Saturday, October 29, 2011

made with care ~ for the rest

I've been known to be back in a bedroom sewing a pillow or two on Christmas morning, as the family is waiting on me to read the Nativity story...  
My husband has come home before to find me buried under a table of handmade Christmas cards, trying to make it to the post office before it closes at 2 pm on Christmas Eve...  
That, friends, is handmade gifting gone bad.  
Awhile back, a friend put in a request that I post some handmade gift ideas, hence this little mini-series.  These are the kinds of posts I would rather scrap and discuss over a hot beverage of your choice.  I just don't want to come across like I have it all together, or that these are the best ideas out there.  But, it's what I got.  And, I'm happy to share.  

~ soy candles ~
Someone once asked me if I could make candles.  I couldn't.  So, I had to learn.  I don't know why, but I do that sort of thing...  I bought a pan from goodwill, soy wax from hobby lobby, and some essential oils {I chose grapefruit-clove}.  I can't find the exact directions I followed, but these look close, except I didn't use a double broiler.
I have just been putting the wax into baby food jars, but after a friend made me this, you can know I am on the hunt for vintage tins.  Isn't this the coolest?

~ cookbook ~
I snuck into my mom's recipes one year, and put together a "tastes of home"  cookbook with our family's favorite recipes.  I also included stories from our childhood.  It turned out to be pretty meaningful to them.  (Maybe because it was actually made and wrapped before Christmas day :)

~ hanging rack with vintage door knobs ~
I have always wanted to make one of these to hang our towels on.  Instead, we made two and gave one as a gift.

~ cloth napkins ~
You can even make them out of fabric you already have, like an old dress shirt as explained here.

~ washcloths ~
I don't know how to read patterns; so my knitting is pretty limited.  Plus, I really only knit in the car, and I get bored doing a big project.  So, I knit washcloths now.  Which means, they make it to gift ideas.

~ laptop sleeve ~
Sometimes I don't even know what I'm knitting.  I just knit.  Then, I start piecing things together and realize it makes the perfect size sleeve for my laptop.  Okay, this has only happened once.  But I still love it.  And, it cost me nada.  I made the yarn from cutting up old t-shirts.  I'm so embarrassed writing this right now, 'cuz who has time to cut up old t-shirts?!?  Certainly not me!  I don't have time to watch this youtube clip that tells you how to do so either...

~ t-shirt scarf ~


~ no knit scarf ~

{Source: martha stewart}

~ peppermint lip balm ~
Elf (8)
{Source: Soule Mama}

~ apron in a jar ~
Pinned Image

~ chalkboard-painted mug ~
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~ burlap and letter in an old frame ~
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~ bookmark ~
Pinned Image
{Source: pinterest}

~ tile coasters ~

~ doily-print bowl ~

I hope these ideas will inspire some of your very own.  Like, the chalkboard-painted mug reminded me of seeing glasses with squares of chalkboard paint on them to identify those glass it was.  Which made me think of the 69 cent mugs we got from Ikea.  Which made me wonder if dry erase markers would work on them.  And they do!  Next coffee gathering at our house, you can know we will be drinking from these.

I also have learned guys are hard to make for.  Unless you know of a DiY tutorial for a power-tool, they may be better off buying for.

While it's fun to create a gift for someone special, I never want to forget why we do this.  Christmas is a celebration of the most remarkable gift of all ~ our Savior born into this world that we. may. have. life!  New life!  Life everlasting!  Life in and through Him!  I think sometimes we settle for celebrating the festivities rather than the honored guest.  It's like we are so enamored by the glittering tinsel and twinkling lights that we miss the King being in our presence!

The thought of making a gift for someone may stress you out as much as me having to push a cart through a crowded store on Christmas Eve.  I get that.   So whether you buy your gifts at the mall or make them all, my hope is that every heart prepare Him room.  That we don't chase after stuff to fulfill a longing only He can.  That our days would sing long and loud...
What can I say? 
What can I do? 
But offer this heart, O God, 
Completely to You. 
So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, 
In awe of the One who gave it all. 
I'll stand. My soul, Lord, to You surrendered. 
All I am is Yours!


  1. I'm thankful for you friend. Thank you for going to all the trouble of doing the fabulous homemade posts :) You are awesome!!! Wish we could get our craft on together.
    Love you girl.

  2. Jules, you know I love ya! I so do wish too! I would say the only trouble was tricking my mind into thinking about handmade gifts more than a week before Christmas - I'm very much a make-em-on-a-whim-gal :)