Art by Rebecca Barkley
This Christmas I’m making all my gifts by hand.
There’s a few reasons behind this crazy idea.. firstly, I’ve got a few months maternity leave left and lets face it – I really can’t afford to splash out on presents. Another reason is it’s fun 🙂 I love making things. Also it’s good for the environment because I will be recycling where I can and using craft supplies I all ready have. (Reducing waste, land fill, trips to and from the shops etc.)
I have kept purchases to a minimum and there’s certainly no impulse buys. I’ve thought really hard about what to make so that each gift will be useful to the person receiving it and (hopefully) nothing will end up in next years garage sale!
At first I thought I may come across as ‘cheap’ but then after some thought I realised, I don’t give a damn! Anyone who thinks that doesn’t deserve a gift at all!
Handmade gifts are extra spesh. In fact, I used to make presents every year from age 6 until I finished school. High school, that is. Yup, I did! It started out as the corniest (who am I kidding.. it didn’t just start out corny, I think it was all the way through!) daggiest little presents wrapped with recycled paper for each and every family member. I’m talking aunties, uncles, cousins, the lot. Family friends too. Oh the things I came up with! I remember making my aunty Judy a snow globe which was a jar of water that contained glitter, some rocks and a toy pig that I got from a visit to the dentist. I once made my aunty Mary a vintage style hat, I cut the brim off my old sun hat and glued feathers to it. Sometimes when I ran out of time I would just give away things I owned, like the time I gave my cousin Sean a Donald Duck pez dispenser.
As I got older the presents I made slightly improved.. one year I made everyone a peg magnet and painted each one. They were all different and I tried to make each one reflect their personalities. Pops had a fish on it, aunty Josie’s had ducks.. you get the idea. To this day I still see them on their fridges!
The year I stopped (when I’d finished school and moved out of home) I recall a few relatives asking where their handmade present was! They understood of course, but I was amazed at how much it was appreciated 🙂
Anyway, enough reminiscing, here I am hand making all my presents again. Not quite as many.. immediate family and those I buy presents for will be receiving something a little different and to be honest, I can’t wait to see their reactions! I’ve put some added humour into most of them too. Now as much as I want to show you what I have made I really have to wait until after Christmas *just in case* they see this post. However, I think I’m pretty safe to share dads presents with you because I don’t think I’ve seen him on a computer since 1993, about the time the first Wolfenstein game was released. Making the presents this year was a lot of fun too, and a huge improvement on the past let me tell you. I also have the added bonus of being a graphic designer so I was able to make labels and packaging to give the gifts some character.
Without further ado, here are some of my dads presents..
‘Dirty Old Bastard Hand Scrub’ I don’t really think of my dad as a dirty old bastard, but hey, it’s funny. Dad does dad stuff.. like working on cars, building things and well, getting his hands dirty. He’s also ‘old’ (old enough to be my dad) and he’s not a bastard but it sounded good. I made the scrub with a recipe I found on pinterest – but I think the sugar I used in it has dissolved into the soap mixture. So much for a scrub! But I’m sure it still works as a soap and I’m sure he’ll get some use out of it.
‘Jimi Herbmix’ (Jimi Hendrix inspired herb mix) Tuesday is ‘steak, eggs and chips’ night. Mum goes out while dad and my bro have, obviously, steak, eggs and chips. So I thought a yummy herb blend to go on his steak would be useful to him. He is a fan of Jimi Hendrix and somehow I came up with this play on words and just had to make it for him! It even has a paisley head band/ribbon tied to the jar. And as for the ingredients – they’re printed on the label, but there isn’t really any LSD in there, promise.
And finally we have ‘Gene the Spleen’ for the man who has almost everything. That’s right, dad is minus a spleen. He had it removed many years ago and I thought it might be a nice I idea to give him one. This is clearly a joke present, you couldn’t actually transplant this into him because it’s obviously too big.
So there you go! This is why I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been busy making these and lots of other awesome stuff that I will show you in the new year. Thanks for reading!