0025. tps: gift making

#5: Make all christmas gifts

I'm so happy I challenged myself to this. I've been brewing ideas for weeks and I'm not saying all the gifts I'm giving are handmade - lots are halfway, some are just bought. Most important to me: I shopped local, secondhand, and managed to make/source gifts for the people I love and am thankful for without sacrificing what I believe in - that our purchases matter and if I want to make a difference one of the strongest ways to speak is with my money (no amazon orders in sight - small joys).

This could have easily gotten very pricey but I've been extremely lucky scavenging materials this year and I already had a stash of craft supplies. My cousin gave me a bag full of leather scraps from her dad's shoe factory, we have the best re-use store I've ever been to and a fabric store in town with a 'free' box where I've scored some really great finds. Either way, I think the biggest aspect is to reach out and think outside the box. Even though I've been brainstorming for months, some of these are very recent ideas - when you get creative and have fun with it answers always pop up. 

+ Planner: I buy my mom a new planner every christmas and it's my favorite gift to give because I know she needs and uses it. This year I wanted to make her one with a little extra love. I found that red notebook for 60 cents at my re-use store (brand new and sustainably made!) and I've been slowly working on filling in dates.

+ Journal: My dad loves writing and with his recent health scare I wanted to help him ease back into it with gratitude prompts, quotes and questions. I hope it's a way to personally/while afar help him along in his healing journey.

+ Homemade hummus: A giant jar with unlimited refill requests.

+ Foldable calendar: They are both ambitious, self starters and what better way to keep them looking at the big picture than a yearlong calendar that fits in your pocket or can be hung up?
+ Stamped leather luggage tags: For our upcoming family trip to Ecuador.

+ Handmade earrings
+ Foldable calendar
+ Luggage tag

In Laws
+ Ornament: I love doing this while traveling - find a cute keychain and turn it into an unusual tree ornament for my collector MIL. We found a tiny stuffed elephant while in Thailand and it is so cute!
+ Produce bags: Found the perfect fabric for these in said 'free' box and I'm sewing a couple of small reusable produce bags to help my in-laws reduce waste.
+ Handmade ornament: I hand sewed a little whale for my brother and sister in-law. It's very basic and hopefully I'll get better with practice but I know they'll love it.

Misc recipients:
+ Homemade coffee scrub: Dry skin season is upon us and what better way to keep the flakes off with an uplifting, delicious smelling scrub.
+ Cards: I don't think I'll ever be the kind of person who sends cards out to everyone I know, but I made a couple for close family we don't see very often just to let them know we miss and love them.
+ Wooden magnets: From a found tree branch - free materials!

+ Card: To remind him how much I love him.
+ Spanish homework: So he can practice while we're apart.
+ 12 days of christmas list: I'm notoriously private when it comes to my lists/creative ventures so I'm making a list just for his eyes - my favorite memory of us from each month of the year.
+ T-shirt: After lots of searching I finally found a plain grey t-shirt secondhand, I added my panda stamp for a custom tee - he'll be the first recipient of my hopeful new product line.

Have you made any gifts this year? Would love to hear! 

PS. Tape free gift wrapping and a collection of beautiful DIY ideas here + here.
PPS. More thoughts on sustainable holiday gifts this way.


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