Tag Archives: handmade holiday challenge

Handmade Holiday Challenge Roundup

Gorgeous handmade socks by Hedgehog Fibres on Flickr

Gorgeous handmade socks by Hedgehog Fibres on Flickr

I didn’t finish my holiday challenge or stick to my strict budget of $100, but considering everything I had going on, I think I made a commendable effort. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

  1. Mom: This year, I gave my mom homemade vanilla extract. I think she’ll enjoy using it in her baking. $1.49 for the bottles and $2.99 for the vanilla beans. I already had the bourbon and the vodka, so I didn’t count it towards the budget. how to make vanilla extract
  2. Dad: I didn’t get anything for my Dad because he told me not to, and well, I didn’t really have time. I still love him though and he knows it.  Handmade Circle Scarf
  3. Sister: I made this imitation American Apparel circle scarf for my sister. It cost $16 for the fabric. A little steep, I tried to get cheaper fabric online, but my order was cancelled.  handmade cat toy
  4. Sister’s cat (weird, I know, but we always give our pets gifts in my family): I made Franklin, my sister’s cat, this toy with stuff I had around the house and out in the yard! He loved it and it was free. Animals and children always seem to love the presents that don’t cost anything the best.
  5. Mother-in-law: For my mother-in-law, I ordered a book of our wedding photos. Our wedding was a year ago and I have yet to print out any photos. I suck sometimes. And although, I’m not considering it homemade, I did get a good deal on the book through Groupon. ($10!)
  6. Father-in-law: We just ended up getting him a gift card to a local gun store. He has done a lot for us this year. He’s helped us to fix up the trailer and let us live on his land. ($50) customized ukulele
  7. Niece: This was probably my favorite project of the challenge. We customized this ukulele for my niece. She may be too young for it. She’s only 2! She wanted to tear off the strings when she opened it! :/ But it’s cute enough to  just sit on a shelf until she’s old enough to learn to play. I can’t find the red model that I purchased on Amazon. It was $29.95. But a similar model is sold on Amazon for a bit more.
  8. Brother-in-law: We bought him wool socks. It’s what he wanted. $20.
  9. Sister-in-law: Like my mother-in-law, I also purchased a Groupon and ordered a large canvas photo of her daughter from our wedding. $12.
  10. Husband: My poor husband didn’t get anything from me this year. We decided not to exchange gifts. We combined our anniversary and Christmas gifts and right now are on a relaxing trip to Austin, Texas! Priceless. infused liquors
  11. Friends: Our friends all received infused liquors this year. They were pumped. To make it, I used ingredients we already had on hand.
  12. Co-workers: My lovely co-workers didn’t get anything from me this year. I just couldn’t do it all.

I ended up going over budget at $142.43, but all considering, I’m proud of the work I’ve done. Next year, I’ll start on my projects earlier, so I’ll have time for unexpected things to pop up.

I hope everyone had the best of holidays. I’ll see you all in the new year!

love,
melanie

Handmade Holiday Challenge: Look-alike American Apparel Circle Scarf

Handmade Circle Scarf This is the last of my Handmade Holiday Challenge items. I made one more scarf, but I knitted it and it turned out a bit wonky. Don’t craft and drink wine, ya’ll. It wasn’t really “blog worthy.”

But I am proud of this circle scarf I made for my sister. At Thanksgiving, she said something about wanting a circle scarf from American Apparel like the one I have. The scarf is super basic and I knew that I could make it for cheaper than the $28.00 American Apparel version.

I purchased two yards of jersey knit fabric at Hobby Lobby. The best thing about working with jersey knit is that you don’t have to finish the ends. The fabric just sort of rolls at the ends. The worst thing with working with jersey knit is trying to sew the ends together. I suggest using a zig-zag stitch (if you don’t have a serger) and testing on your fabric first. I had to take out my stitches more than one because the fabric puckered. Here’s more tips on sewing on jersey knit. I used those when creating my scarf.

For this project I only had to sew the short ends of the fabric together (thank god) to create this scarf. I actually think I like this one more than my American Apparel scarf. I’ll be making one for myself soon.

How did your presents turn out this year? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

A Knitted Baby Cape!

Baby Cape Closeup This may have been my first knitting project, but it is safe to say I am addicted. I don’t always stick with projects or crafts. Learning is the best part! But knitting really has me hooked. (Get it?!) I got a little ambitious and decided that I wanted to make something for my niece’s 2nd birthday.

I’m no expert and I still have a lot to learn. I used one skein of yarn (111 yards) in Yarn Bee’s “super bulky” eggnog color yarn. I cast on for 55 stitches using size 13 needles. I then just knitted using a basic stitch until almost all the yarn was gone. Then I finished it up using this technique.  Finally, I added a button and a loop to close the cape.

Knitted baby cape I’m so proud of how it turned out. I can’t wait to see pictures of my niece wearing it this winter. She’s a cutie.

Do you all knit? I want to see your projects in the comments!

love,
melanie

A Last Minute Holiday Gift for Your Furry Friends

handmade cat toy I didn’t finish my handmade holiday challenge, but I got close. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Never fear, I will have a recap for ya’ll. And I did have time to eek out this little gift for my furry friend. If it was up to me, I’d have 10 cats, but alas, I’m a cat lady who is allergic to cats.

My sister brought her newest furry friend home for the holidays and I just had to make him something. I couldn’t leave him out! P.S. he looooved the toy!

This DIY was super easy, I made it with scraps and it only took me about 10 minutes.

easy version how to make pom poms First, I made two pom poms. I made them the easy way and just wrapped the yarn around my fingers, then tied the yarn together in the middle. Then, I cut the looped ends. I made two pom poms and tied them together, so the poof was extra poofy. I also made sure to reinforce all my knots since this kitty loves to play (aka rip things apart.)

I then braided a length of yarn slightly longer than my arm and traveled outside to find a nice-looking stick. Once I found the perfect stick, I attached the braided yarn to the stick and attached the pom pom ball to the braided yarn. Finally, I wrapped yarn around both ends of the stick to make it a little prettier.

cat toy close up The hardest part of this project is tying knots super tight so little kitties won’t immediately kill the toy.

Did you make anything for your furry friends this year? I’d love to see links to your projects in the comments!

love,
melanie