Last Minute Homemade Gift Ideas

I had to run into Costco to grab one measly item and it was a zoo! I stopped on my way home from work and had to trudge across the entire parking lot in my most uncomfortable heels. Because people are crazy this time of year, my resolve for the rest of the holiday season: avoid shopping at allll costs. If that means I am giving homemade gifts to anyone on my list that may have slipped my mind, then so be it! Here are a few super simple last minute HOMEMADE gift ideas from around the web! (Click the link below each photo to access the item’s “How-To.”) Starburst Mirror (Because all items can be found at the Dollar Store!) Lace Doilies Votives (Because doilies aren’t just for grannies) Mini Succulent or Cactus Garden (Because even I can keep succulents alive) Upcycled Gilded Honey Bear Vase (Because recycling is cool and honey bears are cute) Glitter Slime (Because I challenge you to name a kid who doesn’t like slime) Sock Monkey (Because the classics are here to stay) A pretty jar full of memories (Because thoughtful gifts are the best) Glittery Gold Vases (Because glitter makes everything better) And there are always baked treats!  I love receiving tins or a box of cookies or homemade candies  It makes me feel like a professional food sampler, which if it were a real job, would be aaaamazing! After the holiday, I will share some of the handmade gifts that we gave this year. Happy gifting!

Pretty, recycled paper alternatives for wrapping holiday gifts

Now that you have shopped, its time to wrap those gifts…  Here are some cute alternatives to the usual printed paper.

And, honestly, who wouldn’t want to unwrap a gift that looks like one of these?!  (Scrooge maybe?)

The Enchanted Home
Artifact Uprising
Cosmo Cricket
Cozy Cottage Cute
Cozy Cottage Cute
Project Wedding
Moxie Fab World
Thrifty and Chic
Etsy

Dreamy Kitchens

I was dreaming about remodeling my kitchen the past couple of weeks, and holy cow, there are some great ideas out there.  I stumbled across these dreamy beauties!

Open shelving that doesn’t hide any of my disorganization or  my husband’s mismatched collection of coffee mugs? Hmm…A girl can still dream!  But holy cow, the tile backsplashes in some of these are gorgeous!  Is anyone else bored of white subway tile?

Enjoy some kitchen eye candy.   

Grand Simplicity
Home to Home
Apartment Therapy

 

How to Shop with a Conscience this Christmas

It is estimated that Americans will spend nearly $500 billion dollars on gifts this Christmas. That’s billion with a “B.” Can you imagine? The average family in America will spend just over $700 on gifts, while over 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 per day.

What if we could choose to spend our money on gifts that help to break down global income disparities and the cycle of poverty in marginalized communities? Oh wait, that’s right, we can.

I love knowing that my purchasing power is being used for the empowerment and betterment of the makers and communities who created it.   Here are some of my favorite brands with a conscience…

Noonday Collection: Jewelry and Accessories

“Noonday Collection’s mission is to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable. We partner with artisans in the developing world, empowering them to grow sustainable businesses. By creating a marketplace for their goods, we create dignified jobs at living wages….”

Krochet Kids: Knit Wear and Clothing for Kids and Adults

“Krochet Kids intl. has continued to grow and evolve in ways we never imagined since we earned our non-profit status in January 2008.  Today, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future in creating gifts that give back…”

To The Market: Jewelry, Clothing, Home Goods, Accessories…

I am loving that bedspread made out of recycled sari material!

“TO THE MARKET | Survivor-made Goods (TTM) combines the powers of commerce and storytelling to empower the world’s most courageous survivor populations, in the belief that resilience is more powerful than suffering…”

31 BitsUgandan Paper Bead Jewelry

“Every purchase you make can either have a positive or negative impact on the world. 31 Bits is part of a movement revolutionizing the way people do business. We value both the creator and the consumer. The artisans in our program are receiving a sustainable income and holistic education, empowering them to rise above poverty…”

Raven and LilyWomen’s Jewelry and Clothing

“Raven + Lily currently helps employ marginalized women in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan, and the USA at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily is committed to providing products that are made by hand, follow fair trade standards, and honor our eco-friendly commitment…”

Other ideas with a conscience:

Toms

Ten Thousand Villages

Sseko Designs

Esperos Bag

Who did I forget? What other giving brands do you love?

Simple, Last-Minute Advent Wreaths

I am always late to put up my Advent wreath.  After Thanksgiving, that first Sunday of Advent always, always sneaks up on me!  So here are some lovely, and SIMPLE last minute Advent wreath solutions!

I love the ones above because with very minimal effort they can transition from a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece to a lovely Advent wreath!  Did I mention how much I love easy and multi-use decorations?

If you already have a tree slice or something similar, then you can make the rest with things you already have at home and in your yard!  (If you want a tree slice, Hobby Lobby can hook you up.  And don’t forget to pull up their 40% off coupon on your phone!)

Found on: http://www.songbirdblog.com/advent-candles-decoration-12-days-christmas-decorations-kickoff/

Glass jars with twine around the top?  So simple!  And an excuse to pick up the pinecones that fell during our big windstorm over the weekend?  Love it!

Since, I don’t have any cork-topped bottles like this laying around, I would need to come up with a different way to attach said pinecones to the top of a mason jar or milk jar.  My plan would be to plop a tea light on top, arrange some greens on the table, and maybe steal some components from the first wreath idea…  And you, my dears, have made yourselves an Advent wreath!

Found on: http://www.yellowblissroad.com/non-traditional-advent-candles/

A more modern take, but along the same lines…

Guess what is under the candles?  Salt!  So easy!

Here are a few others…  And, I bet you already have or can find outside all of the items you would need to create something similar…

Found on: http://www.digsdigs.com/76-inspiring-scandinavian-christmas-decorating-ideas/
Found on: http://www.digsdigs.com/76-inspiring-scandinavian-christmas-decorating-ideas/
Found on: http://www.kaleidoscopeofcolors.com/2011/12/winter-rustic-pepsi-crate-pine.html
Found on: http://vitthusmedvitaknutar.blogspot.nl/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00%2B01:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00%2B01:00&max-results=48

Are you always on time with your advent wreath?  (Jealous.)  Send me a picture of how your family does Advent!