December 28, 2012 by Meg G.
Did you know that, contrary to popular belief, the Twelve Days of Christmas actually follow Christmas?
Twelvetide, as it is sometimes called, is the period of time between Christmas and Epiphany. Hence, we never fret about getting our holiday cards out before Christmas day, knowing that we technically have until the 6th of January. (Not that we would fret about it anyway.) So, on this 4th day of Christmas, I’m going to share some festive things that I just didn’t get around to before the 25th. First up, personalized and simple holiday wrapping!
While I was at it, I printed a few general labels for other homemade gifts. These simply say “Handmade for You – With Love, Meg & Heather.” The idea here was that these could go on the packaging of any of our handmade gifts. In fact, this is suitable and simple enough for everyday gifting. I ordered some kraft boxes and baker’s twine from Etsy for just that purpose. Here are some of my homemade cookies all nestled in their boxes and ready to be gifted!
Some more photos of pretty cookies, just because…
Okay – now – onto some handmade gifts.
First up, homemade liquid soap. Quite frankly, this stuff might not be worth the effort, but that’s up to you! Here’s the link where I found the directions. Photos first and then some lessons.
- Use Mrs. Meyer*s brand or one of the other recommendations from the comments. My first go-round was with some fancy soap that never thickened and went to waste. : (
- Be prepared for an overpowering scent of soap in your kitchen. I only did half a bar and it came close to giving me a headache. Open a window if needed.
- Never fear – when it’s done, the individual portions of soap have a normal amount of fragrance.
- Grating a bar of soap is actually more tedious and annoying than it sounds.
- I had the same problem as the original blogger re: consistency. Mine was overly thick, so I took a whisk to it in the morning and it loosened up. However, it may require additional stirring from time to time.
- Packaging is everything. Because, let’s face it, this soap isn’t all that pretty to look at. I opted for the ubiquitous Mason jar and purchased a lid (galvanized with 1/16″ hole) and pump (Bird Head Stainless Steel – 1cc) online. Since I ordered from two different companies, they didn’t fit perfectly, so I just added a bit of hot glue. Not the most perfect match, but tie a bow on it and it looks great!
Next up, homemade hand warmers!
Heather came up with this super cute idea. We used this tutorial from V and Co. and some remnant fabric from some of our gorgeous wedding table runners. Heather’s mom, Carol, did all the machine sewing, but Heather cut all of the fabric and I helped her to fill them with rice and hand-stitched them closed.
Just pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds (NO LONGER) and you’ve got an eco-friendly pillow of warmth for your hands on chilly walks or bus stop waits. You can even use them to warm up your boots before you pull them on!
We also crafted our own linoleum print Christmas cards again this year and I can finally claim credit for helping! While Heather did the hard work of designing and carving the prints, she did teach me how to print them this year. One day, I’m hoping that she’ll share a post with you on how to do the whole thing, start to finish. For now, some photos!
This year’s card is inspired by our fireplace. Yes, those are handmade stockings from the same fabric as the hand warmers. (One of Heather’s gifts to me!)
Heather also made some special prints for my family members. For most of my childhood, I spent my summers at the home of my Great Aunt, Bette Jane. She lived in a small town called Bay Head, located on the Jersey Shore. A few years ago, when we knew it would be our last summer at the house, Heather took some photos of the property and of the town sign. She created some beautiful prints of that sign and we framed them as gifts for my immediate family. With the timing of Hurricane Sandy, it was an especially meaningful gift.
Alright, that’s the wrap-up! I hope you’re feeling inspired and encouraged in your own creative ways. Enjoy!