I always have blog angst around Christmas time because my craftiness is at an all-time high, but I can't share any of it because it's all gifts that I'm giving and have to keep secret.
Well, I have solved my problem. It's Christmas in July this week at How to Be Awesome at Everything! This week, I'm going to talk about all the awesome Christmas stuff that I never get to talk about in December!
Today is all about some easy and cheap DIY Christmas gifts that you'll be proud to give.
No DIY Printable Candy Bar Wrappers here! (Yes, I've seen that suggested.) These are actual gift-worthy projects that you will have fun doing and giving. Plus, they are very inexpensive to do, which is of course, one of my main goals.
(Links to my sources for these projects are in the titles.)
Painted Burlap Door Hangers
This was my friend Michelle's idea, and they turned out great. They retail at designer stores for $50 or more, but all you need is some burlap, scissors, hot glue, paint, batting, and ribbon! The beauty is, they are supposed to look shabby chic, so you don't have to be perfect with it. I did the football one, and I did a stocking shaped one for another friend.
I have mentioned this one before, but I thought I'd show it again since I made it for a Christmas gift for one of Cricket's cousins. I have very limited sewing abilities, so if I can do it, anyone can do it. It just takes a couple of small pieces of fabric, some felt and ribbon scraps, and a piece of crinkly wrapper, like from a bag of chips or a bag of Craisins. It took maybe thirty minutes to make from start to finish, and it's so cute!
Sharpe Decorated Plates/Mugs
(I also got part of my ideas from here.)
This has been all over Pinterest for a while. The idea is, if you write on dishes with Sharpe markers and then put them in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes, it sets the ink and becomes permanent. Sounds great, right?
Well, it is pretty great, but not perfect. The colors tend to fade, which was a little disappointing, but not too bad. Also, don't put them in the dishwasher or it all washes off. So basically, you've given them a decorative plate, not an eat-on-able plate. Make sure you tell them that.
Also, getting a six month old baby to cooperate with paint footprints was an adventure involving two people, lots of water, and some touching up afterwards.
I also did Sharpes on a couple of mugs. I found out what my sister and brother-in-law's favorite hot drinks were and wrote "He likes coffee" on one, and "She likes hot cider" on another. I put a package of their favorite drink in their mug.
These are just the best tasting thing ever, and the only difficult thing is not eating them all before you give them away! I got some paper treat bags at the Dollar Tree and had some happy recipients!
Melted Snowman Ornaments
These were one of my favorite gifts to give last Christmas. It's just Kosher salt, peppercorns, and an orange paper cone in a clear glass ornament. So easy, but so adorable! I will say, stock up on empty glass ornaments at the beginning of the season. I tried to go back and get some more the week before Christmas and every craft store was sold out. Dang Pinterest! Why must you give your secrets away to people other than me?!
Oh, and I found those cute little gift boxes at the Dollar Tree in a set of five. They also came with a little bag to put the box in and a little twist tie for each bag. So cute!
Framed Quote and Picture
These were my most heartfelt gifts last year. I made one for her Gigi, her Mimi, and her Grandma. I printed out the quote on parchment paper and then framed a sweet picture of Cricket with each of them. I already had the parchment paper, so I just paid for a frame and a picture.
(I also used this site, which was really helpful.)
This was another fun one, and very inexpensive. I just got tons of ornaments at the Dollar Tree, my hot glue gun to secure the tops, some ribbon, and a wire hanger. The hardest part was gluing all the tops on before you start. Well, that and getting all the glitter cleaned up. I hate glitter.
Paper Bead Necklaces
These were time consuming, but very cheap and very cool to make. I made paper beads out of magazine pages and then used mod podge or another clear glue to seal them. (Make sure you dry them with a straight pin through the hole or it will seal and be difficult to thread.)
Once they were dry, I strung them into some fishing line along with some tiny plastic beads, and they came out great! Oh, and I had to buy a set of necklace clasps. It took a while, but they were well-received.
I probably wouldn't give this as a gift by itself, but it is a great way to dress up edible gifts like cookies or cakes or whatever else you want to give. It's so easy to make. The only trouble I had was finding the green Starlight Mints!
I thought I'd throw this in here, too. I love wrapping gifts, and I love when they look nice, but I can't afford all the fancy trimmings that make them look fantastic. No problem! I got wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, tags, boxes, and small ornaments, all at the Dollar Tree. The ornaments are a nice extra touch, don't you think?
I'll have more Christmas posts this week! This makes me want to break out the hot chocolate and start on my projects for this Christmas. How about you?
Click here for Part 2: Awesome Christmas Cookies
Click here for Part 3: Awesome Christmas Party Ideas