Holiday Gifts We Made

We actually just finished giving our gifts, due to snow days, illness, and my forgetfulness. I thought I would share what holiday gifts we made this season.
holiday gifts
Emma and I made several batches of body scrub for family and teachers. These were a big hit and they seem to work really well! Our super easy version was made with a combination of Epsom salts, olive oil, a couple of drops of food coloring. We used grapefruit, eucalptyus, and orange essential oils and they all smell so good. These glass canning jars with rubber seals are good to prevent spilling. Emma did the whole project on her own after the first jar, it was such a successful project for her. She drew the labels and included a wooden spoon and simple instructions with each jar.
holiday gifts
We also made two batches of lip balm- cherry and coconut- for friends and family. We used beeswax pellets, shea butter, cocoa butter, edible essential oils, and lipstick shavings for a little color. I must say I love the coconut, it works great and smells heavenly. (The cherry still smells a little like cough medicine to me, but I’m not 10, so apparently I don’t count.)
Zenith Supply Co. in Seattle has lots of good basic recipes for the things we made on their website.
Ian’s handmade project for teachers and family involved choosing colors, then wet-felting wool roving to make little acorns. It takes a little planning on my part, to both get and keep his interest on any project that doesn’t involve Legos. I took a chance that making wool balls at the kitchen sink should be pretty fun for him. And I was right! I love how, um, rustic they are.
holiday gifts
I cut oak leaves out of scrap woolens and together we turned them into ornaments.
holiday gifts
Ian chose the combinations, and I attached the acorns with a strategic dot of hot glue. We added a piece of yarn to hang them with. This kid, he was proud, as was I. (I don’t want to sound selfish here, but I kept 2 ornaments, plus lots of the acorns, for myself.)
holiday gifts
I printed out, cut, and assembled Patricia’s 2009 calendar in a morning’s time for my sister in law Jenny. This was one of my favorite projects this season, I didn’t need to buy anything, it came together so easily, and I love how simple and modern it looks.
holiday gifts
During one of those housebound days, I went a little crazy making smaller versions of the larger wreath I’d already made. This was *such* an easy project, and I highly recommend this for kids, there’s really no way to screw them up. The kids made a few, and I, myself got so crazy making them that by the end of the day they were looped around most of our doorknobs, color coordinated by room (like I said, we spent many days snowed in). We gave lots of them away, but kept a lot too. Can’t wait to get them out next year.
holiday gifts
I also made felted rock paperweights for my father-in-law’s office and art studio in Colorado. I remembered last summer that occasionally there would be a flurry of papers flying around the room with all the doors and windows open. These can hold them down, plus they are just really fun to hold in your hand. I will definitely make some more of these, because they are easy and simple. The kids can work on these too. Yes, it is funny to give rocks to anyone but someone like me, who loves them, but what do you give someone who has everything? Why, a felted rock of course!
Ok, this was lengthy. Thanks for staying with me. Remember, we’re still having fun over at habit, I’ll be peeking out from over there all month.
I am finally admitting to myself that I am just not back 100% from whatever illness I had over the weekend, so I’m curling up with tea and this movie in a short while. Type to you soon.

  • Krista

    January 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Let me just say….I would have been thrilled to receive hand-made gifts from my students when I was a teacher! Such cute, memorable gifts in a flood of gift-cards, apple accessories, and other forgettable clutter. Good job!!

  • lisa

    January 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Great gifts! I love the acorns, the scrub, and the lip balm. It sounds you had fun making all of them.

  • erin

    January 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    really wonderful and thoughtful gifts you all made! it’s making me wish i had actually made some gifts to give this year…

  • Sarah Jackson

    January 7, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I love those felted rocks! Every year we give one of the grandpas some kind of rock (family joke) and those would be perfect next year.

  • dayben

    January 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    i love the felted rocks and ornaments! we gave salt scrubs as gifts this year as well.

  • Mama Urchin

    January 7, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    What incredibly wonderful gifts.

  • patricia

    January 7, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Great gifts!! I love the felt pebbles but I’ll admit I’m partial to the calendar. I’m so glad that you liked working on it and thank you for mentioning it! I hope that your sister in law enjoys it.

  • CreativeCookie

    January 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I love it all! Good stuff. How sweet.

  • Nancy

    January 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    those are such great gifts
    i love doing felted acorns and have cut out many wool leaves myself
    did you use a tutorial for the felted rocks? would love to try that out
    happy new year!

  • Nancy

    January 7, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    those are such great gifts
    i love doing felted acorns and have cut out many wool leaves myself
    did you use a tutorial for the felted rocks? would love to try that out
    happy new year! the calendar is great too

  • Lynn in Tucson

    January 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    What beautiful felted goodness! And I bet the toiletries were divine. It sure looks like you all made the best of your housebound time.
    Feel better!

  • Corynne

    January 7, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    these are really great! thanks for sharing them.

  • Cat

    January 8, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Those felted rocks are great! A tutorial for those would be fab. ; )

  • Kristy

    January 8, 2009 at 3:23 am

    How busy were you guys?!

  • Sonya

    January 8, 2009 at 6:32 am

    thanks for sharing what was created at your house this holiday.
    so precious! & great ideas!

  • Jenny

    January 8, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Can this be my public thank-you note? We are so lucky to have such a creative and thoughtful family…thank you Ian for my acorns, Emma for my sweet smelling scrub and lip balm and Blair for the calender…it’s already next to my desk, but much too pretty to mark on!

  • Lindsay

    January 8, 2009 at 6:48 am

    These projects are great. That body scrub is going on my future projects list. 🙂

  • Betsy

    January 8, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Love all of these gifts, but especially the rocks–is there a special technique, or do you just do it? Also, I’m loving “habit” and your contributions..Can’t decide if I want to see “Burn After Reading” or not; there are so many good people in it..will you let us know if it’s any good?

  • mom

    January 8, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Pls. tell Emma that I love the body scrub. And it works!

  • Leila

    January 8, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Ooo! I just saw that last week! Brad Pitt is HILARIOUS in it! I really hope you enjoy it. Be sure to watch the dvd bonus features, if you have them, because there are some great bits there too.
    Looks like you all did some great work with your handmade gifts!
    P. S. I am not ignoring your request for photos of my pompom garland — just haven’t managed to hook that camera up to the computer for a few weeks! They’ll be coming soon.

  • melissa

    January 8, 2009 at 8:19 am

    what a wonderful bunch of gifts. I have patricia’s birthday calendar template that will be my go-to birthday gift this year. Um, how do I get on your list???

  • amisha

    January 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

    after checking out all of these amazing things over at flickr this morning, it’s so fun to read the backstory here 🙂 you guys were such awesome elves!! i love them all, and especially the way that you can see in each project how much fun you all must have had in the making. xo

  • kate

    January 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    what lovely things you and your family gave this year. i was just lamenting on my blog that i didn’t take photos of all the good stuff we did. so lame!
    i’ve been wanting to try the felted acorns. tell me, did you purchase the caps somewhere or did you go out and collect all those bad boys?
    thanks for the inspiration!

  • Bean

    January 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I like making felt rocks with little messages needled into them, too 😀

  • Mary Smith

    January 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    The grapefruit body scrub looks like a great idea! That might make a nice Mother’s day gift too!

  • nicola

    January 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    lovely! i love the felted wool gifts, acorns especially.

  • emilykristin

    January 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

    those wreaths are such a good way to use up tiny precious felt scraps that would normally get thrown away – brilliant! and it would be a great project for kids struggling with disabilities that need help with fine motor skills – something beautiful and meaningful to show for their work. I’m definitely tucking this idea away.

  • amanda miller

    January 13, 2009 at 5:46 am

    i would love to be on your family’s gift list…look at all the amazing things you made!

  • amanda miller

    January 13, 2009 at 5:46 am

    i would love to be on your family’s gift list…look at all the amazing things you made!

  • amanda miller

    January 13, 2009 at 5:46 am

    i would love to be on your family’s gift list…look at all the amazing things you made!

  • Lynne

    January 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I love these all. What an awesome time you guys must have had making these things. I must bookmark for next holiday season…

  • Tracy

    January 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Wow, awesome projects! Do you have any tips on felting those rocks? I really want to do a batch of them.
    Did you like Burn After Reading? I thought it was hilarious and sort of want to see it again.

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