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Saturday, December 28, 2013

handmade Christmas 2013

Making handmade gifts for Christmas has always been one of my favourite ways to get myself in the mood for the holidays. It began over 10 years ago when I was a broke art school student. With no money for gifts, but a lot of creativity, I sewed, painted, baked whatever I could, and always was happy with the results. I think making and giving handmade gifts means that not only have you thought of the person that you are making the gift for, but that you have truly given them a little piece of you to remember.

So here we go with my 2013 gifts.

The first thing I made and gave this year were little clay house tree ornaments. I used Crayola airdry clay, wire, acrylic paint and acrylic gloss, oh a little bit of baker's twine. I like how they turned out.
I also made a few sets of houses that were not ornaments. They are more "year round" decorations. I have a thing for miniatures - so these are just cute in my opinion.

The next thing I made were hand melts- recipe found here. These were SUPER easy to make (I had all the ingredients on hand) and actually work really well. You can rub them into your hands or feet, use them as a lip balm or drop one into your bath water. I had some IKEA icecube trays that worked well for the mold.

I also made a batch of peppermint sugar scrub (I did these in previous years) to give to a few friends. Super easy to make up.

And the last gift that I made were loaves of "Starbucks" ginger bread. I'm not sure if Starbucks still makes these loaves, but they were always my favourite Christmas treat when I used to frequent it. I loved the cream cheese icing with candied ginger on top. But at nearly $4 a piece, well I knew that I could easily make them myself , so I searched for a recipe. This recipe is great because it uses applesauce, making it moist and not so oily. I gave these loaves away as gifts with some Starbucks hot chocolate, a pound of coffee would be nice too.

And there you have it. A few gifties made by me with love. Now, to start thinking about next year. Just joking. Well, kind of.


  1. Don't forget the lovely potpourri you sent me! It's been on my stove top since Christmas Eve. I keep adding water and it smells wonderfully festive. Thank you! xo

  2. These are great, Jo! I especially love the house ornaments! I made hot chocolate spoons this year. x

  3. Love your new banner images - beautiful! And your Starbucks gingerbread made me laugh! We are making a point of going there a lot less, trying to frequent the local coffee shop only on Saturdays as a special treat, and Starbucks only once a month. But the local shop was closed yesterday for the holiday and so we went for our morning run and ran to Starbucks with the little babe. We got our chai and I forgot to bring something from home for her, so we went with the seasonal choice and got her the gingerbread - first one this year, so what a coincidence I get your post this morning! To be honest, I thought it was kind of dry, so I bet yours is much better with the applesauce in it. And your icing looks thicker - always a plus!

  4. Beautiful gifts, Johanna! I am inspired by all of them! Happy New Year festivities to your family :)

    1. thank you Marisa! xox Happy New Years to you too.


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