I bring this up a lot but I realize it might be helpful to have some tools you can use to make this holiday handmade! I took the handmade pledge 3 years ago and have been pretty faithful with it. You can take the pledge here. I make some gifts and buy some gifts but most is indeed handmade. Including the soap I buy every year from the Officina Profumo Farmaciadi Santa Maria Novella those monks have been hand-crafting soaps for about 400 years!
Last year I made a scarf and some coasters for my brother, a stocking for my cousin's baby and some homemade ornaments. I also hand embroidered some handkerchiefs for my Dad and made a set of place-mats and napkins for my sister-in-law. I purchased quite a few handmade gifts including grocery bags, a hubcap clock, and reusable dryer sachets and natural handmade laundry soap all online from Etsy. I went to several handmade holiday markets to buy more stuff and save on shipping. I got a printed jersey scarf, printed kitchen towels, and I think some more soap. If you send out yearly holiday greetings, don't forget you can get those handmade too! Last year I got all my cards fromEtsy and hope to do it again this week (is it already too late?).
This year I plan to do a little more purchasing and less making myself because I was a little overwhelmed last year and when the sewing machine refuses to cooperate and you have literally hours to get a project done and in the mail it can be a bit stressful. There are so many wonderful handmade goods out there you are sure to find something perfect for everyone on your list. I really recommend going to some local craft fairs to meet the crafters in person and see everything in real life. Who knows, you might find a friend or a bargain or pick up a new skill.
If you are in the Baltimore area check out Holiday Heap on December 5
If you are in the Seattle area check out Urban Craft Uprising also on December 5
If you are anywhere else (and I would be surprised but hey) there is a complete list of upcoming craft fairs Here.
CRAFT magazine has a great blog and podcast series with some tutorials and fee patterns for a variety of crafts. That's how I found the stocking pattern last year. And if I have time I might make these cute felt holiday trees for my dining room table.
This year has been all about improving my cooking skills and since that is a craft too I am thinking of making some cookie holiday gifts. I just discovered a recipe for pumpkin spice cookies with white chocolate chips that are the bomb-dot-com!
No matter what, a handmade holiday is sooo much better than fighting the traffic at the mall. It helps keep the Joy and Peace in the holiday season.