A DIY Outlet

Every year, my in-laws (gah! that’s weird to actually say that) exchange names for a Christmas gift swap.  Last year I got the Mr.’s brother in law, and since I had no clue what he would like, I left it up to the Mr. to figure out what to buy him.  My side of the family has elected to nix the presents for the last two years and instead get together and swap homemade goodies (cookies, candy, etc.).  While I get a “creative” outlet on my side of the family at Christmastime, I find that for the Mr.’s side of the family we’re always racing through Target, trying to pick out something that we hope they’ll like.  This involves dealing with the stifling heat of a big box store packed to the gills in the middle of December coupled with a heavy winter jacket and copious amounts of stress.  While I’m sure the gifts are appreciated, they’re never very unique…and I could do without that aforementioned Target scenario this year.

This year, I have drawn my sister in law’s name (I’m fairly comfortable in posting that here, as I am 99% sure she isn’t reading).  In the spirit of giving a gift just a bit more unique, I’ve decided to DIY my Christmas gift to her.  (Also, this gives me a good outlet for some of my leftover wedding DIY energy!)  I turned to the DIY goddess (aka Martha) for ideas, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to the items below.  Hopefully this might help some of you if you’re planning a DIY holiday, too!

1.  A personalized photo tote bag.  While this might not seem too exciting, I think that she’d really appreciate it.  I’m planning on taking a photo of her two daughters that was taken in our photo booth at our wedding reception, printing it out, and mounting it on a plain canvas tote bag.  I might add a bit of grosgrain embellishment where the strap meets the bag…but we’ll see.  Super easy!  Also, I’m planning on using the tote bag as wrapping paper — all of the other goodies that I”m gifting her will fit nicely inside.


2.  A hand knit scarf.  I used to knit like crazy back in the day, and while now I spend most of my crafty time working on my quilt, I can set that aside for a bit and focus on knitting up a quick and easy scarf in a color that she’ll love. 


3.  Teacup candles.  This one will require a bit more work (in finding pretty teacups at Goodwill / a thrift store) but is still relatively quick and easy.  Plus, what girl doesn’t like pretty candles? 


4.  Cookie mix in a jar.  With two young girls at home, I’m sure she’ll appreciate a rainy-day activity that she can do with their help.  I plan on doing a chocolate chip mix, and maybe a sugar cookie mix tied with a cute cookie cutter. 


So, that’s it!  All of the items individually are quite easy, but I’m hoping that putting them together will add up to a wonderful (and memorable!) Christmas gift for her.  Plus, there’s no wandering the aisles of Target involved.   Are you planning on DIY-ing any gifts this year?

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3 Comments to “A DIY Outlet”

  1. I love all your gift ideas and think all that in a tote bag will be an awesome Christmas gift! I might steal a couple of the ideas… Although I’ve made scarves/shawls for 3 of my friends birthdays in the last two months so I don’t think I’m allowed to repeat that one :)

  2. I’ve been inspired. I’m totally baking cookies/candy for everyone for Christmas this year! Fun, inexpensive, and who doesn’t like sweets? :)

    Oh! And I really really love the teacup candles, so cute!

  3. Ok. Martha is far too insane with her crafts… I don’t know if I could ever make them look this good! But you seem way more Martha-like than me, so I give you props and I know you can do it!

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