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Gifts 2018: Be Part of the “I made it” Movement

b7ece9c7f92d23a711dd9e54e09a39f4The trend is sweeping across North America. Handmade items are at the top of everyone’s list as one of the best kinds of presents to receive. Many artisans have made a small business out of the movement. Each year thousands of people attend Maker Faire, the world’s biggest maker event that takes place in cities around the world. On the social media site Etsy, over one million artisans sell handmade products literally to the world.

So this holiday season, consider giving a homemade gift. Look at the benefits!

  • You can customize it, e.g. if they like chocolate brownies, make them a pan with beautifully packaged treats in a decorated box.
  • You’ll avoid the rush of crowds at the mall.
  • It’s more eco-friendly because you’re making gifts out of natural products not plastic, and often including some recycled or consumable items.
  • The message you send is a powerful one. “I’ve spent time making this present just for you!”

Ideas to Inspire

Whether you consider yourself artistically talented or not, there are homemade gift ideas to inspire all ranges of talent and interest. Check these out:

Photograph inspiration: Your local print shop offers great ideas for using your own photos or photos that mean something to the recipient. From calendars, personalized mugs, and coasters to images printed on blankets and pillows, photo-inspired gifts are definitely one of a kind!

Ready-to-cook and serve: You’ve probably seen decorative glass jars filled with cookie mix. But why not apply this idea to a main course. Assemble all the dried ingredients and spices for a risotto or hearty bean soup.

Package together with the recipe in a lovely soup bowl, perhaps purchased at an artisan market!

Get out those knitting needles and crochet hooks: Toques are so in style these days, and are one of the easiest items to knit. Look for a simple pattern with chunky yarn and you’ll have it done in no time!

Easy sewing projects: Fabric stores are filled with fabulous fleece. You don’t even have to know how to sew in order to turn a beautiful tartan fleece into a blanket or throw, decorated with a fringe attached with fabric glue!

Paper things: Paper projects are a great way to get kids involved. Cut up artwork to affix to blank cards, or make into fun bookmarks and gift tags. Laminate or photograph, and affix decorative ribbon.

Spa items: Bath salts are super easy to make and can be enhanced with the essential oil of your choice. Place assorted varieties in a basket, accompanied by a bath pouf and candle. Other spa items include: homemade soap, sugar exfoliating scrubs and bath oils.

Jewels and accessories: Visit your local bead shop for jewelry ideas. Beads and fun “dangles” can be attached to rings to make customized key chains.

Homemade hand warmers: Using scraps of fabric, make squares small enough to fit inside a glove. Leave one side open and fill ¾ with rice. Sew up tightly! These can be heated in a microwave and used to keep hands warm on a cold day!