Homemade Christmas Gifts, 2011

As I’ve mentioned before, my family makes Christmas gifts for one another. Last year we made hollow book safes, beaded earrings and teacup candles. The year before that, we made some wine bottle stands and beef jerky. This year, we made chalkboards, barbecue rub, monogrammed aprons, and pottery Christmas tree ornaments.

Most people think that DIY is always cheaper. It’s been my experience that the reverse is usually true. Almost all of the furniture I make costs double what I’d pay at a big box store. The same holds true for most of the clothes the wife makes at home. The only way DIY saves money is in bulk production. When you make a dozen or more of the same gift, the per-item cost is usually lower than anything you’d pay at a store.

We made a dozen of these chalkboards (click here to learn more):

And we made a dozen of these spice rub jars (click here to learn more):

I also made this guitar stand for my brother-in-law:

Oh, and the wife made this sock animal dinosaur for our youngest nephew. She got the pattern from a book called Stray Sock Sewing, Too: More Super-Cute Sock Softies To Make & Love.

And she made a bunch of these Christmas tree ornaments for family and friends. The pottery kiln can churn out cheap and easy gifts.

I should also mention that we buried a cat (Jasmine) over Thanksgiving and the wife didn’t want to look at my old cat food station for two anymore. So I made this smaller cat food station for Crew, the wife’s 12 year old cat who got grandfathered into our marriage:

Homemade Christmas Gifts, 2011
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5 thoughts on “Homemade Christmas Gifts, 2011

  • January 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Great gifts – I’m sure your family loved them! I usually design calendars and stationary for my family, although I didn’t get around to it in time for Christmas this year. Perhaps I’ll do it for the 3 of my 4 family members who have January birthdays, though. And so sorry to hear about Jasmine. Little fur babies are same as family in my book.

    • January 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

      We got eight years with Jasmine, so I think she/we had a pretty good run. She basically did this for almost a decade:

      Jasmine the cat

      She died quick, probably from a snake bite. She was always poking her plump little paws where they didn’t belong. She even brought a snake into the house one time.

      The bad news is that Crew has aged quickly since she died. You know how some people seem to be downright sprightly well into their 80s or 90s and then they break their hip and never recover that youthful energy? That’s what’s happened to him. It’s pretty pitiful.

  • January 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Ah yes, we lost a cat when I was in high school to what was most likely a snake bite. Well I hope Crew perks up soon! And Jasmine looks a lot like my cat, right down to that power napping stance.

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