Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas 2016: Mittens, Boy Gifts and Teacher's Gifts

Gotta love bulk posting *laugh*.

The last little bit I finished a few Christmas gifts, so I figured I'd just post them all at once for the sake of simplicity (and for the sake of time since I'm pretty busy right now).

So, first up is...

1.  Wool Mittens (seen above there)

These I've shown before, but I finally got them done.  Don't ask what is up with the mini-embroidery on the left hand mitten in the picture.  I'm not sure WHAT happened there, but I just ended up going with it since I redid it three times and each time it got worse instead of better.  At least they came out okay looking at the end.  And after reaching into the mittens repeatedly to work my embroidery needle through the fabric and things, I can safely say the mittens are definitely warm to wear *laugh*.

Total Time to Make Gift:  About five hours I'd say overall.  I worked on them late at night or early in the morning when I had a few moments to myself on the embroidery end and the mittens themselves took me about an hour to make.

Total Cost to Make Gift:  Nothing.  I had the embroidery floss in my stores, I'm thinking probably gotten originally from one of my step-mom's pinata boxes.  The mittens I made from a wool coat (a very cheap price-wise, very good quality, but very very awkward fitting wool coat that I couldn't make work for my wardrobe)  that I'd bought at a used store years ago, so it wasn't like I was out any money at the present time for it.  The design elements for the embroidery I got off of Pinterest.  I just looked up "Swedish embroidery" and started looking at mittens to find elements I liked.

Here's hoping my niece likes them.  I thought they turned out cute myself :).
2.  "Treasure Bottles"

When it comes to boys gifts, man I struggle every year to think of things.  Some of my nephews are getting older and so it makes it harder and harder for me to figure out a gift that fits in my "darn I'm so broke" budget as with the older kids get the more expensive gifts seem to get. 

So, when it came to some of my older nephews I started thinking about just making them some food for Christmas as boys and food tend to go together pretty well.  But, I started to get worried about the gifts staying fresh as sometimes it takes my sister and brother-in-law a bit to pick up gifts and/or takes us a while to get them their gifts and I didn't want home made gifts tasting stale or something.  So, I came up with this idea instead.

My husband had gotten some water bottles for free earlier in the year and while we used a few for the kids I did have some extra and they are nice quality water bottles that hold a decent amount (they are actually a bit big for my daughter's needs, thus why I don't have her use them for ice water at night).  So, I figured that was a good start to make some "treasure bottles" for my nephews.

In each bottle I stuck a summer sausage (gotten for free after coupons earlier in the year and are perfectly fine till next year on the expiration date so they can keep them in the bottles to go camping later on or something), a fold up knife to cut said summer sausage (left over from Christmas gift stockpiles of yore), a tiny jar of jam (taken from the pantry) and a few envelopes of some to-go drink mix (to add to the water in the bottle to make a yummy drink on the trail).  As an added bit of fun I am throwing in a bag of gummy bears into each gift (gotten earlier in the year free with coupons). 

Total Time to Make Gift:  Well, that depends.  If thinking time on what to get/make for the boys counts, I'd say about ten months of time went into thinking about this.  The actual time to make the gifts I'd say about an hour as I kept rearranging how things went into the bottles to get the most out of the space involved.

Total Cost to Make Gift:  Well, I had everything on hand to make these, but some items (like the to-go mix) did cost something to get, so I'll call it about .75 per bottle.

And last up is...

3.  Teacher Gifts

And no, I haven't forgotten that I made some other items earlier in the year for teachers, but I have found that my daughter has an additional teacher this year (math) and my son has three aides in his class, so the ornaments I started earlier in the year will be going to them.  So, I was trying to figure out what to do for the two main teachers this year (my son's and my daughter's teachers). 

So, here's the idea I came up with.

I stalked the used stores until I found some nice, in brand-new shape travel mugs for cheap (one was .75 and one was 1.00) and then I filled the bottles with what you see here.  One K-Cup of coffee (got both k-cups free with a free sample earlier in the year), one tea bag (out of my personal store of tea) and one envelope of hot chocolate (also out of my pantry).  I'm hoping ONE of the items I put into the travel mugs will be a hit and if not...well they get a mug either way I guess :).

Total Time to Make Gift:  About two hours, once you include the times I stopped in at the used store to look for travel mugs and just other residual things (like trying to figure out where in the Heck I'd put the k-cups for safe keeping).

Total Cost to Make Gift:  1.75 for the mugs.  This is actually more than I normally would spend on a gift, but both teachers have done really good jobs with the kids this year, so I always figure this is the ONE time of year I have the opportunity to say, "Thank you."

And there you are folks.  Some of the things I've gotten done lately.  How about you?  Made anything neat lately?


  1. Very cool. I like the ones you did for your nephews! I'm having trouble making my soft baby blocks, so going to look for a smaller round loom to try and make smaller balls for a baby gift

  2. I alsonlike the water bottle gift idea. I may steal it fir my nephews!! They are also older and wan dash fir Christmas. Which is fine but not very fun. I do like to give them something to open so I could put the cash and a few goodies (maybe slim Jim's instead idpfvsausage...) in a festive water bottle. And the hot beverage to go cup is a good idea as well. Thanks for sharing. This week I am putting together gift baskets to donate for my son's 4-H rabbit show. I've been stashing stuff all year to do this. I should have enough to make at least 4 themed baskets for the silent auction. Last night I baked chocolate chip cookies for us and for a friend's CD release party. We cut down our Christmas tree yesterday afternoon and ended up sitting and chatting with the 82 year old owner of the tree farm. What an added fun bonus!!

  3. Great gifts! I especially love the water bottle idea. I think they'll be a big hit with your nephews!