Making Christmas instead of Buying Christmas (List #1)

September 28th, 2007

I am a sucker for homemade. I wish every year when our family draws names for Christmas, that Nana will get my name. She makes the BEST stuff. She makes quilts, knits sweaters, crochets Sock Monkeys, paints cute signs, embroiders works of art, etc. She’s amazing. She also doesn’t spend a fortune on Christmas gifts. They come from the heart and through hours of labor. I like that idea.

Unlike many Americans, our family doesn’t rack up our credit cards for Christmas shopping. I look high and low for amazing deals before Christmas (i.e. clearance sales, great deals on Ebay, etc.). We also make gifts when we can’t find that perfect thing. Yup, we’re cheap.

In the past, our family has made gifts for friends & family. It takes some planning and hours of work, but the results are always appreciated. What have we made in the past? Things like:

  • Homemade Cactus fruit (known as tunas) jelly
  • Mosaic flowerpotsHomemade soap
  • Handpainted aprons
  • Homemade candles
  • Picture frames for a special picture
  • Handpainted wooden items (i.e. paper towel holder, etc.)
  • Handpainted coffee mugs
  • Paving stone Family Name sign

The one thing I really want to try is making soap. I looked into making soap and was amazed at how labor intensive (and expensive at first) it is to make natural soap. I don’t mean the glycerin soap kits that you can buy. I want to make the “nubby” country soaps that are so popular at craft shows. However, I think that will have to wait a bit. It is an expensive process to begin, and one that will have to wait until we have a bit more money.

So, I am contemplating our Christmas gifts. Hmmm…what to make? I guess it is time to start coming up with ideas. There aren’t that many weeks left before Christmas. Now, where did I put those craft books?

3 Responses to “Making Christmas instead of Buying Christmas (List #1)”

  1. Krystal Kelly Says:

    Actually, it isn’t that expensive to make soap, and it’s really easy to do as well! Research HP (Hot Process) soap. It’s made in the oven and is ready in an hour or so. You can purchase coconut oil and olive oil at a discount store. All you need then is lye (you’ll probably have to buy this online) and distilled water. Find a good recipe (simple is less expensive), put it in a pot, stir, and pop it in the oven. Then, shape it with your hands and let it dry!

  2. Shan Says:

    Thanks a bunch Krystal! I will have to give that a try. Can I add oatmeal & herbs to this as well? My favorite type of soap is the “nubby” type that looks homemade. You know the type. The ones that folks sell at farmer’s markets for $6-$8 a bar. Yikes! Thanks for any advice! – Shan

  3. Cynthia Says:

    We tried a soap making kit once and it was awful… none of us could stand the texture or smell…. hopefully you’ll find better products and recipes. I’m sure the kit we used was a cheap one…

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