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August 28, 2017

Homestead Crafts: Holiday Gifts from Your Hands



Summer is still holding on here in Oklahoma, unwilling to give up its grip on the world. It's been a "cool" summer as far as the temperatures are concerned but we're still in the mid- to upper-nineties. Yet in spite of the heat, there's a feeling of autumn in the air.

Handmade gifts from your homestead

Autumn has always been my favorite season in all its complexities. I welcome the cooler weather and the return of the rains, the changing and falling leaves, putting the garden to bed, pumpkins and the smell of woodsmoke in the air, and so much more. With autumn's arrival my thoughts also turn toward the holidays and family.

And Christmas gifts...

Our family's focus is on the true meaning of Christmas, but we also want to bless our family members with something meaningful that shows our love for them. Being a "crafty" person, I love giving handmade gifts.


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Whatever our own personal talent is, we all want to make something meaningful for our family members and friends. The challenge is to combine our skills with the recipient's interests, right? I start by praying for inspiration and for the ability to notice what my loved one needs and likes.

What we call "hobbies" now used to be necessary skills in the past. Whatever your hobby is, you can probably make something for someone. A woodworker might make a birdhouse for a bird-lover, a wall shelf for an avid reader, a stool for a child to stand on to reach the bathroom sink. You might knit a sweater or dishcloths, or crochet an afghan. A seamstress has a world of projects at her fingertips.

Related post: Homemade Gifts from Your Garden for Family and Friends

The thing is, some handmade gifts take awhile to make; that's why I like to start thinking about them now. In fact, if you take a walk through your local fabric or craft store, you'll find that they too are reminding you to get started on your holiday projects.

Let's take a look at some ideas, shall we? I've gathered some ideas here, and asked some blogging friends about items they make. Some are time-intensive and others are small and faster. I hope you'll find something perfect for someone on your list in this gift guide.


Spoon butter for wooden-handled tools in the kitchen or workshop. Image used with permission.
Image used with permission.

I'd never heard of spoon butter before I read Anna's post at Salt in My Coffee. But it's true, my wooden spoons dry out and splinter, and this easy-to-make oil would solve that issue. It's a quick little gift idea for anyone who uses wood-handled items, not just the family cook. The tutorial includes a printable label.


These beeswax wraps will replace plastic wrap and sandwich bags in your home. Image used with permission.
Image used with permission

Another quick and easy gift idea is Piwakawaka Valley's alternative to plastic wrap. Dana uses beeswax to make these wraps that can replace plastic wrap, sandwich bags and bowl covers.


Terra cotta Mosquito Repellent Necklace, beautiful and effective! Image used with permission.
Image used with permission

These terra cotta pendants are very cute and trendy as well as easy to make. You'll find the tutorial at My Homestead Life, along with Amber's recipe for the mosquito repellent essential oil blend that she applies to these pendants. These would be a fun craft for children to make as gifts too.


Easy to Sew Two-Sided Scarf make fringe - www.apronstringsotherthings.com. Image used with permission.
Image used with permission

If you know how to sew, you can make this easy two-sided scarf from Linda at Apron Strings and Other Things. This project is easy to sew up by hand, so you don't even need a sewing machine.


Cold-processed goat milk soap makes wonderful gifts. From http://www.oakhillhomestead.com

I've gifted my handmade goat milk soap to many people over the years, and the recipients always rave about it. I've written an entire series on how to make goat milk soap that lays out the safety issues and guides you through the whole process. Cold-processed soap takes six weeks to cure, so it's definitely something you have to start early.

Hot processed soap, a natural recipe from Healing Harvest Homestead. Image used with permission.
Image used with permission

There is a shortcut though. Hot-process soap doesn't need to cure as long. It really doesn't need to cure more than a few days, although a longer curing time will give you a longer-lasting bar. This hot-process soap recipe is from Heidi at Healing Harvest Homestead.


Melt and pour soap is a fun, quick craft you can do with older children. While you can't choose the oils you want in your soap, you can still make pretty bars that make fun gifts.

If you want even faster soap, look into "melt and pour" soapmaking. In this method, the soap base has already been made for you, combining the lye, liquid and oils into cubes of soap "base" that you melt, add ingredients such as colorant and fragrance, and then pour into the mold of your choice. It's ready in just a few hours. This method doesn't allow you the creativity of crafting a specialty soap with the oils, butters and clays you might want to use, but if your goal is a fun, fast product, this could be it. It's also fun to do with older children (my granddaughter and I spent a delightful day making melt and pour soap) without the risks that lye and raw soap pose.


To start a rag rug you need just 3 things!  - DaytoDayAdventures.com - Image used with permission.
Image used with permission

I think anyone would love a handmade rag rug. They are so practical at the side of the bed, in the bathroom or kitchen, at the front door, or a larger one in the living room. This tutorial at Day to Day Adventures has easy-to-follow directions and Kim takes you from the beginning to the end of the process in a series of posts. She's also written an e-book on how to make rag rugs, so you could gift the book to someone who might enjoy a new hobby.

Not crafty? If auto mechanics is your thing, you could change the oil in Mom's car. Promise to shovel someone's driveway this winter. Maybe you love making jelly and jam, or baking bread; you could design a "bread of the month" club for a larger gift. Just be sure to follow through!

Looking for more gift ideas from your home and homestead? You might be interested in these posts:

Homemade Gifts from Your Garden for Family and Friends
Gift Ideas from the Homestead
10 Gifts for the Homestead Woman



This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


~~~~~

My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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19 comments:

  1. You have gathered some great ideas here. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! I think there is something here for everyone.

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  2. Thank you for including my Scarf Tutorial in your collection of ideas. I am looking forward to trying several of these other gift ideas -- the Spoon Butter is something new to me too!

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    1. Thank you for letting me include it in this list of great ideas, Linda!

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  3. You've found some wonderful and unique gifts. Thank you for reminding me to start thinking about this! I've never heard of spoon butter, I may need that for me. I'd love to try my hand at making scarves or rugs. Great ideas!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. Too many years I've been late thinking about the holidays and haven't had enough time to make something "big." I hope this year I can remind readers to start thinking early!

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  4. Thank you Kathi! I LOVE the spoon butter idea! (And I just told Anna so, over on her page.) And Kim's rugs are amazing--especially cause they're made from RAGS!!! <3!

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    1. I loved every one of these ideas - I'm glad you do too!

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  5. Great roundup of crafts! Thank for including me (Amber at My Homestead Life), I can't wait to make the spoon butter and the rag rug.

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    1. Your terra cotta pendants are cute, Amber. I love the idea of using them as mosquito repellents and I'm sure they could be used with other essential oil blends as well. They look easy to make and I know my granddaughter would enjoy making some.

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  6. What a great variety of projects to work on. Wonderful gift ideas.
    Spoon butter coming up as I just bought some old, worn out wooden spoons and thrift store who are in much need of a 'face' lift.
    Thank You

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  7. Great assortment of ideas, I love it! Thanks! I am putting together a post of Christmas Tips and Tricks, I may link to this post for creative gift ideas. Thanks again!

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    1. Thank you, Debra. Please feel free to link to the post, and thanks!

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  8. It's such a good idea to get ahead, and so lovely to give homemade gifts! Thank you for sharing these lovely ideas with us at The Hearth and Soul Link Party, Kathy. Sharing on the H&S Facebook page and pinning too. Hope to 'see' you at the party again this week!

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    1. Thank you, April - and thank you for sharing too!

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  9. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing them!

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    1. You're welcome, Laura. I hope there's something here that inspires you.

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