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  • FIRST POST
    Queenie
    Homemade Gifts
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 05, 7:06 AM
    Homemade Gifts 7th Feb 05 at 7:06 AM
    Do you make your own gifts? If so, what do you make?

    Perhaps you've tried giving HM (homemade) gifts and have had a negative reaction and felt it wasn't worth your effort due to lack of appreciation?

    Have you any success stories of HM gift giving that you would like to share?

    Would you feel too embarassed in this commercialised age to even *think* about giving gifts that you have made yourself?
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  • Lillibet
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:02 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:02 AM
    Last year I made bathsalts & gave them to a few people, everyone seemed pleased, espeically those with sensitive skin who can't usually use toilteriets but can use these because there is nothing in them to be allergic too. I also have a friend who makes flavoured cooking oils & home made wine & gives these at Xmas, the oils are lovely but it has to be said that the wine is a bit hit & miss!
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 7th Feb 05, 8:34 AM
    • 3,990 Posts
    • 7,574 Thanks
    culpepper
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:34 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:34 AM
    I knitted OH a jumper once.He spent ages examining the 'quality' and commenting on the style despite having picked it out from the pattern book himself!!(never again) .Now I just knit for myself and the kids.
    I made my father in law a Peking chess set using rubber moulds and metalic resin. I packed it into tissue and boxed it up.It looked quite impressive! He keeps it out on display.
    We made an art set for my daughters friend for her birthday.We bought a little wicker basket in a charity shop and filled it with pens and pencils and paint brushes ,ruler,rubber,sharpener.She was thrilled.
  • Allexie
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:54 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:54 AM
    I used to be into arts and crafts, especially lacemaking and needlepoint....but sometimes, after having spent weeks and sometimes months on a piece of work that was intended as a gift, I just couldn't bear to part with it!
    ♥♥♥ Genius - 1% inspiration and 99% doing what your mother told you. ♥♥♥

  • Galtizz
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:01 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:01 PM
    Have a look at the Christmas links thread here: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=7238. There are lots of links to home made presents most of which can probably be used for any time (not just Christmas).

    I had a home made Christmas and I made almost everything (but I don't buy for anyone under 12 and that isn't a close relative so they got cookies).

    I made; loads of cookies and bought a nice jar to keep them in (made 4 of these); a cushion; a hamper of chutney, pickles etc.; plants, either a cutting from a plant or bulbs (hyacynths planted in a small, looks like a fish bowl with bright one colour fish gravel instead of soil); knitted a hat and scarf; bought some olive oil and put some chilles or basil in for 'fancy' flavoured oil, fridge poetry and (my favorite) an emergency food tin (see the thread for details).

    All were really well received, I keep getting texts even now 2 months after Xmas, re the e.food tin i.e 'I made soup for tea and it was yummy.' It sounds daft but I can remember everything I made for people and I feel really good when I see that people are wearing the hat or eating the food.

    Apart from the chutney and pickles hamper and the scarf everything is being used or on display. Even people who I thought might think I was 'cheap' or a bit weird loved it and said they appreciated the amount of time and thought put into the gift.

    I think if you are worried about peoples reactions do as I do and 1/2 make everything i.e I made the cookies but bought the tin that way you have still bought something they can keep. Or be brave and tell them not to be so materialistic. I tested the water first by telling one person I was making something for someone else and saw what the reaction was. The other thing is think about the person you are giving the gift to. I couldn't knit the 12 year old a jumper, no matter how trendy the design so I made food and he wolfed it down

    The most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing and to remember that you are not being 'cheap', try working out how long you have spend making the gift and price it based on minimum wage (4.50 per hour?) then see how much it 'cost'.
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt
    • Trow
    • By Trow 7th Feb 05, 1:05 PM
    • 2,263 Posts
    • 2,597 Thanks
    Trow
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:05 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:05 PM
    I made homemade sweets one year - truffles, chocolate coated brandy cherries, chocolate coated rum raisins and fonants, they seemed to go down very well.

    'Fraid I don't have as much time nowadays.
    • tiff
    • By tiff 7th Feb 05, 1:19 PM
    • 6,551 Posts
    • 8,597 Thanks
    tiff
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:19 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:19 PM
    Sometimes I wish we were more like America in this respect. They do a lot of crafts, make things at Christmas to give the neighbours, when we moved into the street a couple of the neighours came and gave us some home made cake. I think they are more into "thrift" stores too. Although lots of people on here shop at charity shops etc, most people I know are very materialistic and would look at me as if I was strange. Thats the hardest part to get over. I was looking at dressing gowns on ebay earlier for my daughter and ummed and ahhed over weather to get one, what would my mother say!

    My husbands family spend 40 on each adult at Christmas (none of the others have children except us) Therefore we are expected to pay the same and when there are 10 adults that comes to 400 before our own children are taken into account. I just dont know if I'm brave enough to make them their gifts and see their reaction. They would happily pay over the odds for something home made in a shop though!!
    A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. - Dave Ramsey
  • Queenie
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:45 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:45 PM
    tiff, I understand your dilema.

    Certainly Christmas is not the time to bring up the subject, but during the course of the year, say on smaller events - Mothers Day, Easter, you could perhaps get away with a test run and see what reaction it gets? I especially like Galtizz's idea about presenting some hm cakes/biscuits etc in a bought pretty tin/box that can double up for something else afterwards. You could get really imaginative with that too!

    For example: Buy a colander, put in hm jam, hm bread, maybe a bottle of hm flavoured oil, etc., (I'm not sure of your childrens ages, but they could "help" in the making of these things - make it easier for relatives to receive it )

    Another thing I have done in tighter times when I really haven't had the money - is to turn to humour! My brother in law got a "Belly Button Blowdryer" (a straw with poem stuck to a card). Another male friend got "Essex Boy Home Made Bubble Bath" (a tin of baked beans with my own design label stuck over the top of the original with clipart added). My dh got a "Duct Tape Wallet" (he fixes *everything* with duct tape so this was truly hilarious.

    If you get the feeling that your hm goodies aren't going down so well, you can at least boast that they are original and UNIQUE therefore ... PRICELESS.
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  • cath-w
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:52 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:52 PM
    I make most of my gifts and cards. This Xmas I made cards for all the family and close friends and just bought a pack of 20 cards for everyone else.

    I do a lot of crafts, mainly knitting and sewing. This year I made a scarf from the most beautiful, soft angora wool for a friend. For another friend I made a bag. Another friend got a lambswool, beaded scarf. Everything was made by myself and much appreciated by my friends. My friend who got the bag has had loads of people asking where she got it from. For one of my nieces she also got a knitted scarf and I made her a quiz book too full of word searches and puzzles I created myself and printed out in a folder I decorated.

    I am already planning gifts for next year also. I am lucky in that I am fairly skilled at needlework to the extent that I am hoping to start selling some of my designs commercially next year if possible. So far everyone has genuinly been happy with their gifts which was lucky. .

    C.
  • Galtizz
    Tiff, You design and print really well done lables and tags (on card), some trendy shops attach there lables with old fashioned string or raffeta or a safety pin, and say you bought them from a 'quaint little homemade place' somewhere miles away (like, where you went on holiday) so that they'll never go, (or say the shop was only open for Xmas and has closed down now)
    Or, tell them before hand that you are going to have a 'proper' traditional homemade Xmas and they can re- adjust there budgets if they feel they need to. I was quite surprised that a lot of people I thought would be snobby said 'oh that's a lovely idea, I wish Xmas was more like that, it's so commercialised now :rolleyes: '
    Or, as Queenie suggests try testing the water with a home made hamper with a few homemade stuff in. Check out the link I posted, there is a whole thread on hampers, not just food, candle hampers, drink hampers (I made a coffee hamper with a nice quality big mug from Denby 2nd shop 2.50ish, add a few sachets of instant cappuchino and make some chocolate spoons so that when they use those to stir it it makes a mocco-chino). Give it a go, you might be surprised at peoples reactions.

    Good luck
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt
    • Ticklemouse
    • By Ticklemouse 7th Feb 05, 5:25 PM
    • 4,896 Posts
    • 5,486 Thanks
    Ticklemouse
    My MIL's next door neighbour knitted her, my SIL and even me one of those fluffy scarves that are so fashionable this year. It was totally unexpected and I loved it. See, you just never know.
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 8th Feb 05, 2:48 PM
    • 3,990 Posts
    • 7,574 Thanks
    culpepper
    My Auntie knitted Bra's for all the female family once (I think I was about 8 and I got one).
    My kids had a snow white and a policeman that she had knitted (they loved them).
    I think nearly all the gifts she gave were home-made and her house was full of crotchet and embroidery (happy memories).
  • rach
    i've revived this thread rather than starting a new one (brownie points to me )
    i'm planning to make as many presents as i can this year - both to save money, be more personal and be less commercial!!

    this weekend whilst away i was lucky enough to do glass painting (i hadn;t done that for years!), glass engraving (awesome results - 2 opaque large brandy glasses with a funky star pattern on), jewellery making (i also used to do this but had forgotten - have a tin of stuff for it somewhere!!)

    so, my plans so far are:

    best friends bday - brandy class & scarf
    friends wedding - set of painted wine glasses
    other ideas, non-specific, are jewellery, other scarves and painted glasses and photo frames

    anyone else make their own stuff? any ideas to share?!
    Mum to gorgeous baby boy born Sept 2010
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 8th Jan 07, 10:39 AM
    • 14,995 Posts
    • 23,049 Thanks
    MrsTinks
    There are quite a few bits and bob on gift making over on the Christmas board too and loads are commentingon how pleasantly surprised they were at the reactions they got from people. I think next year I shall be a lot braver and make MORE My list of things to try and make will depend on whether I manage to get a shed and freezer or not tho as I WILL need the room for demijohns and the freezer to store fresher ingredients. At the moment I am stuck with a tiny 2 1/2 drawers under my fridge...

    I would love to learn how to crochet but I struggle with knitting because of my wrists (inflamed tendons) so not sure I would manage well... I want to make more bath bombs (have the kit!) and maybe add bath salts to my repetoir this year

    Thinking of borrowing a sewing machine at some point too so I can use som of my old materials and so on to make lavender bags for the wardrobes and so on
    DFW Nerd #025
    DFW no more! Officially debt free 2017 - now joining the MFW's!

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    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 8th Jan 07, 10:40 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    I did this a few years ago for my mil. I made her a different jam/preserve each month for a year.

    It was a Christmas present so I started off with a jar of mincemeat.
    Jan - marmalade
    Feb - lemon curd
    March - Rhubarb and ginger jam
    April - ? can't remember
    May - Gooseberry and elderflower jam
    June - Blackcurrant jelly
    July - Strawberry jam
    Aug - Sweetcorn relish
    Sept - crab apple jelly
    Oct - blackberry jam
    Nov- damson chutney

    Best present I've ever made or given

    When I was a student I bought all my family blank artist's notebooks and copied out poetry and prose in them. I also stuck postcards and other pictures in. I tried to choose things to suit each person. I didn't fill the entire book, just the first few pages. The idea was that they would be filled by the recipient. I know my grandmothers and aunt did this, I don't think my brother did though :rolleyes:
  • Bexstars
    I am making up a gift basket for my sister, its her 16th birthday of the 25th of this month. She loves hot chocolate so im making her a hot chocolate hamper. I bought some cheap but pretty baskets last year and in the sales in superdrug I bought a little set for £3.00 that had a large mug, a little whisk and a tub of cappachino powder. I also bought a tub of chocolate lollys to put in the hamper from superdrug for 50p. Then I have bought 8 of those options singles in different flavours on offer in morrisons and will buy a little pack of marshmallows. Wrapped up in some pretty paper im certain that she will love it
  • cjalynch
    Home-made gifts
    I would think it depends very much on the recipient- last year we were very short of cash so I had a small hand towel in my cross-stitch bag and embroidered the edging in a mosaic pattern for mum's birthday. She wasn't at all sure what to think about the gift until she was told I had "made" it for her and was so pleased with it she won't use it but hangs it more as a decoration. Even though it was a small gift- and didn't cost anything compared to stuff I got her when I was young, rich and foolish!- it is probably the most valued thing she has received from me.
  • redballoon
    i am thinking of making more christmas presents for this year as well and this thread has given me lots of ideas to try.

    neices - handmade knitting hat, scarf and gloves
    older neice - knitted jumper - looking for a pattern!
    sister in law - homemade jewellery (have a stash of lovely beads to use!)
    brother in law - ?

    parents - mum - knitted jumper or shawl/pashmina/wrap
    dad - ?

    why is it that the blokes are harder to make for as well as hard to buy for?!?!?!
    Make 10 a day challenge March 2013 101.24 / 240
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    • stilernin
    • By stilernin 8th Jan 07, 12:20 PM
    • 1,217 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    stilernin
    i am thinking of making more christmas presents for this year as well and this thread has given me lots of ideas to try.

    neices - handmade knitting hat, scarf and gloves
    older neice - knitted jumper - looking for a pattern!
    sister in law - homemade jewellery (have a stash of lovely beads to use!)
    brother in law - ?

    parents - mum - knitted jumper or shawl/pashmina/wrap
    dad - ?

    why is it that the blokes are harder to make for as well as hard to buy for?!?!?!
    by redballoon
    Most blokes like biscuits which can often be made simply, or how about home made sweets? Find a small basket or a small box and cover in Chrissy paper to make an attractive gift.
    • natzini
    • By natzini 8th Jan 07, 12:23 PM
    • 560 Posts
    • 5,634 Thanks
    natzini
    I make all sorts of presents... sometimes it's just some cookies, sweets or something like a crumble, other times it's jewellery, photo frames and other things.

    I am working on my sisetrs Easter present at the moment (she is type 1 diabetic so doesn't want chocolate), am making her a recipe folder so that she can put her fave clippings in it

    Un sou est un sou
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