Hand-crafted gifts are a beautiful part of Christmas for me. Whether I am making or receiving a hand-crafted gift, I know there is special thought put into it, from the color chosen, to the time they took to make it. I am always trying to expand my abilities, so my gifts are not too predictable. I want to crochet and knit socks. I just started attempting and it has been slow going . . . but it my goal to be flawless at it by next Christmas. This list contains 10 of my favorite tried-and-true hand-crafted gifts that either I have made or received. I hope they can inspire you to try some new things:
1. Hats and Headbands
Hats were one of the very first things I learned how to crochet. Beanies to be exact. I made my husband at least three since we started dating 7+ years ago. However, he never needs them in Phoenix! I eventually expanded my abilities to learn how to crochet slouchy hats and chunky hats as well. This year, I found some cute Pinterest patterns for headbands to match the cowls I was making. My favorite headband pattern thus far is for a Ribbed Bow Ear Warmer.
We are working on Hazel’s camera face . . . But, this is a picture of the Ribbed Bow Ear Warmer.
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Simple? Yes. But fun to make and exciting to receive. I love scarves! I don’t get many opportunities to wear them now (I still don’t even need a jacket most days). Nonetheless, bundling up in a cute scarf can not only make an outfit, but keep you warm and cozy against a blustery winter! Here is a super easy and fast cowl pattern that I have been using a lot this year.
This is my first attempt at an infinity scarf. And, my 3rd attempt at fingerless gloves (I only have one finished, hence me attempting to hide my hand.) It is my best attempt so far, but I am thinking that sock yarn would work better next time because it is more stretchy and less bulky.
I must say this ear warmer really kept my ears warm! It is the ribbed bow pattern from above, just with a flower instead of gathered, and made with chunky yarn. This cowl is a super simple, one-hour cowl.
Whether it is a baby blanket, throw, or bordered fleece blanket–they make great gifts! I have kept all the crocheted and quilted blankets that I have been given. My Aunt Sheila made a beautiful one for me when I was a baby. Mitch has this beautiful baby quilt that looks like it is in prime condition, even though his mother says they used it frequently. I also have a cozy leopard-print, fleece throw that my grandma crocheted around for me. Now that is one of my favorite gifts to replicate! You can find fleece throws for like $2-3 on sale. Add a border and you have a great gift! I have so many nice blankets from my grandma. More than once all the grandchildren received her version of a homemade comforter on Christmas. I loved mine and used it all through college. When we got married, she made us a lovely Spring quilt. I also have a beautifully detailed heart-filled quilt from my Aunt Cathy that just blows my mind with all of its intricacies. She was amazing at hand-crafted gifts of all kinds!
This is part of Mitch’s baby quilt–still in great condition!
I love crocheting around baby blankets! It is so simple, yet cute!
(Ignore Hazel sprawling.) This is the colorful quilt my grandma made for our wedding. The animal print blanket at the bottom of the bed is a fleece blanket she doubled up and crocheted around.
This is the quilt my Aunt Cathy made for our wedding.
4. Ornaments, Magnets, and coasters
I have a couple friends that I usually exchange small gifts with for Christmas. We often make each other little presents. Sarabeth is queen of the pasta (she did grow up in Italy). I have cute pasta magnets, ornaments, and even a candle holder that she made. Clarissa, like me, enjoys crocheting and sewing. I have received some lovely presents from her, including a set of puzzle coasters made from t-shirts. I use them every day. When you arrange them, they form the front text of a t-shirt. 🙂
One of the coasters from Clarissa.
I crocheted several coasters out of two skeins dish cloth yarn in a round. I made up the pattern as I went. They are durable and washable. 🙂
This is one of several adorable gifts Sarabeth has made me out of pasta. She even made me pasta earrings that I adore.
I made up this pattern for snowmen magnets and ornaments a couple years ago. I just crocheted small circles, embroidered details, cut out the hats, and hot glued it all together. It made a great stocking stuffer.
5. Cross Stitch
Sarabeth is amazing at cross stitch! I have to admit I am quite jealous. I just don’t have much patience for it. However, I have some lovely embroidery projects I need to finish . . . I finished one project, and it took me 3 years. Sarabeth surprised me with an adorable, framed cross stitch that I keep right by my computer. My parents also have the intricate cross stitch my Aunt Joyce made when I was born. She can do really elaborate cross stitch patterns. I am toying with the idea of doing a cross stitch for Rebekah. I have even found some cute patterns. I am just afraid I won’t finish it until she is five . . .
This is the cross stitch I am considering buying and attempting:
6. Hanging Towels
My Aunt Sheila has made me some lovely hanging towels for the kitchen. She also passed on her pattern to me (once again from a magazine, otherwise I would share). Her tips are to buy the good quality, dark-colored bathroom hand towels when they are on sale. They hold up longer and don’t show as much dirt. She also advises crocheting with two complimentary colors to make it prettier and stronger. This is now one of my favorite quick gifts to make for Christmas or weddings.
I made the red one. It is getting a bit worn, but it has had a lot of use!
7. Table Runners and Place Matts
I have so many table runners! Mostly quilted. But I love to decorate my table, so it works. I have a beautiful fall leaf one from my Aunt Cathy. I also have a Valentine’s Day one from Lana, a sweet distant relative and friend of mine. She also made me the cutest quilt when I graduated high school. On the table runner she even embroidered our anniversary. My mom has also made us several cute and festive table runners. I have no idea how they were made, but a woman at Mitch’s home congregation made us place matts that are four styles in one. You just flip through until you get to the color you want–so cool!
This is the fall one from my Aunt Cathy.
I do not have the skill set for sewing clothes; however, my mom is great at it. She can sew the most lovely dresses. Every time I wear one, I get dozens of compliments. I am starting to learn how to crochet baby clothes, but that is as close to clothes as I am getting currently.
I am starting out with the simple baby booties. They are also made with that simply soft yarn I love. 🙂
There are fun patterns available for crocheting, knitting, or sewing purses. I have a dear friend, Leah who sewed me a purse in high school. It was just like one she made for herself. She still uses hers to this day. I am terribly rough on purses, they never last me long. Even when I try to take good care of them, I always end up breaking them somehow . . . But the purse she gave me was my first real purse–and I loved it!
I also do NOT have this talent. However, my mom, Sarabeth, and Leah are all talented artists. Most of the artwork in my home is made by my mom. Sarabeth and Leah have also made me some special keepsakes over the years as well.
Isn’t my mom talented? This is only a small sampling of what she can do!
Even though it doesn’t have a category, I wanted to include this crocheted Christmas/Wedding tree that my Aunt Sheila made us. She can decorate them to any theme and make them in any color!
I really could go on and on. I have been blessed by the hand-crafted talents of so many women! It is also my prayer that I can bless others through my abilities crocheting and sewing. Plus, it can be a great way to stretch the budget, as I talked about yesterday. I hope you found a little inspiration!
What is your favorite hand-crafted gift to give? What is your most cherished hand-crafted gift that you received?
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