Well, aren’t you dandy, aren’t you fine.
Chipper as a chipmunk in the sunshine.
Voice of a songbird, holy cow;
Aren’t you just the cat’s meow!
~Download my free cat doll pattern at the end of the post~
Over the past few years, I have grown into the opinion that, even from one adult to another, homemade presents are the best. Why?
- The personal touch. Having something someone spent hours of thought and effort into producing just means more than something bought in a store or online.
- Adults in a first world country, the majority of which are middle class and above, and where credit cards are rampant, when a person wants or needs something, they go out and buy it themselves. There is no waiting, or wish lists. Which is fine, but it does put a damper on gift giving. There are no Aunt Cindys who have talked about nothing but wanting a pasta maker for months. Handmade gifts open up a new avenue of want-able possibilities because they add sentiment.
- With that being said about the middle class and such, this past year took a baseball bat to the economy. If you use repurposed materials, making a gift can save oodles of money. A gift’s value isn’t in how much it cost, it’s found in what you make it into and the fact that you went to the effort of making it at all.
- It feels good to make something for others. It’s fun to think about their interests and what they spend their time doing and work out the perfect thing to make and personalize.
There are many more reasons, but you get the idea. Together let’s bust the misconception that the more expensive a gift is the better and that it means a person cares more. It just isn’t true.
Pinterest and Youtube are gold mines for gift making ideas and cost-free ways to celebrate, but here’s a list to get your creative mind going.
- Free Dates: If you choose this idea in lieu of a gift, you can combine several to make a day filled with special activities. You’ll make lasting memories and your time spent planning will mean a lot to the recipient.
- Treasure/Photo Hunt: I’m sure this and the next item will be on lists for free dates, but they are just too fun not to mention especially. You don’t have to create a hunt all on your own. Ask the internet. It knows all. To see this gift idea in action, read my short story “Treasure.”
- Fancy Picnic. Being outside, eating cheese and grapes feels luxurious and romantic, but you can picnic with a friend or family member. If it is for a child, water balloons and watermelon make for classic fun. You don’t have to spend a fortune on decorations and presents. Quality together time in nature is a gift in itself.
–Sewn makeup bags
-Character themed aprons
- -Write out your favorite family recipes or inspirational quotes on nice stationary.
-If you can, draw or paint. If not, it’s affordable to print beautiful images onto cardstock and pick up a frame from a dollar store.
-Print photographs, adding sweet notes on the back.
-Make a slideshow with music of your relationship and the good times you’ve shared.
–Sewn bow ties or No-Sew
–Manly handkerchiefs. Go green.
–Magnetic wristband for nails and such.
–A firewood caddy.
–A tote with pockets to slip over a tool bucket
–Exfoliant scrub for those gnarly feet.
-Baked Goods. No man (or woman, really) can say no these man bars.
-Stuffed animals. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Or, you know… elephants.
–Treasure hunts for kids
–Homemade foam slime or Regular
–Doll houses made of shoe boxes
-Coat a wall, table, blocks with chalk paint.
I could go on, but who has the time?
I hope I’ve encouraged you to give gift-making a shot. Even if you don’t use these in the place of a birthday present, they make for great weekend projects.
I developed this cat doll pattern for my niece. Give it a try, and let me know if you have any questions or hit a snafu. Enjoy!
- Cut out the patterns. Align the head with the body and tape in place.
- Fold your fabric in half, right sides facing, pin the body pattern onto the fabric, and cut through the two layers.
- Remove the pattern and embroider the face.
- Replace the fabric, right sides facing, sew all the way around with a quarter inch seam allowance, leaving an inch and a half open on one side.
- Snip the seam allowance at joints: neck, armpits, etc.
- Turn right sides out and begin stuffing. Stop at each of the joints and sew a quick seam across, back stitching to make sure it’s secure.
- Slip stitch the side seam shut and viola!
- I suggest you make the clothing out of felt, then you won’t have to worry about hemming. Also, using a blanket stitch around the neck and arms will help stabilize against stretching.
Keep crafty, my friends!
**Not everyone has time to make gifts, and that is okay! If that’s you, do NOT feel bad. This isn’t a guilt trip, it’s an invitation for those who can, whenever they can, to join in the fun.