09 January 2018

Handmade Christmas

Last year I set myself the challenge to have a mostly handmade Christmas and it was wonderful. Without sounding cheap, lots of my stash of fabric, yarn and other craft materials were used to make gifts for friends and family.

It was a lot of work, but more fun. Choosing what to make for everyone, then finding the perfect materials, deciding on colours so each gift was individual and made just for the recipient took a bit of time (I made a few lists!) but that created a plan I was able to follow for the year.

Christmas 2017 was so easy, most of the gifts we gave were handmade especially for the recipients. They were planned and created to suit wants, needs, taste and style and were so much fun to put together that Christmas 2018 is going to be a completely handmade Christmas.

This week I've had some time to knit, so two dishcloths and a face washer are finished.  Then on Sunday afternoon the sewing machine came out and some fabric from the stash and I whipped up a couple of pot holders and cute little tissue cover.
 All the materials came from my stash, and the pot holders were made from pillowslips and doona covers I picked up from op shops. The batting for the pot holders was bath mats that were worn in the middle, so no cost for batting. The lace on the tissue cover was a scrap, leftover from one of Hannah's dresses when she was small.

I've seen the tissue covers selling at a local chemist for $7.95 each! I made six from scraps of fabric and lace -  a saving of $47.70!

This year I've also decided to be sure and pay for the gifts as I make them. Our gift budget is relatively small, just $540 for the year, for all gifts for everyone, so it is important that I track the cost of gifts to keep the budget straight.

To do this I calculate the cost to make the gift - in this case the tissue covers. I used scraps I already had, so they cost nothing to make. If I'd bought them, they would have cost $47.70. I've moved $47.70 from the gift fund to our savings account. Now I've paid for the tissue covers.

There is a cost to giving gifts, whether they're handmade or bought. The cost may just be your time, as with the tissue covers, or it may be just a few cents, as with the pot holders. But there is a cost, so it should be shown in your budget. Remember, if you make a gift, to pay for it.

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  1. Lovely gifts. I made an apron this week, for myself, but my sister saw it and now she's put an order in for her birthday in Feb. There's enough material left to make hers, so I won't need to spend anything on her gift. Not sure how much they are to buy but I'm going to look them up and then pay myself - great idea, never thought to do that before. Have a nice day, AnnaC

  2. Rebecca FinlaysonTuesday, January 09, 2018

    I like the idea of paying yourself and moving the money.
    One of my goals this year is to make cards for all occasions. I dont want to buy any cards at all

  3. Cath what a beautiful stash of gifts you've made. Is there a pattern for the tissue cover, I'd love to try them. Also where do you purchase your knitting cotton? I only have Spotlight to buy from near where I live and pay $3 plus per 50gm ball which usually only makes 1 dishcloth. Do you know of somewhere I could buy it cheaper?
    The colours for your gifts are lovely too, so pretty.
    Best wishes, Lorraine xx

    1. I don't really have a pattern for the tissue holder, I'll see if I can put one together for you. I buy my dishcloth cotton from Yarn Over in Brisbane, or on eBay. It isn't cheap, I use the Bernat handicrafter cotton. Comes in either 500g 0r 350g balls, depending on the design, but it makes great dishcloths. For facewashers and soap sacks I use cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills - they often have great sales on 4ply and 8ply cotton and it comes in lovely colours. I try to wait until there is a free postage offer too, or share the postage with a friend. I'm finding both Spotlight and Lincraft are keeping less and less yarn and the prices are going up and up which is disappointing.


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