Oct 17, 2011

A handmade holiday

Wait! I know it's only October! I know the last thing on your mind is holiday shopping!

However, last year I pledged to have a handmade holiday, buying handmade gifts for everyone on our shopping list. With the exception of one or two things I accomplished it. I want to try and buy handmade again this year, but what's fun handmade shopping without friends? So this series was born.

I'll be posting about this twice a month from now until the holidays with ideas, suggestions, pictures, and links to great handmade gifts. Fun, right? I shop on a budget, so with the exception of maybe one or two items, I'm going to try to keep the prices for everything I suggest to $50 or less.

The first post will be going up this Wednesday, and I'm so excited to share it with you! Some of my recommendations will be from shops I've ordered from, some will not. However, I will be upfront about any experiences I've had - if the product was great, but the customer service was not, I'll tell you, so you know what you're getting into. (I'm all about being an informed consumer).

Last year I took three things away from this experience, and this is what I'll be using as a basis in my guide for you:

1. It can sometimes be challenging - you have to be willing to get creative and think a little outside the box for gifts.

2. I fell more in love with Etsy, which I didn't think was possible. (There are other places to get handmade items of course, but I relied on Etsy for the majority of them). You will too. Get excited.

3. You have to start early. The only drawback was the lead time - because each item was handmade, it required more time to prepare, so ordering two days before Christmas is not an option. This actually worked to my advantage. I started shopping in October (one gift here, two gifts there), and by the time the "holiday rush" hit I was almost finished! Plus, I had to research gifts more, which made me narrow down options to truly consider each person I was giving a gift to and what they'd like - I put a lot of thought into each item.

I'm really excited for this series - I hope you will be too! I'm going to try to do the posts as categories, so similar gifts are grouped together. I have a lot of ideas but if there's anything you'd like to see, or a person you'd like ideas for (someone who might be hard to shop for), let me know and I'll try to work it in!

Happy Monday!


Kate Sparkles said...

I'm trying to go a little more hand made this holiday season as well.. only I plan on making much of what I give myself.. what I can't make, I'd rather buy from a small business than a big chain store..
I'm finding it's easy for the ladies, but not so much the men.. I'm looking forward to reading your posts to see what you come up with ( and what ideas I might like to borrow)

Lucy The Valiant said...

Yay! I can't wait to see all your recommendations! I actually HAVE started thinking about my gift list already...I decided that this year I'm going to start buying at least one Christmas present every paycheck, so it's not such a big scary deal when December rolls around. So this is perfect timing!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh fun! I can't wait to see what all you feature. You find the best things!

I wish life was less busy so I could make gifts for my family. I made scarves for my mom and all of my sisters & sisters-in-law a couple of Christmases ago. But my life is too busy these days for me to repeat that unfortunately... Unless I make hats... but even that would be a stretch.

tessica said...

Looking forward to reading these! I'm trying all hand made this year too!

Sarah said...

Great idea! I can't wait to see what you find :) There are a lot of unique hand made things out there, so I am sure they will make some awesome gifts!

Amber said...

I'm excited for this series! I would definitely like to give some handmade gifts to people this year. Like I said yesterday I leave my gift shopping until the very last minute far too often!

Katie said...

Was just looking on Etsy this weekend....saw some great potential gifts. Can't wait to see what you recommend!

Unknown said...

Girl, you are so smart to start your shopping in October. This year, we already have a head-start on our "Christmas Fund," which blows my mind a little bit. Usually we wait until the last minute and are left wondering how we will afford it. That's the beauty of living on a budget, I guess. :) So, I can totally start early this year and this makes me so happy!

I'm excited about your series and that I'm a part of it! Yay!!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to this series! I usually buy some handmade gifts (I'm addicted to Etsy, what can I say?) but I don't know if I could ever be organized enough to get everything handmade. I can't ewait to see what you recommend :)

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