Monday, December 19, 2011

5 Christmas Gifts You Can Make Yourself


5 Christmas Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Christmas gifts you can make yourself are often the most fun to give or receive. You don’t have to be a master carpenter or skilled artist to make something beautiful – just let your creativity shine!

Reversible Polar Fleece Blanket
Purchase yardage of two different colors or prints of Polar fleece that coordinate well together. How much yardage depends on the size of blanket you want to make. For example, for a baby blanket, two 40-by 40-inch squares is adequate; for a throw you would need two rectangles of at least 45 by 60 inches.
Place the two pieces on a flat surface, wrong sides together. Trim selvage edges and make the two pieces exactly the same size. Make 2-inch cuts into the fabric approximately every ½ inch on all four sides of the material to create fringe. The smaller the blanket, the daintier the fringe should be; adjust your measurements accordingly. Tie the corresponding pieces of fringe from each layer of fleece together to complete the blanket. Place the knot at the top of the fringe, closest to the blanket edge.

Use this same method to make a scarf or shawl from Polar fleece.

Gift in a Jar
Layer all of the dry ingredients needed to make a batch of soup or favorite baked treat in a quart canning jar. For instance, to make a jar of chocolate cookies, layer all of the specific amounts of the dry ingredients so they look attractive in the jar. Include a complete recipe so the gift recipient will know how to complete the dish.

Buckwheat Husk Pillow
Small pillows filled with buckwheat husks are popular for relieving aches and pains. They can be warmed in the microwave oven for soothing heat or kept in the freezer to be at the ready when a cold treatment is best.  Purchase buckwheat husks at your local health food store, and mix it with a scoop full of dried lavender flowers for an extra soothing touch. Sew two pieces of material together to form a rectangle that’s approximately 5 inches by 12 inches or a large crescent at least 12 inches in diameter. Leave 2- to 3-inch opening in the pillow while sewing up the seams. Use a funnel to fill the pillow with husks and hand-sew the opening closed.

Beeswax Candle
Find sheets of colored beeswax at your craft store. Cut a wick that’s 1 inch longer that the shorter end of the beeswax and place the wick on the edge of the sheet. Gently roll the beeswax over the wick; continue rolling until the entire sheet is rolled up. Experiment with different sizes by cutting the sheets in half or quarters before rolling. Bundle several candles together and tie them with a festive ribbon for giving.

Trendy Beaded Necklace
String a variety of large, chunky beads onto sturdy beading string. Use mismatched beads, but keep a cohesive color scheme to give the necklace a theme. A random mix of large beads will create a trendy, modern necklace almost anyone would like. You don’t even need to use jewelry findings – make the necklace big enough to fit over your head, about 18 inches long, and tie it off with a secure knot.



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