Musings of a Museum Fanatic: Tips for Having a Mostly DIY Christmas

10.27.2015

Tips for Having a Mostly DIY Christmas



Christmas already?!?  Yup! It's less than 60 days until Christmas. The past few years I've made it a point to try and DIY Christmas gifts as much as possible. This year  in my own DIY olympics, I'm attempting to have at least 75% of my gifts as homemade. In preparation for that I'd thought I'd share some tips to help you DIY.

1. It's never too early. 
Yes I am that person who will think about next Christmas as soon as this one is over with.
This has helped me stock up on neat things like little Christmas ceramic dishes to serve dip in and small festive plates to give cookies on for $.25 to $.50 a piece! Right after Christmas is the best time to grab these items as they head to clearance. If you're tight on space look for plates or something else that won't take up as much space and can be stored flat.

2.  Know your "audience". 
I'm a big fan of giving gifts that my friends and family will actually enjoy and use. This requires actually paying attention to them and when they drop nuggets that will help you figure out a gift for them.

One example, when we visited uncle Mike in Dallas. He was mentioning how much he liked the stemless wine glasses but didn't have any. I had already been thinking about giving him a set of etched glasses and those comments just solidified those thoughts but stemless.

3. Don't over extend yourself.
If you've never tried to DIY Christmas gifts for people don't go all out in one year and try to do them for everyone. A few years ago I tried to do too much for everyone then I just ended up frustrated and everything came out kinda crappy. 

Also if you've never done a craft don't expect to have it mastered last minute. Metal stamping is on my list to try but since we're already in October I know I'm not going to master it enough to have a gift (that I would want to give) for Christmas. 

4. Try something new.
Yes this totally seems to contradict what I literally just said above but if there is a gift you think someone would like but isn't in you wheel house yet, try it! Just make sure that you've given yourself enough time to really learn how to do it. I've been working on learning how to make the mesh wreaths for a while now. I've been watching videos on YouTube and I'll be taking a class at a local Joann store at the beginning of November. 

5. Keep track  
One thing that can throw of your game is not remembering what you decided on giving whom and what supplies you'll need for the projects. I highly recommend physically keeping track, for me an Excel spread sheet seems to be working really well. I've got it set up with the name of the people I give Christmas and birthday gifts to and what I want to give them for the next year. I'll change the color of the text when I have the supplies and then again when I've completed the gift. This, for me, is an easy way to see what I've got left to accomplish. 

6. Keep it under control. 
One issue I have with crafting is a tend to go a little overboard buying supplies and the supplies will just start to accumulate everywhere. This can totally defeat the idea of doing DIY gifts to save money! It might help to avoid crafts stores once you've gotten the supplies you need or sticking to a strict list made for each project. 




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