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: