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Homemade/Repurposed Gift Giving

November 18, 2009

To state the obvious, our economy has seen better days. As the holidays approach, we are all feeling the financial crunch of expenditures and buying gifts can seem like an additional burden on top of already stretched budget. Kyle and I are dedicated to NOT going into any debt when it comes to Christmas and sometimes this means being really creative. Fortunately, we’ve limited our gift giving in our families by drawing names. We’ve also put a cap on the amount we can spend on each other.

But what about all those friends, co-workers, teachers, randoms, that you either want to give a gift to because of their importance in your life, or you need to because you know you’ll get one in return? Why not a handmade or repurposed gift?

These sort of gifts can be incredibly thoughtful and touching to the person receiving them. I still have a stack on handmade cards given to me by a friend that I don’t want to use because I love them so much. With a handmade gift, you are guaranteed that it will be one of a kind whatever it is!

You might be thinking…but they are so time-consuming, I’m not creative, I don’t have anything to repurpose…well, think again. I am really not crafty, like, at all. I can’t sew, can barely glue and really can’t draw at all. But, with a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of help from the internet, I too can be a little bit crafty.

Here are a few ideas I’m trying out this year:

1. Embrace your inner Martha Stewart and make homemade candied walnuts! These are really easy and there is a lot of room to be creative: all you need is walnuts, a dash of salt and sugar. Let the sugar carmelize in the pan over low heat and stir. Let the walnuts dry on parchment paper and voila! Candied Walnuts! To add some spice to the mix, add cayenne pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Or chocolate powder and cinnamon. Or any variety of spice you can dream up. These would be really cute in a clear cellophane bag with a ribbon. Easy. Gift making done.

2. Alter your own board book a la Rookie Moms idea! This is so super cute and I think I’ll do this for a certain father in our family. Shh. Take a board book you don’t like, alter it by inserting your own pictures, painting it or adding stickers. This will be sure to win over any kid or parent’s or grandparent’s heart. Completely unique and special.

3. Turn an old or shrunken sweater into an awesome winter purse. I told you I really don’t sew, but this requires like very minimal stitching. This is a great gift for anyone from a chic stylish single lady to your grandmother.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley Auerbach permalink
    November 20, 2009 8:19 am

    Is so good to hear that we aren’t the only ones!!! I just finished your handmade gift, it so cute!!!

    On another note, Christmas morning we will serving the homeless. It starts at the 180 teen center than we go to parks in Lodi and Stockton delivering food and clothes. This is the second year we have done this and i highly recommend this to anyone. On the day that everyone focuses on family and friends the homeless are forgotten. I was so moved last year by the turn out of both people ready to serve and homeless who didn’t have any where to go. Hope you will join us this year, we are collecting clothes at the teen center!!

  2. Allie permalink
    November 20, 2009 7:17 pm

    Uh oh, did I miss the drawing?

    Great idea with the candied walnuts. They probably won’t make it out of my house though- yum!

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