I, just like every human on earth, am guilty of waiting until the last minute to do things. There’s something about that last minute pressure that really puts the heat on. This year I actually purchased George‘s Valentine’s Day present early and had it shipped to the house. And he opened it before I got home! It was an honest mistake, but I was so mad! I can’t ever surprise that dude. Anyway, now I’m rushing to make something small to give him so he actually has something to open tomorrow.
Here’s a couple ideas for those last minute Valentine’s Day gifts:
This Valentine’s Day printable is super-cute. You don’t even have to make the nuts recipe if you don’t have time. You can just attach it to a bag of nuts! Click here for the printable.
If you’ve got a honey that loves to cook, homemade vanilla extract would be a great gift. Maybe they’ll get the hint to make you those cookies you’ve been wanting. Click here for the how to.
Infused liquors are so easy to make and instantly elevate a drink. I’d let the liquor infuse for a few days, but it’s a gift that you both could enjoy this weekend. Click here for the tutorial.
If your darling isn’t a drinker, then a personalized mug filled with coffee or chocolates would make a cute gift. Just make sure you don’t put it in the dishwasher! Click here for the details.
Here’s to homemade Valentine’s gifts! And waiting until the last minute!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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)
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.
Brother-in-law: We bought him wool socks. It’s what he wanted. $20.
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.
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.
Friends: Our friends all received infused liquors this year. They were pumped. To make it, I used ingredients we already had on hand.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve some sort of musical accompaniment. My sister, my best friend and I used to make up all kinds of songs. I distinctly remember a song about dirty clothes sang to the tune of Baby Love by The Supremes.
For Christmas I want to give the joy of music to my niece. But in my true fashion, I couldn’t just give her a plain ol’ ukulele. I had to customize it.
First I bought this relatively inexpensive ukulele from Amazon. Originally I had planned to cut out vinyl decals to add to the body of the ukulele. But George, my super talented husband, really liked the idea of customizing the ukulele and volunteered to hand letter it. He used a white paint markers for the base, then created texture with a black paint marker.
It’s kind of adorable. Maybe my niece will be the next Dolly Parton. I’m at least going to win best aunt award this year.
Have you shopped for curtain rods lately? No? Well, they ain’t cheap. (But I am! Yack, yack, yack!)
Even the cheapo rods were out of our price range. I’ll be honest with ya’ll, we’ve gone over our renovation budget a bit. We had eight windows, two cabinets and three doors to cover with curtains in the Airstream! George’s ingenuity once again came to the rescue. He’s pretty much an artsy super hero.
Instead of buying curtain rods at a minimum of $5 a pop, we bought dowel rods at $1.50 a piece and 7/8 inch cup hooks for less than $4 for a box of 40 hooks! That’s a savings of $41.50. And to think, I failed College Algebra. Take that math!
All you have to do for this DIY is:
Saw down the dowel rod to fit your window.
Drill a pilot hole if necessary. (It’s necessary in the Airstream)
Screw the hooks into the wall.
Make sure the hooks on either end are level, and hang up your curtain!
Not to mention, I think they look really modern and chic.
What’s the best thrifty DIY you’ve finished lately? Tell me in the comments!