Homemade Gifts

Posted By on June 18, 2012

In January 2011, one of my Facebook friends made a simple post saying she would make five homemade gifts for the first five people who “liked” that offer. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and I not only clicked “like”, but also re-posted it, making my own promise to create homemade gifts. Five of my friends clicked “like.”

Then the panic set in. Here I promised to do something in a very public way. The last time I made a homemade gift it was either cookies for Christmas or one of those grade-school projects you make out of macaroni for your parents. My skill set for crafts was rusty if not downright questionable.

A couple of months later, I discovered this little website called Pinterest, and the virtual clipboard had a plethora of craft ideas. Excellent.

I didn’t make my 2011 projects until this past spring because I had been ill most of the year, but I kept thinking of ideas and surfing the Pinterest craft boards. In January 2012, several of us wound up posting the same Facebook post. Now I had 10 gifts to make, and I decided to experiment.

Wooden Blocks

For one group of gifts, I had wooden blocks cut, sanded them and painted them black on both sides. Using Mod Podge, I glued scrapbook paper to one side and trimmed it with an X-Acto® knife – the same kind I used to wield during my journalism days back in the day.

Wood blocks painted, then Mod Podged with scrapbook paper and letters

I wanted to put words such as “Love,” “Hope,” “Star,” and “Home” on the blocks. I painted cardboard letters with Mod Podge and glued on more scrapbook paper. I cut the letters and glued them to the blocks. I added some hearts and adhesive jewels to decorate them.

I also experimented with large chipboard letters I found at Hobby Lobby. I painted the letter and glued on scrapbook paper. I had a shadow frame from IKEA, lined the back with paper and glued the letter to it. I added some bling and the words “Be Fierce,” a phrase this particular Facebook friend had used several times.

Shadow box, cut-out letter, scrapbook paper and bling

Heart Art

I had several small canvases that I painted black. Once again, I used Mod Podge to glue on scrapbook paper. I decided to make rows of hearts, and I discovered how hard it was to find a heart punch two weeks after Valentine’s Day. My timing was a bit off, but I did find one from Martha Stewart’s line at Michael’s.

If I used black and white scrapbook paper for the background, then I punched out colorful hearts. I fastened the hearts in three rows and bent the upper corners of the heart to make them stand out. To personalize the gifts, I put a jeweled letter as a monogram. Well, except for one gift. Two of the jewels fell out of my last “L” so I used a simple jewel.

Wood blocks, pain, scrapbook paper and Mod Podge

What I Learned

I learned I can still wield a pretty mean X-Acto® knife.

I learned I have some sort of obsession with scrapbook paper even though I don’t scrapbook in the traditional sense.

More importantly, I learned gifts made with heart and love are still valued. Since the economy tanked, more of us have looked at what we really value, and our relationships are more important than anything we can buy.



One Response to “Homemade Gifts”

  1. I really enjoyed this post, because I always want to do crafts, but I rarely do, for many different reasons. I’m also finding Pinterest to be a great source of inspiration for crafts that even I could do. Scrapbooking is just too ambitious for me, but I also love the paper and other doodads, so I love seeing what else I can do with them. Thanks!