Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pretty Damn Good DIY Christmas Gifts

This year, Daniel and I decided to give our families a little bit of handmade goodness for Christmas. Over the last month, we have been crafting various gifts inspired by Pinterest for all of our loved ones. We thought it would be a fun and inexpensive way to really give everyone something special.

In some cultures, these projects are called do-it-yourself, or DIY. However, if you know anything about me, you would know that I struggle with the Y aspect of DIY. I'm more like a DIFM (do it for me) kind of girl. I have nothing against crafting or hand-making. I simply lack all the necessary crafting sensibilities. My friend, Kaley, once showed me how to put thread in a sewing machine and I literally had a brief thought that she might be a witch. I just don't get these things.

But I challenged myself this Christmas, and now that it's all over, I'm happy to share what we created. After making these gifts, I must say, I got a little attached. They became my precious babies, the fruits of my labor, and they were hard to give up. I'm really glad to hand them over to the people I love the most. Take a look.

Warning: several of these projects feature plastic toy dinosaurs, all of which were harmed in the making of these gifts. 

1. Dinosaur Mason Jars

original inspiration via Mason Jar Crafts Love

I mean, seriously, shouldn't everyone own a set of these?

 2. Wood-burned State Cutting Board 

This one inspired a lot of questions, and rightfully so. When I bought this, it was folded, and it appeared to just be a small run-of-the-mill cutting board. Upon opening it, we realized it had this hinge which revealed the circular indentation. Feeling too frazzled to care, we went ahead and wood-burned it anyway, but does anyone know what specific use this object has? Either way, there is a Texas shape on it, so I think it's cool. 

3. Gold Dinosaur Magnets 

original inspiration via The Yellow Spoon

We gave these little guys away this Christmas like they were candy. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of all of the magnets we made, but many of them featured dinosaur butts, which was a real win in my book.

4. Wood-burned Recipe Cutting Board

original inspiration via Nutfield Geneology

This is my dad's famous chili recipe wood-burned onto a cutting board. If you're lucky, maybe I'll post the whole thing for you one day.

5. Chevron Clock 

Buy your own clock kit on Amazon

Paint it, tape it, paint it, untape it, clock it. There were numbers we could have added, but we liked the minimalist look of it.

Bonus: The picture in that frame is a childhood photo of my boo and his baby brother, Nick. 

6. Framed Glitter States

original inspiration via The Effortless Chic

We made these to go in the nursery of our soon-to-arrive niece! Her mama went to school in Virginia, but of course, her heart is in Texas.

7. Painted Wine Glasses

original inspiration via Radical Possibility

I decorated these with metallic sharpies and baked them for good measure. According to the internet, the paint should stay.

8. Book Art

original inspiration via Ruffles and Stuff
How many times have you seen silhouette prints on book pages and loved them? Did you know you could just PRINT THEM FROM YOUR PRINTER? Well, you do now.

9. Citrus Body Scrub

recipe via Marta Writes

This stuff smells delicious and I hear it works wonders on super dry feet. I'll be making some for myself here shortly because my husband complains that I scratch him with the soles of my feet in my sleep. Disgusting.

10. Photo Coasters

original inspiration via She Hearts It

I made a set like these two Christmases ago for my mama-in-law, so this year I decided to make some for my side of the family. These are coasters, but my mom has opted to display them as pictures on her mantle. Pictured (from left to right): Amelie (my niece), Jo (my sister), My mom and Dad, Missy (my sister), and obviously, Daniel (my hubs) and myself.

11. Dinosaur Jewelry Hanger

original inspiration via Make Dreams Come True

This one was probably my favorite to make. We saw something like this being sold on Etsy and while it is definitely impressive, we wondered if by chance, we could make something similar. AND WE DID. It was fairly time-intensive, but we're pretty jazzed about the finished product.

All-in-all this was a fantastic experience for Daniel and I. It really allowed us to think on the people in our lives and what makes each of them special. I've tried to convince Daniel to quit his teaching job and open an Etsy shop with me, but he's being totally uncool about it. Lame.

Let me know what you guys think! If any of these have you feeling inspired, feel free to pin them on Pinterest for the next time you feel compelled to give a handmade gift.

You guys are awesome. I hope you had a very, very happy holidays!


  1. So crafty! I love them all but that pug picture is the best! Also, woodburning?! I would be worried I might die.

    1. Glad you're a fan of the pug picture! I was nervous it might be too quirky, but my sister seemed to like it. And woodburning is WAY easier than I thought it would be, though to be fair, Daniel did all of it. I just traced in pencil.

  2. Love DIY!! Love you better!!! My fave projects are the dinosaur necklace holder and the glitter states! So cool! Lots of exclamation marks are necessary to explain my excitement for crafting. Xoxo

  3. rawsugr aka mayra from chi' townJanuary 18, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    hi! so it's totally hard to tell the life size size of your hinged cuttign board but it looks like it could be a tostonera.... you know to make tostones. fried green bananas ie platanos cut the bananas in not too thick circles dump them in some hot ass grease, let them fry up a bit take out and SQUISH btwn the cutting boards (put it in the indentation) then throw back into the grease and continue frying till a bit crispy. then take out and you can sprinkle salt and later dip into "mojo" (lime juice & fresh garlic)

  4. Wow! I want all of the dinosaur things! These are some fantastic ideas.


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