Posts Tagged ‘handmade gifts’

Handmade Christmas 2012


Like most years, I like to make as many Christmas gifts as possible. This year was much better than last. It’s been quite a bit less stressful this year than last (we were still settling into our last digs), but I tried to keep things as simple as possible.

For the kiddos, I adopted Gabrielle’s philosophy on gift giving. I didn’t make anything for them this year.

On my side of the family, we were in charge of giving to my younger sister and her husband. They’ll be heading up here from Tuscan to celebrate Christmas and pick up their new puppy. So I thought I would make something appropriate for that. I lettered their names in frames (they can easily swap those out for photos), cut out an ampersand and made a leather collar for the new dog, Reese. I made a little tag with her name on it, but couldn’t get it to attach to the buckle (hands too raw). Hopefully they can do that.

The ampersand is really hard to photograph, it’s clear 1/4 inch acrylic, but I love it. I actually made two so I can keep one and give the other away. (selfish much?)

On Chris’s side, I’m in charge of giving to my brother-in-law Steven and Chris was in charge of giving to my sister-in-law Rebecca. Steven just got his wallet stolen and absolutely loves bow ties so I made him a leather wallet (it’s really thin!) and a leather bow tie out of the same leather I used for the wallet. I tried to tie the bow tie and didn’t have much luck making it look good, but I’m terrible at tying fabric ones, I’m hoping he can get this one to look good. That was a bit of a gamble. He has also played a lot of guitar lately, so I got him Chris’s favorite guitar tuner.

Rebecca is a great sewer. She’s made some really beautiful quilts and clothes. Chris is a bit clueless in this arena so I took care of the present for him. This was fun. I made her an acrylic ruler and got her an etsy gift card.

What would I have done for the holidays without access to a laser cutter?! I want one all my own so badly.

How are your holidays wrapping up? What things have you made? Are you surprising anyone this year with something big? I hope all of you have a fantastic Christmas!

Handmade: Triple-Wrap Magic Braided Bracelet


So I serve at my church in the young adult program for girls 12-18. Over the weekend we had a special annual program focusing on the things that they have done to further their strength in core values and principles. To celebrate the women who have finished the value program, we as leaders gave them a couple of special gifts. I hand-lettered and framed “I can do hard things.” and made them each magic braided bracelets.

I used the template I made for my magic braided bracelet tutorial, but lengthened the template times two. I used some blue leather I had on hand (also seen here) and button studs. I liked how they turned out so much I made an extra for me. I can’t wait to break it in. Wanna know the best way to break in a new leather bracelet? Shower with it on!

The blue is so pretty, I’m looking forward to pairing it with my recent jewel-toned finds.


Father’s Day & Tribute Books



I really love your emails, thank you!! After I posted about Brooke’s book, I got a few responses from readers interested in Father’s day/tribute books. It was a pleasant surprise and I had a lot of fun making something special and memorable for the men in these ladies’ lives.

hand bound tribute books

Two of the books I bound were tribute books with printed text from family members and friends. I can’t tell you enough how much I love this idea. Funny, Marissa and Audrey both wanted the cork/leather combination. I don’t blame them, if you could feel the cork and leather materials, you’d just drool. I love how yummy these books turned out.


In addition to making the custom tribute books for Marissa and Audrey, I also made a blank journal for a fellow blogger, Pattie. I love the checked paper and I’ve got a huge soft spot in my heart for the Coptic bind. The stitching is just so beautiful and theraputic. It’s also perfect for a pass-around book because the pages lay flat, perfect for writing in. Have I told you how much I love bookbinding?!? I got a year’s supply of PVA in the mail yesterday along with some beautiful paper from paper-source, so off I go to make some more books!!

Earth Day Winner #4: I Heart Giraffes


Here’s a little to know about Leah:

Favorite Color: This is a hard one. I love Deep Burgundy red, and rich deep purple and Rich Royal blue, and and and the list goes on, but I think those are the top though.

Interests: Well obviously crafting, and quilting. I also love photography, reading, biking, ultimate Frisbee,  being a mom and wife, nature and once again the list goes on.

Something that makes me me: I’d have to say Giraffes. I LOVE them and collect anything to do with them. I know it’s a little strange, but nobody that knows me can see anything giraffe without thinking of me. [and she’s never won anything before!!]

Giraffe Tissue Holder

I first thought the giraffe motif was particularly awesome when I went window shopping at Jonathan Adler in San Francisco and my friend showed me the most adorable giraffe lamp. So, when Leah emailed me about her affinity for the lurpy-legged creature, I knew I had to incorporate it somehow.

I’m not sure why I thought of doing a  travel tissue case, maybe because I saw it recently on Martha, but maybe in the back of my mind I thought, “Leah likes her kid, who might get a runny nose from time to time.” So there you go. I made the case.


On the back side of the case, I stitched a little giraffe for her. I really like how this turned out, and I just enough vinyl to make another one. For me!

2008’s Resolution Report


Last year’s goal was to hand-make all of my gifts for the Holiday season, the success motivated me to continue it through this year. I’ve done very well, and besides Chris’s birthday & a wedding gift, I’ve managed to keep my resolution. I’m still a little wary of giving handmade gifts, though, here’s why:

  • Not everyone has the same personal style or design aesthetic
  • Not everyone appreciates something handmade & would prefer the convenience of a purchased item (returns/exchanges)

I would love to hear about handmade gifts that you’ve received that was A) great and/or B) disastrous and explain why it was that way, and for the latter, what you would have done differently if you were the giver of the disastrous hand-made gift. Your feedback is welcome & appreciated!!

.    .    .

OH, and before I forget, here are a couple of gifts that I’ve made in the last couple of weeks:

I made a lunch sack as payment for some hair stuff my sister did for me. [A Little Plug for my sister, Emily, If you live in SLC and you’re in the look out for a great cut or in need of an uber talented colorist, go to The Spa Club and ask for Emily.] I made it to match the apron I made her. If you missed out on the tutorial for the lunch sack, you can find it here!

With all of my friends having baby boys these days, it’s really challenged my creativity (in a good way). Girls are just so much easier to make things for. I got this brilliant idea from my Auntie Annie for a hooded towel. She gave me one for Penelope, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. It’s the perfect kind of gift that goes for both boys and girls (plus it’s nice to have something that baby can use for a long time). I’ll have a tutorial up soon on how I did it. I thought it turned out quite nicely.

Also, don’t forget!! TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO ENTER INTO MY GIVEAWAY!! Anyone reading this blog (anyone, seriously) is welcome to enter. GO HERE to enter.

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