04 January 2010

Handmade :: Part 1 of 4

Hi there. Happy Monday.

Thank you for waiting so patiently for me to reveal the gifts I made this year. I decided not to put "learn to recover from vacations in less time than the actual vacation" on my list of resolutions this year...because that would just be setting myself up to fail. But the house is slowly returning to normal, as is my sleep schedule. And at the very least I have loaded all of my pictures onto the computer so I can share them with you.

Operation Handmade Holiday was a huge HUGE success. Better than I imagined it would be. Everyone seemed to be so happy with their gifts and I was left feeling all warm and fuzzy. I realized yesterday when somebody asked me what I got for Christmas that I was more excited to tell them what I gave for Christmas instead. And isn't that really the point?

But I digress...

For my brother and brother-in-law:

I decided to make pajama pants for these two dudes. I wasn't crazy about the idea...I mean, pajamas always seemed to be a parent/aunt kind of gift. But I wasn't coming up with any better ideas and I was running out of time so I decided to go with it. I started my search for the perfect pajama pant fabric. Preferably not flannel, and adequately manly.

FYI: It doesn't exist.

At least it didn't the week I was looking for it. While I was on the phone whining about this very predicament to my mother she suggested I go to Old Navy, "Just to see." N8tr0n and I drove to Old Navy "just to see," while I bemoaned the fact that buying a gift was the exact opposite of making a gift. Then we saw the sign on the window:

Pajama Pants. $7

Dang. Seven dollars. I can't make pajama pants for $7. I just can't. I had to sell-out (in a sense). I just had to. Fortunately N8tr0n had already thought of a way to personalize the gifts and make them more handmade-worthy.

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{Freezer-Paper stenciling!}

Okay. I am filing this one under funnest project ever. I was this close to buying everybody clothes that could be stenciled on. It was easy and rewarding. Oh yeah and it was fun. I imagine there are approximately a gajillion tutorials on freezer paper stenciling on the the internets but I would be happy to post my own tutorial if any of you are interested. Just let me know.

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For my brother, his initials down the back of the leg and a rifle across the backside. I kind of love the sorority-girl irony.

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For my brother-in-law the words "Doctor" down the side of one pant leg and "Pants" down the other. He is known to the internet world as "Doctor Pants"...so there ya go.

I didn't get any pictures of Doctor Pants' pants. Bummer.



For my parents:

I had a really hard time thinking of something for my dad either handmade or store-bought. A phone call to my mom provided little help. I believe she said, "welcome to the club." He has recently become an avid golfer so my first thought was knit club covers with gigantic pom-poms mainly because I find them kitschy and hilarious. But yarn wasn't in my budget so knitting was out. Instead I decided to do something that incorporates his feedlot. I am one of those spoiled girls who owns a Cricut, but I have never used it to cut out vinyl letters (gasp!). I decided it was about time to do something about that and thus, the idea for my dad's gift was conceived.

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I made him a title to go over his office door. His office is in our garage so I thought he would like to have something that looked more "official" when customers came in. I didn't get a picture of the final product but it says "Black Livestock" and "since 1960" underneath.

To be perfectly honest, this was one of the most stressful things I made. The process of designing the sign on the computer, praying that nothing would tear while it was cutting, then double praying that I wouldn't tear anything while I was pulling off the excess and transferring the design to the transfer tape was intense. Risk-y. While I was sweating my way through this gift, I thought of the perfect quote to make for my mom's kitchen. I figured that I might as well make it while I had all of my materials out and had come up with a system. Otherwise, it would be a long time before I attempted such feats again.

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{"If you are afraid of butter, just use cream." -Julia Child}

The other thing I made for my mom was a custom Swiffer cover. I felt a little strange giving my mom a cleaning tool for Christmas and was preparing myself for riducule when I remembered that she gave me a canister vacuum (slightly more expensive than my gift but you get the comparison) for my birthday and it is one of my most prized possessions. The fact is, if we have to clean we want to be able to do it efficiently and effectively. That's where my gift comes in.

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The last time I was home, mom and I were reading about how a microfiber cloth can be used for virtually all cleaning tasks. We picked up a couple of packages of microfiber at TJ Maxx and decided to give them a try. Oh my lands if you haven't been using these things for dusting let me be the first to sing their praises. Wait, no. I'm writing about Christmas presents right now. Just trust me when I say that you should buy some ASAP. I've taken to mopping with mine but wasn't satisfied with the way the cloth didn't stay in the little plastic grabber things very well. So I decided to fashion one that would stay.

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I'm quite proud of my little invention. Am thinking I should patent these suckers. The infomercial can be aired right after the one for the Dreamie. (warning...the infomercial will pop up after a few moments on the link)

Okay that's all for now! I'll have more for you later so stay tuned.

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8 comments:

Rachel said...

Impressive!

michelle said...

I love that you personalized the store-bought pants! Great idea.

I was just thinking that a quote in vinyl lettering might be just the thing for my mom's store...

I LOVE microfiber cloths! But I haven't tried mopping with one yet, I guess I'll have to give that a try.

paws said...

Fun! I'm excited to hear about more of your handmade gifts.

Emmylou said...

Love it! Wish I would have thought of personalizing the $7 ON pants that I also bought. Love it!

Love the quote by Julia Child, I might have to steal it.

My mom has wood paneling for walls and she actually did the same things with the microfiber clothes and borrowed my swiffer. But I absolutely love your custom made swiffer cover. Awesome!

I had dreams of making a homemade Christmas, but it didn't happen since I was working extra this holiday season. I completely agree that it is so much funner for the giver when it is homemade.

Emmylou said...

P.S. I would love your stenciling tutorial and am very interested!

Greeneyes said...

Those pants are rather awesome. : )

Well done, crafty goddess.

Serin said...

I love the gun on the butt and the custom swiffer cover, is that for sweeping or mopping? That looks like a really thick microfiber and such I pretty color!

delanequilts said...

LOVE the swiffer cover!! I am definitely going to make one for myself. How many times have I tucked and re-tucked and RE-TUCKED the microfiber into those little holes? Ingenious! THanks!

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