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 from Martha Stewart.
4. Barnyard Finger Puppets knitting pattern from TLC Home
5. Teddy Bear Knitting Pattern from All About You. This pattern for a tiny 15 cm bear was featured in Pima in January 2005. (PDF file) Crochet pattern for a thread bear.
6. Rag Doll Pattern from All About You. This pattern was taken from Debby Bliss Essential Knits
7. Hand warmers (make them from angora yarn or mohair for extra warmth and comfort) This one comes from Last minute knitted gifts by Joelle Hoverson, as reprinted in Canadian Living.
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. This link has 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 from Fuzzy Galore These 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. This tutorial comes from the natural Mamma UK website.
Have you received a favourite handmade gift? What was it and why is it a favorite? Leave a comment.