Handmade Gifts: Saving Money

Handmade Gifts: Saving Money

Wherever possible, we make people handmade gifts rather than buy them things. This allows us to be creative and makes it more personal to the person receiving it. If I’m being honest, I am kinda using the royal “we!” I’m the one that makes the gifts, but in Mr Sidestepping-Normal’s defence, he has to put up with me constantly asking “what looks better, this or this” or “do you prefer this colour or this colour?” His patience is endless.

Handmade gifts can sometimes get the reputation of being well intentioned but corny and pointless. I think that if you really use your imagination, you can create something truly unique and beautiful that will be treasured and loved.

Not only are handmade gifts more personal, they also require an investment of time rather than money. This can really help when you are saving money and living on a budget. As I mentioned in my post about saving money, we never felt as if we were sacrificing any aspect of our lifestyles by living on a budget. We just made changes to the way we spent and saved our money.

Get creative…

Over the years I have made some weird and wonderful handmade gifts whilst saving money. The more ‘tame’ included homemade wine, jam and hand designed birthday cards, whilst the more obscure included ‘Tea vouchers’ which I made for my dad. The tea vouchers were valid for a certain period of time, enabling him to cash them in whenever he needed a brew!

I also recall making my sister a voucher for a picnic. The idea was that she could chose the date and I would source the ingredients, cook things and pack it all into a cute picnic hamper…I don’t remember ever actually making the picnic though! Oops!

I have to admit to having a reputation for forgetting birthdays and special occasions. There have certainly been a couple of occasions where I have promised that a gift is on it’s way but I never finished it…or started it! What can I say, I’m creative, my brain is a whirlwind of ideas!

It’s true, I’ve always been more inclined to make something rather than buy it, but just lately there have been a few momentous occasions where a handmade gift was called for.
Here are my latest creations for friends and family.

Hen-Do keep sake:

A close friend was getting married just before we left for Greece. I wanted her to have something handmade and personal, so I made this for her. It’s a depiction of the 10 hens present at her hen-do with their names written underneath. I collected the feathers from a friends chickens and then used them to create little pictures of hens.

Personalised handmade gift depicting the 10 hens that attended the hen-do.

Baby blanket:

Whilst we have been over here in Greece, some other close friends have had their first child. We were so excited for them and wished we could be there with them. Thankfully, we had the pleasure of meeting him shortly after he was born. I wanted them to have something special from us, especially as we aren’t just around the corner any more. We weren’t sure whether he was going to be a boy or a girl, so I crocheted him this baby blanket in neutral colours. I happened to know that the nursery was being themed with these colours, so I tied the blanket in with it.

Another Hen-Do keep sake:

Being in the age group that we are, lots of momentous occasions are happening regularly. Lots of our friends are getting married and having babies, and it’s difficult for us being so far away. Another close friend was getting married and I wasn’t able to make her hen-do or wedding. Even though she completely understood, I really wanted her to know that I was thinking of her on her hen-do. I made her this little draw-string bag that included a game, messages to the bride, and memories of the bride. I got a lot of pleasure from hearing how much she loved it.

It’s a lot of fun to give friends and family something handmade, and it shows that you have spent time thinking of them. I think that creativity gets pushed into the background when our lives are busy and hectic. That’s definitely true for me. Whilst we were busy working and saving I rarely spent time creating anything. Apart from lacking the time, I found that I couldn’t relax enough to enjoy being creative. I am really enjoying spending time making and creating things again.

As children, our creativity is evident. We learn to draw before we learn to write and we fearlessly sing and dance. There’s creativity in all of us. I’m convincing Mr Sidestepping-Normal that he has creativity just waiting to be explored. Now that he has more time, he is experimenting with making things from olive wood in his ‘man cave!’…Watch this space!

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