Present Progress Rundown

Recently, in a quest to make headway on my Christmas list (cheaply!), I have finished:

1) Stenciled t-shirts for my brother

I downloaded a couple of wingding fonts from and printed choice "letters" onto cardstock, then cut out with an exacto. Add some paint, then presto and voila, custom t-shirts. I bought the blank shirts for $2.50 apiece, and already had the printer ink, paint, cardstock, and textile medium.

2) Socks, attempt #2, for my mom

Knit using Silver's Sock Tutorial and Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn (so mom can toss these into the washer). These were less than the cost of one skein, or about $2.

3) All three crayon rolls for neices and nephew.

I used Skip to My Lou's Crayon Roll Tutorial and some scrap fabric for these. Combined with a pack of crayons and color book from the dollar store, these are pretty economical gifts at $2.50 apiece (not counting fabric, interfacing, and ribbon I already had).

4) Personalized onesie set for the littlest nephew

Ready for their close-up...

Rolled up in their box...

Wrapped up and ready to go.

These were achieved through much trial and error using 10 onesies from Target (yes, there are only four in the package! Key words: trial and error), some stretchable transfer paper, Microsoft Publisher, several colorful strings of words, lots of help from my husband, and another wingding front from DaFont. Oh, and a plain wooden box. I quite like the finished product, even if it took ages and many failed attempts. A set of three similar onesies on etsy costs $32, but we made four for about $23 (imagine the savings if we'd gotten away with all ten!).

5) Started the steeping process of 4 sets of cooking extracts for my stepmom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and friend

L to R: Vanilla, lemon, and orange

I am making four sets of one bottle each vanilla, lemon, and orange extract. I used 4 vanilla beans, one orange peel, one lemon peel, and about 4 cups of vodka. I mis-calculated and accidentally bought a big jug of it, over half of which we're pondering other uses for (by which I mean, choosing what sort of mixed drinks we'd like to make). I also ordered 2 ounce amber glass bottles from E.D. Luce Packaging, and bought long tins from the dollar store to package them in. For tutorials, I used this one from Chickens in the Road for the vanilla, and this one for the orange and lemon. They need to steep for about a month, during which time I'll also design some labels. These will come to about $11.50 apiece when it's all said and done - actually, less, if I don't include the mass amounts of vodka that I purchased put didn't use for this project. If I take that away, it comes to around $9 per person, which is a pretty sweet deal for homemade "gourmet" extracts, and for a crafted gift that's not very labor intensive.

I am still working on the list, which includes some choice things like 3 pairs of mittens, a very specific photograph, a handbound journal, a scrabble pendant, and some felted clogs. I'll keep plugging away and will post more once I've completed a few projects.


Linda said...

Wow you have been busy! Linda-Sewing Group #3.

Becky said...

I think it's great that you're hand-making everything for Christmas! I also love that the onesies aren't just cutsey. And I didn't know extracts were something that could be made at home-- might have to try that sometime!!

Dee Light said...

Wow you have a great start on Christmas!