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November 29, 2012

5 Suggestions for Meaningful, Handmade Christmas Gifts

Scrapbooks Etc magazine's December 2011 issue

Magazines like Scrapbooks Etc. are great inspiration for handmade gifts.

Few things are more satisfying than giving a thoughtful Christmas gift that you made yourself. The key is to remember it doesn’t have to be perfect.

It’s easy to accumulate a big pile of Christmas gifts bought just for the sake of buying, not to mention bills. But a thoughtful gift is about more than just a hefty price tag, and it can be as simple as giving your time to someone.

The key is to not be intimidated by the term “handmade,” and here’s why.

There is a blog I fell in love with this year, Nesting Place. My favorite line on the blog was pretty instrumental in changing my approach to my home and creativity in general: “I’ve got a secret that will unlock creativity and hope for your home. Ready? Here it is: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Yep. That’s it. All you have to do is believe it.”

This one sentiment really spoke to an internal battle in my heart. I go to the site often and let these words wash over me.

I share this because I think when you consider making gifts, I believe this statement should be your motto. Making a gift for someone is not about perfection. If I could give a gift to you, dear reader, it would be the realization that putting your heart into something is one of the most beautiful gifts anyone can receive.

Here is my list of five suggestions for handmade, meaningful Christmas gifts. They are also fun to make and won’t tax your money or time resources. Happy creating, my crafty friends.

  1. Anything, and I mean anything, made out of fleece. Fleece is the wonder material for the sewing-challenged—in other words, me. Last year I not only created blankets from it, but I also made scarves. All that’s required is fabric and good scissors. There are tons of patterns online for hats and pillows and who knows what else. I even made myself a blanket and it is the warmest blanket we own. I love the idea of giving something that provides warmth.
  2. Plastered hands. There are a variety of options for using your kids’ hands and the kids love it. You can find kits at a craft store. We made a garden stone for the grandparents one year and they still show it off. My favorite creation was a mold of my hand holding my daughter’s. My late father kept this mold on the shelf in his kitchen and now it is on my mantel. It’s one of my most treasured items.
  3. Photos for the win, every time. If you have children, are a child or know a child in your family, take pictures. Don’t sweat it if you aren’t great with photography. Remember the aforementioned motto. It doesn’t have to be the greatest photo of all time. There are endless possibilities when it comes to photo gifts these days.
  4. Handmade cards or scrapbooks. These don’t have to take as much time as you might think. Giving someone a set of blank cards is an awesome gift. I personally love everything I’ve ever received made from paper. If you have an idea for a scrapbook that you would like to create as a gift, but feel low on inspiration, there are a lot of ideas in magazines like Creating Keepsakes magazine.
  5. Showing up. When it comes down to it, there is nothing more meaningful to others than this. Get creative and figure out how you can bless someone with your time. Do you have a friend that really needs a night out but can’t get a sitter? Consider offering to babysit as your gift. This is where those handmade coupon books come in handy. I’ve been blessed with people in my life that see me figuratively waving the white flag and they come to my rescue every time. Whether it is to make a meal, hang a shelf in my pantry, babysit, help me clean or just sit with me while my kids go crazy, they show up and I am blessed.


About the Author

Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie writes, prays, laughs, loves glitter and will hug you even if you try to shake her hand. You can often find her behind her camera, striving to build a photography business. You'll never find her as happy as she is dancing around her kitchen with her daughter, son and amazing husband.




  • Mcanally Ryan

    Dana,

    I love your thoughts on giving and making gifts for your friends and family! The world would be a better place if we considered more oftenthan what others around us want and need rather than what we want