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Linz
11-16-2012, 12:57 PM
Hey guys!

So lets not bury our heads in the sand, shall we? Christmas is coming up fast and if you're like me, gift buying can be either enjoyable, stressful or a mix of the two. I for one am struggling this year as money is tight. I'm warming to the idea of handmade Christmas gifts, but at a low cost.

I thought this thread would be a good idea for us all to post ideas, opinions, tips and tricks or anything else to help each other out in the festive season! Maybe if you see something on a special offer? Post it here! Figured out a way to save money and still get impressive gifts? Post it here! We're an artistic community and this is our forte so lets jump right in!


I'll start.
I went to a notebook binding class the other day and it is ALOT easier than I imagined. Here's some pics.
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/notebookclass2.jpghttp://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/notebookclass4.jpg
So I thought maybe I could make some of these for my friends and family. Bling them up with some rhinestones, stitching, etc? I dunno. Alot of my friends are in uni so I thought if I used lined paper it would help for notes or as a little diary.
Thoughts?

Demonfyre
11-16-2012, 01:27 PM
That's a really quaint idea, the cover looks great, did you design it yourself?

Linz
11-16-2012, 01:41 PM
Nah the tutor had loaaads of offcuts of fabric. Essentially all it is is some cardboard with fabric stuck on! Really cheap and easy. I really liked the fabric I chose as I thought it kinda looked like a stained glass window? Kinda Art Deco-ish which I really dig <: Thank you demon!

indescribable
11-16-2012, 02:22 PM
Artistic food jars.

http://www.vrouwen.nl/files/0/0/0/2/00020244.jpg

Good for people who like baking/fresh baked goods and may or may not have the time to do lots of prep and clean up. Super convenient and the jars look really nice.

These can get a little pricier if you don't already have a lot of the ingredients or you want to go a bit higher-end, though.

GunZet
11-16-2012, 02:26 PM
Since I'm quite broke myself, I can't really provide jack this Xmas. I may make a painting for my mom if I can get a canvas. I find having something you can hang up on your wall, where all the work is touchable, to be better than what I would usually do digitally.

The big problem is coming up with a subject, and I'm horrible at that.
I guess another thing I could do is cook a nice breakfast or dinner, at the very least.

indescribable
11-16-2012, 02:45 PM
Dunno what the art stores are like where you live, but they'll probably be setting up Christmas sales right now. That'll often include canvases -- sometimes at as much as half-off. Also, you could try asking if they have any slightly damaged canvases that they could give you for a discount. Occasionally the "damage" is just a slight discoloration or dent. You never know, you might get lucky.

Linz
11-16-2012, 03:34 PM
Artistic food jars.

http://www.vrouwen.nl/files/0/0/0/2/00020244.jpg

Good for people who like baking/fresh baked goods and may or may not have the time to do lots of prep and clean up. Super convenient and the jars look really nice.

These can get a little pricier if you don't already have a lot of the ingredients or you want to go a bit higher-end, though.

Wow, Tay! This is an excellent idea, I may actually try this. So like I assume you make the cakes as normal then put in the jar and shove that in the oven...? Or is it more like you make a tray bake cake then break it up and put it in somewhat randomly. I dunno if glass jars are safe in the oven. o_o I love how you could get really creative with the labelling and jar and the little wooden spoon is adorable! Thank you for sharing!


I also had a few other ideas. Save any scrap pieces of fabric, buttons, knick knacks, broken jewellery and butcher it up like I do. I have a huge craft box filled with bits and bobs that I use for crafts. In the past i've made my friends their initials for bdays, etc.
Some pics:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/DSC00539-1.jpg
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/DSC00532-Copy-1.jpg

indescribable
11-16-2012, 04:32 PM
The initials idea looks really funky. At first I wasn't so sure about it, because I'm the type of person who thinks that everything I own needs to be functional, but then I realized those could make amazing book ends or holders or something. You could even just hang them on the wall above a coat hook or something like a really fancy label. The possibilities are endless!



Wow, Tay! This is an excellent idea, I may actually try this. So like I assume you make the cakes as normal then put in the jar and shove that in the oven...? Or is it more like you make a tray bake cake then break it up and put it in somewhat randomly. I dunno if glass jars are safe in the oven. o_o I love how you could get really creative with the labelling and jar and the little wooden spoon is adorable! Thank you for sharing!

Usually you would layer all the dry ingredients in the jar. You could put each ingredient in as one big layer or do a bunch of smaller layers. When it comes to using the ingredients you just dump it in a bowl, add the milk/eggs/butter/whatever, stir, pour, and bake. Basically it's just a prettier, fancier version of pancake mix.

http://thumbs.ifood.tv/files/images/Layered_Mason_Jar_Gift.jpg http://www.squawkfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/gifts_jar_soup_cookies_muffins.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_fFmuVKljPjo/TEcVKiepLAI/AAAAAAAAACE/68QfwFTxtf0/s1600/Layered+Cookie+Soup+Jars.jpg

http://photos.weddingbycolor-nocookie.com/p000012048-m69179-p-photo-199678/Blue-DIY-Wedding-My-first-attempt-at-my-layered-brownie-mix-jars.jpg
However, for the red velvet one I think they baked some red velvet cake and then layered it in the jar with icing. You can do that with salads and things for lunches, too.

GunZet
11-17-2012, 08:59 PM
Well hell, if only I was that crafty.
Unfortunatelyyyyy- no.


Luckily I only got my mom and a good friend to give gifts to, maybe my little sister, but she's kinda....material.
My solutions?

Painting/art for my mom. She loves that stuff. Some flowers too if I get the chance. And if I still have paint! o.o
May send my friend my Xbox headset and a little something else that I have yet to figure out yet. It's gotta mean sumthin' tho!
And my sister... I think I'll give her my old iPod Nano, since I don't use it, haven't used it for months now, and it's perfectly fine.

Celestial-Fox
11-17-2012, 09:49 PM
Yeah, I'm out very crafty, either. Though I my customize a bag/some shoes for my roommate. I'm stumped on what to get my partner, since I went all-out for our anniversary (I spoil him, so). I've already bought gifts for two other people, one gift came from a handmade shop online and the other came from a vintage store. My family isn't exchanging gifts, since we'll be abroad together, which is selfishly convenient to me.

Psy
11-22-2012, 09:10 AM
Just a side note but any crafts that you make can also be sold for a decent price online or locally. I bake a family recipe that no one else in my family does and sell it $15 a pop and it only costs me $6 to make. So far I've made $75 or so making them and given a few away as gifts already for thanksgiving.

I sew blankets and bags that I sell and give away as gifts. Cost anywhere from $10-$30 to make a blanket or bag and I double the cost to get a price.
Home/handmade is what people like to hear when they buy stuff around Christmas so make sure to throw that around a bit if you do sell.

Linz
11-23-2012, 05:51 AM
Thanks for the tip's Psy!
I'm actually very interested in your blankets! Do you take commissions?

Thought i'd post more ideas. In the past i've crafted tiny little boxes as gifts then filled them with sweets, jewellery, etc. This is a REALLY versatile idea as you can basically take ANY box and make it into something else/give it a totally different look. These boxes are about 2" big. So they're tiny ones.
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/DSC00529.jpghttp://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/DSC00510-1.jpg
I didn't fill these. I gave the rectangular one away as a gift as a trinket box (the recipient LOVED it.) and the circle one I made for myself to keep charms in for my jewellery. The roses, sweets and musical note on the boxes are also handmade by me.

Shadowsfade
11-23-2012, 07:43 AM
Wow, everyone has really creative, great ideas!

Thought I'd contribute a lil something, not the best compared to some already here, but may help someone out! Something I found online a few years ago I did for my mum once. Get a box with a lid (whatever size you want) and decorate it with wrapping paper/ tissue paper and any other bits and pieces to make it pretty - but wrap it so you can't open the box. Then attach this poem to it:

This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason it's so special is
It's just for you from me.

Whenever you are lonely
Or are ever feeling blue
You only have to hold this gift
And know I'm hugging you.

You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold the box close to your heart
It's filled with hugs inside.


and enjoy!

Linz
11-23-2012, 09:03 AM
Oh wow! That is such a beautiful little poem. I might actually use this idea since i'll be making more trinket boxes this year. Thank you for your contribution! :D

Psy
11-23-2012, 05:00 PM
@Linz: not usually but I have before. Did you have something you wanted in mind? PM me anytime for anything <3

I am also trying to make a deal with a vendor that operates outside of a local Bingo hall I go to. I bake him 2-3 of something the four or five days a week he's there and he can turn around and sell it individually at his stand. Holiday season brings out the sweet tooth in a lot of people.

Celestial-Fox
11-23-2012, 08:57 PM
I'm going to try to make a blanket and a scarf for extra Christmas gifts.

Linz
11-24-2012, 06:08 AM
@Psy: TBH I was wanting a cute blankie for my cat. HAHAHAHAA. :C My cat needs a christmas present too!

@Seefy: Post pics once you've made them! Really interested to see.

I feel like i'm the only one posting pics here xD But I hope i'm giving others inspiration. Aaaaanywho, thought i'd post another idea. In college I used to make jewellery and sell it in a vintage store in my town, it was reasonably successful but I had to give it up, material costs were too expensive, I had left college and went into a job so I didn't have the same dedication I had.

I still have stock left that I haven't even bothered to try and sell, but if anyone here is interested in them, then please send me a PM. I'm willing to post overseas aswell! I'm in the UK and prices usually ranged from &#163;6-12 for each item. I have rings, necklaces and earrings. I'm willing to barter on the prices as I really need cash for christmas and it'd be nice to shift the items I have left.
Here are two of the necklaces:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/DSC00201-1.jpghttp://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z99/Linxeh/DSC00204-1.jpg

Also, if anyone is interested in any of the other items i've made, I'm willing for commissions! I'm always open for new challenges and it would be my absolute pleasure. Want to see more pics? Let me know!

Psy
11-26-2012, 12:12 AM
I shall share with you the crafts of my people!


Baby blanket for a friend at work
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/353D7015-A428-4E04-BEEE-2D8D5475B351-6345-000007613A71B63C.jpg

Just because I could
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/3E15B0EC-8A51-4CF2-892F-830ECE916BC5-6345-000007614E1896FD.jpg

Cat in the hat gave me a crick in my back
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/9F4E89CF-1FBB-4D75-9E82-14921682E85A-6345-00000761850348D5.jpg

Suzy's zoo I choose you!
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/34E9D0AF-9100-4094-8F5D-CFE191D25952-6345-000007619615FE6C.jpg

Snoopy blankie oh so swanky.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/boysnoopyblanket.png

Strawberry shortcake no rhyme this time. Or is there?!
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/Strwbrryblankie.jpg

Bags
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/Marveltotebagblack.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/Marveltotebagred.png
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/15993746-6FEE-4705-9893-2FA1202BF2BB-6345-00000761B1147813.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/3D22F2DF-066F-4D89-9F02-A5534D99C1D4-6345-000007616DECD564.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/EFB50054-D732-4262-808A-C4B7E50DE38C-6345-00000761607CA8C8.jpg
This one was a special order request and I love how I did the pocket <3!


I can't tell if they are all fuzzy just on my phone or because I used the photobucket app to put them on here.

indescribable
11-26-2012, 12:42 AM
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a68/229817/9F4E89CF-1FBB-4D75-9E82-14921682E85A-6345-00000761850348D5.jpg


My favourite. The bags are cool too, but dat blanket. :F

GunZet
11-26-2012, 12:44 AM
That Snoopy one is the shit, I like all of em really.. damn.

Aether
11-26-2012, 02:07 AM
@Linz: not usually but I have before. Did you have something you wanted in mind? PM me anytime for anything <3

I am also trying to make a deal with a vendor that operates outside of a local Bingo hall I go to. I bake him 2-3 of something the four or five days a week he's there and he can turn around and sell it individually at his stand. Holiday season brings out the sweet tooth in a lot of people.He sounds like a drug dealer.

Sylux
11-26-2012, 01:12 PM
Dunno if it helps, but my sister usually crochets things for people for Chanukah. Last year she crocheted me this awesome beanie thing using a weird loom thingy that's just like a circle with some pegs and this year she's crocheting my mother this cute blue and white striped scarf.

Celestial-Fox
11-26-2012, 06:51 PM
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x96/Celestial-Fox/Photoon2011-12-22at03.png

My sister made me this hat with a circle loom.

And I learned how to crochet giant scarves (pictured) through YouTube videos on basic stitches.

baladu
11-26-2012, 08:48 PM
i honestly think you should get a card and a chocolate box with heart shaped chocolates and a long you should get that person something they really wanted for a long time!

Rio
11-27-2012, 01:45 PM
That's more for Valentine's or proposing to someone than a Christmas gift. :|

GunZet
11-27-2012, 01:59 PM
Maybe the proposition IS the gift. Ehh, ehhh, EHHHH??
No. Okay.

JJJorgie
11-27-2012, 05:58 PM
If anyone knows how to crochet, there are books out there for really simple, super cute, crocheted animals that take no time at all to make. The book I have is called "Super-Super Cute Crochet" with 35 different animals. If anyone's interested, shoot me a pm and I can copy instructions for certain animals for you.


Pomeranian, bunny, kitten, Pig, Hamster, Puppy, Cat, Cow, polar bear, penguin, turtles, crocodile, frogs, toads, walrus, manta ray, squid, whale, shrimp, platypus, snail, flamingo, tortoise, hippo, guinea pig, anteater, butterfly, bird, toucan, owls, panda, koala, silkworm, mole, arctic fox, dragon

baladu
11-27-2012, 07:47 PM
but it can be for christmas too! i mean finding love in christmas is just wonderful:D!

Evil_Cake
11-27-2012, 07:59 PM
i think it'd be best to do it the day after, so no need 2 buy gift

Psy
11-27-2012, 08:54 PM
If anyone knows how to crochet, there are books out there for really simple, super cute, crocheted animals that take no time at all to make. The book I have is called "Super-Super Cute Crochet" with 35 different animals. If anyone's interested, shoot me a pm and I can copy instructions for certain animals for you.


Pomeranian, bunny, kitten, Pig, Hamster, Puppy, Cat, Cow, polar bear, penguin, turtles, crocodile, frogs, toads, walrus, manta ray, squid, whale, shrimp, platypus, snail, flamingo, tortoise, hippo, guinea pig, anteater, butterfly, bird, toucan, owls, panda, koala, silkworm, mole, arctic fox, dragon

Amigurumi.

I can crochet but I do hats mostly. I've done amigurumi but it takes forever IMO and single crochet hurts my fingers after a while.
Still crochet is a great gift and its 10X's faster than knitting.

Linz
11-28-2012, 06:30 AM
So whats the difference between a knitted hat and crochet hat? Different ways of weaving the fabric? I've always wondered.

Rio
11-28-2012, 10:27 AM
Ooo, I'd love to make amigurumi one day. Mostly, I've been doing stuff from Aranzi Aronzo (Cute Book (http://www.amazon.com/The-Cute-Book-Aranzi-Aronzo/dp/1932234683/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354115986&sr=8-1&keywords=cute+book), Cuter Book (http://www.amazon.com/Aranzi-Aronzo-Cuter-Book/dp/1934287822/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354115986&sr=8-3&keywords=cute+book), Cute Stuff (http://www.amazon.com/Aranzi-Cute-Stuff-Aronzo/dp/1934287091/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354115986&sr=8-2&keywords=cute+book), Cute Dolls (http://www.amazon.com/Cute-Dolls-Lets-Make-Stuff/dp/1932234780/ref=pd_sim_b_4)) as they don't require you to know how to crochet. :3

Didn't make this but here's an example from some of their books:

http://www.supercutekawaii.com/wp-content/uploads/aranzi1-400x252.jpg

http://kimberlypetersen.typepad.com/photos/things_i_made/6a00d8341cadf753ef01157019c82f970b-450wi.jpg

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4033/4612827966_eea1f35f9e.jpg

JJJorgie
11-28-2012, 10:43 AM
Oh, good idea, Rio. I forgot about things like felt animals.

Psy
11-28-2012, 02:46 PM
So whats the difference between a knitted hat and crochet hat? Different ways of weaving the fabric? I've always wondered.

Knitted stuff uses two or more needles at once to make and has a wavy pattern on one side (usually called the wrong side) and a V pattern side (the right side). Knitting is nice because its thinner and neater with a more uniform quality like a sheet of fabric. Knitting also takes a long time unless you use giant sized needles and a thick yarn.

Crochet is done using one needle that is actually a hook. Crochet is made by making and pulling loops through one another. It's faster than knitting but more bulky and more space between the stitches which is not always what you want.

Celestial-Fox
11-28-2012, 05:48 PM
Knitting is monumentally more difficult to me for some reason, because I always drop stitches. OTL

But yeah, Psy's right. Crocheting is faster, which is why I do it for the holidays. You can make tight-weave crochet stuff, but it generally entails using a really small hook, which isn't as necessary with knitting.

Linz
11-29-2012, 11:07 AM
Ohhhh okay I see. Thanks for explaining, guys. I used to knit little garments for my plushies when I was younger lmao. My aunt taught me, she's a bionic knitter...she'd sit and watch the tv and knit a huge ass scarf in like an hour. Her hands are all arthritic now :c it's sad.

whenrabbitsattack2.0
11-30-2012, 06:37 PM
^ my mum taught m how to knit but I like sewing better.
I think I have a picture........

quality's a little crappy but you get the Idea. this was a birthday present I made for a friend. I never measure him properly,but the USB cable in the background pretty much describes his size
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh639/whenrabbitsattack/grimreaperrabbit.jpg
she named him Winston the Impaler. she wanted him to resemble a voodoo doll, so I made the stiching a litle messier and differnet sized buttons for eyes.
I have a slighty larger one wearing a dress with a flower on it on my keychain :3 I made the pattern myself and they're completley customisable, so they work really well as gifts

Moonlightx
12-16-2012, 09:14 AM
For those who suck at crafting like me, another idea: you could also buy a small pouch and decorate it with chains, flowers, rhinestones, etc. and then put some little gifts in it. For women who like body and face care stuff and everything like that you could put in some Lush (http://www.lush.com/) and TBS (http://www.thebodyshop.com/) samples. For women who like makeup you could buy some christmas makeup like gold nailpolish, glitter, etc. And for children you could put in candy. No men ideas, sorry, I am still looking for something for my dad and male best friends!
*EDIT: Sorry, I didn't see someone already came up with this idea! (Or well, not exactly similar.. boxes instead of pouches.. anyway, someone already came up with this idea)*

Rio
12-17-2012, 10:05 AM
I've done pouches and boxes. You can also do a simple glass jar and stuffing it with items. If you want to get fancy, try using apothecary jars. Origami is always good especially if you do the more complex floral globes, modular and polyhedron types.