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Handmade Christmas--Final Touches

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Here are the final two projects that I sewed for. Moleskins like these blank sketch books come in a pack of 3 for $9.99, and using up some of my scraps, cost an easy $3.50/person. They make great little gifts for those you know who love to draw or journal. The third is for Stefan, who, frankly, wanted a really boring cover. The idea came from the book Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, one of my favorite craft books for the sewer! I love how these turned out!
Now, onto the explanation of the idea behind my Handmade Christmas. I like things to be simple, and low-cost is always great, but I really like things to be presented beautifully, so in late October I scoured websites, magazines, and Hobby Lobby for gift ideas. The gift package below is one I made for about 10 people. They can also be used separately as "stuffers" in bigger gifts, too. The salt scrub jars were 99 cents each at HL, notecard set came in a pack of 5 (that's 5 different colors, 5 notecards each color for total of 25 cards/envelopes) for $4.99, and the soap was roughly 50 cents a bar. Wrap up with wax paper and raffia ($2.00 for a ton of raffia) and that is one simple and frugal gift!
Something else our family does that adds a nice homemade, frugal, and "green" touch for Christmas is handmade bags we reuse every year instead of wrapping paper. Christmas print fabric is so cheap after the holidays (and even in the weeks leading up to), tie with a 12 in ribbon and you can make each bag for about 50 cents time!! And they look oh-so-cute! We have about 5-6 different patterns of bags, so they don't all look the same under the tree, too. We also have homemade laminated tags that we reuse every year, too, so it doesn't get confusing!
All in all, whether you're a stay-at-home mom, or a working gal, or just plain into crafts, a Handmade Christmas is really quite easy if you plan well. All in all, I spent just under 20 hours total for all 24 gifts I made this year! Not only that, but when all the money was counted, we spent less than 50% on gifts this year than last. I love handmade gifts more than anything (see Ur Oma's knit hat for Lukka that just arrived!) and I had a lot of fun making things this year--however, with two kids next Christmas, I think I will have to plan and get started a lot sooner than this year! Now...onto enjoy my victory cup of cocoa!
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