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Our family on my side has decided to have a completely "homemade Christmas", due to the economy. Since not all people like "crafty items", my daughters and I try and make items I already know they like (or requested) and will be used. I also make cloth gift bags that can be reused-easy to make from pillowcases or old jeans (that can them be used as a purse or tote bag)
I thought I would share some of my ideas we are using or have used in the past, and hopefully get some others to add theirs!
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I know that teachers are always looking for different things to have their students make. I taught vacation Bible School where I had $150 to design 6 crafts for for 50 kids. In other words $1 per kid per day.
We mixed the mortar and put it in each of the trays. We only had 20 kids this day, but the mortar filled 24 trays. We let them sit for about 20 minutes and then we let the kids design their own decorative stones for the garden. It was really great. Everyone was really impressed.
Take your shell and put glue at the base of the shell. Arrange your flowers in the shell. Place a little shell at the base of the flowers to hide flower stems. Place a piece of magnet strip on the back.
This shell magnet also looks great when you use one of the roll type of shells. You place the glue in the hole and have the flowers coming out of it.
Melt your candles - trying to keep the colors grouped correctly. Fill the bowls 2/3 full with wet sand. Have the kids make a well (they can use their fists, but they need to make it deep or they will have a flat candle). The bottom of the well should be flat. Have the kids place shells, plastic fish, etc. with the "pretty side out in the sand. They are great when they are half in the sand and half out. Pour melted wax in the hole. The sand will work as your mold for the candle.
When the wax seems to set on the top, put in one of the birthday candles. The wax of the candle will melt and mix into the other wax. Now you have your wick. If your birthday candle sticks up too much, push it down a little after 5 minutes. Let set until hard. You will be able to tell. Take out of the sand and brush excess sand off. An old toothbrush works great.
Hope that this gives you some ideas
Gifts and gift making. The last few years I've been making gifts for the adults and kids we exchange with. The gift is typically the same for those that I'm making for to save on time, planning, and materials. Each is personalized based on likes. I've made scarves, trivets, serving trays, hats, and notebooks/journals.
By Michel from Landisville, PA
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I am in need of recipes for making good and different gifts.
Darcey from Kalmazoo, MI
Rosemary Beeswax Deodorant
2 Tbsp. shredded beeswax
1 T. coconut oil
1 tsp. cocoa butter
12 drops rosemary oil
Melt beeswax. Stir in cocoa butter until melted. Add oils. Pour into any shape mold. When hardened, pop out of mold. Cover with clear wrap.
"Different" means different things to different people! Lately I make gift baskets. In the past when I received or won a basket, I made a list of all things in it, to give me ideas for making my own. They don't have to be expensive things but a good variety can be fun for the recipient as they find each item. You might want to put mostly food items such as jams, coffee, crackers, cookies, single serving pouches of something new to try. Or it can be themed around a central item, like a bottle of wine. It could be a comfort basket with candy, a magazine or a book, a date book, hot chocolate, maybe some personal care items in trial sizes, even a cozy pair of socks. I have a friend I am teaching to quilt so I made her a birthday basket with sewing and quilting supplies with fat quarters rolled up like straws. Baskets are so versatile and can be tailored to the person you are giving them to. Use your imagination!