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After several requests to post the list of gifts that I’ll be making (like I did last year), I’ve decided to go ahead and post one.

First, though, I want to talk about a few gifts that I’m giving that aren’t handmade.

I found several things at garage sales this year. I went two days to neighborhood garage sales this year; one day in April and one day in October. I found several great things that I will be giving to my children for gifts.

I also have a few things that were given to us by people who were decluttering (a leather moccasin sewing kit, which will go to the child who will fit it then–most likely Liberty, and a spy kit, which is for Ezrom), and some American girl books that were passed down to us.

I found a lot of books ($0.25 and $0.50 each). Most will be shared by all of the children so I gave them to them right away (and some went to Ivory for her birthday) but others have been saved for specific children for Christmas.

I found a game for my 3-year-old ($1), a necklace ($0.50), a bracelet ($0.10), two scarves ($1 for both), a 1500-piece puzzle with dragons on it (perfect for my 10-year-old) ($3), some vintage handkerchiefs ($0.25 each), some American Girl cards and stickers ($0.50), a few small tools ($0.25 each) and a small tool box ($3) which I am thinking of painting black with the same paint I used on my garden bench.

If there’s something that you cannot make, try looking for it used, whether on Craig’s List, at garage sales, at thrift shops, or online. This may make the gifts possible that your children really want that you cannot make.

Also, look for the sales. Right now Michael’s has bead 50% off. If you’re planning on making jewelry, this would be an ideal time to buy some beads. The least expensive strings are $3.99 full price, so for $2, you could get enough beads to make several pairs of earrings for people (your mom, coworkers, daughters, etc.) or you could get some to make a bracelet. I purchased a few new beads and some clear beading elastic to make gifts this year.

Black Friday sales on fabric, embroidery thread, jewelry supplies, and interfacing are ways to keep the cost of your homemade gifts down. Here are my suggestions from last year.

Also, don’t forget Etsy for craft supplies! I’ve found many things there for very little. This year, I have been saving some money I earned from online surveys over the last month and a half ($15) so that I can order supplies on Etsy. Some will be used this year and some can be used in years to come.

I am also giving a few new gifts. I used my Amazon credit that I have earned from this site to purchase a few items during the year. From Amazon, I ordered this doll for my 5-year-old (I have seen it fluctuate in price by as much as $20, so when I saw it go back down I ordered it; it is at the lowest price again now), these green Lego building plates for my 5-year-old and 7-year-old,
this Lego book and this MP3 player for my 8-year-old,  this knitting book for my 11-year-old, and these Greek-style blocks for my 11-year-old (whose birthday is near Christmas).

My boys are each getting a dragon figurine from my mom’s store (when she let me have my pick of things when she retired this year).

I also purchased this watercolor palette with a 50% off coupon at Michael’s and a pad of the least expensive watercolor paper that they had for Winter’s birthday.

I purchased a coloring book and a puzzle from the dollar store, and a lip balm for Wren.

I won’t be buying anything else other than the supplies from Etsy to make gifts. All other supplies will be things I already have on hand.

I’m including everything that I am hoping to make for the children on this list, including larger projects that cannot be done during one day. With that said, here is what I am hoping to get made this month:

Winter (who will turn 12 before Christmas, so this includes birthday and Christmas gifts)

green necklace and matching earrings
charm necklace
decorated bobby pins
church dress
possibly another dress
bracelet and matching earrings
library bag
faux leather barrettes
faux leather headband
green scarf
turquoise bracelet

Cyrus (10)

purple apron
library bag

Ezrom (8)

black apron

Liberty (7)

pink scarf

Wren (5)

felt doll house
pink doll dress
purple bracelet

Elsa (3)

embroidered pillow
felt doll house
doll dress
Eiffel tower purse
bow barrettes
red bracelet

Ivory (1 1/2)

doll dress
finger puppets
bow barrettes
flannel pajamas

This list is subject to change. I might add some things and I might subtract some things, depending on the time that I have.

It usually takes me all of November and all of December to get the presents done. I don’t want it to take that long this year. My goal is to see what I can get done in November and hopefully be done then. That might mean eliminating some gifts from the list. If I’m nowhere close I might keep sewing into December.

I want to do some more cookie making with the children in December. Also, the week before Christmas will be the time when those 700 bulbs that are in my refrigerator are ready to be planted. I expect that will take several weeks to get all of those in.

Now to start getting some things made today!

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  1. I use a basic button-back dress pattern and cut more out at the armholes and at the neck. You can use cotton muslin or an old sheet if you want to keep the cost super low. Muslin goes on 50% sale at Joann’s on Black Friday every year. I bought a bolt several years ago.You can even use buttons that you’ve repurposed from old worn out clothing for the buttons.

  2. Gaila in Washingotn…I convinced my sister that she could afford to do Christmas gifts if we make them with things we already had. So a couple of weeks ago we got together with our Mother and her Mother in law and sewed pillow cases for each of our grandchildren (we have 11 all together) , 3 kindle bags, and 2 quilts that Mom got in a tote at a garage sale for $2 tote and all. This weekend we are starting pajama pants and what ever else we come up with tonight at our planning session. It was GREAT fun and so satisfiying …thank YOU Brandy and all of you for the inspiration …we will be looking forward to your gift a day posts for more ideas :0)

  3. Dear Miss Brandy,Thank you for this lovely series. I so admire your energy and thoughtfulness you put into each and every gift. When I was growing up, we receive one gift at Christmas (or birthday) from my parents. My father often made us gifts including jewelry (he was a jewelry maker). I still have those gifts today and wear them often. Thank you for sharing your list with us. I don’t expect you too but it is very much appreciated.Anna

  4. I was going to ask this too! My daughter needs slips and finding them is so difficult – my daughter is very, very tall but only 8-year-old so some of the styles I can find aren’t appropriate for an 8-year-old. :PThanks Kimberly for asking and Thanks Brandy for answering!Lea

  5. I put my list up this week is just a bucket list that I plan to change as I make up my mind and think of things.I love your list and can’t wait to see the felt doll houses, I just may be following you, I have that on my list but not sure where I want to go with it.

  6. cant wait to see tutorials and/or progess on how your make these items, especially the dress, slip, and other girly stuff (1.5 girl and a boy due in Feb in my brood! I am also a newbie sewer). Love your thrifty inspiration! I bought a nice pair of pedipeds from a consignment store for $7 the other day (usually 25-30) and I felt so thrifty! you take thrifty to a new level, and it’s very inspiring!

  7. I think that handmade gifts are best. One of my fondest memories is this green sweater that my mom knitted for me back in elementary school. I got so many compliments from my teachers who were all knitters.

  8. I really enjoyed this series last year. I do have trouble coming up with ideas for my kids, though. My two preteen girls are tom-boyish and mostly wear jeans and tee shirts. I made them two skirts each in the spring, and I bet they wore them once or twice. They don’t like jewelry or hair things either. My son is 14 and is past the “toy” stage. My kids are big readers, but they go through so many books, that I usually just get them at the library on our weekly trips. I gave them some of Brandy’s bookmarks last year. I also made them scarves and gloves last year.So far I am making my son a pair of flannel lounge pants, made with fabric I bought last year on Black Friday for $2/yd and elastic which was given to me. One daughter will get a decorative pillow for her bed. I enjoy spirit, frugality, and idea of homemade gifts, but I am having difficulty coming up with ideas.

  9. I need to buy quilt batting and am wondering where you think the best place to get it is? I inherited a bolt of batting several years ago when a dear friend’s mother died and I received all the craft/ quilting supplies. But I have used it up. I liked having a bolt, so I could cut whatever size I needed. I do not need high quality or high loft, just something very basic. Do you think this will be on sale at Joann’s Black Friday? I have found some online sources, but shipping is $15+. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

  10. I am really excited about the felt gingerbread house one of your readers suggested. For someone( AKA anyone) more crafty than me, they could put velcro on the backs of the felt candy and then change the house around. Or snaps maybe. But we are doing this because if I did an actual gingerbread house with candy my children would pester me slap to death trying to eat it.

  11. For teens and adults, cowls (basically a long scarf sewn in a circle) are very popular, whether it is knitted, crocheted or sewn. It is often worn long and can be wrapped twice around the neck for extra warmth. The Mobius versions put a twist in it so it lays flatter at the neckline. You can repurpose the flannel from a nightgown for warmth or go with a slinky fabric for teenagers who prefer fashion over warmth!Fingerless gloves/mitts are very popular right now if you crochet or knit. Or can be made from older gloves with worn-out fingertips by cutting off the tips, folding over the edge and whipstitching. I’ve made one pair of fingerless gloves and two cowls so far.I also hope to make some plain potholders that I can use to put my children’s handprints on with paint. Will just cover the old potholders with fresh muslin after they’ve stamped them with either a stamp we have or their handprint.We are also reusing last year’s Christmas cards as gift tags. I keep it simple but the kids like to ‘glitterize’ them when we have glitter. Ribbon and leftover embroidery floss make something to attach the tags too. Also good for the kids to make a special Christmas bookmark with a tassel made out of floss or yarn.

  12. If your girls carry a bag, you can’t beat a hobo bag. Made from denim it is not very girly, but is a cool functional accessory.If they use earbuds at all buy an inexpensive pair and make a bud container from a painted Altoids tin. ( Anyone who uses them regularly will be happy to give their empties to you) Bath bombs are a snap to make and you can make them in whatever scents your girls like. One year we made flavored hot chocolate mix. Each son had his own “signature” flavor ( mocha, peppermint and butterscotch) I made a huge batch, then divided it into thirds. I added crushed coffee candies to one, finely crushed peppermints to another and crushed butterscotch candies to the third. The leftover candies appeared in their Christmas stockings. It was one of the biggest hits ever.

  13. I am really so happy to know you’ve gotten some Amazon credit from this site. I’ve been following you since you just had the website and commented regularly on Money Saving Mom! I’m glad the blog is a blessing to you.

  14. I agree with Linda on the pajama pants! They are quick and easy, too.Would they like cooking lessons? Try my cooking lessons printables/date with mom printables on my website.Would they like slippers? I made those last year.

  15. Thank you for all the suggestions!! I really like the earbud container suggestion. I think I will do this for all three kids. I saw a pattern for a zippered one with a key-ring type attachment. Edible gifts, such as homemade candy or treats is a good idea. I use this for grandfathers a lot.I already made 2 pairs of pajama/lounge pants for the elder daughter because she needed some for the cooler months for sleeping. The younger one has all the hand-me-down pairs from the older one. I could make them some fun “daytime” lounge pants in a cool print.Audiobooks and bath bombs are also good suggestions. I will troll around Pinterest some more to look for ideas.Thank you, ladies!

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