Friday, December 14, 2012

Homemade gift ideas

Every year I struggle to come up with ideas for parents that have everything and grandparents who need nothing.  When kids came along this got a little easier because grandparents and great grandparents always love pictures of the little ones.  I know I can’t be alone in this search for good gifts so I thought I would share a couple that have worked great for me. 

The first one is a personalized photo calendar.  The first year I did the scrapbooky one and then realized making 5(one for me to keep too) of these was a lot of work and I only had one kid at the time.  I had made a few books on Shutterfly and Picaboo so I decided to try out their calendars.  Shutterfly doesn’t offer the ability to full edit your photo layout and background choices, so Picaboo is the winner for me.  Not everyone is as OCD about this as I am and will probably love the options available at Shutterfly.  I pick out pictures from the month they occurred so we can look back on the girls from the year before.  And every year I tell myself not to wait until the last minute to go through a years worth of photos.  Maybe one of these years I will remember not to do this.  Thank goodness for caffeine and a Duck Dynasty marathon last week!  Yes I watch the show and love it but that sounds like a good post for another day.  Back to calendaring… here is an example of what my pages looked like for 2012.  I can’t show 2013 since they are currently wrapped and won’t be opened by the time this post is viewed.

Screen Captures

Picaboo makes it so easy.  If only it were easy to keep it down less than five photos per page.  More than that gets to be a bit busy and you completely loose the background.  Picaboo is constantly running sales so that you can get them for at least 40% off and potentially free shipping depending on if you have to order 8 like I now do.  You could pull an all nighter too and still have them in time for Christmas if you are still looking for a gift.  Just make sure you have something fun to watch or Facebook pulled up so you can procrastinate every so often.  It’s just more fun that way or maybe it’s just the way I do things.

My other go-to gift for parents/grandparents is an ornament with a picture of the girls.  The first year I did Taylor’s handprint mold thing(official term) as the ornament and have done pictures versions each year since.  Then I did Taylor in this cute snowflake ornament, the next year was a foam photo frame kit(turned into ornament) that Taylor ‘helped’ with, and last year’s was such a fail that it fell apart while hanging on the tree.  I had these incredibly cute ideas of what to do and when I attempted to make them it was a horrible mess.  Plus I had stressed over making them.  As a backup I bought another set of foam frame sets with hopes that Taylor would be able to help again last year since she was getting better at crafts.  It was still way too hard for her and I had to finish this up to only have them fall apart as people unwrapped them.  I promised myself that I would not let this be a stressful gift and have decided to leave ornament making to the pros for a few more years.

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Cue Crate & Barrel’s adorable frame(with stand on back for table sitting later) ornament with a few personal touches.  Sshhh… don’t tell anyone these were only $3.95 each.  They had rectangle versions too, but I loved the fun shape of the ornament.  I generally mark the year on the back but thought I would add a personal touch to the front.  I took a picture so you could see my fancy workspace.  Can you tell I share the table with my 4 year old who loves to craft too?  I have to constantly remind her that she cannot take over the entire table. 

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My Silhouette did a great job of cutting the itty bitty 3/4” tall black vinyl lettering. I peeled off all the negative space, applied contact paper to the front, and then very carefully pulled the backing off.  Make sure you rub the top of the contact paper really good with an old credit card or scraper before peeling the back off.  This will help it stick to the contact paper better.


I centered the ornament on my mat so I had a reference for a center on the ornament and then put the numbers on.  I rubbed them again with the scraper to make sure they were stuck down real good and then pulled the contact paper off. 

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Luckily I had this adorable photo of the girls from our family photo shoot with Heather that worked perfect.  I actually printed two prints on a 4x6 size piece of photo paper and then used the glass to see how I wanted it to line up.  Some of the blank space ended up being cut out too but would mostly be covered in the frame but it bothered me.  What is the photo shifted and someone saw white???  So again OCD girl stepped in and cut a tiny piece of the extra grass from the picture out and glued it on.  Problem solved.  But then it probably wouldn’t be a problem for most people. 

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I changed the black ribbon to a red to be more festive and then found it the perfect spot on my tree. 


This year was so much easier and would have been cute even without the date on the front.  Now what are your go-to gift ideas for those who have everything???

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