Recently, my sister, my mom and myself went on a pre-Christmas outing to a local nursery that fills their gift shop with all kinds of holiday finds, from ornaments to poinsettias, holiday dishes and decorations galore! Of course anytime I visit a venue like this I look around and see many decorations I would love to have in my home, but can I afford them all? No way!
The result of not being able to afford everything that I see, is this mantra “I can make that!” I have said this to my sister so many times it’s become a joke between us. She often says to me before we head out for a day of shopping in a small town “Please don’t tell me that you can make everything I see!” But then of course I have to say it even more just to make her laugh!
Truth be told though, there are quite a few things you will see for sale this holiday season that you can make yourself. The question is, do you want to? Do you have the time to do so and do you know how to accomplish the task?
That’s what I am here for, the know-how! This garland was inspired by our recent outing. I saw some garland that was made out of wooden snowflakes, twine and rusty silver bells and said to myself, “This is truly something I can make at home very easily” and “why not share the steps with my faithful readers”.
The garland you see here can be modified to look however you feel would be best for your home, you can leave off any addition you see here that you feel doesn’t fit with your home or skill level.
Step One: Measure the area you want to hang your garland, then add 1 -2 feet depending on how much you want it to swoop when you hang it.
Step Two: Plan out the pattern and spacing of your garland. Layout your twine cut to the appropriate length. Then set your decorations (which ever you choose to use) out along the twine deciding on the spacing and pattern you think looks best.
Step Three: If using wood rounds you can paint them or draw on them. To produce what is seen above: Paint them with the chalk board paint, let dry and then decorate with the white gel pen. Drill holes in the wood rounds large enough to accommodate the twine.
Step Four: Starting at one end of the twine, following your pattern, tie your decorations onto the twine in the correct spacing as planned in step two.
Once you have done this for the length of your twine you are ready to hang it!
See how simple that was, all it took was a trip the craft store and some time at home planning the look of your garland. You have just created something that would sell for about forty-five dollars in a high end boutique. These supplies are much more affordable and you also get the satisfaction of knowing you created it yourself.
This is my favorite time of year! Thanksgiving and Christmas! Keep your eyes open for more holiday tips and tricks to come! I love decorating for these holidays and creating new decorations every year!
Yes, I know, Thanksgiving has not even been celebrated yet! But if you don't start thinking about Christmas gifts now, the next thing you know it will be December and you will be running out of time. You will really be out of time if you want to give handmade gifts. So, even though it’s early, let’s get started! Who knows, maybe you will have all your gifts done before Thanksgiving and you can just look forward to enjoying the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season without the stress of shopping at the busiest time of the year!
I know I always say I am going to start early this year and then it never happens. Well, I am hoping to change that this year and I hope this list of creative gift ideas will help you change that too! Some of these items will be things you can make yourself and some of them will be beautiful finds on Etsy! I love finding a few of my gifts each year on Etsy (www.etsy.com), because I truly believe that Etsy provides an avenue to find a gift the perfectly fits the person you are giving it too. Etsy may not have something for every single person in your life, but I do believe you can find at least one of your gifts there and also enjoy the idea of shopping small and supporting those who pour their time and energy into making something unique. I challenge you to find at least one gift on Etsy this year for someone special in your life. Okay, back to the list!
Handmade note cards: Make them yourself with wonderful instant downloads from Etsy or purchase completed notecards. A few of my favorite Etsy shops for purchasing completed cards are: CreationsKMP (www.etsy.com/shop/creationsKMP), HeartsEase2 (www.etsy.com/shop/HeartsEase2), or BlueVioletSentiment (www.etsy.com/shop/BlueVioletSentiments). To purchase instant downloads to create your own notecards try these stores: pointandpoem (www.etsy.com/shop/pointandpoem) or dariakonik (www.etsy.com/shop/dariakonik). These are just a few of the shops I found on Etsy that supply clipart or notecards, there are many more to be discovered.
Mason Jar Gifts: Mason jars can be used in a variety of ways at Christmas for gifts. A few ideas that come to mind are, cookie mix, hot cocoa mix, quick bread mix, an assortment of favorite candy or nuts, beauty products, art supplies and much more. Decorate your mason jar with one of these free mason jar wraps (Download here, 10 inch or 14 inch) or purchase a mason jar wrap from my Etsy store (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com). My mason jar wraps come in 10 inches or 14 inches, to print the larger size you need to have access to a printer that prints on 11x17 paper.
Unique Jewelry & Engraved Items: Etsy is home to many talented jewelry artists. Shop for beaded earrings, beach glass pendants, engraved sterling bracelets, key chains and everything in between. You are certain to find the perfect piece for the special person in your life. Visit some of these shops to see if they meet your needs: BethAnnErickson (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com), TimArtCreations (www.etsy.com/shop/TimArtCreations) or sweetstonesjewelry (www.etsy.com/shop/sweetstonesjewelry).
Crochet a Scarf: A soft warm scarf is the perfect winter gift and even better if you make it yourself. Don't know how to crochet? Did you know that www.youtube.com has instructional videos for beginners just like yourself . We are heading into the season where you will find yarn on sale at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and other craft stores, making this gift idea very affordable. So why not pick up some yarn today and try out a beginner’s video. I watched this video myself and found it very easy to follow. (Beginners Crochet Project) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx6oEOxOekI)
Baked Goods: We all spend time in the kitchen at the holidays, cooking and baking so we usually have the supplies we need on hand. Why not put some of that time baking to use finishing up your holiday gifts. Holiday tins are easy to find this time of year at Walmart, Fred Meyer and any craft store, along with holiday themed parchment paper. A few supplies and some time in the kitchen and you have some tasty holiday gifts that are sure to please. They are perfect for that one person in your life who is difficult to figure out what to give.
Some other affordable gift ideas are homemade candles, hand-painted kitchen utensils or a handmade Christmas tree decoration. I am sure I could come up with many more ideas for you, but I think this list will get you started. Etsy is a great resource for handmade gifts if you don’t have the time or inclination to make them yourself.
If you have an idea but are not sure how to accomplish it feel free to contact me and I will see if I can help. Good luck with your Christmas shopping!
Make sure to stop by my Etsy store, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com or my Zazzle store, www.zazzle.com/EricksonDesigns to see what other wonderful items we have for sale!