Hi friends, Wow! I am so enjoying reading all of your comments on Monday's post. The tales you're sharing about the best handmade gift you've ever received are thoughtful, funny and poignant – sometimes all at once. Thank you all for sharing these little gems. (If you haven't commented yet, there's still time – you have until Sunday at 11:59 p.m.) Now that Halloween is out of the way, I feel like I can finally hunker down and concentrate on my Christmas crafting. (Oh yes, the countdown is on!) I make many of my Christmas presents, and I know that many people are thinking about making some (or all) of their holiday gifts this year, and so I've been thinking about ways to make the process fun, festive, and affordable. Here's what I've come up with so far.
- Start early. Staying up all night knitting or sewing on Christmas Eve = falling asleep in your turkey dinner.
- Make a list, check it twice. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you walk into a giant crafts or fabric store, and being overwhelmed can lead to overspending. Before you go supply-shopping, write down a list of the crafts you're going to make; then make your shopping list detailing exactly what (and how much) you'll need.
- Be realistic. Choose projects that match your skill level and the amount of time you have available. And don't waste time making something for someone who won't appreciate it. Some people just prefer purchased gifts. Save yourself the time and heartache; buy a gift card.
- Take advantage of sales. Use those 40% off coupons from the big box craft stores; make the most of your fabric store's discount club card. Watch the circulars for deals.
- Make multiples; set up an assembly line. Consider making similar-but-different gifts for the people on your list (for example, simple mitts or scarves; monogrammed books or mugs). Make one, so that you get the hang of it; then make all the rest, completing one step at a time in assembly-line fashion. This saves time (you only have to climb one learning curve) and money (you'll get best use out of each supply you buy).
- Order takeout. I hate having to clean off my kitchen table – which is where I do much of my crafting – in mid-flow, just so that I can make and serve dinner. And after a full day of Christmas crafting, who wants to cook?