Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

A Homemade Christmas December 6, 2012

I love homemade crafts. I love homemade anything so it just makes sense that I would love to not only receive homemade gifts, but to make them, too! JR and I got this idea when Emma was born. It just made perfectly logically sense to take the opportunity to allow her to be a part of giving gifts and homemade was the way to go. I wanted to share some tips of homemade gifts that we have tried here at the Linkous house. I want to share homemade gifts that have worked and ones that have failed. After all, we don’t want you to search for homemade gifts and then have them not work. What kind of person would I be?

Homemade Gift #1- Success!

For Father’s Day, we followed the idea from Stacy Makes Cents to create a plaque for all the dads, including JR, which had Emma’s handprint and a bible verse on it. It is super easy to make and affordable, too. All you need is a tile (from a home improvement store), a small holder (from the Dollar Tree), some acrylic paint (from the Dollar Tree), and a marker (from anywhere that sells these). For us, we only had to buy the tile and the holder so we were able to make three Father’s Day gifts for $1.80 each- just like Stacy said. You can’t beat that!

Emma's Father's Day Gift for JR

Emma’s Father’s Day Gift for JR

Homemade Gift #2- Success Again!

**SPOILER ALERT- DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU ARE ONE OF EMMA’S GRANDPARENTS**

For Christmas this year, we made homemade ornaments for Emma’s immediate family members. This was a blast! My great friend and Emma’s pretty-much-nanny, Farris, helped us make these. For a 15 month old you definitely need two people to get this job done without getting dough or paint everywhere. We found a recipe via Pinterest that came from Once a Month Mom, who I love already! It’s super easy, too. You preheat your oven to 300 degrees and mix:

1 cup flour

¼ cup salt

7 tbsp water

After this is blended well (preferably with a stand mixer using the dough hook), roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick and use your preferred cookie cutter. We chose Mickey Mouse since we’re big Disney people here. Next, press your child’s hand into the dough and if your child is smaller, press hard. There were a couple that I had to go back and trace in for her. Once all of these are done, place them on your cookie sheet (on parchment paper if you’d like) and use a straw to put little holes in it for ribbons. I loved this idea- it’s good to think ahead. After they’ve baked for 40-45 minutes, they’re ready to come out and cool. If you want to be brave, you can paint your ornaments, too. I liked this part a lot but did not let Emma participate. This would be fun for older kids. Add the ribbon once they’ve dried completely and voila! We made (6) Christmas gifts for less than  $.50 each. Win!

Emma's Christmas Ornaments

Emma’s Christmas Ornaments

Homemade Gift #3- Fail!

I thought it would be really cute to bring some homemade food over on a decorative plate made from peppermints that I found on Pinterest. Well, Farris found them on Pinterest. Either way, we tried it. What they didn’t say in the directions is that you need A LOT of space for this. You cannot put two on the same cookie sheet , no matter how far you place them apart. Also, prepare for a mini heart attack when you can’t get the peppermints and parchment paper off your nice calphalon cookie sheet. Seriously, I about died. Anyways, after some assessment of our near disaster we figured smaller plates would probably work. Just remember they’re not edible and DO NOT place hot food on them. They will melt. After all, they’re peppermints.

Homemade Peppermint Plates- FAIL

Homemade Peppermint Plates- FAIL

Homemade Gift #4- Fail!

Another cute gift we came up with was making coasters from an idea we, once again, found on Pinterest. Are you catching a pattern here? Almost all of our ideas came from there. After following the directions, and getting in trouble for getting paint on the back porch, we realized this project was a fail, too. If anyone has attempted this and had it work, please let me know. I want to make these but I don’t want to pay the money or take the time to try another time and have it fail, too. As I said yesterday, we don’t have time for that. A coaster that’s paper won’t stick and creates bubbles underneath is not a give I want to receive, much less give to others.

Homemade Coasters- FAIL!

Homemade Coasters- FAIL!

Homemade Gift #5- Success- Three’s a Charm!

Let me be honest- I have NOT done this project myself. My awesome sister-in-law sent this one to me yesterday. She cares for kids at a local daycare (and rocks, might I add) and creates craft ideas on a regular basis. I cannot wait to do this one. It’s another ornament idea but seriously, who can have enough? Not me! I want to make a family one and I think this one would be perfect for that. All you need for this is an ornament (I think gold, blue, or red would work best), white and two other color acrylic paints, a paintbrush, and time. I would imagine this project would cost $1, give or take, if you made 6 of them. I can’t wait to give a try at it.

Homemade Ornament- Made by Jessica

Homemade Ornament- Made by Jessica

Any suggestions for homemade gift successes and fails? What ideas are you wanting to try?

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4 Responses to “A Homemade Christmas”

  1. Tonight we’re making a Christmas banner for our fireplace….an idea from Pinterest. Now I’m nervous. LOL


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