Welcome to the November 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Homemade Holidays.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how homemade gifts can make your holidays more cost-effective and special! Check out all of the posts to get homemade gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Making handmade gifts for the holidays really just started as an effort to save money. It’s now become something I do to challenge myself to come up with ideas that are not only something that specific person would use and hopefully love, but I almost always try to gift items that are useful. I have two favorites that are exceptions though. 😉
Giving a handmade gift means that you can truly customize whatever ideas you have to the person you’ll be gifting it too. For instance, I drew this 20″ x 24″ charcoal piece for my sister in law a few years back. It’s of her oldest daughter. I had originally planned to do a second of her little sister and did in fact complete it before we headed to spend Christmas with them in Texas that year. But, I kinda felt like the drawing looked more elf-like than my niece so I never gifted it. The second drawing that I started to replace it was never finished because we were too busy moving across the country. Now she’s pregnant with her fifth!
Total cost was the frame only since I had the other materials on hand. They’re even pretty cheap if you had to buy them.
Here’s another art piece I did for my hubby just days before we had our first baby girl almost 3 years ago. It’s a charcoal pastel and pen combination piece. He played guitar for a long time, hence the instrument choice, and the notes are actually the opening notes to a favorite Nine Inch Nails song. 😉
I get it that we don’t always have the time for art work which is both exhausting and messy and sometimes hard to keep secret since it’s harder to just put away at a moment’s notice. Here’s a few other things I’ve made and given as gifts in the past.
Lucky for you, these all even include tutorials. 😉
Last year we made an epic light tunnel for our toddler. It spanned half our living room for probably a month or so. She LOVED it and I think we may do something similar this year but in our large garage instead.
Cost: Free if you have some boxes and old Christmas lights laying around.
Of course my girls are getting handmade fluff for Christmas! Natalia is potty trained at home day and night (if she can be naked) but she still wears a diaper when she leaves the house to go to Speech or my sister in-law’s down the street. It averages out to like 6 diapers a week, but either way once she is fully trained the diapers will still be useful for the baby.
This tutorial has a lot of photos. I’m a visual learner so I tend to try to cover everything in photos as well as description. If you make any diapers following my tutorial I’d love you to tag me on Facebook to show them off. =)
Cost: I figured up my cost on these once and I think it was around the $7-8 mark per diaper. Granted, I used fabrics like organic bamboo fleece, cotton velour, blizzard fleece and cute outer fabrics. Either way, I get to show off a little of my style, customize to my baby’s specific diapering needs, and still save some money.
Rice or Flax Seed Heat Packs
I put this on the must have list for anyone you know that’s pregnant. Or has a child that they carry and keep up with all day. Or goes to work. Or anyone you know, really since we’ve all had some sort of neck, back or muscle pain at one time or another.
The best part is this project only takes 30 minutes from start to finish! To use you just pop it int he microwave for a minute or two and then apply to all your sore muscles.
Cost: You can use pretty much whatever fabric you want. Flannel is nice and soft and is a popular choice because of that. You can also get it on sale quite often around the $3 or less a yard mark. For a cheaper option you can fill with rice but I’ve heard the flax seed retains the heat longer.
Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:
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