handmade gifts for the holidays

What began as a way to inexpensively give gifts to cousins and siblings, has become a treasured family tradition. Each year, we make birthday gifts for the kiddos’ cousins and a few for their friends.  At Christmas, I’ve painted as many gifts as I could during the busy time. As fun as it is to sit in my studio and paint away to my heart’s content, it is the painted gifts and commissions that have meant the most to me during and after their creation.

The past few years, we’ve tried to make birthday gifts that would be suitable for the cousins’ various ages…it has been no easy task.  Some of the things we’ve made:

The books were especially fun as each story was unique and personal to each child.  Most of the time, the kiddos helped me write the story.  I found the blank books at www.barebooks.com, where you can also create/decorate blank puzzles, board games, and more.  I was very pleased with the pricing.  Don’t tell the kiddos, but for their Christmas gifts this year, I’d like to illustrate their songs that their GiGi has written for each of them.  (another amazing homemade gift).
I’m also a big photobook fan.  Shortly after the designer and I became engaged in Las Vegas, two of my best friends helped with our photos.  They were incredible: Gayle is ever so talented, and Elizabeth, with her amazing eye was the perfect assistant.   They showed us how to make our wedding sign-in book with all the photos on Mac’s original photobook program.  I’ve been hooked ever since.
Some of the photobooks I’ve made or am intending to create:
  • annual family photos
  • family vacation, event
  • graduation, wedding, performance, travel
  • family history
  • cookbook
  • kiddo portfolio (paintings, lego creations, etc.)
***Monday I have a special giveaway that will aid your handmade gift giving this holiday season…can’t wait!***
So what are your favorite gifts you’ve given?  Do what are your favorite resources or mediums?  Go ahead and link to your favorites in the comments below…I’d love some new ideas!  xoxo, katrina

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