Friday, December 26, 2008

Homemade Christmas Gifts

In an effort to save money this year and actually have something under the tree for the kids, I made them alot of things. One of those things was a 'closet' or 'wardrobe' for Jenna's doll clothes. I had looked at them all over and they ranged from $40 to $140 a piece. Now mine isn't made of wood, but with a box, some leftover fabric from Jenna's 'closet doors' (aka curtains) and some scraps of trim and a few (wo)man hours and a little help from Cody and David, Jenna has a really cute place to store her doll clothes. I used a box that I had. Cut my fabric to size and ironed on some 'wonder under' then literally ironed the fabric to the box, it worked just great. I covered the edges with some trim, used a little fabric glue/fray check along the edges. David cut a dowel rod (the only thing we had to buy for this project) to the right length and screwed it in place. The inside was lined with clip art and and things that Cody found and downloaded then printed off from the computer, they were lightly glued in place and then we covered the whole inside with clear contact paper that I had. (fyi-- we reinforced the interior of the box so it is all double layered cardboard, actaully VERY STURDY!) The knobs on the front and the handle on the top David found in the bottom of 'my' tool box, from some time when I had updated some cabinet doors, I think from back when we lived in the trailer.
The hangers were another invention, even the little doll clothes hangers were plenty high priced, I thought. So with a spool of floral wire that I had on hand I made several hangers. I was worried about the ends, so I covered the whole hanger in ribbon (that I also had on hand) They look very cute. Jenna just loves the closet, and we have her doll clothes hanging inside and she found a little 'mini' basket that fits in the bottom and its holding the doll shoes. I wonder where she gets her 'inventive-ness' hmmmm Anyway, wanted to share a picture, as I have told several about this project and I wanted to share a little about the finished project.
From Tulip~

Christmas Celebrations, half way through

Although it's the day after Christmas, as far as the calendar is concerned it's still Christmas here. We have carolled with Church, we've went to Christmas Eve service, Santa's been here, and we've had Christmas with my parents. But we still have Christmas with David's family, the Barnes Christmas and lots of neighbor gifts to deliver, so Christmas is still in 'full swing' here. My kids have really surprised me this year. I worried that they might be disappointed with the gifts, as we made a point to stay within our budget this year and pretty well did it. The number of gifts was about he normal, but there were many more made gifts and smaller lesser expensive things. But you know the kids didn't seem to mind, there wasn't any 'hmm I didn't ask for this or where's the (fill in blank) that I asked for' They seemed to be truly grateful. For that I felt blessed.

Highlights of the days so far have been:

Cody is beside himself about the three sports history documentaries that he got: St Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and Indianapolis Colts, that surprised me, I had no idea he'd be so excited. Bought all three on an Amazon sale for $5.99 each!

Sam has enjoyed the 'build it yourself, design your own' lego set that he got, it was half the price of the 'branded' Lego series that are out there.

Jenna is enjoying the bead set and making necklaces, etc. (Dollar General find for $3)

Seth, well God love him has colored up a storm with his crayons and color books from probably Dollar General as well, can't remember bought them back in the summer thinking it would entertain him on a trip drivng, then didn't end up going and they were in the 'gift' stash, so they go wrapped.....
I sewed up a storm for the last month or more and so far those gifts have been loved so that's cool too. Teachers loved journal covers, Mom did too. Brittany loved her knitting needle holder, Riddick and Trinity's stocking were well received. All four kids are currently wearing the Pajama pants that I made them (they are all asleep) I am looking forward to Grandma and Gladys getting their quilts, DH's sisters getting their runners and journal covers, plus the kids getting their blankets.
I am proud to say that I have 'used up' a large portion of my fabric supply this year and created some great gifts, that cost me no 'extra' money in this time that we are going through with everyone having to tighten belts. I was thrilled to still be able to give 'great stuff'
David and I didn't exchange gifts this year. We put the $$ towards some updates for our bathroom, which is sorely needed. WE are getting a new medicine cabinet, light and exhaust fan. Then we will use the paint that I bought awhile back and finish it off. We feel truly blessed that we don't really 'need' anything and can focus our energy on doing things for our home instead of stressing out about buying gifts.
Since my Christmas cards are mostly still laying here on the desk, unmailed, Merry Christmas to everyone, and hopefully you'll get it soon and can call it a New Years card...........
The boys are wrestling in their first tournament tomorrow and the rest of the house is asleep and that's where I should be as well, so From Tulip~
PS--for anyone who doesn't know, those are the 'cousins' my kids and Wayne's two taken last night at Mom and Dad's (Trinity was very relaxed and spent most of her first Christmas as expected, ASLEEP! Although she and her Aunt K hung out for awhile, which was GREAT!)