The Handmade Holiday Challenge

Gorgeous handmade socks by Hedgehog Fibres on Flickr

Gorgeous handmade socks by Hedgehog Fibres on Flickr

The average American adult is predicted to spend $786 this holiday season. That’s nutzo, ya’ll. And I must admit, I was one of those free-spending holiday nuts once too. But this year, no more. I’m no Scrooge, but I simply can’t spend the money I once did on the holidays. This year I’m giving myself a mere $100 budget to spend on gifts. How am I going to do it? Well, people, I’m getting crafty.

Why $100? Why not totally free? Well, crafts aren’t free unlike Pinterest leads us to believe. But handmaking gifts can save money if you’re smart about it. Even with $100 it’s going to be a challenge to get supplies. I’ve got a dozen gifts to give. (12 days of Christmas, 12 gifts, makes sense right?!) And there’s only so much time in the day.

Yes, I’m a nut to take on this challenge during the already stressful holiday season. But I’m a bag full of delicious holiday nuts, for sure.

Here’s the list of people I’m making something for:

  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. Sister
  4. Sister’s cat (weird, I know, but we always give our pets gifts in my family)
  5. Mother-in-law
  6. Father-in-law
  7. Niece
  8. Brother-in-law
  9. Sister-in-law
  10. Husband
  11. Friends
  12. Co-workers

In case you are curious, my mom usually buys the extended family gifts. (My grandma, aunts, uncles, etc.) So, I don’t have to worry about them. I’m also spending a little bit on charitable donations this year, but I won’t be taking it out of my craft fund.

Will you join my handmade holiday challenge? What’s the best handmade gift you’ve ever given or received? Let me know in the comments!


20 thoughts on “The Handmade Holiday Challenge

  1. Lilian

    Since I started knitting I’ve been trying to make at least a few things for Christmas presents – mainly scarves/cowls which are quite easy and can be fairly quick to make if you use thick yarn and big needles! The only downside is that (at least here in the UK) good quality yarn is quite expensive, so I have to use cheap acrylic yarn in order to save money, otherwise knitting stuff can be more expensive than buying it! But I find people usually really appreciate the handmade things anyway, so that’s good.

    What are you going to make? Or will you have to wait to tell us until after Christmas in case your relatives read your blog?

    1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

      Lilian, I’ve been knitting too but I’m a beginner and it takes forever! I’m not sure I will be done in time for Christmas. I will be posting my projects on the blog. Most of my family doesn’t read my blog, not because they don’t like me, but because they don’t like computers! I think I’ll mostly be making food gifts for friends and co-workers. I’m still planning the gifts for my family. I want their gifts to be super special and thoughtful.

  2. millionsafari

    Because I have no daughters and my 3 sons tired of home made gifts about age 5, I started a custom of making gifts for my Christmas eve extended family of women and their daughters. They really look forward to my crafty gifts — or so they say! Last Christmas I made something that might appeal to you on many levels. I made bookmarks from velvet ribbon finished with sterling silver end clamps from which I hung a bead, or several beads. It was fun deciding on color and beads to fit their personalities. Best was deciding how to wrap them — in a fit of last minute desparaton, I went to my bookshelf and picked out a previously read book for each, and slid the bookmark in. nice. You can get the end clamps at a jewlrey supply store, or even on Etsy.

    I’ll be watching your blog for ideas — I need inspiration for this year too.

    1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

      Oh! That sounds pretty! I agree though, boys are so much harder to make crafts for. My dad is going to be a real challenge.

  3. emmawolf

    I usually do homemade goodies for the extended family: peanut brittle, fudge, jam, or fancy bread. I never feel like my crafts are good enough quality to give them out to others, but my baked goods/confections are delicious!

    1. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

      Emma, I’m doing goodies for a couple of people on the list. I hope my crafts turn out ok. I’m not planning any popsicle stick crafts, so I think they will turn out ok. Eeek! Now you’ve got me nervous.

      1. emmawolf

        Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to! I just mean that even though I’m crafty (sometimes), I know me personally, I’m not very good at it (and I tend to make a lot of things out of craft). I didn’t mean to make anyone else insecure! I’m sorry!

      2. lovelibrarianmelanie Post author

        I was just joking! I’m sure my crafts will be fine. And if they aren’t fine, I can always get my husband to make something. He’s an artist, so his crafts are ALWAYS good.

  4. nikkiproctor

    This is a great idea! I will accept your challenge and link to your blog with my progress! The main challenge will be for my brother. Something tells me one of my paintings just wont cut it for him… He doesn’t have that genetic (grand)parental disposition to love everything I make…

  5. BJ

    We do handmade Christmases as well. Last year, my MIL made me a beautiful necklace with my kids’ names on it and my sister made me Scrabble Art. She spelled the word “Blessed” horizontally and my kids’ names through “Blessed” vertically. Both gifts were beautiful. My favorite handmade gift to give is this year… My 3 year old is crazy over big rigs so my step-father-in-law helped me build a wooden 18 wheeler for him for Christmas. I can’t wait to see his face when he opens it!

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