Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas: Handmade Gifts

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source: ex.libris

Today is day four in our two-week Christmas series: Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas.

We first decided to do “a handmade Christmas” last year, and I loved it. We bought very few gifts but instead put a lot of thought into the gifts we made for our family.

It was a lot of fun to put so much thought and effort into the gifts we gave rather than just running to the store and picking out the first thing we thought each person would like. And truth be told, I am really not very crafty — despite my best intentions — so if I can pull this off, anyone can!

If you’re planning to make a lot of your gifts this year, it’s a good idea to start early so that you have plenty of time in case you run into any hiccups. You also need to remember to leave time to pack and mail them if necessary.

Homemade Gift Ideas

If you like the idea of homemade gifts but aren’t sure where to start, I’ve put together a list of resources to help you start brainstorming. You can also start asking friends for ideas, and if you’re a member of any social media sites, use that to your advantage. Last year when I was looking for ideas for my dad’s two young step-sons, I asked on Twitter and got a lot of great ideas as well.

:: Handmade Gift Ideas (Part 1) and (Part 2) from Tip Junkie

:: Handmade Gift Ideas from Skip to My Lou (I love some of her “Gifts for Teens” ideas!)

:: 34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself from Get Rich Slowly

:: 100+ Homemade Christmas Gifts for the Craft-Impaired, Semicolon

:: Handmade Gifts Gallery from Martha Stewart

:: Homemade Christmas Gifts and Crafts from Family Fun

Get Organized

As you make decisions about the gifts you’d like to make, begin filling out the Christmas Homemade Gifts Printable so that you have a list of the projects, sources, supplies you need, etc. all in one place. Depending on how your Christmas budget works, you may want to make a single shopping trip to your local craft store and get all of the supplies you need at one time, or you may purchase them on a project-by-project basis as you go.

Once your sheets are filled out and you have a good idea of the projects you will be tackling and the time each will take to complete, begin adding them to your Christmas calendar, setting deadlines for the completion of each project. For larger or more intricate gifts, you’ll want to break down the steps and put several different phases on your calendar to help you stay motivated and on track. Nothing’s worse than projects that you just can’t finish on time!

A Final Word of Caution

If this is your first year to really focus on homemade gifts, be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. Last year I started out with way too many projects on my list. Thankfully, I’m pretty good about scaling back as I go if I realize that I’m in over my head, and I was able to eliminate several projects so that I didn’t end up stressed out and overwhelmed. You can always add more gift ideas once you finish the first batch, but it’s better to start small and simple than to end up frustrated and unhappy with your final products!

Today’s task: Brainstorm handmade gift ideas for the people on your gift list. As you make decisions about the gifts you want to make, use the Christmas Handmade Gifts Printable to make notes about each project. Then transfer your projects onto your Christmas calendar to make sure you have enough time to complete everything.

Have you had a “handmade Christmas” before? Do you consider yourself crafty, or does the idea of making gifts overwhelm you?

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

8 Responses to “ Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas: Handmade Gifts ”

  1. The thought of “handmade Christmas” definitely overwhelms me. I should give it a try. Who knows, I may be surprised.
    Jackie @ Lilolu´s last blog ..New House New Baby My ComLuv Profile


  2. Great links and wonderful advice, Mandi!

    I’m not so great with the crafting myself, so I am trying to buy handmade when possible, and shop small businesses when not possible. I am going to try to have a Big Box-Free Christmas this year. :)
    Megan at Simple Kids´s last blog ..What We’re Reading: Sam McBratney’s You’re All My Favorites (and more!) My ComLuv Profile


  3. [...] can pencil holders. Thanks to the vast number of resources available across the internet, having a handmade Christmas is easier than ever. Chances are that you can find directions somewhere on the web for almost any [...]

  4. [...] Post :: :: :: Handmade Christmas Gifts from Organizing Your Way {I really want Lydia to make some handmade gifts this [...]

  5. I love doing handmade gifts but always struggle finding ideas. Thanks for the resources. Last year we “attempted” hand print snowman ornaments. We failed miserably. Turns out my 11 month old wasn’t so great at “grasping and letting go” of the ball. Who would have thought?! We will try again this year!


    Mandi Ehman Reply:

    LOL, Jaime – that reminds me of the year I tried to do molds of my 10 month old’s feet for Christmas. Only problem was she wouldn’t stop wiggling her toes long enough for the mold to harden!


  6. Just this afternoon I took an inventory of my Christmas gifts and made a list of who still needs what. This article is perfect timing for me!
    Tiffany´s last blog ..Simple Sunday Recipe: Healthy(ish) Mac and Cheese My ComLuv Profile


  7. Thanks for these links! I just made a whole bunch of kleenex holders as gifts for people in Ukraine. I’m going there next week for a dental missions trip! (They dont typically have toilet paper in public restrooms, so frequently women keep kleenex in their pockets!)

    My mother in law used to do the once a month cooking, and told me how great it was – But doesn’t know where her cookbook went! so it would be extra lovely to win that :) Thanks!


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