Friday, October 21, 2011

10 Favorite Christmas Crafts

Every year around this time I start thinking about what I want to get for people in my family for Christmas gifts. And every year I end up spending way too much money. So this year, I decided that I was going to make a bunch of my gifts in order to put a personal touch in them.
  1. Mittens. Everyone loves mittens, and they are super easy to make. My favorite patten is from search keywords 'crocheted mittens' and it is the "Holiday Mittens Free Pattern". I have used this pattern as a base many times changing up the type of stitches to suit my mood for the day.
  2. Scarves. Another super easy, super customizable project. You can make scarves of any length, width, color, texture, stitch pattern... the possibilities are endless!
  3. Toques. If we have mittens and scarves, might as well have toques! There are many different styles of toque patterns out there. Once again, some of my favorite ones are from, however once you get the basic pattern they are easily customizable (maybe even to match the mittens and scarves!)
  4. If there are new babies in your life this list (especially for them) got even easier! You can do...
    1. Baby Blankets
    2. Sweaters
    3. Booties
    4. Rattles
    5. Teddy Bears, or toys in general.. the possibilites are endless!
  5. Couch blanket. These are my favorite! I always make sure to have at least 2 blankets readily accessible while sitting on the couch. A super easy pattern can be found at search key words "5.5 Hour Throw".
  6. Holiday baking is always a hit, and can be wrapped up in small boxes to make excellent stocking stuffers, to add the finishing touches to gifts, or as hostess gifts. Some of my favorites include:
    1. Fudge. This is always a hit. Check out the fudge recipes at for ideas
    2. Chocolates. These are super easy to make. All you need is: Melting chocolate, chocolate molds, a new clean small synthetic painting brush, and any desired fillings. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or we always used glass jars sitting in a frying pan that was filled with water and kept at low heat to keep the chocolate melted but not cooked. Be sure not to get any of the water into your chocolate, as it will ruin the consistency of it), when the chocolate is fully melted drop a small amount into the mold. Using the paintbrush (or just swirling the chocolate around) make sure that the mold is nicely coated. Place in the fridge or freezer (or we would always do ours in the winter so that we could stick the molds outside to cool off) until hardened. Place desired filling into the hardened chocolate molds and top with more chocolate. Place in cool environment until chocolate is hard again. Turn mold upside down on a hard surface and lightly tap to loosen the chocolate out of the mold. Keep chocolates in a cool place (my mom would always hide them in the freezer so that they didn't all get eaten at once!)
    3. Poppycock. It would not be Christmas in our home without poppycock. You can find recipes for this online, or if your family has an old recipe get a hold of that one. The old recipes are usually tried and true and work the best. Make sure that you get not only the recipe, but any small tricks that your granny/mom uses as well.
    4. Peanut Brittle
    5. Chocolate Truffles
    6. Anything peppermint
  7. Depending on your skill level (and ambition), you can also make soaps, bath fizzies, aromatherapy oils or salt scrubs. Using bring colors and vibrant scents, wrap them up in re-usable jars or containers.
  8. Beaded jewelry. You can pick up all necessary earring backs, clasps, string and beads at a local craft store.
  9. Candles
  10. Ornaments. Pick up the appropriate craft paint, sparkles, ribbon and blank ornaments from your local craft store and create customized ornaments.