Carolyn L. Braun (

Gifting handmade presents …

The gifts are open, the work is done.

So now it’s time, to have some fun.

By fun, I mean starting anew on various craft projects. (Or finishing some of the projects that didn’t get done.) This year I was fairly productive. As usual, I planned to get more done than I actually got done. However, as Christmas approaches and activities increase, it is okay to simply let it go and  save those unfinished projects for later. Too much self-induced stress takes away from the joy of giving handmade presents.

Why spend hours and hours crafting handmade gifts? There are several reasons: 1. They are perfect for the person who has everything. I’m pretty sure we fall in that category. We have lots of stuff. When we ‘need’ something, we usually just buy it – which doesn’t leave much on our Christmas list. 2. Handmade gifts are unique, one of a kind. I enjoy having things that no one else has. 3. They are special. Handmade gifts take a lot of time to make. If handmade gifts were valued based on the time spent in creating them, they could be considered some of the most expensive gifts. More importantly, it shows that you (the receiver of the gift) were worth the time that was spent creating that gift. Time is one of the greatest gifts of all. 4. They are fun to make (unless you try to do too much and make it stressful).

This year, I managed to create gifts in several craft categories.

Ornaments. Shown below are a few of the ornaments completed, including the snowman pair of corrugated paper, the snowman and Santa wreaths – knitted of many pieces and then sewn together, and the peppermint decorations make of  peppermint candies placed inside cookie cutters and then melted. The peppermint decorations are also edible. I made them with one of my granddaughters for their Christmas tree. Rumor has it that two were broken on the trip home so they had to eat them.


Earrings. For the first time, I tried my hand at jewelry making with these very simple post earrings made of buttons and scrapbooking gems.  I think the earrings made with ladybug buttons are probably the favorite. The added bonus – if they get lost or misplaced, Grandma can simply make some more.


Doll Clothes. While I had intended to sew some doll clothes, I never quite got my sewing area set up. Instead, I focused on knitting. The outfits below fit 18″ inch dolls, such as the American Girl series. They include a bathrobe, a sundress with matching underpants, shawl and purse, and a shrug.

doll clothes.jpg

Paper Craft – Personalized Journals.  The journals below are made of composition notebooks with paper craft decorated covers – each personalized. These were easy and fun to make!


And last – very quick projects – knitted Towel Holders. Most often, the towel holders are crocheted. Since I have not yet mastered crocheting, I was happy to find this knitted version – which take no more than an hour each. A purchased towel completes the gift.

towel holders.jpg

Hopefully, if I get busy, I will have a lot more done for next year! I have a few new areas to work on – sewing, card-making, drawing and painting. You never know what I might create.

Thanks for reading!



Image from Lion Brand Yarns





2 replies to “Gifting handmade presents …

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