Creating a handmade Christmas doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor. Completely de-commercializing the holiday may be impractical, but handmade gifts, treats, gatherings, and JOY can still abound. Try some of these simpler gift ideas to get a head start on your gift planning this year.
The Purple Sheep at Joybilee Farm have a nonconformist Christmas Celebration, too. We joined the advent conspiracy to decommercialize our sacred time and create space for family together-time. We start weeks ahead to plan handmade gifts and work together spinning yarn, knitting, crochet, felting, and sewing to fashion a gift full of lots of love and little pressure. While some people in the quest to decommercialize eschew gifts all-together, that’s like saying “I forgot about you this year.” It takes only a few minutes to make a handmade card or a few hours to write a Christmas story or draw an original cartoon. In fact a handmade gift doesn’t have to cost any money at all.
Christmas for our family means handmade gifts. Some hardly cost anything but time. Others are a bit more of an investment. All come as a surprise. (family, don’t worry, nothing on the blog is for you. So you can stop reading now!) But by far, the best gifts under the tree are handmade surprises, no matter how simple or utilitarian. And who doesn’t need more socks?
Perusing the web for ideas for Christmas gifts? Here’s 10 quick to make, nonconformist, thoughtful gifts that will bring comfort to those you love as the days grow colder. These easy to make gifts take you through knitting, crochet, wet felting, paper crafts and recyled crafts. Have fun trying them all.
1. Knitting machine socks that are knit on a flat-bed knitting machine:La Ferme de Sourrou: Permaculture in France – knitting machine socks
The pattern say it takes an hour per pair but I’d suggest 3. My knitting machine doesn’t do ribbing so I’d have to do that part by hand.
2. Easy to make fabric, knotted necklaces – Add some buttons or a fabric flower and you have lovely gifts that are unusual. These come from the Yeah, Write blog.
3. Modest toys and dime store games, like Tigers and Goats, or add ons for already existing games can be fun to make. A great add-on for Dominos, is a Mexican train hub which can be crafted by anyone of moderate woodworking ability.
4. Barnyard Finger Puppets knitting pattern makes great gifts for younger children, toddlers, or anyone who likes staging plays (from TLC Home).
5. Crocheted toys are also great small and easy to make gifts. A mini teddy bear, or other small crocheted stuffed animal makes a great gift for a child, or even for many adults if you can personalize it to one of their interests. You can also knit stuffed animals, if you wish.
6. A rag doll also makes a fun child’s gift, or can be personalized to any one of a number of interests for adults or collectors. Some variations of classic rag dolls can even be knit, rather than sewn.
7. Hand warmers (make them from angora yarn or mohair for extra warmth and comfort). You can also make a cabled version, ones with buttons, and ones that are stripped or patterned. There are a lot of variations in fingerless gloves. If you live on a farm, these often become necessary gifts as the gloves can wear out after only one or two winter seasons with heavy use.
8. Paper beads for bead curtains, jewellery and embellishments for baskets. These are almost free. Victorian women used to roll these out of wall paper and make beaded curtains to use as room dividers. They cut down on drafts without blocking your vision. You cut the strips from magazine pages, envelopes, paper bags. Roll them around a knitting needle. Use a dab of glue to secure them and then varnish with a spray on varathane finish to make them water proof. There are several bead shapes for you to try. We made these beads with a youth group and created necklaces with silk floss and jewellery foundations.
9 .Baby Booties are quick to make from handspun yarn. My friend Connie was making these booties for a new born. They are Lovely to touch out of handspun alpaca/wool yarn. My son is having a second child next Spring, and this might be perfect for keeping baby’s feet toasty in the back pack.
10. Wet felting a mug warmer or tea cosy using a 3 D wet felting technique with wool roving. You can make a gift in an afternoon using wool roving and some soap and water.
Avoiding commercialism and focusing on a handmade Christmas season can be challenging. There are many reasons, not just overcoming expectations, but also just being able to focus on family. In this season, being intentional about valuing family togetherness may be challenging. This year specifically may not have many of the normal Christmas holiday trappings that we are used to. To find joy in creating a handmade Christmas, start early talking to your family about it, and enlist as much help as you can. The more you can do, and be, together, the more holiday joy and warm memories can be created.
Have you received a favorite handmade gift? What was it and why is it a favorite? Leave a comment.
If you are looking for ways to DIY Christmas gifts and make happy Christmas memories while living within the health and budget constraints that have been handed to you this year, I created a resource that will help.
This DIY Christmas Planner workbook will help you make a solid plan you can live with for a Happy Holiday season. You’ll find inspiring DIY gift ideas, space to reflect on what is important to you, and a place to set goals for bringing a happy and meaningful Christmas to your family this year.
Get on Santa’s Permanent Nice list by staying organized, calm, and in control this Christmas Season.