single mom

Handcrafted Christmas

Blame it on my place of work, but I’ve got nothing but Christmas on the brain lately!

We’ve been talking about Christmas since I started work with The Salvation Army back in January, and now – 10 months later – I am up to my eyeballs in Christmas from Santa Shuffle to Beary Merry and back around to Christmas Distribution and kettle kick-off and everything else under the Christmas tree sun. I’ve always been a keener about getting Christmas presents sorted out, but this year I had an extra kick in the arse to get me going:I challenged myself to make as much as possible.


I started my own Christmas gifting campaign way back in October with more glitter and paint than any adult woman should ever have in her possession. It was hours spent cutting paisley shapes out of dictionary pages and scrapbook paper. It was a few hours of editing photos and designing Christmas cards and some other dandy photo-gifts for a few family members. It was a lot of burns on my hands from the glue gun (they are dangerous, people!) and it has been nothing shy of fun.

Aside from the fact that most of my presents will be totally unique, I’ve been able to save a lot of money by making things while also feeding my creativity a bit. I had loads of paint, paintbrushes and canvases to get me started on most of the gifts and a few trips to Michael’s and Dollarama filled any gaps in my plan. F even joined in on the action, and it gave us the perfect opportunity to bond over some fun with paint and left me with a mess the size of Russia all over my dining room table.

If you’re thinking about handmade Christmas gifts, let me give you a few ideas.

— White mugs from Dollarama + a Sharpie and a steady hand = cute, personalized coffee mugs! Don’t want to use a mug? Grab a plate instead. Black is my favourite (black on white is easy-to-read and chic) but you can use any colour, as long as you’re OK with it changing a bit as it bakes. Some colours won’t stay true. Simply write your message or draw your design and bake at 350* C for 30-45 minutes. Let cool. Be cool. 

We painted our trunk instead.

— Canvas + paint + little hands and feet = Make a Christmas Tree paint project out of a white canvas and your child’s hands and feet! Start at the bottom with a brown footprint (heel pointing the top of your tree). Allow the paint to dry. Now, with green hand prints, build your tree as a triangle. Allow all the green paint to dry. Top it with a yellow hand print for your star and get real creative by letting junior use finger and thumb prints to put ornaments on your tree and get that thing colorful and bright!

— Wooden anything + sea shells or little beach rocks + glue gun = seashore inspired art! Take a Dollarama picture frame and make it beach-y, or build something using old wood and cover it in rocks and seashells. It’s shore to impress. (The funeral for that pun will be held at 2 pm on Saturday.)

— Bake something! Whether it be chocolate chip cookies or a delicious loaf, home baking is something few people have time for these days! Don’t have time to do the actual baking? Throw all of the dry ingredients in a jar and present it with instructions. 

If you can’t make it all by hand, try buying a handful of small, inexpensive things for your loved ones this year and package it artfully and uniquely for them. Personalized gifts show the recipient how important they are to you.

Still stuck? There’s no shame in a gift card!

2 thoughts on “Handcrafted Christmas

  1. What a great list! I have always wanted to make homemade Christmas gifts but never know where to start. I had baked for Christmas before and given that as gifts but boy, was that a chore! It was well worth it in the end though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s