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Christmas Gifts Unwrapped

I didn’t keep a detailed list, but I estimate I made more than 50 handmade gifts this Christmas, ranging from small ornmanents to a stuffed penguin for my son. There were a few things I never got around to finishing (or starting), but overall, I was very pleased. Starting early (July!) definitely helped.

Most of these gifts already were posted on my “hidden” holiday blog, but in case you weren’t a subscriber there, here are some of the projects:

Pinecone Elves (from a Martha Stewart magazine article)

Reversible Fleece hat (the inside is UNC-themed fleece, for my college roommate’s little girl). Made using this great tutorial at From An Igloo. And even though the recipient lives in Tennessee, they got seven inches of snow on Christmas!

Polymer Clay food charms, from “The Polymer Clay Cookbook.” (actually, I forgot to give these away. Next year?)

A set of mini notebooks. These actually were a wedding shower gift for my friend Beverley, the only person I know who loves Anne of Green Gables like I do. So much, that her shower had an “Anne” theme. I wasn’t able to attend, but I when I got the invitation, I dug through our very, very dusty storage crawl space to find my box of old books. Then I scanned the covers and made these little blank books for her. Each one is about 3X5″, with 20 sheets of paper. I printed the covers on laser photo paper, which ended up feeling very much like a real book cover. I cut up some old file folders and glued the covers on, and then sewed the books on my sewing machine down the middle. If I had had time, I would’ve gone out and bought some little notebooks, but once I got this idea in my head I was excited to start it. I think this same idea could be used for all kinds of gifts

A stuffed stingray. My son loves these two books, and we’ve given them to several friends for birthdays and Christmas along with stuffed stingrays. I made up the pattern just looking at the picture. There’s actually two layers. A muslin inner layer that has some rice sewn into the ends of the flippers to give it some weight, and then the fleece outer cover.

A shrink-plastic “miniature” for my friend’s 7-year-old, using a picture of him, to go along with a book about a boy who accidentally shrinks himself. I printed the picture on shrink plastic made for inkjet printers, and used a small binder clip with the metal prongs removed as the stand. Wouldn’t these be cute for personalized boardgame pieces?

I’m also adding this post to the link party at At Second Street:

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15 comments to Christmas Gifts Unwrapped

  • OH! How I love those gifts! I don’t remember seeing them on your other blog.

    I love the idea to use the Shrinky Dinks as game pieces. I had seen this idea before, but she used clay as the base. I didn’t like that idea so I didn’t make them. But your idea of a binder clip base is genius!!!

    I love the Green Gables notebook idea too. I have never read those books (maybe I should?), but I love the idea of making little notebooks like that. And sewing them together.

    And, finally, you gave me an idea on how I can use a whole big pack of wooden face beads. If I don’t make pinecone elves, I can do something similar.

    Thank you for jump starting my creativity today!

  • I love all of it, but the Anne books are great! What a cute idea.

  • I recently discovered your blog via Oh Dee Doh, I love all your posts and this handmade recap as I am a huge fan of Anne Shirley, those books are wonderful.

  • Erin

    I love Anne Shirley, but not nearly as much as I love Gilbert Blythe (the only man I would leave my husband for). I love the game piece idea!

  • The Anne of Green Gables mini notebooks are too, too cute. I am going to make of these for myself!

  • I can’t believe your Anne books were stashed in a dusty crawl space. They should be pride of place on a bookshelf, like mine are. Can’t wait to read them to my little girl, although she’s not even 3 months old, so it could be a while!

  • I love Anne, too! I’m so impressed with all your Christmas gifts. I hardly made any this year and had to be satisfied with buying some handmade ones. Thanks for all the great ideas. I’m especially into the way you made things to go with books. Right up my alley. Hmmm…..I’ll have to think on that. And also the children’s artwork stuff. I’ve been meaning to do some things like that for a long time. Thanks for the inspiration. Did you go to UNC? It’s my alma mater.

  • Holy cow, you made over 50 things. I am so impressed. I can tell you put a lot of thought and detail into your gift. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Kalleen

  • Hi, me again. I couldn’t find a place to comment on your other blog. You amaze me. Okay, I have to tell you I was laughing so hard about your comments on the gingerbread man. He is cute, but kinda creepy and after you said fangs that is all I see. I hate it when things don’t turn out exactly as I planned. You really are talented and should be proud of what you accomplished.
    Kalleen

  • I love the Anne notebooks. What an awesome idea. I think Anne would approve.

  • Such creative gifts! I’m especially partial to the stingray, not sure why =)

  • I found you via Beth at Remarkably Domestic and just had to comment as I’m a 23 year devoted Anne Fan (someday I will make my pilgramage to PEI.) At first glance I thought you cut the covers off the books to make the notebooks and was a little aghast, but the scan-and-print method is genius and much gentler for beloved stories. I could see making a similar coloring book for one of my daughter’s favorite stories. Maybe with pictres from the book inside? Thanks for sharing!

  • FINALLY! I made the personalized game pieces, but tweaked it a bit. Thank you for the inspiration!
    http://sixgoldencoins.blogspot.com/2011/12/giving-presence-personalized-game.html

  • […] In the whole food vein, loved this post by Holly Ramer of stitch/craft—about her family covering the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. There’s a picture of her young son interviewing Jamie Oliver. Holly’s got some other great stuff on her blog, including quite a few tutorials. I especially like the gifts she makes, in particular children’s book-related gifts like those here. […]

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