? Maybe someone who has beautiful flower beds that are the envy of the neighborhood? Or someone like me that likes to splurge on grocery store flowers every week or so? Why not make a concrete vase? I love the juxtaposition of the cold concrete with the vibrant flowers.
I think everyone should have plants in their home. Even those who claim to have a "black thumb". If you aren't sure if the person you are giving the plant to is good with plants or not, try giving a succulent or cactus which are easy to care for. Make sure they have drainage with either a hole or rocks in the bottom.
These bookends would be a great gift to have your kids help you make. You can cut the wood and nail it together and your child can find the rock, wash it, and stain the wood. You could use a crystal, geode, or some other "pretty" rock, but I kind of like the simplicity of this common grey one.
This bud vase is so easy! Buy a large bud vase and then bend the copper wire around it. I have many different example and styles in my book. This is another one that kids could help with.
I love all the cute state art and jewelry that have become so popular lately. I think state type art is a great personalized gift. I made some art using small rocks that were collected in that state. You could even paint one of the rocks to represent where in the state they live. Imagine a gallery wall full of all the states you have either lived or visited.
I have shared a few ideas from my book but in truth most of the 35 projects in the book would make great gifts. Actually the book itself would make a great gift! It is on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble :)
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