Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WFMW: Cheap, Cool Generic Gifts to Make

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Several years ago, I had me first handmade Christmas, where I made most of the gifts. I figured I'd try it out, and see how it was received.

People loved it, even the teenagers who never like anything, and the kids who already have everything.

Since then, I make most of my gifts, excepting certain people who won't appreciate them, and people for whom I have some particular store bought thing in mind.

I spend a lot of time, and energy, and sometimes money making things for my kids, and a few other people, but sometimes you need something quick and easy for neighbors, co workers, church friends, distant relatives, and random gift exchanges. (Read: fairly generic adult gifts.)

Today I thought I'd share some of the quick, easy, (and cool,) things I've made that have gone over well.

People love crocheted or knitted cotton dishcloths. They really are nicer to use, and people get all nostalgic about how their grandma used to have them. A single crochet or garter stitch square is about as easy of a beginner project as you can get. They're fast too. A couple of them packaged up in ribbon makes a nice, useful, inexpensive gift.

Along the same lines, a simple knitted or crocheted scarf, especially if you use a classic color like black or camel, and make it out of wool is a nice gift for a man or a woman. You could make it of on sale Patons yarn for under ten bucks.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Need a lot of cool assembly line gifts? Buy some fiber reactive dye. Dharma trading company is the best, but you can also get good result with the kits from the craft store. They're regular $10 or $20 dollars, and with a 40% off coupon, (you will use the coupon, right?) they're a really good deal. Now go to the dollar store, and buy some of the large, 100% cotton flour sack dish towels.Prewash the towels, (don't skip this step,) and tie dye dye them. Even if you've never tie dyed before, they'll turn out cool. (Seen in photos above.)

Other cool, easy things to tie dye are hankies, (100% cotton, from the dollar store,) tote bags, (regular $1.49 at Hobby Lobby, but they're frequently on sale for 50% off), and socks (as close to 100% as you can find, something like 80% cotton/20% whatever else.)

Melt and pour soaps are easy, easy, easy, and everyone loves em. Use that 40% craft store coupon to buy the melt and pour base, or the kit. Now go to the dollar store, and buy little plastic bugs, or army men, or teeny toy cars that will fit in your mold. Make your soap as directed, adding in the trinkets. Package them up in cellophane.

For more WFMW posts, check out www.wearethatfamily.com.

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